Vagina Health: 7 Dangerous or Useless TikTok Trends You Should Not Use for Your Vagina by Dr. Mickey Karram
TikTok has spawned thousands of health and beauty trends and hacks. Some of them are useful and some are downright dangerous. The vagina has not been spared when it comes to these viral trends put forth by non-experts, but nevertheless, they have caught on. Here I will dispel these dangerous practices.
1. Vaginal Dabbing
Vaginal dabbing, as the name implies, involves applying vaginal secretions to specific areas on the body known as pulse points, such as the wrists, neck and inside the elbows, much like you would apply a fragrance. This ritual is believed to make one highly attractive to a potential partner. This trend gained significant popularity on TikTok and received widespread attention on the internet. Advocates of this practice attribute its effectiveness to pheromones and deeply ingrained biological responses. They also argue that its low-risk and cost-free nature makes it harmless, although some dissenting voices disagree.
To begin with, it's important to clarify that vabbing is not entirely without risks, despite being marketed as such. Whenever an object or body part is introduced into the vagina, there is a potential risk of infection. While thorough hand washing before the practice can help mitigate this risk, individuals with long fingernails may inadvertently introduce bacteria into the vagina. Conversely, there's also the risk of transmitting bacteria, yeast or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from the vagina to the vabbing points on the body and, subsequently, to anything that encounters the skin.
2. Moisturizing Melts in the Vagina
What exactly are these moisturizing melts? They're non-medicated vaginal suppositories that claim to enhance the natural scent and taste of your vagina. These products come in various flavors, such as strawberry and peach. In January 2023, a TikTok user shared her experience, claiming that these melts can make your intimate area taste and smell like the flavor you select. Another user summarized her positive encounter with a video that received 2.2 million likes.
It's important to note that even though these vaginal suppositories are made from "all-natural" ingredients, it's still possible to experience irritation or allergic reactions to these components. However, here's another crucial consideration: your vagina isn't meant to have the taste or fragrance of fruits or flowers. The vagina has its own natural scent, which is entirely normal and healthy as it is a self-cleaning organ. If you have concerns about an unusual odor, consult a health-care provider. There are commercially available vaginal inserts with a clinically tested pH balance that may be recommended.
3. Placing Ice Cubes Inside the Vagina
Placing ice cubes inside the vagina has gained attention on TikTok. A TikTok user claimed that inserting an ice cube into the vagina can potentially tighten it and even address bacterial overgrowth issues. This assertion led to a surge in people posting videos of themselves attempting this unconventional trend. However, it's important to note this practice's potential risks and limitations. If the vagina is dry, the ice cube may adhere uncomfortably, causing significant discomfort.
Furthermore, melting an ice cube within the vagina could potentially disrupt its pH balance. Water, with a pH level of 7, differs significantly from the vagina's natural pH range of 3.5 to 4.5.
4. Lemon Juice to Delay Your Period
Taking a shot of lemon juice to delay the onset of a menstrual cycle is simply ineffective. Menstruation is a natural process and is not influenced by what you consume. Ingesting lemon juice has no impact on the ovaries or the communication between the brain and the ovaries. While taking a shot of lemon juice isn't harmful, it lacks a logical basis.
5. Boric Acid for Yeast Infections
While numerous individuals on TikTok have been advocating for using boric acid suppositories to address vaginal yeast or bacterial infections, it is advisable to seek direct guidance from a qualified medical professional before attempting this remedy. Although boric acid has the potential to modify vaginal acidity levels, which might, in turn, offer relief from yeast infections and their associated symptoms like itching and burning, its effectiveness can vary, especially in cases of recurring infections.
Furthermore, there are specific scenarios in which boric acid suppositories are not recommended, such as during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or if one has allergies to boric acid, diabetes, compromised immune system or frequent infections. Additionally, it's important to note that boric acid suppositories can lead to discomfort during sexual intercourse, as the acid has the potential to erode condoms and diaphragms.
6. Yoni Pearls
Yoni pearls, named after the Sanskrit word for "vagina," are small bundles of various herbs. Some people claim that inserting them into their vaginas helps improve odor, remove toxins, or treat bacterial and yeast infections. But there isn't enough medical research to properly understand the effects. Avoid them because they have been reported to cause dryness, stinging and cramping.
7. Vaginal Steaming
Users on TikTok who have tried vaginal steaming (essentially a steam bath pointed directly at the vagina, referred to as V-steaming or yoni steaming to get around the app's censoring) share tons of purported claims about the benefits, from increasing libido to tightening the vagina. The treatment has been promoted by Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow and other celebrities, including Chrissy Teigen, but doctors have quickly called them out. The vagina steam is a scam. Potentially harmful. Vaginal steaming only reaches the outer parts of your vagina and doesn't affect your uterus or cervix. The only recommended way to properly clean the outside of your vagina is unscented soap and warm water.
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