Ooooh, crystals! If you’re the spiritual type, you may be intrigued by the idea of using yoni eggs: egg-shaped stones that go inside your vagina to promote sensuality, femininity and healing energy.
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But take pause before putting these semiprecious stones — or much of anything, really — inside your vagina. Ob/Gyn Suchetha Kshettry, MD, talks about the risks of using yoni eggs and what to try instead.
Yoni is a Sanskrit word meaning space, source or womb, and although yoni eggs are thought to be Chinese in origin, research shows there is no historical evidence to confirm it. Today, the use of yoni eggs has been popularized by celebrities from Gwyneth Paltrow to “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
Yoni eggs can be made of various kinds of stones, including jade, quartz and obsidian.
Proponents of yoni eggs say they imbue the reproductive space with healing energy and that they have a variety of supposed health benefits. Yoni eggs are said to:
However pretty and sparkly they may be, though, yoni eggs are not shown to have any scientific medical use.
“There’s no there’s no real research to support these benefits,” Dr. Kshettry confirms. “Putting a crystal egg inside your vagina doesn’t have a positive impact on menstrual cycle regularity or PMS.”
Most medical professionals agree that yoni eggs don’t have any medical benefits and, in fact, using them can actually harm your vagina.
“Any foreign body can negatively impact the function of your vagina, which can lead to increased risk of complications,” Dr. Kshettry says. She explains some of the risks of using yoni eggs.
Gemstones like jade and onyx are semi-porous, which means there’s space for bacteria to take up residence within them. Semi-porous materials are difficult to fully clean, too, meaning that bacteria may stick around and fester.
When you use yoni eggs, you also run the risk of scratching your vagina, which can also invite bacteria.
“Putting any foreign body inside your vagina can cause irritation, scratches or tears, and that is in and of itself harmful,” Dr. Kshettry says.
“Keeping anything inside your vagina for an extended period of time can increase your risk for toxic shock syndrome,” Dr. Kshettry says.
And again, yoni eggs can cause tiny cuts in your vagina through which bacteria can enter your bloodstream — which only increases your risk of toxic shock syndrome.
Although pelvic floor training has been shown to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, using a yoni egg requires you to continually clench your vaginal muscles, which can actually cause harm.
“When you use a yoni egg, you’re not doing the contract-release-relax sequence that pelvic floor training requires,” Dr. Kshettry says. “That can lead to muscle spasms in your pelvic floor.”
Just as doctors recommend against douching because it can change the pH balance of your vagina (which is a bad thing), using a yoni egg — or any foreign object — in your vagina can do the same.
“Your vagina is self-cleaning, so there’s not a lot that needs to be done down there to help keep it in balance,” Dr. Kshettry says. “All trends wax and wane, but when it comes to vaginal and reproductive health, less is more.”
In other words, leave your vagina alone. Unless you have a specific medical issue, there’s no reason to do much to your vagina at all — and if you’re having vaginal or pelvic pain, see a doctor.
If sexual health is your goal, steer clear of vaginal crystals and turn to safer, medically approved means instead.
“If you experience symptoms of a weak pelvic floor, including pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence, it’s really important that you see a specialist,” Dr. Kshettry says. “They can direct you in pelvic floor exercises that will be most helpful to you, and they may refer you to a pelvic floor physical therapist.”
Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, are a medically advised way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Doing so can:
If you’re suffering from severe dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps, your gynecologist can check for underlying conditions such as ovarian cysts and fibroids and recommend helpful solutions to alleviate your pain. Options may include:
Again, speaking with your doctor is key. “If you have excessive cramps, PMS symptoms or other menstrual irregularities, have a conversation with your doctor about options to regulate your cycle and address other concerns,” Dr. Kshettry advises.
If all of that guidance sounds like a broken record, it’s for good reason. The bottom line when it comes to sexual and reproductive health is that your doctor should be your first line of defense.
“Women’s health providers specialize in various aspects of women’s health. There are physicians who specialize in sexual health and wellness, mental health professionals with a focus on women’s health and subspecialists who are trained to address the various aspects of pelvic organ prolapse, abnormal bleeding and PMS,” Dr. Kshettry says. “It’s all about finding the right people to help.”