Rising health risks from viral TikTok trends: Gynecologist warns against 'vabbing' and six other harmful practices
Frequent appearance of viral content online leads many to try these unconventional methods. Recently, the hashtag "vaginal health" has gained unprecedented popularity.
Regardless of trends, attention to intimate hygiene is essential. Some of these trending "tricks", however, have left gynecologists taken aback. Gynecologist Dr. Bone, in conversation with the Daily Star, unfolded seven popular practices that could potentially endanger a woman's intimate areas.
Seven practices you should avoid for vaginal health
The year 2022 saw thousands of videos promoting vabbing appearing on TikTok. This involves smearing vaginal discharge on wrists, neck, or ears. Some claim these personal "perfumes" have attracted a flurry of admirers. However, Dr. Bone discloses that there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. In fact, she is convinced vabbing can pose a risk of spreading infections.
The trend of using Yoni eggs, supposedly for maintaining hormonal balance and increasing orgasm during sex, has been noted. These are made from natural stones, with jadeite eggs notably growing in popularity over recent years.
"The practice of inserting stones or objects like Yoni eggs into the vagina for enhancing sexual experience or alleviating menstrual pain can cause infection or injury," warns the expert.
Dr. Bone also debunked the notion of uterine "detoxification"- placing herbal suppositories into the vagina to "clean" intimate areas - as baseless. The doctor stressed that no scientific evidence supports this practice improving vaginal health.
"Such methods can lead to infections and other complications. Occasionally, a suppository can get lodged resulting in an emergency room visit for removal," added Dr. Bone.
The doctor emphasized that the trend of inserting ice cubes or moisturizer into the vagina can disturb the natural environment, thereby increasing the risk of infection, irritation or allergic reactions. According to her, "unless it's a medicinal product, it should not be inserted vaginally". TikTok "specialists" suggest ice cubes can provide a cooling effect and help maintain vaginal tightness.
However, Dr. Bone warns that this practice is neither safe nor effective. In fact, an inability of the vagina to provide adequate moisture can result in ice sticking to it and causing discomfort and pain.
The risks of "vaginal steaming" and douching
Another practice that has gained popularity on TikTok involves sitting over a steaming pot of water to supposedly "clean" the vagina. This method can potentially lead to serious burns in intimate areas. Similar risks exist for douching, which involves rinsing the vagina's interior using a blend of herbs or special medicinal solutions.
Both methods can disrupt the pH balance of intimate areas and damage the natural bacterial environment. Dr. Bone reminds Daily Star readers that the vagina is self-cleaning and advises using dedicated products for intimate hygiene.