Can douching result in reduced fertility or infertility?

Doctor's Answers 1

Vaginal douching may potentially wash away the viable sperm that is still in the upper vagina and this may reduce the chances of conception.

On the other hand, some patients may develop vaginal infections after intercourse if they do not douche after intercourse.

It is best to wash approximately 20 minutes after intercourse to reduce the risk of developing vaginal infections after intercourse but yet give enough time for the viable sperm to swim into the cervical canal for conception.

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Should I unblock my fallopian tube before IVF?

Sorry to hear about your previous history of ectopic pregnancies. This has some relevance since the conditions that lead to an increased risk for ectopic pregnancy are likely to affect both tubes in the pelvis, rather than just one side (since both tubes are connected to the uterus within the pelvis). Some of these conditions include infection, inflammation due to endometriosis, or could be related to surgery. Surgery to correct the blockage has been available for many years. This consists of microsurgery which can be performed through keyhole or laparoscopic surgery.

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Does douching lead to infection and infertility?

Hi, Douching can disrupt the pH and balance of bacteria in the vagina. This leads to a change in the composition of the bacteria that is usually found within the vagina. This in turn, could increase the risk of vaginal infections such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Besides that, it can also cause the spread of harmful bacteria, already present in the vagina, further up into the uterus. In reference to its impact on fertility, there are some studies that have shown that women who douche regularly take a longer time to become pregnant than women who do not douche.

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Dr Anthony Stanislaus

General Practitioner

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