Gwyneth Paltrow’s endorsement of a Santa Monica spa’s unusual vaginal treatment has been rejected by the medical community,
Addicting Info reported.
Paltrow recently promoted the “Mugwort V-steam” at Tikkun Spa on her website, calling it “an energetic release — not just a steam douche — that balances female hormone levels.”
According to Paltrow, spa guests use “what is essentially a mini-throne” while “a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al.” But while she told readers that they “have to do it” if they’re in Los Angeles, OB/GYN Jen Gunter issued a strong recommendation against it on her own blog.
“Steam is probably not good for your vagina,” Gunter wrote. “Herbal steam is no better and quite possibly worse. It is most definitely more expensive.”
Not only would the steam would not enter a vagina without the use of an attachment, Gunter stated — which would be unadvisable in and of itself — but it could not have any effect on a woman’s menstrual cycles or ability to have children.
“If you want to feel relaxed get a good massage,” she advised. “If you want to relax your vagina, have an orgasm.”
Daily Beast contributor Russell Saunders, a pediatrician by trade writing under a pseudonym, backed Gunter’s analysis.
“The female reproductive tract does not need to be cleaned at all,” he wrote. “In fact, methods of feminine cleansing like douching can do more harm than good. Women should no more steam their vaginas than flush them with Lysol.”
Another gynecologist, Hilda Hutcherson from Columbia University Medical Center, was even more critical.
“It probably feels good because the heat increases blood flow to the whole vaginal area, including the clitoris, which could turn some women on,” Hutcherson told Health.com. “But if you got too close to the steam, you could end up with second degree burns down there.”
While Paltrow did not go into the details of the treatment, Laura Hooper Beck described her own experience getting the $50 “v-steam” in an article for Fast Company magazine:
I’m faced with what looks like a Victorian police cell toilet situated over a steaming pot of Grandma’s Chai Spice Vagina tea. I hover over the hole in the seat just so and then settle down so that the steam may rise into That Which Is Most Sacred. I cannot tell a lie: At first, it feels incredibly weird to have hot wet air wafting into my co*ch. My entire body tenses as I actively clench my vaginal muscles to protect myself from the invading shower of scorching steam. It would feel exactly like the poison fog from the “Hunger Games” arena, I think. First a burning heat and then convulsion after convulsion of electric pain!
Beck reported that, while the treatment is available for $50 at Tikkun, it can cost as much as $120 at a spa in Atlanta. A website calling itself EarthDancerWellness.com also sells a “do-it-yourself kit” for $150.
“Of course that is the website where you can purchase a vaginal steaming kit,” Beck wrote. “Of course.”
Actress Kelsey Gunn also experimented with the treatment in 2012 for her online show Dirty Little Beauty Secrets.
“I really should’ve had a party,” Gunn says at one point. “We could recite The Vagina Monologues.”
“She’s been here,” a Tikkun staffer tells her, referring to the playwright, Eve Ensler. Gunn’s visit to Tikkun can be seen below.