A spa in California is offering vaginal steam baths , in which spa-goers squat or sit on open stools over a tub of hot steam, as a cure-all for menstrual disorders, digestion and mood –
The V-Steam. Inspired by an ancient ritual practiced for many years in Korea. The steam from the herbal tea rises and absorbs into your skin & orifice. This steaming treatment stimulates the production of hormones to maintain uterine health, aids regular menstrual cycles, helps correct digestive disorders while soothing the nervous system. The natural antibiotic and anti-fungal properties are said to help maintain internal health as well as keeping your skin looking young.
30 min. $50 Series of 6 for $180
It’s a douche, folks.
A $50 douche made with mugwort and 13 other herbs and having a fancy Korean name – Chai-Yok. True, the water gets up there as steam, and if you don’t squat just right over the steam bath, I imagine it may not get up there at all. But in the end it’s a douche.
We docs strongly advise against douching, since we know that women who do it have higher rates of vaginal and pelvic infections. Not to mention that the vaginal mucosa is highly absorptive surface, meaning anything you put in there is likely to end up in the rest of your body. And so I ask – what herbs are they using, at what doses, and what side effects might they have? Not to mention what might be growing in those wooden tubs they have you squatting over…
Fertility aid? Right – Prove it.
The Koreans aren’t the only ones who use vaginal steam baths. In South American cultures it is called Bajos, and it’s being promoted all over the web as a “rainforest” fertility aid, using every possible herbal combination under the sun.
No surprise then, that the owner of the California spa credits Chai-yok for her pregnancy achieved at age 45 after “trying for three years”. I notice she does not say how she “tried” to get pregnant, which makes me wonder if she is leaving out some little detail that may have led to her reproductive success, something like, oh I don’t know, maybe… fertility treatments? Not to mention, she may just have a little itsy-bitsy conflict of interest in making her claim, since she’s the one selling the V-steam? This, however, has not stopped websites from using headlines like “Vaginal Steam Baths Could Cure Infertility and Bad Periods“. Dumb.
The thing that upsets me is that the owner of this spa is an orthopedic surgeon. I can forgive his Korean wife for buying into unsubstantiated folklore medicine, but what’s his excuse? He and his wife can V-steam all they want in the privacy of their home, but where does he get off offering unproven, and potentially harmful, treatments for infertility and menstrual disorders? Shameful.
I’d avoid the vaginal steam spa if I were you. Especially if you are prone to yeast infections, since yeast love a warm moist environment.
Regarding Vagina Jokes
Now, before you start posting your funny vagina steam comments here, head on over to the Yelp spa review site, where someone has probably already posted your joke. It’s one of the more hilarious comment threads I’ve ever read. And if you do post a comment here, keep it clean, okay? Oh wait….
More on V-steam from around the web
- Orac weighs in on what he calls “Steamed Vajayjay Woo”, and wonders when Oprah will try it.
- Dr Manny Alvarez at Fox News calls the V-Steam ludicrous and says its health claims “Don’t hold water with me”. Was he trying to make a little joke? You go, Dr Manny!
- Dr. Lisa Rankin starts off on the right side of Medicine and tells us that Wormwood, one of the ingredients in the V-Steam, can be neurotoxic. But then she goes on to tell her readers to ignore her concerns and listen to their bodies instead…. C’mon Dr Lisa. You can’t have it both ways. Are you on or off the wooden stool?
Image from Wikipedia