Every few years, the ancient practice of vaginal steam gets a celebrity treatment.
The glorification began in 2015 when wellness-guru Gwyneth Paltrow praised the benefits Of a “V-steam,” telling Goop.com readers: “You sit on what’s essentially a mini-throne, and the combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus.” Three years later, Chrissy Teigen shared a photo of her mid-v-steam on Instagram, saying: “I don’t know if any of this works but it can’t hurt right? *vaginal dissolves She goes*.”
This week, the three hosts of Red Table Talk – Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris – performed exercises for a spin (or more precisely, a squat). In caseIn , which aired on Wednesday, the three women can be seen lowering themselves into a bowl of steam while dressed in silky purple hues. “What sensation are you feeling sitting here?” Jada asked her daughter and mother. “Very warm of course,” replied Willow. “Yeah. This is the real Queen of Throne action right here. It’s what I love,” Jada said.
Women discuss the need for women to spend more time connecting to their bodies. “It’s cute,” said Jada. “They say there are a lot of health benefits, but for me, I love spending time with your vagina like this, just to show it appreciation and care.” They also touch on how steam comes out of the vagina – Joe Harvard defines e.g. “when a woman sits over a bowl of steaming herb water”—technically an “ancient practice that originated in Asia and Africa” and that it was “originally associated with the end of menstruation”. The latter was used to purify herself.”
Dr. Sherry Ross, an ob-gyn and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period confirms that rituals are nothing new. “Mayan women and traditional healers have had vaginal steaming for centuries,” Ross tells Yahoo Life. He believes that the original purpose of vaginal steam was a worthy one. “It’s basically steaming the vulva, the external genital area,” Ross says. “It cleans out the hair follicles, and opens up the sweat glands just like you would on your face.”
Ross argues that we “need to treat the vulva like a face” because it is “just as vulnerable to dryness and irritation and acne.” In this way, she says, a bowl of hot water with herbs can be useful and calming. “If you limit the conversation to the comfort of a tissue to calm down, I think that’s a good thing.”
Problems arise when the practice – which they think may be more accurately understood as “vulva steaming” – becomes aimed at actual vaginal cleaning or treatment (which is technically “tunneling and curettage of the uterus”). tunnel leading to it”). As noted by many experts, the vagina is a self cleaning organMaking things like douches, jade eggs and other vaginal washes is not only unnecessary but potentially dangerous as well.
Similarly, vaginal steaming can be risky, she says. “The vagina is inside and we don’t want to disrupt that delicate area because all the good bacteria that keep the environment clean are like tears in our eyes,” says Ross. “It’s the way the vagina has its own self-cleaning mechanism—an aggressive steam can disrupt the pH balance.”
Changing the pH of the vagina can lead to problems such as yeast or bacterial infections, which can be difficult to treat. On top of that, using too much hot water can cause severe burns. 2018. In Article from Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology CanadaIn this article, experts share the case of a woman who was hospitalized with second-degree burns on her vulva after inhaling vaginal steam for two consecutive days.
While Ross sees some benefits to vaginal steaming, other experts such as Dr. Jane Gunter, an ob-gyn, new York Times columnist and author vagina bible See it as the result of a harmful, harmful myth. “It’s one of the core beliefs of patriarchy. Women are filthy inside,” Gunter wrote in a 2015 take-down of Paltrow’s support. “In the time of Hippocrates they used to think that the womb wandered the body, causing destruction, and that you would put it between the legs and put it back in its place. It’s the same thing. It’s in a lot of cultures, The belief that the uterus is toxic. I couldn’t believe it was being presented as women’s empowerment now. This is bad feminism. And this is bad science.”
Both Gunter and Ross are adamant that widespread claims about vaginal steaming, such as the idea that it can be used to treat endometriosis, bladder infections, fibroids, or improve fertility, are unproven and harmful. . “That’s absolutely wrong,” Ross says. “It’s no use. But just taking a little herbal steam on the outside of the vulva to soothe and clean the outside? Sure.”
Read more from Yahoo Life
Want to have lifestyle and health news delivered to your inbox? register here For the Yahoo Life newsletter