Douche and Getting Pregnant?

Can douching affect my chances of getting pregnant?
profile picture of Jackie Gutmann, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia
ByJackie Gutmann, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia
Fertility Specialist
Updated
Mar 2017
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Douches are one of the mysterious products that live on in pharmacies and drugstores around the globe for no good reason. The simple fact is that for most of us, our vaginas are in a state of happy balance. Bacteria and other organisms naturally coexist there to create a healthy environment. So there’s really no point in messing the whole thing up with a douche.

If you’re trying to conceive, there is some evidence that douching can make things more difficult. One study found that women who douched were 30 percent less likely to conceive than those who kept things au naturel. That’s not to say douche should be considered an effective form of birth control. It’s possible that if you’ve been sexually active, douching may reduce the number of sperm swimming around. But a good percentage of those boys have already made their way north of the vagina and into the cervix, past the point where douche can reach. Either way, whether you want to get pregnant or not, keep douche where it belongs — in the box and away from your bod.

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