Dr Greg Cario

FRCOG FRANZCOG Director of the Sydney Women’s Endosurgery Centre (SWEC)

Director of the St George Urodynamic Centre for Pelvic Floor Disorders

This douching regime is used for physiological discharge or non-specific discharge where there is no major infective element. It can also be used for burning vulva syndrome and postoperative care for vaginal repair and stitches to the perineum following childbirth.

You will first need to purchase a vaginal douche pump, which is available from most chemists. The cost of this varies but it should be between $10-$15. An alternative to this is the use of a large disposable syringe, which is a much cheaper option.

SOLUTION ONE: For the first week of douching you will need to purchase a bottle of 10% Betadine and prepare a solution with one part of 10% Betadine to 30 parts of water (e.g. 10ml of Betadine in 300ml of warm water from the tap in a jug). This iodine solution should be used for one week only.

SOLUTION TWO involves the preparation of a litre of warm water from the tap with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. This is a homeopathic solution, which can be used indefinitely.

Douching is initially begun twice daily, in the morning and night. It is usually carried out in the bath or shower. Once the discharge is under control, it can be more focused and performed once daily and more often than not, it can be used at certain times of the menstrual cycle only when the discharge has previously been a problem (e.g. in the lead up time to ovulation, some 10-14 days after the commencement of the first day of the menstrual cycle).

You must remember that the vagina is a blind-ending skin pouch and the cervix inserts into the apex of the vagina. The cervix is water tight and douching solution cannot spread from the vagina to the uterus, the bladder or the bowel. It is a very similar procedure to washing underneath the arms in patients who have excessive sweating. These solutions are used because they are non-irritating unlike soap or perfumed products and they restore the natural PH of the vaginal secretion which will inhibit the growth of any common vaginal infections.

If you have any problems with this regime, please contact Dr Cario.