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To Steam Or Not To Steam Your Vagina

We thought the problems of vaginal steaming were widely understood but, apparently, we were wrong.

Chrissy Teigen recently posted a photo on Instagram, saying that she was trying out vaginal steaming even though she wasn’t certain whether it would work or dissolve her vagina.

face mask / heat pad / vagina steam no I don’t know if any of this works but it can’t hurt right? *vagina dissolves*

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

Teigen is not the first person to try this. Gwyneth Paltrow gave it high praise in a long-deleted article on her website, Goop, after which the practice surged in popularity. She said the process is an energetic release that cleanses the vagina and uterus. Other proponents of vaginal steaming have claimed that it balances the hormones, regulates menstruation, eases period cramps and bloating, cures cancer, and other things not yet proven.

What is vaginal steaming?

The age-old practice, usually done at a spa, requires one to sit over a steaming bowl of herbs like chamomile, basil or oregano. This process directs herb-infused steam into the vagina. It can be done in a spa or at home, although most doctors do not recommend it. This process allegedly relieves, stress, depression, haemorrhoids, infections, infertility, hormone imbalance, headaches, fatigue, digestive issues and pain.

Preparing herbs for vagina steaming. Photo: YouTube

But other than offering a soothing warmth to down below, does this work? And is it safe?

Does it work?

There is no scientific evidence to confirm that this hot trend helps any condition. There is little chance that the herbal steam would penetrate vaginal tissues to regulate hormones and infertility. It is also not clear how steaming herbs will gain access to the uterus through the tightly-closed cervix at the end of the vagina.

A benefit of V-steaming, however, may be that the moist heat from the steam increases blood flow to the vaginal area, although this isn’t well-studied.

Steaming iron. Photo: Reference

Is it safe?

There is no scientific research to show whether vaginal steaming is harmful or safe. However, it is commonly known that the vagina isn’t meant to be steam-cleaned. A vagina is a self-cleaning machine and vaginal skin is delicate, sensitive and easily traumatised. Steaming it may cause vaginal burns or scalding. It may also make the vagina the perfect environment for bacteria that cause yeast and other vaginal infections to thrive.

Thinking about this makes you wonder how anyone can recommend vaginal steaming to heal the ailments it may cause in the first place. Some of the herbs you use may also cause an allergic reaction in your vagina and nobody wants that.

Bottom line

As mentioned earlier, your vagina is a self-cleaning machine and doesn’t need help from any herbal steam session. Yes, vaginal steaming may make you relax and ease cramping, but there are safer ways to use heat and herbs for period relief. A heating pad will equally ease the paint without threatening to cause harm to your insides. You can also sip a cup of warm herbal tea for maximum benefits of the herbs. If you want to feel relaxed, get a good massage or have an orgasm.

Vaginal health. Photo: Readers Digest

There is no evidence to show that it cleanses the vagina, improves fertility or balances hormones. It may also increase your risk of getting vaginal infections because vaginal steaming alters the vaginal bacteria ecosystem.

Natural herbs may improve reproductive health when ingested, but steaming them into your vagina may not do so. They could cause an allergic reaction and the last place you want one is in yout vagina.

At the end of the day, if you still want to try vaginal steaming, talk to your doctor or a qualified alternative health practitioner to weigh the pros and cons.

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