If you like to give your body a full once-over every time you shower – lady parts and all – then you might want to stop right now, thank you very much. Because a new study has discovered a concerning link between douching in the shower and the onset of ovarian cancer.
You’ll have heard the warnings before, and we’re about to repeat them again: you don’t need to wash your vagina with anything except a splash of water. It’s SELF-CLEANING, lads.
The study that revealed the potential extent of danger linked to ovarian cancer was carried out by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. They assessed 50,884 women from the USA and Puerto Rico – all of whom had a sister who’d suffered from breast cancer. The subjects were quizzed on their douching habits at the beginning of the research, and at a later follow-up, 154 of them were found to have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
And of those who did get ovarian cancer, it was discovered that the ones who reported having douched in the shower had almost doubled their risk.
It’s thought that the link could be due to the increase in phthalates that enter into our body after douching, which could in turn increase the likelihood of infection and therefore of cancer.
A clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Centre, Raquel B. Dardik, explains:
“An increase in the amount of menstrual and other foreign tissue driven to the fallopian tubes or ovaries by the douching could also cause cancer,” she says.
So there’s obviously a link between douching and ovarian cancer, however an assistant clinical professor of gynecologic oncology at Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, Ana Isabel Tergas, warned that this could be simply be due to correlation, and not causation.
Tergas suggests that women who douche may be doing so in an attempt to reduce infection or inflammation because they are naturally more prone to it, which could in itself could increase the chances of getting cancer.
“It could be something else that they’re experiencing that is and of itself the cause of ovarian cancer. It could just be related,” the medical professional explains.
So regardless of whether it’s correlation or causation, the main thing to remember is DON’T DOUCHE. Trust your vaginas. Not all heroes wear capes, you know, and those things do a pretty good job of looking after us without us interfering with a loofah and some Natural Source, alright?