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12 Dec 2002

why is the good doc ignoring me?
I posted a long question yesterday on a topic that is really bothering me and on which I would love the doc's view (see "One for Dr. Mac re 'THE SMELL'"), but there has been no official reaction. Is it just pressure of work or did I say something wrong?
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Sexologist
sexy

01 Jan 0001

Dear PG
As always I do find your "questions" more of a statement, or even a public challange, so I don't always feel it justifies and answer from myself. But as you choose to use this forum to challange me, I'm not about to start an e-mail debate with you. If you feel ignored, please don't take everything so personally, I receive on average a 1000 e-mails per day from all over the world, and I can't answer every one of them personally.

It is really a sad that women allow themselves to play into the media trap of "smelling like a rose". Vagina's have a selfcleansing mechanism and we don't have to go and dig as suggested by some.

You are by the sounds of it far more of a vaginal cleasing expert than me, remember I only study Human Sexual behaviour, not Bacteriology. Thank you I think you gave an in depth description on how women should wash, but I unfortunately don't angree with.

Unless otherwise prescribed by your health care provider, it is NOT necessary to douche or use vaginal deodorants. Vaginal douching is an ancient practice of washing out the vagina for hygienic purposes. Although originated during the time of Hippocrates to cleanse the pelvic cavity by nurses or physicians, vaginal douching, over time, has proven to be an ineffective method of vaginal cleansing.

But the practice has continued; U.S. data indicates 37% of U.S. women of reproductive age (15-44 years) douche regularly , about half at least once a week. Advertisements for vaginal douche and deodorant products suggest that women should worry about odours emanating from their genital area and need to maintain vaginal "charm" and "freshness."

You are insinuating that the vagina is a dirty place. Yet, the vagina has its own selfcleaning mechanism, riding itself of mucous, semen, menstrual fluids, and old cells and also has "good" bacteria to keep it healthy. These "good" bacteria are called Lactobacilli. Lactobacilli give off a natural form of hydrogen peroxide which controls the growth of "bad," infectious bacteria. But, when women douche, Lactobacilli are reduced, creating an environment which "bad" bacteria can flourish in.

Not only is vaginal douching unnecessary, but it can also lead to serious infection and health problems.

It is normal for all healthy vaginas to have a natural odor, no matter what the media may tell us. Douching and vaginal deodorants are unnecessary and pose significant health risks. Rather than use douche or vaginal deodorants, simply wash out the genital area daily with warm water, unless otherwise prescribed by your health care provider. The more we educate others about this unnecessary practice, the more likely it will be that these feminine products will be taken off our market shelves.

I feel this debate has really re-inforced those myths about "vaginal cleansing" and not really contributed to any positive reinforcement.

Dr Mac
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