Health

There's More Bad Vaginal Health Advice, and It's Rooted in Ridiculous Body Standards

June 1st 2017

By:
Thor Benson

There seems to be a lot of bad vaginal health advice floating around, and the latest piece of advice might be the most ridiculous yet. According to The Independent, women are being told to put ground up wasp nests on their vaginas to tighten the muscles.

wasp

It's being claimed that you can grind up these wasp nests and make an ointment out of them, and applying it to the vagina will make the muscles tighter and remove any odor. The specific type of wasp nest that's being used is called an oak gall, which is a tree leaf bud that wasps lay eggs in.

Dr. Jen Gunter, a Canadian gynecologist who discovered this trend, claims on her blog that it is actually pretty dangerous. Gunter looked at a specific product that is being sold on Etsy.

oak gall

"This product follows the same dangerous pathway of other 'traditional; vaginal practices, meaning tightening and drying the vagina which is both medically and sexually (for women anyway) undesirable," Gunter wrote. "Drying the vaginal mucosa increases the risk of abrasions during sex (not good) and destroys the protective mucous layer (not good)."

Basically, using this product could not only make sex very painful, according to Gunter, but it could damage the natural bacterial balance of the vagina that keeps it healthy.

"I think it reflects a gross misunderstanding of biology," Dr. Gunter told ATTN:. "While the wasp gall seems extreme, it is not much different than the feminine washes/douches/hygiene sprays that are on every drug store shelf. Making women feel bad obviously is profitable."

She said women should be wary of any product that claims to improve the health of their vagina. "Vaginas are like self-cleaning ovens," Dr. Gunter said. "They don't need much maintenance beyond eating healthy and not smoking."

Body standards.

Not only is this crazy wasp nest idea problematic for medical reasons, but it shows that society has absurd body standards for women. Women feel pressure to have a "tight" vagina, because society has deemed that to be desirable, so many women end up trying outrageous treatments in order to achieve that goal.

There are many myths when it comes to vaginal tightness and looseness, but by far the biggest myth is that tightness is associated with virginity, and a woman who has a lot of sex will have a loose vagina. (ATTN: has debunked these myths.) That is unequivocally false.

Multiple births may have an impact on a woman's vagina (but the difference is still relatively small in most cases), as well as the natural aging process. And as Dr. Ava Cadell told LA Weekly: "Kegel exercises can always help tone and tighten the vagina, so it's never too late. They also help to prevent urinary incontinence, can enhance orgasmic awareness, and even help a woman to ejaculate."