The In's & Out's of Anal Douching

Published on

Often, when considering trying anal play, worrying about possible “accidents” becomes a consideration. Poop and other impurities may be a factor with anal play. But anal douching may be able to help.

Let’s begin with an important distinction – the difference between an anal douche and an enema. An anal or rectal douche is most often used to clean the first few inches of the rectum, whereas an enema is used to cleanse beyond the rectum and into the large intestine.

Basically, anal douches are done with lesser amounts of fluid than an enema.

Common Anal Douching Myths

1. Coffee anal douches detoxify the body and could even help cure cancer.


In the 1920s a German scientist claimed coffee absorbed rectally could help stimulate the liver and cure cancer. However, no research has been able to find this to be true. 

2. Smaller anal douches don’t hold enough water, like larger pouch versions, to get the rectum thoroughly clean. 


According to Healthline, less can be more. Larger anal douches can push water all the way up the colon dislodging feces and aren’t necessary for a thorough cleaning of the lower rectum. 

3. Anal douching is a relatively new process.


Actually, anal douching has a long history. According to medical studies, in ancient Egypt physicians would attend to their Pharaoh, each one attending to a different body part. One such position was Neru Pehut, whose primary duty was to provide the Pharaoh with regular enemas, either to administer medicines or to clean out the colon.

Benefits of Anal Douches

According to the Journal of Minimal Access Surgery, anal douches and enemas have been used for hundreds of years to treat constipation and prepare people for certain medical tests and surgeries.

While anal douches and enemas are primarily used to clean and flush the rectum, studies have shown that constipated patients have a higher rate of anxiety and depression symptoms than healthy subjects, thereby providing additional benefits than just rectal cleanliness and hygiene.

Rectal douching for hygiene may clean and prepare the rectum for anal sex and help people feel more comfortable about their cleanliness prior to anal play.

Things to consider when Choosing an Anal Douche

A basic anal douche is a squeeze-bulb type of device with an extended tip or nozzle. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for an anal douche product. 

  • A flat non-tip bulb makes it easier keep horizontal until ready for use.
  • A soft bulb allows for better control of water flow.
  • A rounded tip makes for easier insertion.
  • A bulb-style anal douche with a multi-port spray head for a full 360-degree fluid dispersion may be helpful with cleanliness. 

Be Mindful of Water Flow

When it comes to anal douches, there is one key element to keep in mind – water flow!

Some people worry about dirty water backflowing into the rectum. 

Anal douche features to consider:


1. A non-backflow, One-Way Valve

2. A built-in Check Valve for one direction fluid flow to prevent back-flow during use and cleaning

3. A Soft-Grip Bulb that allows control the flow of water


    Soft bulbs should be slowly and evenly squeezed during use and should be held in a squeezed position during removal to avoid dirty water being sucked back into the rectum.

    Do’s & Don’ts 

    • Do consider using a lubricant when inserting the nozzle for comfort. 
    • Do remember to test the water temperature to ensure it isn’t too hot.
    • Do practice slowly squeezing the anal douche bulb to test the water pressure.
    • Don’t over-fill an anal douche bulb.
    • Don’t use unsafe enema solutions. 
    • Don’t perform anal douches more than two or three times per week and not more than once in the same day. According to research, over-douching may flush away beneficial gut bacteria.

    3 Pre-Anal Douching Tips

    1. Before using an anal douche, it’s recommended to go to the bathroom naturally, taking one’s time and not straining. 

    2. Washing the anal entry in a shower with warm water and mild soap is important to ensure the area is clean prior to using an anal douche.  

    3. It’s also a good idea to rinse the anal douche bulb with warm water before use as well. 

      3 Post-Anal Douching Tips 

      1. Water may remain inside the body for one to three minutes, giving the water or solution time to soften any leftover residue.  

      2. Over the toilet, take time to release the water or solution and remaining residue, just as a person would use the bathroom normally. 

      3. It’s smart to wait 30 minutes to an hour after anal douching before having sex to allow any tissue irritation to subside and give the body time to regulate.


        Anal Douching Liquids

        Choosing the right anal douching liquid is IMPORTANT! Anal douches may cause electrolyte disturbance and dehydration if the wrong solution is used. According to case reports, this can be fatal in certain instances. 

        According to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, using the wrong liquid can cause imbalances that harm a body. They recommend saline as a safe enema liquid. Tap water may cause an electrolyte imbalance, although it is thought of as safe to use if not used too often.

        Saline is a water mixture that has the right amount of a sodium electrolyte to match what is in a person’s body. 

        Keep in mind that some drugstore pre-filled anal douches may contain laxatives that can be irritating to delicate rectal tissue. 

        In most cases, warm water anal douches are sufficient for cleanliness and for preparation for anal play. 

        Let’s talk about what other liquids should NOT be used for enemas and anal douches? The San Francisco AIDS Foundation advises to never use olive oil, bleach, alcohol, or anything else that can be found under the kitchen sink as an enema liquid.

        One risk to be aware of is the possibility of HIV and STI’s because of rectal douching. According to research published in Sexually Transmitted Infections in May 2019, rectal douching may put men who have sex with men (MSM) at an increased risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).

        Have you ever tried anal douching? Do you feel anal douching would make you feel more comfortable during anal play? Please send me your questions and comments. I’m always here to help you.

        Back To Ask Dr. Sunny Blog