An intervention to reduce vaginal douching among adolescent and young adult women: a randomized, controlled trial

Sex Transm Dis. 2005 Dec;32(12):752-8. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000190018.58079.05.


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate an intervention to reduce vaginal douching among adolescent and young women who report douching.

Study: This study consisted of a randomized, controlled trial of 275 primarily black adolescent and young adults aged 14 to 23 years. All women participated in 3 15-minute individualized counseling sessions. The experimental group received interventions based on their stage of readiness for ceasing vaginal douching. The comparison condition emphasized healthy eating and nutrition. The primary outcome measure was douching cessation (i.e., no douching in the preceding 3 months) at the 6-and 12-month assessment; a secondary outcome was progression through the stages of change toward douching cessation.

Results: Based on an intention-to-treat model, participants assigned to the douching intervention group were significantly more likely to report having stopped douching at 6 months (relative risk [RR], 1.34; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.73) and at 12 months (RR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.28-2.00). At baseline, 89.9% of all women reported no intention to stop douching. Also based on an intention-to-treat model, there were no differences in stage across the 2 groups at 6 months (P = 0.29); however, at 12 months, the difference between the intervention and comparison group was statistically significant (P = 0.008).

Conclusion: Stage-matched interventions can reduce douching among adolescent and young adult women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaginal Douching* / adverse effects
  • Vaginal Douching* / statistics & numerical data