Gynecologists offer warnings after woman is scalded by ‘vaginal steaming’

If you thought vulva facials were crazy, get a load of v-steaming!

Gynecologists are warning of the risks of vaginal steaming after it emerged that a Canadian woman burned herself attempting one.

A case study, involving a 62-year-old, was published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada.

The patient tried vaginal steaming at home on the advice of a traditional Chinese doctor. After two sessions of sitting atop a pan of boiling water mixed with unknown herbs, the results – which included an alarming discharge – sent her looking for help at the emergency department.

Sadly, the reason this woman steamed her lower parts wasn’t for “freshening” or “detoxifying” effects, but rather to try and treat a serious medical condition she’d been struggling with for the past 9 months – stage IV vaginal prolapse. (tThis woman’s case was severe, with her entire cervix completely outside the vulva!)

What’s cookin’?

Vaginal steaming, which involves sitting over a hot water and herb mix, has seen a growth in popularity. The steaming procedure, and other treatments for intimate areas, including vulva facials, are now available at some salons and spas.

The LA Times first reported on the steaming trend in 2010, and it later gained widespread attention when Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop brand recommended it. Yes, Gwyneth Paltrow, the modern queen of pseudoscientific health nonsense?

Last year, U.S. model Chrissy Teigen also shared a photograph of herself undergoing the treatment.

Spas advertising “v-steaming” claim it has been used throughout history in countries in Asia and Africa. They say the practice, which is sometimes called Yoni steaming, acts to “detox” the vagina.

However, experts warn it can be quite dangerous and say there is no proven medical evidence for the health claims being made, including that steaming can ease period pains or help with fertility.

Vaginal steaming: a bad idea

Dr Vanessa Mackay, a consultant and spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says it is a “myth” that the vagina requires extensive cleaning or treatment. She recommends using plain, unperfumed soaps on the external vulva area only.

“Apart from the risk of burning and scalding, there are many other reasons not to v-steam,” gynaecology professor Deborah Bateson from the University of Sydney, Australia wrote for The Conversation last year.

“Not only will steam have a drying effect on the vagina, it’s likely to disrupt the vaginal microbiome and reduce the body’s natural barrier against infections.”

h/t: BBC / Science Alert

495900cookie-checkGynecologists offer warnings after woman is scalded by ‘vaginal steaming’

Gynecologists offer warnings after woman is scalded by ‘vaginal steaming’

Share This

Leave a Reply