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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 99-104

In Vitro Inhibition of Commercial Douche Products Against Vaginal Microflora

Department of Oral Biology, College of Dentistry, M/C690, University of Illinois at Chicago, 801 South Paulina Street, Chicago 60612, IL, USA

Received 16 June 1999; Accepted 18 October 1999

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recently, vaginal douching has been associated with many health risks in women. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of commercial douche products against various vaginal microorganisms, including lactobacilli. Seven commercial douches were tested against eight Lactobacillus clinical isolates and three type strains from the American Type Culture Collection. BV-associated bacteria included six strains of five genera: Gardnerella, Mobiluncus, Mycoplasma, Peptostreptococcus, and Ureaplasma. Two isolates of group B Streptococcus, and three species of Candida were also tested. The minimal inhibition concentrations and minimal contact times for these products against vaginal microorganisms were determined in broth cultures. Four antiseptic-containing douche products showed a strong inhibitory effect against all vaginal microorganisms tested with a short contact time (less than 1 min). Three vinegar-containing douche products selectively inhibited vaginal pathogens associated with bacterial vaginosis, group B streptococcal vaginitis, and candidiasis, but not lactobacilli. The antimicrobial effects of the commercial douche products varied among different brands and microbial species tested. Infect. Dis. Obstet. Gynecol. 8:99–104, 2000.