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An expert explains why vagina steaming really isn’t a good idea

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Megan Murray
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Chrissy Teigen is the latest celebrity to try out vagina steaming, but what are the health benefits and does it actually work?

When Chrissy Teigen speaks, we listen. Whether it’s her brilliant take downs of Donald Trump on Twitter, her embracing of grey hair and “period skin” or her zero-tolerance stance on sexism, the model and presenter is known for voicing her opinion eloquently, with a dash of humour thrown in. 

But it’s fair to say that her latest comments on social media have sparked a bit of a debate. Instead of another political roasting, though, Teigen has used her platform to tell the world about a health hack that she hopes will help a rather intimate part of her body, namely a vagina steam. 

Teigen posted an Instagram picture link to Twitter showing herself in a rather compromising position, crouched in a towel over what can only be assumed is a vagina steamer. As always, her tongue-in-cheek caption poked some fun at herself, reading: “face mask / heat pad / vagina steam no I don’t know if any of this works but it can’t hurt right? *vagina dissolves*”

Hamming up the humour factor she commented on her own tweet almost immediately after, writing: “I said vagina. It looks so weird I wanna change it to vajay but I’m gonna try to be adult about this.”

Replying to her tweet, obstetrician-gynecologist Jennifer Gunter warned: “The vagina steam is a scam. Potentially harmful. Sitz baths definitely endorsed.”

Never one to shy away from sarcasm Teigen replied, writing: “what are you a fucking vagina doctor!!!!!” Before showing that the advice was well received by confirming the pair are “friends.”

But although there’s some controversy over how good for you vagina steaming is, Teigen is not the first celebrity to try it out. Gwyneth Paltrow has long praised v-steaming – a practice with healing properties that she claims has been in Korean medicine for thousands of years.

And Khloe Kardashian has an eight-step regime that includes cleansing wipes, probiotic pills and regular ‘vagacials’. Each of these treatments and products claims to be fulfilling a need: helping maintain cleanliness or indeed sanity, for those of us who feel self-conscious about our vaginal areas.

Yet, gynaecologists have reacted varyingly. Paltrow’s recommendation for steaming, initially posted to her website Goop (“The real golden ticket here is the Mugwort V-Steam. You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al.”) caused conflicting opinion. 

As Dr Ann Robinson told The Guardian at the time, “The claim that the steam clean could balance hormones is irrational. Hormones are produced by organs such as the brain and ovaries, travel in the bloodstream and have specific effects on their target organs. Steaming the vagina cannot possibly impact on hormone levels. I urge you to put the kettle away, throw the mugwort in some soup and consciously uncouple from this website.”

Of course, Teigen is the captain of her own ship and no woman should be told what to do with her body, but if you’re thinking of trying this one at home we suggest you do your own research and get some professional advice before firing up the kettle. 

Images: Getty 

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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