Disclaimer: This is my personal experience with using this douching method. Please consult your gynecologist beforehand. Otherwise, use at your own discretion.
There's no immunity for womanhood. Whenever it begins, it comes at you full force and, because of this, you're always learning something new about your body. From the whiskers that line your chin to the horrific vaginal upsets that come a dime a dozen.
As much as I'd like to b*tch about not being forewarned, I'm not sure that there was any sex ed class that could've prepared us for the lesser parts of p*ssy power. The only thing that actually changes more than our bodies are the dos and donts, and I believe this inconsistency has a lot to do with the lack of expansion on certain topics.
For instance, we've been told a million times that our vaginas (not to be confused with vulva) are "self-cleaning ovens" and that we shouldn't put anything in it. We've been warned against tampering with our vag-jay-jay to attain the scent of cherry blossoms and we've heard that douching is the absolute worst of the worst – a sin of the vulva flesh. No less, we've never expounded upon this topic informing women that vaguely speaking a douche is quite literally a "shower of water" according to my quick Google search. Vaginal douching is "the process of intravaginal cleansing with a liquid solution."
I say all this to say, there's a whole world of douching that we know nothing of because everything has been so vague and misleading.
Douching with products like Summer's Eve is problematic in that they contain all types of unknown shit, but what about douching with natural elements? Elements that your vagina is already working with? Specifically peroxide, which is produced and works inside your vagina alongside bacteria to fight off yeast and other infections.
I'm no expert (yet), but the recommendation for a peroxide douche came via Certified Sex Therapist Raquel Savage, who created a Twitter thread on the topic. Naturally, I had to try it out and guess what?
My vagina didn't burn to the ground.
Douching serves different purposes for different people. Some simply feel more clean. While they serve a basic hygienic purpose (whether they work that way or not), they are also said to prevent and treat infections.
With this knowledge in mind, Savage recommended using this solution when you feel a bout of bacteria vaginosis or a yeastie (formerly known as a yeast infection) rising. However, this was not recommended in place of treatment and it's certainly not recommended on a daily basis.
Additionally she uses them after she finishes menstruating, which is also a common practice of douching. Because I was coming of my period and halfway through a bottle of antibiotics, this thread was gold!
To get started, grab a store-bought douche and empty out the solution, rinse it out thoroughly, and per Savage's recommendation replace it with half cool water and half peroxide (one part peroxide, three parts water if you're scurred). After screwing the top back on and rinsing the nozzle for good measure, I went about it as the directions state on the box – gently squeezing. Like so many others, I was in full anticipation of my vagina sizzling as Savage assured her followers it would not and slightly disappointed to find that this did not occur. It was more like a tingle.
Really, nothing occurred except the cooling sensation of squirting peroxide-water solution into my vagina. (I walked away with a greater understanding of a bidet and those who spend money to have one.)
When I pulled out the douche and seen a little mucus membrane on it, likely normal discharge from my recent period, I immediately thought: "clearly, my vagina needed a good blow." It was literally like taking a nasal aspirator and clearing all the vaginal boogers out.
Although, I'll likely have to do this regularly before I know how they they will affect me -- it did feel refreshing and rejuvenating to my vagina. Lately, every time I use a tampon my vagina just feels so eck and upset with me so I've definitely been learning what it means to have a happy vagina. Furthermore, it won't take long for me to bare witness to the magic of the peroxide because as I jokingly tell my doctor, I suffer from chronic BV.
After posting about it on my Insta Story, a friend reached out and told me that her gynecologist actually told her to use this solution because of all the yeast infections that she was having. That said, it is in fact a thing but be sure to get your doctors opinion. Frankly, I've put much harsher sh*t near and (sometimes) in my vagina so there was little fear of any potential risk. But, safety always comes first so do what you've got to douche.
Meanwhile, my vagina and I will be sipping peroxide cocktails once a month for the rest of the summer.
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Featured image by Adene Sanchez/Getty Images.