Warning after woman is burned by 'trendy' vaginal steaming

Gynaecologists are warning of the potential risks of this trend. [Photo: Getty]
Gynaecologists are warning of the potential risks of this trend. [Photo: Getty]

Vaginal steaming has risen in popularity recently after Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop brand recommended it.

Since then, model, Chrissy Teigen, took to Instagram to share pictures of herself getting a vaginal steam.

Gynaecologists are warning against the trend, though, after a 62-year-old woman tried it and left herself with second-degree burns.

Fans of the treatment claim is cleanses the uterus, gives you more energy and reduces cramps, but there is no evidence to support this.

READ MORE: What is uterine prolapse?

What is vaginal steaming?

If you’ve not heard of the latest fad, you’re not alone. Although it was first mentioned by the LA Times in 2010, it has had a resurgence this year.

You know the way you might sit in a steam room to extract toxins from your skin? Well, this is like a steam room for your vagina, apart from there’s no scientific evidence to support the benefits of the treatment.

The steam for this procedure is mixed with a “womb healing” herbal blend which often contains the likes of peppermint, rose petals and rosemary.

You can pick up these healing blends for £5 on ETSY.

For and against vaginal steaming

It is supposed to cleanse the vagina from toxins. It’s said to rebalance hormones, reduce cramps, tighten the vagina and give you more energy.

The vagina needs bacteria though and so gynaecologists are warning that vaginal steaming is nonsense, as there’s no medical evidence to support it.

Dr Vanessa Mackay, a consultant and spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said in a statement: “The vagina contains good bacteria, which are there to protect it.”

“Steaming the vagina could affect this healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels and cause irritation, infection (such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush) and inflammation. It could also burn the delicate skin around the vagina (the vulva).”

READ MORE: Doctors warn women to stop putting garlic in their vagina

A case study about the 62-year-old woman was published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada.

She had a prolapsed vagina and believed trying this treatment would help her avoid surgery.

She ended up with second-degree burns and still had to have the treatment, but had to wait for the burns to heal first.

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