Can Douching with Peroxide Treat BV?
Peroxide is widely used in the medical field for treating various diseases and conditions. It is effective against many bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and other microorganisms. However, it may not be suitable for all types of infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV), trichomoniasis or yeast infection. There are several reasons why it might not be appropriate for certain infections.
The most common reason is because it may cause irritation of the vaginal area and possibly increase symptoms. Other side effects include: burning sensation, itching, swelling, redness and pain at the injection site.
Another problem is that some women experience allergic reactions when using peroxide on their genitals. These reactions can range from mild hives to severe anaphylactic shock which results in death within minutes if left untreated.
There are also concerns about long term health risks associated with peroxide use. Studies have shown that exposure to high levels of peroxide can lead to cancer, birth defects and reproductive problems.
In addition, there is concern about the potential for skin damage caused by the chemical reaction between peroxide and human tissue. Some studies show that even low concentrations of peroxide can cause significant burns on exposed areas of skin.
These risks and concerns are likely why many doctors do not recommend using store bought peroxide for treating any condition within the genital area.
So Why Might It Be Safe When Used a Douche?
The only way in which it has been said to be safe is when used within the proper dosage as a douche. A medical grade peroxide douche has a very low concentration of peroxide. This type of solution is only meant to be used vaginally, and even then it should only be used in this way under the guidance of a medical professional.
The medical professional will take a vaginal swab and test it for the presence of certain bacteria and fungi. Using these results they can better assess your situation and create a custom treatment plan for your symptoms. They can also prescribe other medications to alleviate any discomfort.
While medical grade peroxide may be safe to use in small concentrations within the vaginal area, it is not recommended that you use peroxide in any other way on your body or internally.
Should I Try a Douche with Peroxide?
There are many different types of treatments available nowadays for the treatment and prevention of BV. Many of these treatments are very effective if used properly.
Most women find that it’s much more convenient to use home treatments or over the counter medications, rather than to seek a doctor’s help. Home treatments can be ordered without a prescription and are easily accessible.
However, in the case of BV, curing the infection is not as simple as taking a pill or using a douche with peroxide. Even if the infection is cured it can easily return without proper treatment. It is also possible to have repeated bouts of BV throughout your life.
If you are having frequent symptoms of BV that are interrupting your day to day life, it may be best to consult a medical professional and get a proper diagnosis.
The good thing is, most cases of BV can be treated quickly and easily with the right medication. A simple course of antibiotics can effectively take care of the condition within a few days. Your doctor may also provide you with a topical cream or gel that can be effective as well.
Many women get frustrated because they are unable to get rid of their BV infection no matter what they try. If you find that your symptoms are not going away with treatment or are returning soon after your treatment has finished, it’s best to see a doctor and get a proper diagnosis.
Do I Need to See a Doctor?
If your symptoms are bothering you, it may be in your best interest to contact a doctor. Many women suffer from BV without even knowing they have it as the symptoms are mild or even non-existent for many women.
Sources & references used in this article:
Hydrogen peroxide—producing lactobacilli and acquisition of vaginal infections by SE Hawes, SL Hillier, J Benedetti… – Journal of Infectious …, 1996 – academic.oup.com
An updated review of of evidence to discourage douching by BH Cottrell – MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child …, 2010 – journals.lww.com
A delicate balance: risk factors for acquisition of bacterial vaginosis include sexual activity, absence of hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli, black race … by TL Cherpes, SL Hillier, LA Meyn… – Sexually transmitted …, 2008 – journals.lww.com
Predictors of bacterial vaginosis in adolescent women who douche by JR Schwebke, RA Desmond, MK Oh – Sexually transmitted …, 2004 – journals.lww.com
Recurrent bacterial vaginosis by PE Hay – Dermatologic clinics, 1998 – Elsevier
Antiseptics and disinfectants for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis: a systematic review by H Verstraelen, R Verhelst, K Roelens… – BMC infectious …, 2012 – Springer
Chemical colitis caused by hydrogen peroxide vaginal douche: A case report by A Baiomi, H Patel, H Abbas, V Vootla… – World Journal of …, 2019 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Risk Factors for Infection With Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2:: Role of Smoking, Douching, Uncircumcised Males, and Vaginal Flora by TL Cherpes, LA Meyn, MA Krohn… – Sexually transmitted …, 2003 – journals.lww.com