Vaginal steaming – also known as V-steaming or Yoni-steaming – has become quite popular in recent years. It is a practice that has been around for hundreds of years and has been practiced by women from all over the world.
The practice began to gain popularity and now trends thanks to the help of many celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow who swears by this practice. Chrissy Teigan has even shared herself trying this fad on her Instagram page.
But what exactly is vaginal steaming? How does it work? What are the benefits of vaginal steaming and do you need to be steaming your vagina? I will share my views on the topic as I try to shed some light on this topic.
As with all my health-related posts, allow me to add the disclaimer: before you try anything that could affect your health, please seek professional advice from your respective doctors.
What is vaginal steaming? How does vaginal steaming work?
Vaginal steaming is the practice of sitting over a hot water bath and allowing the steam to penetrate the pores of the vagina. The hot water is usually infused with different herbs such as chamomile, basil, rosemary, sage – among others. You are then expected to sit over this hot bath for anywhere between 20 to 45 minutes.
Related: How to properly wash the vagina
What are the benefits of vaginal steaming?
It is believed that infusing the steam with these different herbs boasts a plethora of benefits for the uterus and vagina. The idea is that the herb-infused steam not only softens and opens the pores of the vulva. Additionally, some of the other proposed benefits include:
- Strengthening and tightening the vaginal walls
- Cleansing the vagina
- Maintaining pH-balance
- Helping with hormonal imbalance
- Relieving menstrual cramps
- Promoting cervical health, and the list goes on…
What are the risks of v-steaming?
I must point out though that there is no clinical evidence to support these claims. In fact, the risks involved with the practice are so great it makes me wonder why so many women take the chance.
Doctors and medical experts have warned against engaging in this dangerous practice. Recently, one Canadian woman has made headlines because of the second-degree burns she received while engaging in the practice.
She too was convinced that steaming would help with tightening and strengthen her vaginal walls. If you are going to participate in this fad, it is important that you know the risks involved too.
Some dangers include:
- The risk of burning or scalding the labia and outer parts of the vagina
- The risk of drying out the vaginal walls
- The risk of upsetting or throwing off the delicate pH-balance by killing needed good bacteria that help to keep the vagina healthy
- The risk of yeast infections
- The risk of miscarriage if you are pregnant
I could go on about the dangers of this practice but I believe you get the idea. Should you be steaming your vagina? No. Gynecologist Jennifer Gunter in her book, The Vagina Bible writes that the idea of vaginal steaming “promotes a serious misunderstanding about anatomy and physiology [of the vagina], and has the potential to harm” and I couldn’t agree with her more.
The way I see it…
The only possible benefit to be gained from v-steaming is the relief of menstrual cramps and possible stress relief on account of the fact that you are allowing warm steam to envelope the area while breathing in the fragrances of the herbs.
But there are safer ways to achieve both. Placing a heating pad on the lower belly to relieve menstrual pain for instance and simply burning scented candles or taking a warm bath to relieve stress.
I have personally tried vaginal steaming before. After I had my first child and again after I had my second child. Both nurses and midwives recommended this technique as a way of healing my womb after childbirth. This however, had zero effect in helping my womb return to normal. If anything, all it did was make me uncomfortable as I sat over the hot baths.
Fast forward a bit and here I was trying this practice again thinking that maybe I just didn’t do it right. I wanted to use the treatment to help ease menstrual cramps. I will say though that the cramps did in fact ease for the duration of time that I was sitting over the bath but the moment I got up or the water cooled, the cramps would return.
Final thoughts on v-steaming…
The bottom line is, the idea of v-steaming is nothing short of a misleading scam that promotes many misconceptions about the vagina, how it actually works, and how to keep it healthy. If you are concerned about the health of your vagina, please ladies – for the love of all things good about the vagina – visit a gynecologist. In my next post, I will share tips on how to maintain optimal vaginal health, so be sure to check it out.
Related: How to properly wash the vagina
What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you believe v-steaming holds merit? Have you tried it before? What was your experience? How do you maintain your vaginal health? Join the discussion in the FemmAllure Facebook Group and share your thoughts. Let’s help educate each other.
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