Jade Eggs, Yoni Steams, Cucumber Cleanses: Why Trends That "Purify" The Vagina Are Not Only Problematic But Potentially Dangerous
You’ve probably seen celebs or social media influencers touting the latest vaginal trends about what you can do to keep your vag looking, smelling, and feeling its best. Seems harmless, right?
No way! If you see anything claiming your womxnly bits aren’t up to scratch unless you buy a certain product, this is both anti-feminist and potentially dangerous. We’re just going to spell it out: your vagina is perfect the way it is, and anyone trying to convince you otherwise is trying to demean and control womxn.
It’s part of a bigger problem in society, and throughout history, where womxn are shunned or treated differently for the completely natural act of having menstrual cycles – and we’re here to bring awareness to the issue. Vaginas and periods are natural, and we hate seeing parts of society shun womxn simply for their bodies.
Here’s why trends that "purify" the vagina are hella problematic, current vaginal hygiene myths and trends to watch out for, and what you should do instead.
Current trends in vaginal cleansing (and what’s wrong with them)
Our vaginas, like every part of our bodies, are a marvel that have evolved over millennia to function exactly as they should. They actually clean themselves, through vaginal discharge, so there’s literally no need for a product that claims to do this.
Here are some of the vaginal hygiene myths and trends to be aware of...
Also known as yoni eggs, jade eggs came into popularity when Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, Goop, promoted them (the post has since been removed).
Jade eggs are egg-shaped gemstones meant for insertion into the vagina (wait, what?), with the aim of passing on the healing properties of the egg. This will supposedly make you feel more energized and cleansed, and your vag will be able to tap into the power of the stone. Sellers of the product claim they possess ancient healing powers and have been used by societies for thousands of years.
While we’re all for spirituality, this is a load of crap. Not only are jade eggs expensive, but there’s absolutely no medical or historical research that shows they have any health benefits.
Even worse, the act of holding the egg inside, using your vaginal muscles, can cause unnecessary tension down there. By tensing your pelvic floor muscles to hold the egg in, you risk lower back pain, discomfort during sex, constipation, and bowel strain – yikes.
The only egg you ever want to think about putting near your body should come from a chicken, so run, don’t walk, away from this BS.
Do you need a vaginal steam cleanse? Um, no. Yoni steams involve a womxn sitting over a pool of steaming water, laced with herbs. The steam from the water is supposed to help the pores of your vaginal skin open up, so the herbs can be absorbed. Those who use it claim it can help with cramps, pains, stress, and fertility.
Is it effective? No. Is it safe? Also no.
Common sense should tell us that exposing your delicate vaginal skin to piping-hot water is a bad idea – you’re at risk of burns or irritation. You also can’t absorb herbs into your skin anyway. Heat, however, is a known pain reliever, so if you’re dealing with painful cramps, a heating pad used safely can help – but don’t fall prey to the dangerous yoni steam trend.
We can’t believe we’re saying this, but don’t put a cucumber inside yourself.
Yep, welcome to the dangerous trend of cucumber cleansing. Proponents of this trend are peeling cucumbers, inserting them into their vagina, then twisting it around as a way to refresh and cleanse.
However, this is one quick way to give yourself a bacterial infection. Inserting a foreign object like a cucumber will mess up your body’s natural bacteria, potentially introducing dangerous pathogens; you also risk the cucumber breaking and getting stuck (hello, awkward trip to the emergency room).
We’re not sure how this awful trend got started, but avoid it like the plague.
Okay, so no cucumbers. How *do* I clean down there?
Not only should you avoid all of the above, but also avoid any scented or perfumed cleansing products, douches, or gels. Your vag simply doesn’t need them, and they can often cause irritation.
The vagina will regulate itself, so all you need to do is gently rinse it with warm water when you bathe or shower, cleansing around the labia and between your legs.
If you feel like you need to, use a mild, unperfumed soap on the skin around your vagina, but even that’s not really necessary. That’s it! Super easy, so don’t let anyone try to sell you on expensive products, spa treatments, or eggs.
What should I do if something feels off?
If something feels out of whack, you’ll know it. This could be itchiness, irritation, or discomfort when going to the bathroom, which can often be caused by a pH imbalance or infection.
When you’re not sure what’s going on, the best point of call is always your local GP or a health clinic. While it can seem a bit embarrassing, try not to feel worried – they’ve seen and heard it all before, so no need to feel funny about it. Plus, you can always request to see a doctor who shares your gender.
Explain to them your symptoms, when they occur, and how long it’s been going on. Your doc may do a quick examination or just be able to prescribe a course of treatment, helping you get back to normal in just a few days.
There you have it: the problem with vaginal purification trends. If any of your friends start going on about the latest steams or cleanses, use the info in this article to explain to them that they're just not necessary. It’s vital to increase awareness of this issue so that womxn stop falling victim to unscrupulous marketing trends trying to capitalize on our perceived body insecurities. Your vagina is strong, powerful, and perfect, just like you – don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.