The latest craze to hit the vaginal-rejuvenation market? Ground-up wasp nests. (Yes, really. We couldn’t make this up if we tried.)
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According to an Etsy listing selling the wasp nests (which has since been removed), the product promises to single-handedly tighten and clean the vagina with the added bonus of preventing cervical cancer, reports The Daily Mail. The tradition hails from Southeast Asia and Malaysia, where women supposedly first used the nests after childbirth to restore the elasticity of the uterine wall.
The nests, also called oak galls, are formed when a gall wasp lays eggs in a tree’s leaf buds as a home for the larva to develop. The chemical substance introduced by wasps to make the galls is what retailers claim can heal the uterine wall after childbirth, repair an episiotomy cut (a surgical procedure to prevent tearing during childbirth) when the paste of the galls is applied and also clean out the vagina, according to The Daily Mail. Also, any burning sensation is merely proof of the “galls’ powerful astringent.”
Meanwhile, doctors are cautioning against the trend, insisting that it can do more harm than good. A few such unpleasant side effects include painful sex due to dryness of the vaginal wall, the diminishment of healthful bacteria (which can lead to yeast infections) and, like all intravaginal practices, an increased risk of infections, including HIV.
Also, as far as experiencing vaginal burning when anything — wasp nests or otherwise — is applied, that’s not generally a good sign.
“Here’s a pro tip,” says Dr. Jen Gunter, a gynecologist who wrote a blog post in response to the vaginal wasp nests. “If something burns when you apply it to the vagina, it is generally bad for the vagina.” Gunter has likewise voiced concerns over other methods of “vaginal rejuvenation,” including V-steaming (Gwyneth Paltrow’s go-to) and herbal “womb detox pearls,” which can lead to toxic shock syndrome. Her overall advice? Your vagina is like a self-cleaning oven, and inserting anything can interfere with its natural balance.
So, ladies, when it comes to your nether regions, please don’t place any product in there without consulting a medical professional first, no matter how tantalizing the product’s claims might be.
What Do YOU Think?
As crazy as the vaginal wasp nests sound, have you ever tried an unconventional product or service just because of the hype? What about it convinced you to give it a go? And what about a product would prompt you to consult your doctor first? Tell us in the comments!