What Is a Medicated Douche Used For?

A report in the New York Times states that some people use medicated douches, such as Betadine or other povidone-iodine products, to treat itching and some infections from yeast or bacteria. A study published for the National Institutes of Health also looks at patients who use medicated douches to treat minor vaginal irritation.

Dr. Jonathan S. Berek, professor and chief of gynecology at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, explains that doctors prescribe douches include immediately after radiation therapy for endometrial or cervical cancer under rare circumstances. Dr. M. Kim Oh, associate professor in the department of pediatrics and adolescent services at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says that surgeons may prescribe medicated douches to prevent vaginal infection, such as after an episiotomy. While Dr. June M. Reinisch says that people have no reason to douche for hygiene purposes. They must use the medicated douches a doctor prescribes but only for a limited amount of time. She explains that douching may disturb the vaginal environment and make it more vulnerable to infection. Dr. William Soller, director of science and technology for the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association, also explains that vaginal douche products do no harm when used as directed.