A woman has horrified other users of a women's forum after confessing to a rather unusual personal washing routine.
The user, only identified as floraeasy, took to Mumsnet looking for reassurance after telling her friends that she douches herself with teatree oil before her pap smear tests.
'I was talking with friends today (and) just mentioned I was going to pick up some tea-tree oil on the way home,' she wrote. 'They asked what it was for so I told them I douche before these appointments. I occasionally do it after sex too. In fact I try not to have sex in the few days leading up to an internal.'
'To me, it's like giving my teeth an extra good brush, flossing, mouthwash before seeing dentist. Just preparing myself, you know?'
But she said her friends reacted in a way that made her feel 'weird'.
Far from getting reassurance, the confused mum was met with shocked reactions by users, many of whom believed it was a dangerous practice.
'As an ex practice nurse who's taken plenty of smears - please stop putting tea tree up your vag! You risk really damaging the mucosal membrane,' one user wrote.
'Please, please, please, stop doing that. It doesn't need cleaning down there as it's perfectly capable of doing that for itself and especially not before smear tests, because douching can interfere with that,' another wrote.
It was little surprise that the post elicited such strong responses, with many medical professionals warning strongly against douching. Studies have shown that douching can change the necessary balance of vaginal flora and natural acidity in a healthy vagina. It can also cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, leading to yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and even STI's.
Don't try this one at home!