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Does Douching Prevent Pregnancy?

Does douching after sex prevent a girl from getting pregnant?
Clara*

No. Douching does not prevent pregnancy. In fact,  is a bad idea for birth control for several reasons:

  • Sperm are extremely fast swimmers. Thousands of them can reach the uterus by the time a girl even begins to douche.
  • The pressure of a douching solution squirted into the vagina can actually push sperm into the uterus.
  • Douching may increase a girl's chances of getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Douching isn't a good idea for "cleansing" the vagina either. The vagina has its own natural cleaning system that flushes out bacteria. The chemicals and perfumes in douches or feminine sprays don't help and can actually cause problems like allergic reactions, irritation, or infections.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: October 2013

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