The vagina detox – cleanse or contaminate?

‘Detox’ is the word of the decade when it comes to dieting. From teas and juices to foot patches, the word ‘detox’ is thrown around, convincing consumers that this product will aid weight loss and increase health. The latest craze, however, seems to be less about health and more about vanity.

Detox Pearls are grape-sized balls of herbs wrapped in a cotton net that are inserted into the vagina. It is recommended that you insert three ‘pearls’ for three days for best results.

The pearls are made of ‘ancient herbs’ and if used properly they will ‘detox your vagina and womb’, according to naturoticawellness.com.

It is commonly known that if a tampon is left inside a vagina for over eight hours, a woman is at risk of contracting Toxic Shock Syndrome, therefore leaving a detox pearl in there for 72 hours cannot be safe.

If you need more convincing, the side effects on naturoticawellness.com state that “some itching, mild burning, and cramping may happen”.

The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, meaning there is no need to ‘detox’ it in the first place. Its own lubrication and discharge help clean it out when needed.

The pH balance of a healthy vagina is between 3.8 and 4.5 and using soaps or other products on it can disrupt the pH balance and actually cause more harm than good.

“Douches are actually associated with higher rates of pelvic inflammatory disease,” according to Dr Serena Chen, director for reproductive medicine at Saint Barnabas Medical Centre.

“Feminine deodorant sprays can cause irritation or allergic reactions, and they can create an imbalance in the chemistry of the vagina and lead to higher rates of bacterial or yeast overgrowth,” she said.

Vaginas are meant to smell a certain way, however if you believe that your vaginal odour has changed recently or there is another problem with your vaginal health, visit a doctor, do not go near ‘detox pearls’.

Cliona NicDhomhnaill

Image credit: embracepangaea.com

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