Douche: A stream of water directed at any part of the body or any body cavity, often into the vagina, for cleansing or medicinal purposes.
A douche can be with a simple solution of vinegar in water. Some commercial douche solutions have somewhat more romantic names than vinegar (names such as Country Flowers, Fresh Baby Powder, Fresh Mountain Breeze, Spring Rain Freshness, etc.).
Vaginal douching has been done for many, many years. However, there is currently concern that it may sometimes cause problems. It may mask, or even worsen, conditions such as bacterial or yeast infection of the vagina. Even more seriously, douching is associated with an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). It is also associated with an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy (probably due to PID). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends against douching.
"Douche" is the French word for "shower." French, being a Latin language, took the word from the Latin -- from ducere, ductum, meaning to lead or conduct (water).