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'Vaginal steaming' leaves woman with second-degree burn
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'Vaginal steaming' leaves woman with second-degree burn

A woman who attempted so-called “vaginal steaming” suffered a second-degree burn, according to a case report in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada. The unnamed 62-year-old woman tried the method “in an attempt to reduce vaginal prolapse,” which eMedicineHealth describes as a condition in which structures such as the uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra, small bowel, or the vagina itself may begin to prolapse, or fall out of their normal positions. The woman reportedly attempted vaginal steaming – the process of getting hot steam into one’s vagina – after a doctor who was treating her prolapse recommended surgery, according to the report, as cited by Forbes.

A traditional Chinese doctor then purportedly recommended the woman try vaginal steaming, telling the woman to prepare a “pan of boiling water mixed with herbal medicine and put this pan on the rim of her toilet bowl,” per Forbes. She then sat over the steam for roughly 20 minutes, doing this each day for a series of days. Later, after noticing she had bloody discharge, the woman went to an emergency room. Doctors there reportedly told her she had a second-degree burn on the lining of her cervix and vagina, which was causing the bleeding. Surprisingly, the woman did not feel any pain, according to the report, which noted she was told to apply Polysporin antibiotic ointment and wrap the affected area in gauze.

There’s no scientific evidence that vaginal steaming – which gained popularity after actress Gwyneth Paltrow endorsed it on her website in 2015 – helps with any condition, per Healthline. In fact, since the vagina self-cleans, the process of steaming might cause the growth of unwanted bacteria that could result in yeast infections and other vaginal woes. “Vaginal skin is delicate, sensitive, and easily traumatized. Using it as target practice for a plume of warm steam may cause vaginal burns or scalding,” Healthline added.

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