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Perceived Health Risks of Vaginal Douching Among Women of Color

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Title: Perceived Health Risks of Vaginal Douching Among Women of Color
Author(s): Dieudonne, Darcelle
Advisor(s): Harvey, Idethia
Department / Program: Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline: Community Health
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.P.H.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): Vaginal Douching STD Black Latina Asian American
Abstract: The practice of vaginal douching has been linked to harmful reproductive effects. This research includes primary data analysis examining the douching frequency of young, non-White women at a large Midwestern university. This douching frequency is examined in detail in order to determine how it pertains to sexually transmitted diseases. The study consisted of 187 women who were surveyed during a period of eight months. The study population included college students between the ages of 18 and 26 who identified themselves as African American, Latina, and/or Asian American. The African American and Latina populations were included in this study due to a litany of previous research, which indicated that rates of sexually transmitted diseases are high among these groups. A lack of research on vaginal douching among the Asian American population is the reasoning behind selecting this group. In order to measure whether douching negatively affects these groups, several variables were tested. Sexual risk behavior was measured by condom use. The majority of women in the survey stated that they used condoms as a contraceptive (p = .05). Vaginal douching was not popular among the sample, with only 19 (10%) women practicing vaginal douching (p = .05). The reasons for douching, as identified by the participants, were 1) to prevent pregnancy, 2) to prevent vaginal odor, 3) to be like a relative/friend who douches, 4) to comply with a boyfriend/partner’s wishes, 5) to cleanse, and 6) to prevent contracting sexually trnansmitted diseases. Only one participant identified as both using vaginal douching products and lack of condom use. Results for the study indicated that douching frequency was not associated with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) infections. Additional research is needed to determine if this information can be generalized to the female college population across the nation.
Issue Date: 2011-05-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/24060
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Darcelle Dieudonne
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-25
Date Deposited: 2011-05
 

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