A douche bottle is a vessel in which douche solution is held. A douche bottle can be reusable or disposable, and can be purchased at pharmacies, without a prescription. The reusable douche bottle is typically made from rubber, and the disposable bottle is generally made from plastic. Disposable douches bottles come pre-filled with douche solution and can be directly inserted to the vaginal area without the need for a douche nozzle or douche bulb. The reusable bottle, however, typically requires a hookup with tubing and a nozzle.
Douching refers to the practice of cleansing the vagina with a solution that sometimes contains white vinegar. Although some women believe douching can keep vaginal odor at bay, it is often not necessary. The vagina cleans itself, and when proper hygiene is maintained with a daily bath or shower, odor should not be problematic. In fact, douching may promote or worsen an existing vaginal infection by upsetting the natural bacterial flora present in the vagina.
Some symptoms of a vaginal infection can be made worse by douching, including vaginal discharge, strong odor, itching, and burning. In addition, painful urination and mild pelvic pain may develop. When these symptoms occur, the health care provider needs to be notified to determine the nature of the infection and provide treatment. Depending upon the nature of the infection, treatment may include a vaginal cream, antibiotics, or antifungal medications.
Sometimes, the health care provider will prescribe a medicated douche solution to treat certain conditions or after gynecological surgical procedures. Douche solutions can sometimes dry out the vaginal tissues and cause irritation, but certain solutions are pre-mixed with moisturizers. When vaginal irritation is present, the nozzle of the douche bottle should not be inserted into the vaginal area because further irritation can occur.
After douching with a reusable bottle, the apparatus should be thoroughly cleaned with hot, soapy water before it is used again. Failure to do so may cause the bottle and douching supplies to harbor bacteria, which can be spread to the genital area when its used the next time. The douche bottle and other supplies should never be rinsed or cleaned with rubbing alcohol in an attempt to sterilize them. Not only will alcohol irritate the vaginal tissue if it comes in contact with the alcohol, using rubbing alcohol may even weaken the rubber and ruin the apparatus.