The vagina is a self-cleaning, self-regulating, generally wonderful thing—let it do its stuff without any outside help!
Yes, you can place a ball of herbs (or a “pearl”) wrapped in a piece of gauze into your vagina to “detox your womb.” What a time to be alive!
According to Embrace Pangaea, one of the companies that manufacture detox pearls, the cleanse treats the “toxins from a poor diet, chemical based environment, and emotional stress (that) can get stuck in your womb.” The pearls are cloth-covered balls containing herbs like mothersworth, osthol, angelica, borneol, and rhizoma. Creators claim they can detox your womb and reset your natural balance by, among other things, increasing elasticity, regulating the menstrual cycle, killing parasites and (bad) bacteria, improving fertility, and reducing discharge.
Medical professionals disagree—detox balls may not only disrupt the good bacteria (lactobacilli) in your vagina, the textured mesh wrapping of the pearls may irritate and scratch your vaginal walls, increasing susceptibility to infection and put you at risk for toxic shock syndrome.
This should be a no-brainer, but we'll tell you anyway—don't put a ground up wasp's nest inside you!
Yes, women looking to rejuvenate and tighten their vagina are using oak galls—tree deformities caused by wasp nests— as an at-home remedy for vaginal rejuvenation.
One Etsy retailer claims the galls could improve sex lives and be used on abrasions with a warning that the paste will hurt—which should be a red flag for not using them. This method could result in painful sex, a lack of healthy bacteria, and an increased risk of contracting HIV.
In 2015, Oscar winning-actress Gwyneth Paltrow endorsed the Mugwort V-Steam procedure at Tikkun Spa in Santa Monica, which has also been slammed by experts.
The treatment, which costs $50 for 30 minutes, involves sitting on a mini-throne and a "combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus," Paltrow, wrote on GOOP, touting the procedure's cleansing, “energetic release,” and hormonal balance.
What could go wrong? Well, according to doctors, steam that gets into the uterus may also migrate to the fallopian tubes (which could result in a miscarriage) or the abdominal cavity (which could seriously sicken the patient). And there's a worse case scenario—death. Yes, there have been cases of women dying after filling their vagina with water or air pressure.
Online sellers are hawking what they call vagina tightening sticks. The wands are made of ground up plants, herbs, and other mysterious substances, and users are encouraged to insert them inside their vaginas for two minutes. It's also claimed that the sticks will eliminate vaginal discharge.
Gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter explains that the chemicals in these sticks work to dry out the vagina. "The lack of wetness and pain from the (potential) abrasions may cause the pelvic floor to spasm during sex (not in a good way), and this will tighten the vaginal opening (which can make insertion painful). Practices that dry the vagina are known to increase the likelihood of sexually transmitted infections and make sex painful for the woman. It's like over washing your hands until they are dried and cracked and bleeding but achieved in 2 minutes. In the vagina." Yikes!
Come on—are you fighting vampires? There's no reason to put garlic in your vagina, but women are attempting to treat yeast infections with it, and that's a BAD idea.
While garlic does seem to have some anti-fungal properties (and yeast is a fungus), putting a whole clove in your vagina will do nothing except inflame the area and expose it to possible soil bacteria (like Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism) that still could be clinging to the garlic.
VMagic Feminine Lips Stick is a real and unnecessary product that promises to keep your vulva “balanced, moisturized and purified.” It is really more like a chapstick?“Because your other lips get chapped, too!”—and it's made with organic avocado oil and honey.
VMagic claims to treat things like itch and discomfort, skin dryness, “odor causing bacteria” and ingrown hairs, but Dr. Maria Isabel Rodriguez, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University, claims this too, is a no go. Rodriguez pointed out that “vulvar skin is very sensitive, and does best without any special soaps or shampoos.”
Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website, GOOP, advocates putting a jade egg—yes, a solid object about the size and weight of a golf ball—in your vagina, and keeping it there all day or while sleeping.
For $66 a piece, the jade eggs allegedly help boost orgasms and “increase vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and feminine energy in general."
Gynecologists say the egg will do more harm than good. Jade is porous, so leaving it in during sleep could allow for bacteria and cause bacterial vaginosis or even Toxic Shock Syndrome, a life-threatening complication.
Daniel Dopps is a Wichita chiropractor and the creator of Mensez, a “feminine lipstick” to help ladies combat heavy flow. Unlike lipstick, however, Mensez doesn't just paint your vaginal lips a lovely shade of blush—it GLUES them together.
Mensez is described as a “natural combination” of amino acids and oils, to be applied during a lady's time of month via a convenient applicator. The seal holds everything in until the wearer goes to the bathroom when it disintegrates.
What could go wrong, you ask? Dr. Jen Gunter points out that reapplying Mensez to the labia could not only cause abrasions, but the glue could potentially cause it to grow together and require surgical separation.
Yoni oil is the latest trend in unnecessary and potentially dangerous vagina products.
The majority of Yoni (the Sanskrit word for the female genitalia) oils are defined differently by different sellers, but most have been made with herbs, oils, and petals. However, many of these oils also have worrying ingredients, such as tea tree oil (which can burn the mucosal lining of the vagina) and sugars (which can cause yeast infections).