Sunday, 23 July 2017

VAGINAL DOUCHING: THE KILLER ANOINTING


As I walked through the body care section of the departmental store, I saw them. Pretending there were none existent, I left for the pharmacy located three blocks down the road. Scanning the counters as I awaited my order, I saw them again.
"What is going on?" I wondered.
Vaginal douches in their various brands and colours lined the counter.
As I pondered the situation, a lady walked in, paid for one of the brands and left the
store with the douche in her handbag.
Hmmm... Ike gwuru!!! All we do to keep our jingolo in top condition.

Ladies, ladies, ladies and gents, permit me to point out:
The vagina is not a perfume outlet and as such, should not be expected to smell like one. Neither, is it an ogiri processing unit and should not be left to smell like one.
For clarity, ogiri is a major ingredient used in the preparation of bitter leaf/ ora soup. Despite it's rich taste in food, in the raw form it smells as bad as an uncovered latrine and attracts flies.

The vagina has been designed by the creator to keep itself clean with the help of natural secretions/ discharges. Simply put, it is SELF CLEANSING.

Vaginal douching is the use of various fluids/ mixtures to wash the vagina. This is different from washing the outer area of the vulva.
Mixtures used to wash the vagina range from vinegar to salt, baking soda, lime juice, alum, herbal and antiseptic preparations... The list goes on.
Also available are ready-made and commercially sold douches found in supermarkets and drugstores.

To appreciate the harmful effects of douching, let's acquaint ourselves with the events that take place in the vagina:
The vagina is home to certain organisms known as the normal flora. While the vagina houses these organisms, they help maintain it's acidic pH and fight with harmful organisms for space, thereby suppressing their growth and keeping the area healthy.
When douche mixtures are applied to the vagina, this delicate balance is distorted. The friendly armies are attacked and decommissioned, harmful organisms have room to thrive, infection sets in....

Bad odour emanating from the vagina could be a sign of an ongoing infection. Conditions such as bacterial vaginosis impart a fishy odour to the vagina. During sex, this odour is worsened and the venue of the act smells like a dead fish depot... Arrgghh!!!
Douching is a temporary fix. It merely masks the odour which returns with a myriad of issues.

WHY DO PEOPLE DOUCHE?
A study done in a university community in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, Southern Nigeria  by Christopher Ekpeyong and Koofreh Davies revealed that as high as 79.8% of females douche.
Reasons for douching include:
- Clean the vagina after sex to prevent getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Wash away semen to prevent pregnancy
- Treat vaginal infections
- Control vaginal odours
- Increase sexual pleasure
... Reasons abound

Another study conducted by Mariga AG, Kullima AA et al among sex workers who douched with lime juice in Borno state, Northern Nigeria showed increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV among women who douched with lime juice when compared with non users. In addition, the risk of cervical cancer is higher in douche users than in non douche users.

COMPLICATIONS/ CONSEQUENCES OF DOUCHING:
- Increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases
- Spread of vaginal infections
- Infertility
- Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy: A life threatening condition where the fetus implants outside the uterus
- Increased risk of preterm birth

FOR GENERAL VAGINA CARE:
- Wash with water only
- Avoid use of scented, medicated or bar soaps in the vagina
- Stop/ avoid douching
- Good hygiene during menses
- Keep the area well groomed and hair neatly trimmed.
Importantly, in case of vaginal pain, discharge, odour, itching, burning sensation amongst others, see a physician. DON'T DOUCHE.

As my people say, "Ukpana okpoko gburu, nti shiri ya"

Do Stay Well, Live And Love Healthy With Dr IB
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