By Bridgette Matjuda
Image: Stock Images
Vagina steaming is an ancient practice by women of all ages. It involves squatting over herbal steam to allow the warmth to permeate the vagina. Herbs used include mugwort, rosemary, wormwood and basil. It is said to maintain a healthy reproductive system and stimulate sexual pleasure. Dr Simelane, a gynaecologist from the Vagina Varsity, says: “There is a rising trend in aesthetic medicine, and this has made its way into gynaecology. But, this is strictly done by qualified aesthetics practitioners. So, people shouldn’t try it at home.”
For those interested in following this through, Dr Simelane shares her concerns, potential benefits and recommendations:
• Burns from the steam.
• Allergic reactions including increased bacterial vaginitis.
• Waste of money.
• Increased blood flow and relaxation of pelvic floor muscles.
• Enhances sensation, hydration and sexual experience.
“It is not clinically sound to claim this steaming cleanses the womb or has medicinal effects, especially with conditions such as endometriosis,” she cautions. Dr Simelane adds that there is no evidence to such these claims.
• Consult a credible aesthetic spa or practitioner prior to engaging in vaginal steaming.
• Vaginal steaming should by no means replace important gynaecological screening such as Pap smears.
• It may help with period pain in combination with medical treatment. However it does not treat or “clean out” sexually transmitted infections, fibroids or cancers affecting the reproductive system.
• How often it should be done depends on the treatment plan followed by an aesthetic clinic or spa.