A 62-year-old Canadian woman who attempted so-called “vaginal steaming” suffered a second-degree burn.
The gynaecological misadventure, reported in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, occurred after the woman tried the Goop-endorsed practise as a means of remedying vaginal prolapse, which eMedicineHealth describes as a condition in which structures such as the uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra, small bowel, or the vagina itself may begin to prolapse, or fall out of their normal positions.
The woman reportedly attempted vaginal steaming – the process of getting hot steam into one’s vagina – after a doctor who was treating her prolapse recommended surgery, according to the report.
The woman’s traditional Chinese doctor had advised her to mix a herbal medicine blend in a pan of boiling water and sit over it for 20 minutes. She later told her doctors she did this twice before seeking a second opinion, at which point doctors found she had sustained second-degree burns, on the lining of her cervix and vagina, which was causing the bleeding.
Surprisingly, the woman did not feel any pain, according to the report, which noted she was told to apply Polysporin antibiotic ointment and wrap the affected area in gauze.
There’s no scientific evidence that vaginal steaming – which gained popularity after actress Gwyneth Paltrow endorsed it on her website in 2015 – helps with any condition, per Healthline.
In fact, since the vagina self-cleans, the process of steaming might cause the growth of unwanted bacteria that could result in yeast infections and other vaginal woes.
“Vaginal skin is delicate, sensitive, and easily traumatized. Using it as target practice for a plume of warm steam may cause vaginal burns or scalding,” Healthline added.