Why you shouldn’t steam your vagina

averie-woodard-114293-unsplash

Wowee! Look what fell off the latest snake oil sales truck. STEAMING YOUR EXTERNAL GENITALIA!

Gwyneth Paltrow has come out with the idea that steaming one’s vagina can give women energy, “detox” your uterus (PURLEASE!) and balance their hormones!

It’s also been called, “v-steaming, vaginal steam baths and yoni steaming” and some women pay over a hundred bucks to go to a special salon and sit without their pants  on above a pot of boiling water for up to an hour.

Look, I love my vegetables steamed but not my vulva! And I love mugwort tea and understand how good these herbs are for you-I’ve used moxa sticks before and really enjoyed them but steaming your vagina has no evidence it works!

Steaming your lady garden seems like another wonderful way to supposedly treat non-existent female sexual issues. The history of humankind is full of these!

I’m quite annoyed by the long list of supposed “problems” this vag smoking can “solve.” I wanted to rip out my hair reading some of them because they’re not problems! Apparently it cures the “nasty vag odour!”

Steaming the outside of your external genitalia can also apparently  cure stomach problems, infertility, hemorrhoids, uterine fibroids, prolapse and ovarian cysts

There is no benefit to steam cleaning your vagina or vulva!

Vaginas don’t need to be warmed up or be exposed to steam.

Your vagina isn’t like your throat leading to your lungs! Your vagina won’t respond in the same way your chest might clear up when you have a cold and you put your head over a bowl of hot, steaming water.

Vaginas are pretty dam clever at keeping themselves healthy.

Vaginas are self cleaning organs with specific pH levels that vary throughout the monthly cycle of a pre menopausal woman.

The vagina isn’t a gaping hole that leads straight to the uterus for steam to get into! At the top of the vagina at the neck of the cervix is a particularly clever plug of mucus that changes throughout the monthly cycle. This plug keeps out bacteria and keeps sperm alive at fertile times in the cycle.

The idea that steaming your vulva can balance hormones is pretty funny and illogical! Women make hormones in their ovaries and the pituitary gland and hypothalamus in the brain. It’s a complex balancing cycle.

Sure, use the herbs they’re suggesting but not in a vaginal steam,  use them in a healthy herbal tea instead!

There’s no scientific evidence that vaginal steaming works. The only evidence is anecdotal and it may relieve stress in exactly the same way as having a nice warm bath does.

Try drinking mugwort in a tea, doing a meditation or using a hot water bottle instead.

I’m so concerned women might burn their vulva or give themselves thrush or other vaginal infections by exposing themselves to this steaming process.

And for the women paying huge amounts of money to sit on a throne in a spa treatment centre and have their vulvas steamed, are they actually opening up their vulva so the steam goes up into their vagina? Or does the steam just go towards the closed lips of the vulva? Does the vulva need to have its hair removed for the process to work?

This reminds me about how douching your vagina is bad news and you should not do it! Douching removes the good bacteria that maintains the healthy balance in your vagina.

Yeast loves the nice warm environment that steam will provide.

“We don’t know the effect of steam on the lower reproductive tract, but the lactobacilli strains that keep vaginas healthy are very finicky about their environment and raising the temperature with steam and whatever infrared nonsense Paltrow means is likely not beneficial and is potentially harmful. Some strains of lactobacilli are so hard to cultivate outside of this the very specific vaginal environment that growing them in a lab is next to impossible. There is also the possibility that the “steam” from these plants could contain volatile substances that are harmful to lactobacilli or other aspects of the vaginal ecosystem.”

Dr. Jen Gunter

Yes vaginal steam baths may have a long history in certain countries but as you can see how it’s used in Africa and  that’s not necessarily a good thing.

In many African cultures, vaginal steaming is used to dry out the vagina because the belief is that with less vaginal secretions the sex is more enjoyable for the man. This also leads to higher rates of STI’s and HIV.

“In many African cultures, plants and other intravaginal desiccants are used to minimise vaginal secretions. This practice, known as ‘dry sex’, creates a vagina that is dry, tight, and heated, which is supposed to generate an increased sensation for the man during intercourse. Although this is uncomfortable and painful, African women express the need to please their husbands with dry sex in order to keep them from leaving and to minimise the number of girlfriends (Baleta, 1998; Kun, 1998). Previous research has shown that dry sex damages the epithelium of the vagina and can lead to lacerations, inflammations, and the suppression of the vagina’s natural bacteria, all of which increase the likelihood of infection with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV (Brown et al., 1993; Runganga and Kasule, 1995; Kun, 1998; McClelland et al., 2006).
As both men and women highly appreciate dry sex, education and awareness programmes should discuss the risks of genital steam baths and encourage safe methods, such as avoiding contact bleeding during intercourse by means of a ‘good warming up’ and promoting the use of condoms (Terborg, 2001).

So please don’t steam your vagina. Yes, pamper and self care! Yes, take time out and worship and love your body! Yes drink mugwort tea!  But please don’t steam your sensitive vulva!

And PLEASE for heavens sake! Don’t do something with your sensitive nether regions just because a celebrity does it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s