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What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Douche for a Yeast Infection?

By C.B. Fox
Updated Feb 29, 2024
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Using a douche for a yeast infection is generally not recommended. The treatment can flush the yeast out of a woman's vagina, but the act of forcing a liquid into the vaginal cavity could also force the infection further into the woman's body. In the short term, the potential benefits of using a douche are that the itching, irritation, and odor may be eliminated. Douching does not, however, treat the yeast infection, and any relief it offers is temporary.

There are many problems that can arise from douching, and medical professionals do not recommend that women use a douche if they a yeast infection. One of the primary concerns with douching is that it can damage the balance of bacteria that grow naturally in the vagina. This can increase a woman's chance of developing yeast infections, bacterial infections, and sexually transmitted infections. In many cases, douching may make a yeast infection worse or lead to more infections in the future.

Most woman douche with pure water or a mixture of water and iodine, vinegar, or baking soda. When treating yeast infections, women may also use yogurt because the bacteria found in yogurt may kill certain yeasts. Another problem with using a douche for a yeast infection is that liquids forced into the vagina cannot be properly cleaned out. Leaving substances such as vinegar or iodine in the vagina can cause the lining to dry out and become sensitive and irritated. Allowing a food product to remain in the vagina can encourage the growth of dangerous microorganisms.

When a woman has a yeast infection, using a douche can force the infection further into her body. If the infection moves up into the uterus, it can be more difficult to treat. These infections can make it difficult for a woman to conceive a child and increase her risk of having an ectopic pregnancy.

Despite these downsides to using a douche for a yeast infection, many women continue to use this home treatment. It can relieve symptoms temporarily and make the woman feel much more comfortable for a time. Once the treatment wears off, however, the symptoms are likely to return because douching does not kill the infection. If a woman has used a douche before deciding to seek medical treatment, the yeast infection can be difficult for a medical professional to diagnose.

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Discussion Comments
By turquoise — On Jan 20, 2014

@donasmrs-- I agree that douching is not a good idea for yeast infections. You can re-balance your vaginal flora in other ways. You can eat yogurt for example or take probiotic supplements. Flushing is not the best way to get rid of a yeast infection like the article said. What if the infection gets worse and travels to nearby organs? It's not unheard of. Do you really want to take that risk?

The only exception to douching for yeast infections may be if a medicated special douche is used with the approval of a doctor. Some yeast infection medications are available in douche form now. I think that creams work just fine, but this type of douche may be used if the doctor thinks it will be helpful. But I would not use any other type of douche, certainly none of the homemade ones.

By SarahGen — On Jan 20, 2014

@donasmrs-- I've heard of women douching with yogurt or apple cider vinegar for yeast infections as well, but I don't think that this is a good idea. You're better off using prescription medication.

By donasmrs — On Jan 19, 2014

My friend recommended yogurt douche for yeast infections. She has used it with success before. I'm dealing with a stubborn yeast infection right now. I don't normally douche, but I'm desperate and yogurt is supposed to be very effective. Apparently, it replaces good bacteria in the vagina and helps the body fight the yeast naturally.

I understand that yogurt should not remain in the vagina for long. What if I use a yogurt douche, let it remain overnight and then douche with plain water in the morning? Will this be okay?

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