Douches, Lubricants, Petroleum Jelly May Cause Vaginal Infections: Study
Many women in the United States use lubricants, douches and other vaginal products, which new research suggests may actually be linked to a higher incidence of vaginal infections.
According to a study published this month in the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers found that nearly two-thirds of the women surveyed reported using douches, washes or lubricants. These women had a higher risk of testing positive for bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis infection, or yeast infection.
Bacterial vaginosis, a common bacterial infection, and yeast infections, along with other vaginally inserted products can change the pH of a women’s vagina and damage vaginal tissue, causing a women to become more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases, like chlamydia and HIV.
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Researchers surveyed 141 sexually active women between the ages of 18 and 65 during 2008 and 2010. The women were asked about sexual behaviors, vaginal symptoms, intravaginal use of products and demographics. They were also examined for bacterial and yeast infections.
Nearly 50 percent of the women reported using vaginal products other than tampons and 45 percent reported to using vaginal washes, such as Vagisil Feminine Wash or vinegar and water mixtures. More than 70 percent admitted to use of commercial sexual lubricants, like K-Y Jelly.
Researchers learned that the use of K-Y jelly, Vaseline, Summer’s Eve and vaginal oils and led to a higher incidence of many of these common bacterial and yeast infections.
Approximately 40 percent of women who used petroleum jelly or lubricants were also diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis compared to 18 percent of women who had a bacterial infection and did not use the products at all.
Use of vaginal oils were associated with a 44 percent higher risk of having a yeast infection. Vaginal oils like Inner Intimates and Replens are a blend of fatty oils, vitamin E, vitamin D and other oils and are often used as treatments for premenstrual syndrome, menopause and vaginal dryness.
Researchers speculated that the products may upset the internal pH balance of the vagina, which functions on a balance of beneficial microbes. The imbalance created by the introduction of harmful bacteria may cause the bacterial and yeast infections. Some women experience symptoms such as abnormal discharge or odor, while other women experience no symptoms at all.
Commercial lubricants, like K-Y Jelly, contain glycerine which breaks down into sugar and can promote infection. Doctors recommend using a lubricant like Astroglide or K-Y Intrigue which are silicone based and will not contribute to infection.
Petroleum jelly products like Vaseline are not recommended for internal use because of their drying properties which may contribute to increased risk of infection. Doctors also advise against the use of douches or vaginal washes, citing Summer’s Eve and other douches offer no benefit and may disrupt the proper balance of bacteria in the vagina.
AntoinetteSeptember 27, 2017 at 2:19 am
I used Summer Eve douche Now I have fibroids .This is my second time ,I know the douche is the reason for their return because I was fine until I used the douche , I know something was wrong when it never flushed out my body it stayed. Now they are back and bigger then before. This must stop.
MaryMarch 19, 2015 at 3:42 pm
I used Vagisil wash and 1 week later had a cyst burst on my left ovary. That led me to large fibroids being found by an ultrasound. I had to have a hysterectomy and have long term complications. I've had Two other hysterectomies in two years and now I'm in surgical menopause. I called the makers of vagisil to question if it harms the natural pH balance and they said no, but I have never had that [Show More]I used Vagisil wash and 1 week later had a cyst burst on my left ovary. That led me to large fibroids being found by an ultrasound. I had to have a hysterectomy and have long term complications. I've had Two other hysterectomies in two years and now I'm in surgical menopause. I called the makers of vagisil to question if it harms the natural pH balance and they said no, but I have never had that type of pain until after using vagisil wash. Makes you wonder.
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