Douching Linked to High Risk for Bacterial Vaginosis

Published Online: Wednesday, January 1, 2003
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Women who douche regularly are at markedly higher risk for bacterial vagi-nosis than are women who do not douche, according to a study reported in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Researchers studied 1200 women at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Women who reported douching at least once a month were 40% more likely to have mild bacterial vaginosis, compared with women who did not douche. The researchers suggest that douching may disrupt the normal vaginal microbiology, leading to vulnerability to bacterial vaginosis. Other studies also have linked douching to the risk of acquiring HIV, pelvic inflammatory disease, preterm delivery, and cervical cancer.

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