Gwyneth Paltrow is hawking a new product on her site Goop called the "Jade Egg." The object is to be inserted vaginally to "harness the power of energy work, crystal healing, and a Kegel-like physical practice," one endorsement explains. But one OBGYN was so furious after reading about the eggs she couldn't hold back.
"All I can tell you is it is the biggest load of garbage I have read on your site since vaginal steaming," Dr. Jen wrote on her blog. "It’s even worse than claiming bras cause cancer. But hey, you aren’t one to let facts get in the way of profiting from snake oil."
(READ MORE: People take health advice from celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow — but science shows they really shouldn’t)
The endorsement justifies the use of the jade eggs because “queens and concubines used them to stay in shape for emperors.”
Dr. Gunter slammed the concept, saying "Nothing says female empowerment more than the only reason to do this is for your man!"
The claim that the jade egg can somehow balance hormones, Dr. Gunter calls "biologically impossible." She concedes that pelvic floor exercises can help with increasing desire and intensity of orgasms for some women but the jade egg changing hormones is absurd.
When it comes to the claim that the jade egg can "increase energy," Dr. Gunter admits she doesn't even understand what that means.
"How does one test for it? Organically sourced, fair trade urine pH sticks coming soon to GOOP for $77 I presume?" the doctor asked.
"The word for our womb, yoni, translates as 'sacred place,' and it is a sacred place—it’s where many women access their intuition, their power, and their wisdom," the Goop endorsement for the jade egg reads. "It’s this inner sanctum that we can access when it’s not in use creating life."
Dr. Gunter explained that there is a difference between a uterus and a vagina.
"If you are using the Sanskrit, while I admit I am no language scholar, it seems that yoni means the entire female reproductive tract and you should say that," Dr. Gunter explained. "Terminology aside, the vulva, vagina, cervix, and uterus are not intuition repositories and neither are they sources of 'power' or 'wisdom.' If fact, I find that assertion insulting. Do you really mean a woman who does not have a uterus is less effective? Is a woman without a vagina less intelligent? Is a woman who had a vulvectomy due to cancer less creative?"
A major warning Dr. Gunter attacked Paltrow's store for is the idea that a woman should sleep with the jade egg inside of her. Because jade is porous it can introduce dangerous bacteria into the vagina which "could act like a fomite." Like a kind of smallpox blanket stuck inside.
She also cautions women from wearing the egg while walking around because pelvic floor muscles are not meant to contract continuously.
"It is quite difficult to isolate your pelvic floor while walking so many women could actually clench other muscles to keep the egg inside," Dr. Gunter explained. "It is possible the pained expression of clenching your butt all day could be what is leading people to stare, not some energy glow."
If women want to work on their pelvic floor muscles, Dr. Gunter encourages women to buy products that are made of medical grade silicone or plastic and refrain from wearing them for long periods of time.