A device that propels water or another liquid into the vagina to remove offensive odors. Most douches consist of a rubber or plastic bulb (commonly referred to as the “douche bag”) and a soft-tipped nozzle.

Douching is not medically recommended by most physicians, as it upsets the natural balance of the vaginal flora. It can increase a woman’s risk of contracting certain health problems including bacterial vaginitis and some sexually transmitted infections. There is some evidence that douching can also cause fertility issues.

While douching is sometimes used after sex as a form of contraceptive, it is not effective for this purpose.