There is a growing trend where some women prefer to steam their vagina with herbs and oils believed to possess some healing properties to achieve the desired result.
Although reasons for using such herbs and oils vary, the commonest is to tighten the vagina or get it to its original shape after delivery. For others, the procedure is to cleanse the vagina, get rid of bad odours and infections.
According to a Senior Midwifery Officer at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, exposing the vagina to certain substances rather increases a woman’s risk of developing yeast and other bacterial infections.
She explained that the vagina is designed to keep itself clean with the help of natural secretions.
“The moment you introduce any foreign material into the vagina, you disturb the normal flora and makes it easy for bacteria to grow, sometimes the corrosive nature of some herbs or oils could even lead to vaginal cancer.”
On tightening the vagina, she noted that the vaginal walls are elastic and enlarge after delivery, however, simple exercises such as Kegel (repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscle around the pelvis) can help strengthen the pelvic floor.
“Women must avoid using mixtures or creams to tighten their private parts, these creams can make the vagina smaller and could even result in severe tears during a next vaginal delivery. New mothers are requested to add antiseptic or salt due to its antiseptic properties to the warm water,” she stated.
Commercial vagina steaming.
Sitting on a basin or bucket containing warm water is an age-old tradition practised by most women after vaginal childbirth.
According to health experts, the steam from the water helps keep the perineum, the area between the anal area and the vulva clean. It also soothes tears and facilitates healing of the female genitalia.
Commercial vaginal steaming spas.
Interestingly, some business-minded people are taking advantage of the increasing popularity of the perceived benefits associated with vagina steaming also known as yoni steaming or V-steaming.
Similar to massage parlours, the centres which are popular on social media platforms offer different steaming services at a fee.
Different blends of herbs and oils purported to have some healing benefits are used based on the customer’s needs.
Depending on the condition or requirement of the customer, she is made to sit over steaming water containing herbs such as mugwort, rosemary, wormwood, basil among others.
Special seats with holes that would allow the steam from the herbs penetrate the vagina tissues easily have been designed to serve the purpose.
Also, there are some for treating infections and getting rid of bad odour. While others are used for enhancing sexual pleasure, tightening the vagina after birth and also for minimising menstrual cramps and aiding in regular menstrual flow.
Besides, some herbs are said to aid menopause symptoms, balancing pH levels of the vagina and enhancing fertility. Interestingly, there are special mixtures which are often advertised to cleanse women from sexual bonds with their ex-boyfriends.
Prices for these services range between GH¢100 to GH¢300 but could be higher if a customer spends a longer period at the spa.
Unlike the V-Steaming parlours which are new, it is common to see women selling different herbs for different ailments.
Popular amongst these herbs are aphrodisiacs and herbs boiled or added to the meals of new mothers to enhance their breastmilk production or heal their wounds.
Madam Esinam, a trader at the Kaneshie Market in Accra, who spoke to this newstodaygh.com said she has been trading in this herbs for over 10 years and has many customers, especially new mothers who testify of the effectiveness of the herbs.
She said local herbs such as bagalwa, Okantu and Okuo are very popular and have been used for a very long time.
“I think it’s time for our health authorities to take a look at these things again,” she indicated.There is a growing trend where some women prefer to steam their vagina with herbs and oils believed to possess some healing properties to achieve the desired result.
Although reasons for using such herbs and oils vary, the commonest is to tighten the vagina or get it to its original shape after delivery.
For others, the procedure is to cleanse the vagina or get rid of infections.
To be continued…