Vaginal steaming (or v-steaming) is an alternative treatment that some people use to tighten and freshen the vagina and reduce menstrual cramps.
According to a study on vaginal practices by the WHO published in 2011, one of the ways in which women practice vaginal care is by “Vaginal steaming or smoking: the ‘steaming’ or ‘smoking’ of the vagina, by sitting above a source of heat (fire, coals, hot rocks) on which water, herbs, or oils are placed to create steam or smoke.
“The vagina contains good bacteria, which are there to protect it. Steaming the vagina could burn the delicate skin around the vagina (the vulva),” The statement read.
However, professional health experts remain skeptical towards the practice since there’s no scientific research to back up its claims.
The method suggests adding fresh herbs to a pot filled with boiling water and then pouring it into a bowl in the toilet.
Doctors warn against this method as it can disturb the bodily functions. Women’s health expert and medical doctor Jennifer Wider says the most obvious concern is burning your vagina.
The vaginal skin is delicate, sensitive, and easily traumatized. Using it as target practice for a plume of warm steam may cause vaginal burns or scalding.
Vaginal steaming may increase your risk of vaginal infection by altering the vaginal bacteria ecosystem. That’s not to say some herbs can’t improve reproductive health, but there’s no evidence steaming them into your vagina does so.
If you want to try vaginal steaming, talk to your doctor or a qualified alternative health practitioner to weigh the pros and cons of your situation.