Wednesday , August 10 2022

Vaginal steam can be dangerous and unnecessary: ​​experts – national


A new case study warns against the trend of vaginal steam – and for good reason.

An unnamed 62-year-old woman suffered from second-degree burns after suffering from vaginal steam treatment, according to a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada. The woman used vaginal vapor to "try to reduce vaginal prolapse," the report says.

The study reported vaginal steam has increased in popularity, and some see it as a method to tighten or "refresh" their vaginas. It may involve tapping over a pot of boiling hot water mixed with herbs as a "cleansing" method.

But vaginal steam is not only a home remedy; many spas also offer a version. Some spas claim it can help treat issues related to menopause, fiber and bacterial vaginosis – claims by health experts are false.

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"We have no science to support this … there is no evidence of any benefits," says Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto.

"The vapor cannot penetrate into the vagina, even less into the womb."

What's more, steam can actually damage the skin. Research shows that burns caused by water vapor are "often malicious" and do not take much time for steam to damage. These types of burns are also difficult to see.

"We know that the upper level of the skin, the epidermis, does not interfere with water vapor, which is why it can cause swelling and damage to the lower levels (skin) very quickly," Kirkham says.

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"People could have post-burn effects that they don't know about."

Moreover, steam can simply dry the skin, says Dr. Caroline Mitchell, director of the vulvovaginal disease program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

"Hot water, hot steam, anything really doesn't fit the skin," she says. "It's very dry, though we think steam will wet things."

Why don't you need vaginal steam

Vaginas take care of themselves and do not need to be cleansed with products or treatments, Mitchell says. All it takes to wash the vulva is water.

"Even soap really harms the healthy bacterial community," Mitchell says. “The vulva, or the outer skin, can wash with soap and water. But for people who have vulva irritation, sometimes soap is a little too irritating. "

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Kirkham wears that and says there's nothing to go for internally the vagina for cleaning. Cleaning products can irritate the area and do more damage.

"Showers should all be removed from the shelves," she says. "I look like the vagina to the mucous membranes in our eye; when you get soap or shampoo in your eye, it stings. The vagus tissues are similar. "

Vaginal steam is dangerous

Although there is no evidence that vaginal steam is beneficial, Kirkham says there is evidence that it is dangerous. While the second-degree burns of a 62-year-old woman highlighted the danger of treatment, it is likely that many more women also experienced burns.

"I think it's reported below," Kirkham explains. "Like wax wounds we see in the emergency room … people are either embarrassed or just not studied."

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Kirkham says there is a lot of misinformation around vaginal health, as well as the social belief that the vulva is "dirty" and needs improvement. She says spas and companies are capitalizing on that and trying to sell women's services and products they don't really need.

To combat this, more education and body positivity around genitals are needed. There is also a need for more awareness about the damage of vaginal steam.

"The only thing we need to steam is carpets, veggies and empty sums," Kirkham says. "But there's no need to steam the vulva."

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