In a recent post on Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website, GOOP, the consciously uncoupled actress recommends women steam out their vagina. No, she insists you do it. “If you’re in LA, you have to do it,” she proclaims. Specifically, the Mugwort V-Steam procedure at Tikkun Spa in Santa Monica, California. “You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al,” the Oscar winner, not a doctor, explained. “It is an energetic release—not just a steam douche—that balances female hormone levels.”
My uterus, et al.? As in, literally, my uterus “and elsewhere”? I’m not a doctor but even I, a mere layperson, can tell you that you should not be steaming your vagina “and elsewhere” parts of your reproductive system. Need to hear it from a doctor?
Well, there’s this certified obstetrician and gynecologist, and expert in vulvo-vaginal disorders, who wrote in her own blog post that, “Steam is probably not good for your vagina. Herbal steam is no better and quite possibly worse... Steam isn’t going to get into your uterus from your vagina unless you are using an attachment with some kind of pressure and MOST DEFINITELY NEVER EVER DO THAT. Mugwort or wormwood or whatever when steamed, either vaginally or on the vulva, can’t possibly balance any reproductive hormones, regulate your menstrual cycle, treat depression, or cure infertility.”
Then there's this OB/GYN at New York Presbyterian Hospital, who told the NY Daily News, "I would never tell anybody to do this because the potential risks are much higher than the potential benefits.” Worst case scenario? Oh, I don’t know. Just DEATH. Dr. Grunebaum told the Daily News that there have been cases of women dying after filling their vagina with water or air pressure. I’m not even going to ask.
And this OB/GYN at Columbia University Medical Center and author of Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need and Deserve, who tells Health.com, “It probably feels good because the heat increases blood flow to the whole vaginal area, including the clitoris, which could turn some women on. But if you got too close to the steam, you could end up with second degree burns down there.”
Oh, and this OB/GYN at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City who also tells Health.com that, “The steam itself can increase moisture in and around your nether regions, making you more susceptible to the growth of yeast and unfriendly bacteria. Not to mention the fact that there’s no way for the steam to actually reach your uterus to supposedly cleanse it, and your vagina takes care of cleaning itself.”