You May Never Believe These Bizarre Truths About Vaginal Steaming
Perhaps you have heard about the seemingly unconventional practice known as vaginal steaming but are unsure what it involves or whether it’s beneficial.
Vaginal steaming is sometimes referred to as V-steaming or Yoni steaming, which is an alternative health treatment.
Here, a woman sits or squats over steaming water containing herbs like basil, mugwort, rosemary, and wormwood.
Still not sure what is it?
Just consider it as a facial for your vulva.
A study carried out on vaginal practices and published by the WHO (World Health Organization) in 2011 reveals that one of the methods by which many women practice vaginal care is by vaginal smoking or steaming.
These women practice “smoking” “steaming” of the vagina by sitting above a heat source (coals, fire, or hot rocks) on which herbs, water or oils are placed to produce smoke or steam.
Africa (South Africa, Mozambique), Asia (Indonesia, Thailand), and Central America (among the Q’eqchi’ indigenes) have been largely practicing Vaginal Steaming.
Moreover, this practice of vaginal steaming has been promoted in spas as an ancient Korean treatment for treating reproductive organ problems, among other benefits.
Celebrity reports have recently made the news for the claimed benefits of vaginal steaming, ranging from easing period discomfort to boosting fertility, all thanks to public figures like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chrissy Teigen.
The use of vaginal steam does not have any scientific backing. Scientists are yet to carry out any research to test its effectiveness or benefits.
So should you subject your vulva/vaginal to that high degree of heat? Is this practice even safe? Are the supposed benefits of Vaginal Steaming true?
You can only know when you continue reading this article? So dear, let’s go through everything you need to know about Vaginal Steaming.
What Is Vaginal Steaming?
Vaginal steaming refers to a natural remedy that supports the female reproductive organs (vulva, cervix, vagina, and uterus) and has been existing for ages.
Furthermore, it entails exposing your vagina to steam for traditional cleansing and enhancing its health.
You will have to sit over a hot pot of steaming water containing a myriad of various herb remedies containing basil, chamomile, rosemary, mugwort, and wormwood.
The volatile chemicals in these herbal medicines are released in the steam, surround and enter the vaginal tissues, exerting their therapeutic effect.
This practice is called various names based on the part of the world or culture where it is mostly practiced, such as Bajos, V-Steaming, Yoni Steaming, or Chai-yok.
How Does Vaginal Steaming Work?
In vaginal steaming, there are many methods to practice it and the way in which it is carried out varies depending on cultural practice.
The most popular of them is to sit over a pot, a toilet-like structure or a hole on the floor containing a combination of steaming herbs and water.
The aim is for the airy blend to pass through the vagina tissues, reach the cervix, and finally enter the uterus to deliver many benefits.
Like I mentioned earlier, you can practice V-steaming by squatting without underwear over a bowl or pot of steaming hot water infused with a blend of herbs such as chamomile, rosemary, basil, oregano, wormwood, and a host of others.
You can also use a chair with a hole in the middle to carry out the vaginal streaming.
There are a growing number of spas combining traditional vaginal steaming techniques with more modern treatments, such as V-Steam, which uses far more gentle methods than traditional vaginal steaming.
With V-Steam, you do not have to sit on top of a boiling pot; instead, you chill out in an intimate ambiance, just like you would during a massage.
This procedure is often followed up with an herbal blend mixed with stem to target your pelvic area. A LED light is then placed over your pelvic area to complete your treatment.
Irrespective of the more comfortable infusion practiced at spas; some people still practice vaginal steaming at home.
A treatment session usually lasts between 20 and 45 minutes or even longer.
The purported benefits of this vaginal steaming treatment, according to claims, range from relaxing menstrual symptoms to easing stress and depression.
It also claims to resolve digestion issues, ease depression, alleviate hemorrhoids, boost fertility, and heal postpartum pain.
What Are The Supposed Benefits?
Several people have called vaginal steaming a “facial” for the vagina since steam offers many health benefits.
According to people’s reports, vaginal steaming provides the following benefits:
- Alleviate menstrual symptoms, like cramps, bloating, heavy bleeding, and exhaustion.
- Promote fertility
- Quickens healing after delivery
- Reduce stress
- treat hemorrhoids
- Boost energy and fatigue
- treat headaches
- Combats depression
- Reduce infections
- Fix hormone imbalance
- Alleviate general pains
Even though vaginal steaming is used as a herbal remedy for cleansing the vagina, uterus, and whole reproductive tract, no scientific research proves these claimed benefits.
On the other hand, some people say vaginal steaming works by promoting blood flow to the vaginal tissues, which in turn promotes healing.
Is It Really Effective?
I can’t say in fact whether or not the Yoni steaming is effective as there’s no scientific evidence to back the claim that V-steaming helps any condition.
It’s clear as mud how steaming herbs can gain access to your uterus through your tight-shut cervix at the end of your vagina, according to OB-GYN Dr. Jen Gunter.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Moxibustion is the act of burning mugwort over problematic parts of the body or pressure points- It was used on Paltrow’s vagina.
Alternative therapies like Moxibustion can treat a range of problems with the reproductive system.
Researchers examined several systematic reviews in 2010 and found that research on mugwort is unclear and contradictory except for the treatment of breech presentation in pregnancy. Moxibustion is not proven to be helpful for vaginal health.
According to the latest research, vaginal steaming does not offer any benefits, and most doctors, especially OB/GYNs, do not advocate its use.
Researchers analyzed the effectiveness of vaginal steaming for decreasing Chlamydia trachomatis infection in an article published in BMJ Open. Unfortunately, there was no correlation between the practice and the outcome expected.
In a separate study published in the journal BMC Research Notes, researchers examined the benefits of using the herb mugwort as part of Moxibustion. This East Asian therapeutic practice uses heated herbs to induce the release of heat.
According to the research, while mugwort works to correct breech presentation in pregnancy, there are no other health benefits for female health associated with its use.
How Safe Is the Vaginal Steaming?
The effectiveness of vaginal steaming has not been proven by scientific research. Most medical professionals agree that the risks of v-steaming far outweigh any potential benefits.
Moreover, your vagina is not meant to be steam-cleaned. You can expose yourself to the following risks and dangers when you V-steam.
Burns around Your Genitals
The vulva and vaginal skin are sensitive, delicate, and easily traumatized. Since the skin around these areas is thinner than most body parts, they are more sensitive to heat.
If the steam feels too hot, it can burn the sensitive vaginal tissues, which is a significant safety concern. And vaginal burns or scalding could expose your reproductive organs to infection.
High Risks of Contracting Infection
A woman’s risk of yeast or bacterial infections could also be increased by exposing the vagina to extra moist heat and certain additives within the steam.
Bacteria might thrive in an overheated vagina that causes yeast infections and other vaginal infections.
Moreover, vaginal steam can raise temperatures within the vagina, altering the pH inside the reproductive organ, increasing a person’s infection risk.
If you steam your vagina, you are likely to increase your risk of infection and irritation if you suffer from chronic or inflammatory conditions. This includes vestibulodynia and vulvodynia.
Improper Sterilization of Yoni Steaming Equipment
When vaginal steaming equipment is not kept clean, a person might also suffer from infections and other adverse reactions. Thus, it is essential to clean all equipment thoroughly before using it.
If a woman goes to a spa for a yoni steaming, they should ask the spa workers how they clean and maintain their equipment and the steps they take to decrease infection risk.
It May Increase the Risk of Miscarriage
If you are pregnant and using vaginal steam, it is unclear what it does to your unborn child. Some herbs may lead to miscarriage. Therefore, if you are pregnant, you should stay away from using steam or herbs.
If a woman is pregnant, vaginal steaming can be harmful. This is because the vaginal steam and herbs could affect the growing fetus and cause a miscarriage or stillborn.
Due to the same reason, doctors often advise pregnant women to avoid hot tubs, saunas, and heating pads around the pelvis.
There are no safe guides.
In medical terms, steaming your vagina does not meet any medical guidelines.
Because of this, you’re on your own when choosing which herbs to use, how they work, and how frequently to use them unless you consult an alternative health practitioner.
Therefore, when vaginal is not done correctly or abused, it can expose you to many dangers.
The Internet Is No Reliable Source for Medical Diagnosis
The internet provides a lot of contradictory information regarding vaginal steam, as it does with most natural remedies.
Most advice and tips are usually disclaimed as being unproven or not intended for diagnosing or treating conditions.
Considering this, it makes you wonder how in the world anyone could recommend it for treating almost everything wrong with you.
It Provides No Guarantee to Cure Ailments
Some available alternative therapies do prove beneficial and well-studied, but vaginal steaming does not.
Using it to treat a medical condition could lead you to skip regular medical evaluations and treatments, worsening your condition.
It May Worsen an Injury around The Vaginal
People with open lesions in the vaginal area, whether due to pregnancy, childbirth or infection, are more likely to be irritated and infected by the steam and heat that come from the steaming process.
What Should You Consider Before Using Vaginal Steaming?
I advise that you find other alternatives to maintain your vagina pH balance and stay healthy.
However, if you must practice V-steaming, it is crucial to consider the following things.
Don’t Get Too Close To The Steam.
Whenever you try vaginal steaming, it is important to avoid getting too close to the steam or using too hot water.
If the steaming feels uncomfortable or is getting too hot, a person should move away from the steam.
The Vaginal Steaming Equipment
Whether you choose to do a self yoni steaming at home or visit a spa for a cleansing session, make sure that the steaming equipment and tools are clean and well-sterilized.
It will help to avoid the risks of contracting bacterial and fungi infections through the steam.
Consult your doctor
If a woman experiences frequent infections in her vagina and wishes to restore pH balance, she should see a doctor before attempting vaginal steaming.
Other Alternatives to Vaginal Steaming
Based on what medical condition you are experiencing, you first discuss it with your doctor.
He should be able to prescribe medicine or treatment that will keep your body system in good condition.
If it is also about restoring your pH balance and keeping your vaginal health, you can get prescription treatments or OTC drugs, probably more effective than vaginal steaming.
Although you don’t need to stress yourself cleaning the interior part of your vagina as it self-cleanses itself. However, you can take these simple steps to safely clean your genitals.
Wash the outer and interior parts of your vulva with lukewarm water and unscented soap. Ensure not to put particles of the soap into your vagina.
Do not use a washcloth (this can irritate sensitive skin). Rather clean your genitals with clean fingers.
Ensure that the water to use is not too hot. So, after washing, thoroughly rinse your genitals and pat dry using a soft, clean towel.
Since the vagina is delicate and sensitive, do not use scented soap or mixtures that irritate it. Therefore, to keep your vagina healthy, ensure that it is regularly dry, clean, and perfume-free.
In a Nutshell
Regardless of the temptation to try a new method of promoting vaginal health, it’s important to note that your vagina is a self-cleaning organ that keeps its pH balanced on its own.
The maintenance of vaginal health doesn’t require additional interventions, such as vaginal steaming or douching.
The best way to maintain a healthy vagina is to keep it dry, clean, and free of perfume. Because of this, most people should not practice vaginal steaming.
Even if they eventually try it, it will be best to take extreme caution to reduce the chances of burns and infection.