Vaginal steaming has been practiced by women in various cultures all over the world, likely for thousands of years. Despite its history of therapeutic uses, vaginal steaming has only recently increased in popularity among women of many ages. A large reason behind the sudden revival of this treatment begins with the lack of documentation or research from centuries prior. 

Since most of human history was initially recorded by men, there is little to no documentation of the effects of vaginal steaming and its benefits. This treatment was most often practiced privately by women, so it’s likely that the predominantly male historians didn’t pay it mind. Most all knowledge of vaginal steaming has been passed down by word of mouth, from mother to daughter, sister to friend. Following a new wave of interest in feminine self-care practices, vaginal steaming has now become a topic of curiosity for many women and has resulted in a more open dialogue and an increase in availability at public treatment centers. 

What is Vaginal Steaming and Why do Women Do It?

Vaginal steaming has also been referred to as yoni steaming, womb steaming, or “v-steaming”. It is an ancient self-care practice that has been passed down through generations of women from every culture. Granting an intimate understanding of one’s self, vaginal steaming has been known as a calming, rejuvenating, and meditative treatment for women that offers a deeper connection with the most sensitive, life-harboring parts of her reproductive system. 

The act of vaginal steaming involves squatting or comfortably sitting over a pot of steaming water that has been infused with any single or combination of various herbs. Sitting directly above the steam in such a manner brings a relaxing warmth to the area, while the herbs chosen relay a stream of benefits through the steam such as cleansing, relaxing, toning, and aromatherapeutic qualities. Typical steaming sessions may last between 20 to 35 minutes. Vaginal steaming can be done without the use of herbs to offer simple, direct warmth to the area; however, including herbs enhances the effects of the experience.

As previously mentioned, vaginal steaming has become a hot topic of discussion relative to self-care practices for women, and therefore has been popping up as a popular treatment at spas. V-steaming professionals can be found at these locations where vaginal steaming is offered publicly. These professionals assist women throughout their treatment as needed and can recommend specific remedies to personalize each woman’s relaxing experience. 

While going to the spa is considered a norm, some women may feel uncomfortable reaching out to strangers for vaginal steaming treatments. That is okay, as treatments may also be carefully enjoyed from the privacy and pleasure of your own home. When steaming from home, women need to be aware of which herbs to use. They also need to be careful not to burn themselves while transporting hot water or while exposing themselves to heat emitted from the infused steam. If hesitant to try treatments at home, consult an experienced professional first.

Aside from essential self-care rituals for personal health, there are many other reasons why more women of most all ages are vaginal steaming. Some of the major reasons include:

  • Physical warmth: There are relaxing, comforting aspects to directing heat to different surfaces of the body that promote muscle relaxation.
  • Postpartum care: Caring for your life-giving areas after birth can be challenging. The most well-documented historical application of vaginal steaming is for postpartum ailments, providing gentle comfort and cleansing to a woman’s underbody soon after birthing.
  • Basic cleansing: Women have reported vaginal steaming as being helpful for clearing out excess matter from inside the uterus and vaginal canal.
  • Pregnancy preparation: Numerous herbal fertility practitioners recommend vaginal steaming when preparing for pregnancy as a non-invasive approach to cleansing and preparing the uterus for new life.
  • Transitions into various stages of womanhood: Vaginal steaming experts and v-steaming women have reported astounding positive effects of vaginal steaming during each stage of womanhood, from their first period to menopause and beyond. 

The number of other reported benefits and reasons behind this practice have skyrocketed since the new wave of interest and research studies. A basic review of those benefits includes general cleansing of the uterus after menstruation or in preparation of childbearing, postpartum effects, spiritual practice, increased confidence, relaxation, meditation and increased mind-body connection, introducing warming comfort to the pelvic floor and perineum, and even better sexual intercourse. Chances are if you are experiencing any sort of reproductive or sexual challenges, vaginal steaming with the appropriate herbs may greatly benefit you. 

How often one should steam is primarily dependent on the individual and why they are choosing to steam. When just beginning a practice of vaginal steaming, it is a good idea to only do so once or twice per month. Once acclimated to the practice and its effects, steaming may be increased to once a week, once every three days or even one time each day, depending on your reasons for steaming and desired effect. Regular vaginal steaming routines are more often practiced by those who choose to steam at home rather than at a spa, as daily or even weekly spa treatments can get relatively expensive. 

Vaginal steaming is a practice available to every woman around the globe, but there are a select number of women who should NOT practice vaginal steaming for certain reasons. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, do not steam. Similarly, vaginal steaming is questionable and not currently recommended if you have an intrauterine device (I.U.D.), while you are in the menstrual phase of your cycle, or if you have an open wound in your pelvic region. Always remember to remove any genital piercings or accoutrements before a steaming session.