What Is The History Behind Vaginal Steaming?
Did you know, Gwyneth Paltrow is not just the leading lady in the Iron man franchise but also the lady leading women to steam their vaginas. Weird, right? Apparently, the actress is famous for vaginal steaming, or as the internet likes to call it- a facial for your vulva. But, in an era where anything as simple as douching or spraying a jet of water into your vagina is deemed unsafe, how can we steam them?
However, for those women who take the hygiene of their vaginas a little too seriously and think that simply washing it with water is not enough, this is the method rising over the horizon to clean your intimate parts. The process involves cleaning your vagina with herb-infused steam and is presumably an age-old method to achieve a clean, fragrant vagina. And here’s everything you need to know about it.
What Is Vaginal Steaming?
Vaginal steaming is the process of steaming the vaginal opening using herb-infused steam. The vagina bears a lot throughout the life, from menstruation pains to bloating, pregnancy, delivery, and so on, thus adding some warmth to it by steaming is intended to relax those muscles. It is an ancient therapy for cleansing the vagina and uterus, regulating menstruation, and alleviating pains and bloating.
What Are The Benefits Of Vaginal Steaming?
Apart from simply cleaning the vagina, uterus, and the expanse of the reproductive tract, there are also some other benefits of this method. Steaming the vagina can also help us with issues like stress, depression, hemorrhoids, infections, infertility, hormone imbalances, headaches, fatigue, digestive issues, and generalized pain.
How Does Vaginal Steaming Work?
Vaginal steaming requires you to simply squat over a container that can spread the herb-infused steam to the vagina. The process is by nature a home remedy and can be done using herbs like mugwort, wormwood, chamomile, calendula, basil, and oregano. To perform this at home:
- Add some herbs to a tiny pot, one that you can comfortably squat over.
- Let the herbs steep for at least a minute in hot water so that their qualities get infused in it.
- Remove your clothes from the waist down and squat directly over this pot.
- Wrap a towel around your waist and legs to prevent the steam from escaping.
The average steam session will take around 20-60 minutes depending on the temperature of the water but make sure the water is not too hot for the steaming experience to be painful.
Is It Safe? And Does It Really Work?
Herbs in any form are a great way to naturally heal the body, especially from muscle pain. The idea of using herbs for the same is ancient as human civilization itself. Using cloves for gum problems, turmeric for cuts and wounds, asafetida for stomach pains, etc. are traditional home remedies popular for their effect on curbing pain. So using herbs like chamomile and mugwort for your vagina shouldn’t be as problematic either.
However, that does not seem to be the case. There is no scientific proof that concludes the fact that vaginal steaming works. Instead, vaginas are not meant to be steamed. Unlike most of the parts of your body like your face, back, or stomach, steaming your vagina can cause more harm than good. This is because your vagina contains a certain amount of good bacteria essential to maintain its pH balance to stop the cause or spread of vaginal infections. Steaming your vagina will get rid of this vaginal microbiome and will allow vaginal infections to thrive.
Most importantly, the skin of the vagina is smooth, delicate, and sensitive. Using hot steam over this region that wouldn’t even enter the vagina and just rest over the vulva will cause burns or scalding around it. It is also unknown how vaginal steaming may affect your pregnancy and fetus while you are pregnant because some of these herbs can cause a miscarriage too. So yes, while alternative therapies do provide some much-needed help and relief in most cases, directly steaming the vagina for the sake of cleansing or relaxing will only cause more problems for you.
Besides, come to think of it, why would one want to painstakingly clean the vagina in this fashion when the vagina literally cleans itself. A healthy vagina has bacteria that help keep the vaginal pH at the right level which is at an acidic 4.5, so you don't have to artificially cleanse it. Instead, most doctors and gynecologists' recommend taking gentle care of the genitals. Just keep it simple by washing the vagina with hands only (no face cloths, scrubbers, or antiseptics) using mild hypoallergenic cleansers, then patting the area dry.
Thus, make sure that whenever you are taking care of your intimate organs, you are not listening to someone’s advice on the internet or doing the thing that’s most in trend currently. Instead, try consulting a specialist before you try any new methods, and definitely do NOT steam your vagina or any other intimate part of your body.