There is an expression that states that everything new is the well-forgotten old. It certainly applies to vaginal steaming. This well-forgotten female wellness practice is steadily regaining its popularity. Let’s take a look at why that’s so and whether you should give it a try. (Hint – you most definitely should.)
What Is Vaginal Steaming?
Vaginal steaming, often also named V-steam or yoni steaming, is an ancient alternative medicine practice to enhance female health. It involves sitting or squatting over a steaming pot of water that has been infused with medicinal herbs.
The practice used to be traditionally practiced by women across Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe with some locations still doing it to this day. However, it was largely unknown in the West until Gwyneth Paltrow, the queen of wellness, popularized it through her website Goop. Since then, it’s gained more widespread popularity and emerged as a service offered in many spas.
Yoni Steaming Benefits for Pelvic Floor and Womb Health
1. Regulate Periods
One of the most common reasons how women get introduced to vaginal steaming is to mitigate period-related issues. These include:
- heavy periods – if a woman’s body suspects that something is stuck or left behind such as residue from the previous period, the uterus tries to cleanse itself by flushing that out with extra blood. Nevertheless, increased blood loss during periods can lead to headaches, fatigue, mood swings, as well as increase the risk of developing anemia in more severe cases. Vaginal or yoni steaming helps to cleanse the uterus from any left residue and reduce period heaviness.
- dark period blood with many blood clots – during the start and toward the end of the period, a woman may notice menstrual blood to be of brownish color with many blood clots in. Instead, it should be bright. Dark brownish color is a sign of old blood, e.g., that has remained in the uterus from the remaining period. Meanwhile, blood clots can be a sign of poor circulation due to which the blood has started to clot. Vaginal steaming helps to cleanse any remaining residue from previous cycles as well as improve circulation, reducing the risk of developing clots.
- irregular or missing periods – many women notice that vaginal steaming helps them to regulate periods. They no longer have cycles of unpredictable lengths. Moreover, periods are shorter and easier and aren’t absent.
- PCOS – there are various forms of polycystic ovary syndrome, and it can develop due to a variety of reasons. Due to that, vaginal steaming may not necessarily resolve the root cause in all cases, but it can reduce the stress and load that PCOS puts on the uterus and the reproductive system. It helps the uterus cleanse and shed old lining, thus reducing discomfort and increasing the possibility of conceiving naturally.
2. Reduce PMS Symptoms and Menstrual Cramps
Other common issues that women experience in regards to periods are debilitating PMS symptoms and cramps. Women may also feel abdominal pain and cramping, lower back pain, digestive issues, and sore breasts.
These are often due to hormonal changes and, in the case of cramps, can also be due to the uterus contracting unevenly. Mental health-related issues such as high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression can also aggravate PMS symptoms.
In some more severe cases, it can also be a symptom of uterine fibroids or inflammation due to an infection.
Regular practice of vaginal steaming can effectively mitigate PMS symptoms and menstrual cramping, making periods easier to tolerate.
In the post-menopausal stage, yoni steaming helps women to remain in sync with their moon cycle. Even though they may no longer menstruate or have few irregular periods, staying in sync with the moon can significantly improve wellbeing.
3. Fight and Heal Infections
UTIs, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis are unpleasant and rather common. If left untreated or treated improperly, they can become dangerous to overall health.
When addressing their healthcare provider women tend to get prescription medication or antibiotics. Nonetheless, vaginal steaming can effectively resolve infections, especially when using disinfecting herbs that have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
4. Improve Fertility
There are multiple reasons why a woman may experience fertility issues. Some of them include hardening of the uterine lining and residue from previous cycles that becomes toxic, both of which can prevent a fertilized egg from being able to successfully implant.
V-steam helps to cleanse the uterus from any of this potentially toxic residue, uterine walls become ready to welcome a fertilized egg, increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy.
5. Improve Sex Life
Vaginal steaming increases the blood flow to the pelvic floor tissues, improving circulation, oxygen supply, sensitivity, and nerve function. As a result, women who practice yoni steaming describe the feeling as their vagina having “woken up.”
V-steam also reduces vaginal dryness which is common postpartum and in post-menopausal women, making arousal easier and sex more pleasurable.
6. Help Heal Vaginal Scarification
Most women develop some form of scar tissue after pregnancy and delivery. It may be due to natural tearing, instrumental delivery, and episiotomies. Surgical intervention, trauma, injuries, and other factors can also cause pelvic floor and vaginal scarring.
Scar tissue is less flexible and pliable as well as inhibits the performance of the surrounding tissues, making the pelvic floor tense and less reflexive. Vaginal steaming can aid other pelvic floor therapy methods by improving circulation, blood flow, and flexibility of the area.
7. Relax a Hypertense Pelvic Floor
A hypertense pelvic floor is an extremely common yet underlooked form of pelvic floor dysfunction. It occurs when the pelvic floor is excessively tense and unable to relax when necessary. It prevents the body from being able to provide adequate support to the pelvic floor organs, increases the risk of developing incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, and can make sex painful.
Yoni steaming practice can help provide the relaxation that your pelvic floor needs to relearn how to function optimally. It also provides overall relaxation, which is always a good thing in our fast-paced world.
8. Heal Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Incontinence
Pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence can occur not only due to the pelvic floor muscles and tissues being too tight but also if they are weak. Vaginal steaming with herbs that have tightening properties can help gently tone and tighten the muscles and tissues in the pelvic floor, helping it provide better support for the pelvic organs.
9. Recover Faster Postpartum
There are multiple benefits to adding vaginal steaming to your self-care routine after delivery. It can help heal scarification and encourage the pelvic floor tissues to tighten. Keep in mind that you should give your body enough time to recover first before you introduce a V-steam practice.
10. Treat Cysts, Fibroids, Endometriosis, and Other Uterine Issues
Steam rises up the vaginal canal and reaches the cervix. From there, it can stimulate uterine tissues, helping fibroids to melt, as well as can help dissolve uterine lining tissues that have formed outside the uterus.
Women who regularly V-steam report their cysts and fibroids shrinking as well as endometriosis symptoms flaring up less frequently or disappearing altogether.
Is Vaginal Steaming Safe?
If you spend some time online searching for information on vaginal steaming and its benefits, you’re surely going to locate multiple high-profile sources stating that vaginal steaming is unsafe and has no proven benefits to female health.
In actuality, however, vaginal steaming is absolutely safe if performed correctly. And while there may be no proven scientific studies demonstrating the benefits of vaginal steaming it’s not a sign that there is a lack of benefits but rather that there is a lack of studies to prove them. Testimonials and reports from women who do yoni steaming regularly also verify the beneficial effects of this ancient practice.
How to Do Vaginal Steaming at Home?
The beauty of vaginal steaming is that it is extremely easy, and you don’t need to go to a fancy spa to enjoy its benefits. Doing yoni steaming at home is also a more convenient and economic option. Here’s how you can do it:
- First and foremost, you need to prepare your setup. You can purchase a specifically designed yoni steam box or sauna if you plan to have a dedicated V-steam spot. This is, basically, a wooden box or stool with a hole at the top which you can comfortably sit over. Alternatively, you can also place a sturdy bowl with your herbal infusion on the floor or inside your toilet. Do make sure that the toilet is clean before you do so, though. Also, avoid V-steam using your toilet if you have prolapse.
- Boil water and place 2-3 tablespoons of your herb or herbs of choice in the bowl or container you are going to use.
- Pour hot water in the container with herbs and let it steep for 1-2 minutes. This will also allow the water to cool down so that you do not burn yourself. If you are going to keep the container between your legs, wrap it in a towel to prevent burns.
- Sit, squat (unless you have prolapse), or come onto your elbows and knees over the container with the steaming herbal infusion that you prepared.
- Place a large towel over your legs and around your hips. This will prevent the steam from escaping and the water from cooling down too quickly.
- Enjoy your first V-steam session for 10 minutes. Later, you can increase that up to 30 minutes. Repeat anywhere from a couple of times a month to once a week or more if you need.
Watch this video on how to Yoni steam at home
Whatever Your Setup, Avoid Plastic
Whatever your setup is, avoid plastic such as using a plastic bowl for your herbal infusion. Plastic has a plethora of harmful chemicals in it that can get released with heat and harm your body. It is also much thinner and allows heat to escape faster, preventing you from being able to enjoy a full V-steam session.
Beneficial Vaginal Steaming Herbs
To enhance the benefits of vaginal steaming, you can use medicinal herbs. You can experiment with different herbs, make your own herbal concoction, or purchase ready-made blends that meet your needs. Below are some beneficial vaginal steaming herbs that you can try:
- Mugwort – it’s commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine due to its antioxidant properties. It can alleviate digestive, intestine, and uterine issues, ease menstrual cramps, and more,
- Chamomile – a soothing herb with calming and antibacterial properties, it can be beneficial in soothing the skin, healing wounds and scars, and easing menstrual cramps,
- Wormwood – this herb has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-microbial properties. It can help fight infections and bacterial overgrowth as well as soothe pain,
- Basil – it is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It can nourish the skin and help fight infections,
- Oregano – this commonly used herb has antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties. It can help fight infections and soothe irritation,
- White sage – it can help fight fungal infections, eliminate bacteria, and reduce inflammation,
- Calendula – the herb can promote healing, fight fungus, and treat infections,
- Rose – its petals are rich in Vitamin C. Therefore, it has antioxidant properties and can help tighten the skin and other tissues,
- Lady’s Mantle – this herb has antiviral and antioxidant properties. It can help soothe menstrual pain, regulate periods. It also contains salicylic acid that can help with endometriosis and fibroids.
When Not to V-Steam?
While yoni steaming is safe and beneficial when performed correctly, there are a few instances when you should not do it. This includes:
- pregnancy – there can be too much steam for the baby. Vaginal steaming could also open your cervix,
- bleeding – if you are currently bleeding either due to a period or other reasons, steaming can increase blood flow to levels that are unsafe,
- TTC – if you are trying to conceive and have already ovulated, avoid V-steam. It can open your cervix and clear out any sperm you may have in your vagina,
- more than one period a month – if you have experienced this in the past three months, this indicates imbalance. Yoni steaming can result in even more bleeding.
Improve Your Pelvic Floor Health with Women Cycles
Vaginal steaming has plenty of benefits that any woman can benefit from. However, it’s far from being the only natural healing method that can improve pelvic floor health and treat dysfunction. At Women Cycles, we’re dedicated to empowering women with knowledge about natural approaches that can help them deal with various issues surrounding female health and live their life to the fullest. We welcome you to explore our online pelvic floor courses so that you too can benefit from them.