Is douching after sex effective?

Contributor: caseyb caseyb
Related to: 
I am wondering if anyone knows if douching after sex is a good way to get any sperm that mightve went in from the pull-out method? My husband and I dont want to use condoms, and I cant take the pill, so is using a douche like an effective way to rinse out sperm I wonder? I don't want to sound airheaded.... I know vinegar in douching is bad, but really what is potential harms that could come also, does anyone know?
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Contributor: GingerAnn GingerAnn
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Contributor: Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Douching for any reason is not a good idea, even if all you're using is ordinary water.

When you rinse yourself out, you're upsetting your body's natural pH levels and getting rid of the good bacteria. This can lead to things like yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.

As for whether or not it'll clear out any sperm, as far as I'm aware the answer is no - or at least that it won't be completely effective. If you can't use the pill and don't want to use condoms, then consult with your doctor and figure out another method that might work out better for you.
Contributor: VeganChick (is Gone) VeganChick (is Gone)
Rin is right. Douching can actually push sperm up, so it's really not a good idea by any means.
Contributor: Gunsmoke Gunsmoke
It may be correct that douching isn't the greatest long term strategy - but I'll try to answer your question assuming that you are aware of the risks and find them acceptable.

All birth control is about lower the risk of pregnancy. The only known 100% effective method is abstinence - in my eyes an unacceptable choice.

Withdrawal does reduce risk - but failure is much more likely than chemical methods like the pill or physical methods like condoms, diaphragms or IUDs.

Various way to clear he vagina of sperm have been used for millennia and one would expect that it would improve your odds of not conceiving.

However if you are opting for withdrawal and douching, you should be mentally prepared for the fact that you may conceive in spite of your best efforts/intentions.

Good luck.
Contributor: sillylilkitten sillylilkitten
Douching is not healthy for your vagina. It changes the natural pH balance and can lead to yeast infections. I would think that it would also be mostly ineffective at washing out sperm. I wouldn't recommend it. Have you looked into other birth control methods besides the pill? If not, I'd suggest doing so if you're concerned about pregnancy.
Contributor: K101 K101
Originally posted by caseyb
I am wondering if anyone knows if douching after sex is a good way to get any sperm that mightve went in from the pull-out method? My husband and I dont want to use condoms, and I cant take the pill, so is using a douche like an effective way to ... more
Effective in causing yeast infections and UTI's, yes. Or are you talking about anal douching? I don't know a lot about anal douching as I do not have anal sex, and for good reasons.

As for vaginal douching, it's totally uneccessary, I promise. It actually is a very common cause for the infections I mentioned! It rinses out all the good bacteria and makes a perfect home for the bad, which will quickly multiply before the good and be re-entered into the vagina to take them over. This, in fact, is exactly how the digestive system works too! Flushing out all the good and bad, allowing all the bad, etc. This is where IBS and candidiasis come from a lot of times, so I'm firmly set against douching any hole.

If you MUST douche your vagina, I say lie down in the bath tub with clean, clean water & suck in and then push out. Don't continue sucking the just pushed-out water in. Or use a squeezy water bottle to introduce warm, CLEAN water into the vagina, push it out & go. This will give you that "clean" feeling that people who are used to douching "need." They often feel dirty just washing and not using a cleaning (dangerous) douche solution, so doing this is a better way to feel clean, but can also be dangerous too if you aren't careful & you definitely should not do it if pregnant.

Sorry to tell you this, but you really can't rinsle ALL sperm out. That is no way of birth control as the sperm start traveling to the cervix instantly. You should consider something like a natural birth control if this is the case and you just don't want to use birth control by prescription medication.

Now if you're referring to the sperm that does leak out -- this happens to me every single time -- then you can do the water method I mentioned as long as you think it's safe for you & maybe even as your doctor? I didn't and I do this to rinse the excess sperm because if I don't, I end up leaking for hours after sex, all over my pants & it's a disaster. So I'll stick a paper towel in my pants when we're done and then do a little water rinse to get the excess out so that it doesn't leak for the rest of the day.

Douching really is bad, though. I truly hope you'll do some research and learn just how many people suffer simply from douching. Actually, it may be hard to believe, but the truth is the vagina cleanses itself! Yep. Discharge is one way. God did make it to clean itself, but I understand concerns with excess sperm, plus, some girls say if the sperm isn't totally cleaned out, the next day they notice an odor (which is caused usually from the sperm and the vaginal acids mixing and creating a unique pH level, which causes a strange odor) so I can understand the need to remove the sperm, but if you're hoping douching will be a form of birth control, that's a big mistake because it won't.