April 7, 1962

Household Detergents as Douches

Author Affiliations

598-608 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn 16, N.Y.

JAMA. 1962;180(1):86. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050140088024

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To the Editor:—  I would like to make a few remarks on the response to a query on the use of household detergents as douches which appeared in the Oct. 28, 1961, issue of The Journal (Questions and Answers 178:445).While the consultant's reply states "detergents should not be used," he also mentions in a prior sentence, "it may well be that household detergents could be used as a satisfactory cleansing douche." I believe this latter quotation to be most emphatically incorrect and am replying to refute this assumption. It is well known that a "cleansing" douche should have a pH approximating that of the vaginal secretions, which during the reproductive years will fall within the range of from 4 to 5 pH units. This accounts for the use of vinegar (15 ml. diluted with water to 1 liter) as a universally accepted douche. Household detergents, liquid and dry

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