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Is Putting Jade Eggs In Your Vagina As Crazy As It Sounds?

Goop

Fans of Gwyneth Paltrow's website Goop know that sometimes she advocates some pretty out-there health practices. From steaming your vagina to colon cleansing, she's covered a fair number of debunked and even inadvisable ideas. (Remember that whole $200 smoothie thing?!) Well, looks like she's back at it, because this week the site is featuring a new idea we've certainly never heard of before: putting eggs made of jade and other stones into your vagina. (Here, read up on colonics and 10 other bizarre health fads.)

In an article titled "Better Sex: Jade Eggs for Your Yoni," the site interviews Shiva Rose, an actress and well-known holistic blogger. She explains how she came to be a fan of inserting jade eggs into her vagina not only for spiritual reasons but also to help tone the pelvic floor muscles. ("Yoni," FYI, means "sacred place," and refers to a woman's womb.) According to the site, "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." Mmmkay.

We've seen our fair share of spiritual practices get pulled into the wellness world (like, um, yoga) and these days crystal healing isn't really that out there. But putting the crystals inside yourself does seem to take things to a whole new level. Rose explains to Goop that "jade eggs can help cultivate sexual energy, increase orgasm, balance the cycle, stimulate key reflexology around vaginal walls, tighten and tone, prevent uterine prolapse, increase control of the whole perineum and bladder, develop and clear chi pathways in the body, intensify feminine energy, and invigorate our life force. To name a few!"

Aside from the spiritual aspects of this practice, which can't really be measured or proven, what's most interesting is the claim that these eggs could potentially have similar effects to Kegel exercises. "Vaginal weights have been around forever and have been used to strengthen the muscles in the vagina after childbirth and to assist with continence," says Michael Cackovic, M.D.a maternal-fetal medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He also adds that it's helpful when Kegels have a focal point, meaning that you have something to "push" against while doing the exercise. That being said, "there is no evidence, studies, trials, or FDA approval for jade eggs." (BTW, here are 10 things you should never put near your vagina.)

There are, however, some not-so-desirable potential risks of using a foreign body such as a jade egg, says Angela Jones, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn. "Foreign bodies in the vagina can disrupt its pH and potentially lead to vaginitis or other infections," she says. Not to mention, jade is a porous substance, meaning it can carry bacteria inside you. "Certainly using them when pregnant or menstruating would potentially increase the risk of infection," Cackovic seconds. Plus, using these with physical birth control methods like an IUD or vaginal ring could potentially increase the risk of pulling out the device by accident when removing the egg, he says.

As for the other health benefits mentioned? "Not possible," says Cackovic. "The claim that these can cure hormonal imbalance is just plain physiologically impossible and biologically implausible," he says. Jones adds that there's no way these prevent uterine prolapse, a condition where the uterus slips from its normal position into the birth canal. "I don't think there is anyone that should waste their money on these jade eggs," she says.

So, it would appear that we have another case of a mostly unsubstantiated health suggestion from Goop. Though the site does have a disclaimer on the story stating that "the views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation," it's hard not to imagine that someone might try this at home and then regret it later. Hopefully, women will do as the website suggests and consult a doctor before trying this.

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