Vlog: The three big reasons NOT to vaginal steam (part 3)
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Hi! Jessica from Leiamoon here. We are on a mission to Empower the Womb and make vaginal steaming easily accessible to women AT HOME. This is the final video in my first vlog series addressing the three BIG objections people have to vaginal steaming. If you didn’t see the other reasons yet, you can watch parts 1 and 2 of this vlog by clicking the links below.
And the biggest reason why critics say you “should NOT” vaginal steam is:
#1: Won’t vaginal steaming negatively affect my vaginal microbiome???
If you do a quick google search, you’ll find that the most-cited reason NOT to vaginal steam (according to a few outspoken OBGYN’s that have been picked up in the media) is that it will negatively affect the microbiome and pH balance in your vagina.
Well, I’ve got some new for you: This argument is both unfounded and illogical–and there are three BIG reasons why:
First, we have no idea what a “healthy” vaginal microbiome is. It’s a constant flux of bacteria that completely varies from woman to woman. Some bacteria can be bad for some women and good for others, and there is no set definition of what makes it “good” or “bad.” In fact, some of the bacteria that we used to think was good… turns out to be bad, and vice versa–take lactobacillus, for example. Additionally, for some women the mix of bacteria changes significantly over short periods of time; while for others it remains more constant. Every woman’s vaginal microbiome is completely unique to her, and when it comes to this subject, experts have admitted, and I quote, that “we don’t even really know what healthy is.” So, how can someone tell you that steaming your vagina is UNHEALTHY when we don’t even know what “healthy” is, especially when they haven’t done any research on the history or benefits of the practice at all? That’s just jumping to an illogical and fear-based conclusion.
Second, women do things every day that disrupt the bacterial balance of their vaginas. Many of these things are promoted by societal and medical establishments despite their inherent risks, and way more invasive than a gentle vaginal steam. Some of these include:
- “Normal intrusions to the vaginal environment” like tampons, semen, and even menstruation. Yes, semen causes the pH of your vagina to rise, and both semen and menstruation can potentially reduce good bacteria while allowing space for other harmful bacteria to flourish.
- Sitting in a hot tub or a swimming pool.
- Using scented soap or deodorants.
- Sex, with anyone (especially a new person or with multiple partners). Anytime you insert another person’s body part into your body, you will disrupt the microbiome of your vagina.
- Antibiotics. They kill off not only the bad bacteria that cause disease, but also the good bacteria you need to maintain a healthy vaginal pH.
- IUDs. Numerous studies have shown that IUDs use increases the risk of bacterial vaginosis and pelvic inflammatory disease. Yet millions of women use them and OBGYNs recommend them across the board.
- Hormonal birth control. Yep, going on the pill will also mess with your microbiome.
- All kinds of invasive vaginal rejuvenation procedures involving lasers, surgeries, radio frequency technology and high-focused ultrasounds.
- Stress, various medications, and even natural hormonal changes. All of these factors can influence the balance of your vaginal bacteria.
So basically, if you’re anti-steaming because you think it will hurt vaginal pH—then you’re also anti hot tubs, anti-sex, anti-antibiotics, anti swimming pools, anti soap, anti ultrasounds, anti IUDs, anti-“you name it.”
Lastly, but maybe most importantly—where are all the reports of vaginal infections and pH imbalances caused by vaginal steaming? I’ve never even heard of a single one. Yet THOUSANDS and thousands of women are vaginal steaming, shouting its benefits from the rooftops, and sharing it with their mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends every day.
The bottom line here is that women have a right to choose what to do with their own bodies and vaginas. There’s literally zero evidence out there that shows vaginal steaming negatively affects your vaginal microbiome. It’s fear-mongering, uninformed, and inaccurate hearsay from an establishment that is simply unaware of the history and benefits of this beautiful and time-honored tradition. If you are going to vaginal steam on your own, be conscious and careful about it, and don’t overdo it. If you have a medical concern or are worried about the health of your vagina, consult your doctor for advice. Be an empowered, informed decision-maker in charge of your own health!
So that’s it for our first Leiamoon vlog series. If you liked it—hit that like button, subscribe, and check out some of our other videos—we have lots of great interviews with women’s wellness experts about everything you can think of related to vaginal steaming. And if you have questions or ideas for other video topics you’d like to see LEIAMOON cover, leave a comment below.