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Yes, Putting Jade Eggs In Your Vagina Is As Crazy As It Sounds

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Photo: Goop

Fans of Gwyneth Paltrow's website Goop know that sometimes she advocates some pretty out-there health practices (think steaming your vagina, or that whole $200 smoothie thing). One of the most controversial ideas she's suggested women try in the name of wellness? Putting eggs made of jade and other stones into your vagina in order to "balance hormones," regulate menstrual cycles, and improve your sex life. Well, surprising to no one, an investigation recently found that its health claims about jade and rose quartz eggs were seriously misleading—and Goop agreed to pay $145,000 in civil penalties to settle the claim. 

“The claims have the potential to affect women’s health,” said Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County district attorney, in a statement according to the New York Times. “It’s important to hold companies accountable for unsubstantiated claims. The investigation was headed up by the California Food, Drug, and Medical Device Task Force (made up of prosecutors throughout the state) and found that the health claims about the jade eggs "were not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence."

As part of the settlement, Goop agreed to refund the full price of the eggs to any customer who submits a request, and to remove any claims about the products' health benefits from their site. Here, a refresher on the jade egg controversy—plus why you should definitely consider taking them up on that refund if you purchased one of these "miracle" eggs.

So what are jade eggs—and why are people putting them in their vagina?

ICYMI, jade eggs first came under the spotlight early in 2017, after Goop published an article titled "Better Sex: Jade Eggs for Your Yoni." The story features an interview from 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.

Sure, 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!" Seriously.

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.)

Here's why M.D.s are not a fan.

There are 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," Dr. 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 Dr. Cackovic. "The claim that these can cure hormonal imbalance is just plain physiologically impossible and biologically implausible," he says. Dr. 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. (Related: Stop Telling Me I Need to Buy Things for My Vagina

What's the bottom line?

Despite these concerns, it's worth noting that there have been no reports of injuries connected to the jade eggs, and Goop maintains that the false advertising claims they made were an "honest disagreement." The brand stands by the products, and they're still available for sale on their website, although the medical claims have been removed from the description to comply with the settlement. The initial interview Goop published on the eggs has also been updated to reflect that it fits into their new "ancient modality" category of health advice, which they describe as a practice "nearly as old as time that many find value in, even if modern-day research hasn't caught up yet (or the practice will never catch its attention)." Based on the above concerns of ob-gyns, we have a feeling this is one of those products that will never catch their attention.

For what it's worth, Goop recently made some changes to how they promote wacky health trends, becoming more transparent about what's proven by science and what's pure speculation. And they hired real scientists to vet its product descriptions—so we can only hope that the brand is more cautious in the future about promoting potentially dangerous health ideas. 

We say, if you want to get in on the rose or jade crystal game in the name of wellness, go for it—just don't put them in your vagina, please.

 

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