There is a great chance that this is the first time you hear of vaginal steaming. I don’t blame you, it is fairly new and there are many who do not know anything about it. In simple words, vaginal steaming requires you to squat over a pot full of herbs and steaming liquid. It is supposed to help ‘cleanse’ your vagina and provide relief from pain etc.
Celebrities have been trying out the new trend. Chrissy Teigen took to Instagram to tell her followers that she was trying vaginal steaming. The steaming is supposed to help ease period pain and kill certain types of infections. Many claim that it helps a woman’s fertility as well, but there is no scientific research backing any of the said claims.
A little history
Vaginal steaming requires you to be naked and squat over a bowl of herbs. The herbs contain rosemary, wormwood, basil, mugwort, etc. There are spa outlets that offer vaginal steaming, but you could try it at home as well.
The practice is quite ancient. Medieval Vagina, a book about vaginal practices in the Middle Ages, talks about a similar practice. The steam or the fumigation that the book mentions were a concoction of water and herbs. Identical to vaginal steaming, the blend was prescribed for period pain, infections, etc. The ancient vaginal fumigation caused more infection than it cured.
The Greeks also used vaginal fumigation. However, it was used to determine whether a girl was a virgin or not. The Greeks believed that if the girl was not a virgin, the steam would travel through the body to the nose and the mouth.
A study by the World Health Organization revealed that vaginal steaming practice was quite common in women who had given birth in areas like Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, etc. The main reason for the fumigation or steaming was to tighten the vagina for male pleasure.
Does it have any benefits or drawbacks?
Claims that vaginal steaming could fight off internal infections and make you more fertile sound very suspicious and dangerous. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Anything you use to clean it up can end up infecting it. The vagina usually maintains a pH value, which could be disrupted by anything external.
One of the primary concerns is that you could burn the vagina from the hot steam. It could cause more pain than it claims to cure, so be cautious. The moisture from the steam along with the additives, could increase the risk of bacterial or yeast infections.
Precautions to take
Although it is okay for most to try vaginal steaming if they want to, it is a big no for pregnant women. The steam could directly affect the baby and cause issues. If a non-pregnant woman tries it, there are still some precautions that you should take.
Many Korean massage places offer vaginal steaming. Before booking an appointment, ask them how they clean the vaginal pots. There is a great chance that it might not be clean enough. As other customers use the same pots, it is important that you save yourself from all kinds of transferrable infections.
Although the practice claims to have some effective benefits, the drawbacks are far too many. Burning the vagina, it becoming too dry, or even getting infected are big reasons why you should not try vaginal steaming.
If there is any unusual discharge or foul smell that is bothering you, it is best you visit a professional. You could also ask the doctor if it would be safe to try vaginal steaming in your case or not. Time has taught us that the vaginal fumigation trends died down because it caused more harm than good. Maybe we should let it be like that. Trends that put you at risk are best left alone.
However, if you are curious and inclined to try it out, go for it. But first, make sure that you are convinced with how well they clean the pots. It is not a bad idea to try it at home if it satisfies you more. If the steam appears to be too hot, move away. You may also need to adjust the bowl or your position a few times before you find the perfect spot.