A douche bulb is the rounded fluid reservoir of a device used to cleanse the vagina or rectum. The bulb is often reusable after sterilization by a brief submersion in boiling water or by washing with a bactericidal agent. It attaches to a tip or nozzle that is inserted into the vagina or rectum before the fluid is expelled into the body.
Before it is attached to the nozzle, the douche bulb is filled with warm water, sometimes with powdered or liquid medicine added. It is then mixed by quickly shaking the bulb in an up and down manner. Gentle pressure on the bulb will expel the liquid from the douche. The nozzle may be slightly curved for easier insertion into the vaginal canal; those used for an enema of the rectum are usually shorter and straighter than those used for a vaginal cleansing.
Disposable douching supplies are available in most pharmacies. Replacement douche bulbs can also be found at the pharmacy. Many online stores offer discount prices and discreet shipping packages directly to the residence of the person ordering the douche bulb.
Douche bulbs can be ordered in a variety of colors and sizes. The volume of liquid the douche bulb contains depends on the preference of the person receiving the enema or vaginal cleanse. Most physicians recommend obtaining the douche bulbs in two different colors if regular enemas and vaginal cleanses are done by the same person. A douche bulb used for an enema, a liquid flush of the rectum, should never be used for a vaginal cleanse.
Before the douche bulb is used, it must be sterilized. Water should be heated to a gentle boil and both the tip and the bulb placed into it. They should be boiled for one minute, and then the pan removed from heat. The bulb and tip should be removed from the water and allowed to completely air dry. An alternative method of sterilization is to immerse the bulb and nozzle into a mixture of water and bleach; with this method, both pieces must be thoroughly rinsed to remove all traces of bleach before use.
Adding a small amount of baking soda to the rinsing water can help prevent the formation of mold within the bulb and nozzle between uses. A thin film of baking soda residue will remain on the douche bulb and nozzle after drying. The barrier may also inhibit the colonization of any bacteria that may linger after cleaning the douche bulb.