BOSTON (CBS) – While douching is largely a thing of the past, most women still turn to feminine products as part of their regular hygiene routine but they could be doing more harm than good.

Canadian researchers found gel sanitizers were associated with an eight times higher risk of yeast infection and a 20 times higher risk of a bacterial infection. Some products were also associated with a greater risk of urinary tract infections.

If you go down the feminine care aisle at your local drugstore you’ll see cream, gels, washes, wipes intended to make you feel cleaner or fresher, but while we don’t know if these products are actually causing infections, they could be disrupting the normal population of bacteria and other organisms that ward off infection.

Do you really need any of these products to stay clean? No. You’re better off with water and a gentle, unscented soap.

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