Is Yoni Steaming Safe? OB-GYN Addresses Common Concerns

Is Yoni Steaming Safe? OB-GYN Addresses Common Concerns

OB-GYN Addresses Yoni Steaming Concerns 

The internet is full of clickbait articles about the supposed and sometimes real, (don’t get burned!) dangers of vaginal steaming. However, out of all these fear based articles, I have yet to read a single one that was written by anyone with actual first hand vaginal steam experience. 

Here’s the deal:  100% of all Western-trained doctors that decry vaginal steaming for supposed safety concerns, have NO, ZERO, ZILTCH, experience with vaginal steaming. These doctors have never experienced vaginal steaming themselves and they have never worked with patients to review if vaginal steaming may offer gynecological benefits. 

I wouldn’t want any doctor to speak either for or against any practice or procedure that they have no knowledge or training. I also can’t understand why doctors would go out of their way to condemn vaginal steaming when they know nothing about it? It’s almost like they don’t want to entertain the idea that a simple and accessible practice could yield such incredible results.

Unfortunately, the media has a history of prioritizing fear and skepticism over knowledgeable sources. This is particularly the case when it comes to healing modalities that present to the Western world as “new” or “alternative.”

Just a few decades ago the media found plenty of Western doctors willing to criticize the potential harm or lack of benefits of yoga. That’s because those doctors had yet to learn about yoga. They didn’t have a yoga practice, and they didn’t listen and observe their patients who did. Instead these doctors hypothesized about all the risks and lack of benefits of yoga. Until, you guessed it, the anecdotal evidence was robust enough to study it. 

Yoga is now deemed by Western medicine as a therapy. It is “recognized as a clinically viable treatment, with established programs at major health care centers, such as The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, and many others.” (Source: Yoga Journal)

Anecdotal evidence always precedes scientific research.

So yes, we must study vaginal steaming more. Kitara is all for it - more vaginal steam studies please! When lived experiences are so compelling that Western doctors can no longer deny the benefits, there is mindset shift from fervent skepticism toward healthier curiosity. 

This is why Kitara believes so strongly in sharing our vaginal steaming and yoni steaming stories through our podcast The Womb Stories Project. With our “Steam Stories” sub-series of The Womb Stories Project, we share the lived experience of women and yoni bodied folks who tell first-hand accounts of the life-changing benefits of vaginal steaming / yoni steaming. 

As part of Womb Stories Project we offer the episode “Western Gynecology and Yoni Steaming with Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN, MD.” This is a conversation about the benefits of vaginal steaming with an OBGYN, MD who actually has a yoni steaming practice.   

Next time Jada Pickett Smith, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chrissy Teigen, or a new celebrity fan of yoni steaming speaks to the benefits of vaginal steaming, I hope that the media comes to realize the importance of gathering opinions from Western Gynecologists with experience and training in vaginal steaming like Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN, MD.

Rather than listen to physicians who have never themselves tried yoni steaming, let’s instead hear from an OBGYN, MD who grew up in a yoni steaming household. 

Check out Dr. Laurena’s episode on Womb Stories Project to learn about her journey navigating the Western medical system as Black female physician and her clinic’s celebration of yoni steaming. Keep reading below to hear her address the commonly misplaced concerns of her Western colleagues. 

Western Gynecologist addresses 7 Arguments Against Vaginal Steaming / Yoni steaming

#1 Argument Against Vaginal Steaming:

Vaginal Steaming is Not Safe because Steam can Burn”

Response from Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN, MD:

That is true. Steam can burn. But it can burn your face and it can burn your hands. If you’re not properly trained to work with steam, you can burn yourself in your kitchen cooking. So that is why you need to work with an adequately trained vaginal steam facilitator, who is aware of temperature controls, and who has a system in place to monitor the temperature. 

Just like you would monitor the temperature on your kitchen stove. You don’t leave your stove unattended when you’re boiling water or preparing things. You take very high consideration of what you’re cooking, what you’re working with, and the timing of it. Having someone who is very aware of those same things when you’re yoni steaming avoids the opportunity for you to get burned, just like it would be in the kitchen. 

Note from Kitara: Check out our post “Don’t Get Burned” for more information about safe yoni steaming practices. 

#2 Argument Against Vaginal Steaming:

People who promote vaginal steaming need an anatomy lesson. There is no way that steam could help the uterus because the steam can’t get inside the uterus because the cervix blocks the steam from entry. So there's no literal, physiological way that it could be helping with the uterus.

Response from Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN, MD:

Logically that would be one of the things you might consider. But steam is full of micro-molecules, which are literally minuscule. Steam - the vapor - may not get to the uterus itself. However, the molecules that are microscopic are therapeutic and get there with no problem because there is a cervix that provides a passageway into the uterus. It’s those things that we are looking for, that are actually therapeutic in nature, that will get to the uterus. That’s where the healing takes place. Furthermore, the warmth from the steam is relaxes the musculature around the reproductive system offering further therapeutic benefit. 

Doctors prescribe vaginal suppositories because the medicine can get into the bloodstream. The medicine from the herbs from vaginal steaming can get into the bloodstream even more so because the membrane is more permeable to any other substance. It’s literally water, so it’s going to be easier for it to permeate those membranes. 

After steaming many folks report the release of brown and black blood. That’s your healing. That brown and black blood no longer serves you, so you’re getting rid of it. And you’re getting rid of it in a way that’s healthy. There was no scraping of your endometrial lining, there were no invasive procedures. Literally therapeutic steam, the warmth and relaxation of the musculature, loosened up all those things that weren’t serving and just like the lining of your uterus sheds every month. Now you’ve just gotten rid of something that is no longer serving you. So  you can have a health period and healthy bright red blood for each menstrual cycle to come. 

This is absolutely a sign that the steam did open the cervix because that brown and black blood is no longer serving you so you don’t have to hold onto it anymore. You’ve been holding onto something that no longer serves, that’s why it’s brown or black and not the adequate color of bright red. It’s literally leaving your body to make room for the good stuff. It needs to leave your body to have it replaced with tissue that is healthy. 

#3 Argument Against Vaginal Steaming:

Doctors and Western Gynecologists say don’t vaginal steam because there is no scientific evidence that it works. 

Response from Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN, MD:

You’re right. There is no scientific evidence that vaginal steaming works. AND, I currently have about 100 patients who are glad that they are vaginal steaming. These patients steam monthly and regularly because they know that it does work. 

There’s also not yet “scientific” evidence that says acupuncture works. How many people are having acupuncture appointments? 

On the flip side, there are also plenty of examples where a scientific study shows evidence that something does work and that leads to an FDA approval which, particularly when it comes to gynecological concerns, is often years later recalled after the discovery of years of damage.

#4 Argument Against Vaginal Steaming:

Vaginal Steaming could be deadly because air should not be blown into the vagina because it could cause an embolism. 

Response from Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN, MD:

Yeah, if air was being blown into the vagina, that would cause an embolism! But air is NOT being blown into the vagina when you are vaginal steaming. It’s steam, that is steam, not air. If you have ever experience vaginal steaming,  you know that steam is water and water is not air. You know there’s no way there could be an embolism of any sort when you are vaginal steaming because there is no air being blown into the vagina. Nothing is being blown in the vagina!

Again, work with trained vaginal steam practitioner. 

Book with a consultation with Certified Vaginal Steam Practitioner today.

#5 Argument Against Vaginal Steaming: The uterus is self-cleansing and so there is no need for vaginal steaming. 

Response from Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN, MD:

The uterus and vagina are self-cleansing when they are operating optimally. But if there is any type of malfunction or dysfunction in the cycle (erratic cycles, missing periods, clotting, dark coloring of the blood) then your uterus and the vagina are not functioning optimally. 

The object is to get to optimal menstrual and uterine health and wellness. Vaginal steaming helps facilitate the healing process. If your vagina and uterus were functioning optimally, you wouldn’t need any of these things. But it’s not, so that’s why you do. 

#6 Argument Against Vaginal Steaming: Vaginal Steaming is on the rise as another form of Vagina Shaming which teaches women that they are inadequate and that they are dirty. 

Response from Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN, MD:

It’s not that you’re dirty, vaginal steaming has nothing to do with cleanliness at all. 

Vaginal steaming is a therapeutic modality that addresses dysfunction in your reproductive system. Just like other procedures (unlike vaginal steaming many of which are super invasive). 

Vaginal steaming is steam - infused with healing herbs. It isn’t something we made up in the United States, like two years ago. This is something that been going on for thousands of years in different cultures and different communities that literally has been something that has been healing women for eons. 

It is designed to be healing. Vaginal steaming is not shaming. Vaginal steaming is treating your vagina to a wonderful experience, so you can enjoy your vagina even more.

Note from Kitara: Check out our post “Your Vagina is NOT Dirty” for more about the difference between cleaning versus cleansing.

#7 Argument Against Vaginal Steaming:

Vaginal Steaming could disrupt the PH balance of the vagina/vaginal canal. For that reason vaginal steaming makes people more at risk of getting infections because their vaginal microbiome won’t have adequate flora or the healthy bacteria needed to fight infection. 

Response from Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN, MD:

I am an OBGYN, MD who has hundreds of patients who vaginal steam and none of them have infections. These fear based opinions are based only on hypotheticals: what someone’s thoughts are when conceiving about vaginal steaming without any evidence. 

Vaginal steaming is a healing modality and should be conducted and performed by a trained professional. For vaginal steaming, you do not want it to be too hot. For vaginal steaming you want the temperature to be comfortable. It is really important to steam for the correct length of time and on the right days for you and your body and are using the right herbs. Work with a trained and trusted practitioner. Take the opportunity to let someone take care of you. 

Antibiotics are increasing the resistance to Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections. These antibiotics are what is damaging the vaginal flora. It is a catch-22 because yes, the antibiotics are killing bad germs. However, the antibiotics are also eradicating the good stuff. 

Literally, with vaginal steaming it is water and it has herbs. Vaginal steaming supports the release the bad so that the good can better flourish.  It is important to select the right herbs which are meant to treat bacteria and dosing is important. 

Again, vaginal steaming is a healing modality and should be conducted and performed by a trained professional.

Book with a consultation with Certified Vaginal Steam Practitioner today. 

Acknowledgements: 

Dr. Laurena White, OBGYN, MD Addressing Vaginal Steaming and SafetyThank you Dr Laurena White, OBGYN, MD for sharing your depth of knowledge and willingness to share vulnerably on Womb Stories. Check out Dr Laurena White's The Eudaimonia Center here

Keli Garza Steamy Chick Reference for Conversation with Dr. Laurena White OBGYN, MD Vaginal Steaming and SafetyThank you Keli Garza of Steamy Chick for introducing us to Dr Laurena White and for the module in advanced Vaginal Steam Practitioner Training addressing the topic of commons concerns regarding vaginal steaming. 

 


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