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SuperModelMD: Does Vaginal Steaming Really Work?

Here is the takeaway: Herbal steam entering your vagina is not a solution for any gynecological problems, and can ultimately cause more harm to your health.

Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe

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Dear SuperModelMD,

I was recently at one of my favourite spas, and noticed they started offering a new treatment called restorative vaginal steaming. They described it as a rejuvenating therapy that involves the entry of a potent herbal steam into the vagina to help tighten up the muscles. I was told that it could help also reduce my risk of vaginal infections and reproductive issues since the steam can really cleanse out the vagina. I’ve had two children in the past three years and my vagina is definitely not as tight as it used to be since having my kids.

Nonetheless, I decided to try out one treatment while I was at the spa, since they had a great discounted rate for the first session. I’ll be honest though, I didn’t really feel any difference in my vagina afterwards. The steam was just excruciatingly hot and uncomfortable. The spa staff explained that no one gets results after just one treatment, and I will be needing a few more steaming sessions before I start experiencing the full health benefits. More treatments will be pricey, but I’m willing to pay the price as long as I’m guaranteed results eventually. I’m optimistic that more sessions will help. SuperModelMD, do you think that if I continue with the vaginal steaming treatments my vagina will tighten back up? Does this practice really work? There is a lot of money at stake here!

~Feening for Vaginal Steaming

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Dear Feening for Vaginal Steaming,

There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support any claims that vaginal steaming can “rejuvenate the vagina,” tighten any vaginal or pelvic muscles, or lower your risk of reproductive problems in the future. Additionally, it simply cannot “cleanse out” the vagina. Always remember that the vagina is already a “self cleaning oven” that produces secretions to help keep the organ healthy. Any time you partake in any procedures or treatments, you must realise that there are some dangers associated with it, and your health is also ultimately at stake. If you continue with those vaginal steaming sessions, that hot steam actually has the potential to cause some severe burns to the vagina. Additionally, it may alter the natural pH of your vagina, and promote the proliferation of certain bacteria that can lead to infection.

If childbirth has led to the weakening of your pelvic muscles, you do have some options available to help strengthen those weakened muscles. Have you heard of kegel exercises? They are exercises that help improve the strength of the muscles of your pelvic floor. Best of all, kegels are free and pose no risk to your health. Here is the takeaway: Herbal steam entering your vagina is not a solution for any gynecological problems, and can ultimately cause more harm to your health. Furthermore, before trying out any other treatments or procedures in the future, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor first to determine both the safety and efficacy of the practice.

Dr. Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe is a Nigerian-American medical doctor and health expert. An internal medicine physician, speaker, and blogger, Dr. Nesochi has been featured and interviewed about a wide range of health-related topics by popular media outlets including CNN, Vogue, CNBC Africa, and more. Learn more about her on drnesochi.com and her blog supermodelmd.com.

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