Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Dangerous or Useless Tiktok Trends You Should Not Use for Your Vagina According to A Gynecologist

TikTok has spawned thousands of health and beauty trends and hacks. Some of them are useful and some are downright dangerous. The vagina has not been spared when it comes to these viral trends put forth by non-experts, but nevertheless, they have caught on. Dr. Mickey Karram is a Beverly Hills, California Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery of Visthetic Surgery Institute & MedSpa who seeks to dispel these dangerous practices.

Vaginal dabbing, as the name implies, involves applying vaginal secretions to specific areas on the body known as pulse points, such as the wrists, neck, and inside the elbows, much like you would apply a fragrance. This ritual is believed to make one highly attractive to a potential partner. This trend gained significant popularity on TikTok and received widespread attention on the internet. Advocates of this practice attribute its effectiveness to pheromones and deeply ingrained biological responses. They also argue that its low-risk and cost-free nature makes it harmless, although some dissenting voices disagree. To begin with, it's important to clarify that vabbing is not entirely without risks, despite being marketed as such. Whenever an object or body part is introduced into the vagina, there is a potential risk of infection. While thorough hand washing before the practice can help mitigate this risk, individuals with long fingernails may inadvertently introduce bacteria into the vagina. Conversely, there's also the risk of transmitting bacteria, yeast, or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from the vagina to the vabbing points on the body and, subsequently, to anything that encounters the skin.

Moisturizing melts in the vagina. What exactly are these moisturizing melts? They're non-medicated vaginal suppositories that claim to enhance the natural scent and taste of your vagina. These products come in various flavors, such as strawberry and peach. In January, a TikTok user shared her experience, claiming that these melts can make your intimate area taste and smell like the flavor you select. Another user summarized her positive encounter with a video that received 2.2 million likes. It's important to note that even though these vaginal suppositories are made from "all-natural" ingredients, it's still possible to experience irritation or allergic reactions to these components. However, here's another crucial consideration: your vagina isn't meant to have the taste or fragrance of fruits or flowers. The vagina has its own natural scent, which is entirely normal and healthy as it is a self-cleaning organ. If you have concerns about an unusual odor, consult a healthcare provider. There are commercially available vaginal inserts with a clinically tested pH balance that may be recommended. 

Placing ice cubes inside the vagina has gained attention on TikTok. A TikTok user claimed that inserting an ice cube into the vagina can potentially tighten it and even address bacterial overgrowth issues. This assertion led to a surge in people posting videos of themselves attempting this unconventional trend. However, it's important to note this practice's potential risks and limitations. If the vagina is dry, the ice cube may adhere uncomfortably, causing significant discomfort. 

Furthermore, melting an ice cube within the vagina could potentially disrupt its pH balance. Water, with a pH level of 7, differs significantly from the vagina's natural pH range of 3.5 to 4.5. 

Taking a shot of lemon juice to delay the onset of a menstrual cycle  is simply ineffective. Menstruation is a natural process and is not influenced by what you consume. Ingesting lemon juice has no impact on the ovaries or the communication between the brain and the ovaries. While taking a shot of lemon juice isn't harmful, it lacks a logical basis. 

Utilizing Boric Acid Suppositories for Yeast Infections. While numerous individuals on TikTok have been advocating for using boric acid suppositories to address vaginal yeast or bacterial infections, it is advisable to seek direct guidance from a qualified medical professional before attempting this remedy. Although boric acid has the potential to modify vaginal acidity levels, which might, in turn, offer relief from yeast infections and their associated symptoms like itching and burning, its effectiveness can vary, especially in cases of recurring infections.

Furthermore, there are specific scenarios in which boric acid suppositories are not recommended, such as during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or if one has allergies to boric acid, diabetes, compromised immune system, or frequent infections. Additionally, it's important to note that boric acid suppositories can lead to discomfort during sexual intercourse, as the acid has the potential to erode condoms and diaphragms. 

Yoni pearls Yoni pearls, named after the Sanskrit word for "vagina," are small bundles of various herbs. Some people claim that inserting them into their vaginas helps improve odor, remove toxins, or treat bacterial and yeast infections. But there isn't enough medical research to properly understand the effects. Avoid them because they have been reported to cause dryness, stinging, and cramping."

Vaginal steaming

Users on TikTok who have tried vaginal steaming (essentially a steam bath pointed directly at the vagina, referred to as V-steaming or yoni steaming to get around the app's censoring) share tons of purported claims about the benefits, from increasing libido to tightening the vagina. The treatment has been promoted by Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow and other celebrities, including Chrissy Teigen, but doctors have quickly called them out. The vagina steam is a scam. Potentially harmful. Vaginal steaming only reaches the outer parts of your vagina and doesn't affect your uterus or cervix. The only recommended way to properly clean the outside of your vagina is unscented soap and warm water."

About Dr. Karram

Dr. Mickey Karram is an internationally renowned urogynecologist and pelvic surgeon. He is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery. He completed his fellowship training in Urogynecology and Reconstructive Surgery at Harbor UCLA School of Medicine. He is currently the Director of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Surgery at The Christ Hospital and a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine.

He is the past Editor-In-Chief of the International Urogynecology Journal and the consumer publication Women’s Health Today and is past President of the American Urogynecology Society.  He has published more than 200 scientific articles and book chapters and has co-authored numerous textbooks including Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery; Atlas of Pelvic Anatomy and Gynecologic Surgery, and The Pelvic Surgery Video Atlas.

He is the Founder and CEO of The Foundation for Female Health Awareness a 501©3 non-for-profit organization dedicated to educating women on pelvic and breast health as well as supporting unbiased research.

Dr. Karram has directed a number of post-graduate teaching courses throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. Dr. Karram has been designated by Good Housekeeping Magazine as one of the “Best Doctors in America for Women.”

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