When it comes to alternative health advice for ladies, there’s no one quite like Gwyneth Paltrow. The actress, who previously enlightened the world about the “magic” of vaginal steaming on her website Goop, is catching heat again for a peculiar new practice this week: inserting jade eggs into the vagina.
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According to Goop, “The strictly guarded secret of Chinese royalty in antiquity — queens and concubines used them to stay in shape for emperors — jade eggs harness the power of energy work, crystal healing and a Kegel-like physical practice. Fans say regular use increases chi, orgasms, vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance and feminine energy in general.”
Goop learned about this ancient “yoni egg” ritual (named for the Sanskrit word for vagina) from guru/healer Shiva Rose. Rose, who has been practicing with them for seven years, claims using the eggs can do everything from fix hormone imbalances to strengthen vaginal walls. Plus, she even has her own branded rose quartz ($55) and jade ($66) versions available for purchase.
The ritual isn’t as complicated as one might imagine. After boiling the egg to make sure it’s clean, following a pre-insertion “ritual” the egg is inserted into the vagina using your fingers. There are various sizes — a smaller egg for standing up, a medium egg for lying down and sleeping — but she suggests starting with the “harder” medium-size one.
Similar to Kegels, you tighten your muscles around the egg then relax. “You learn in this practice that the yoni is divided into three floors, the entrance, the middle zone and the cervix,” Rose explains. “As you work with the egg, you start to perceive and understand the different zones. You use your finger, and you’ll be able to feel the different floors and the impact the egg practice has on them.”
While fans of the jade eggs swear by the results, doctors are slamming Paltrow’s lifestyle site's latest recommendation pretty hard, pointing out that the purported health benefits of the eggs have no scientific backbone. Even worse, using them could be detrimental to one’s health.
“Just like tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome, other foreign objects can be sources of infection as well,” Monya De, M.D., tells LIVESTRONG.COM. “Women wanting pelvic floor exercises should do Kegels while they read their Goop newsletters. [It’s] much cheaper and healthier.”
Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, called the eggs “the biggest load of garbage” she’s read about on Paltrow’s website since vaginal steaming. She also explains that it would be biologically impossible for the eggs to balance hormones.
In a blog post that has since gone viral, Guntner also notes that jade is porous — so leaving the egg inside of one’s vagina overnight could allow bacteria to get inside and cause bacterial vaginosis or even toxic shock syndrome.
“I would like to point out that your pelvic floor muscles are not meant to contract continuously,” she wrote. “In fact, it is quite difficult to isolate your pelvic floor while walking, so many women could actually clench other muscles to keep the egg inside.”
Nevertheless, the abundance of negative press targeting the Paltrow-endorsed jade eggs has done little to deter sales. Both the jade and rose quartz versions are currently sold out on Goop. So here’s to hoping they’re just being used as lovely paperweights.
What Do YOU Think?
Would you insert yoni eggs into your vagina? Do you believe alternative health practices, not endorsed by doctors, can achieve actual health benefits?