Women have over the years become more conscious of their health especially as it relates to the vagina. As a result, various companies have come up with numerous solutions for problems associated with the vagina; these in the past have included douching, sitting on hot -water mixed with disinfectant, the use of sweet-scented creams, and most recently, the insertion of what are called Yoni pearls.
What are Yoni Pearls?
They are described as herb heaps made for vaginal insertion meant to help cleanse or detox the vagina and uterus; also called vaginal detox pearls they are usually clothed wrapped ‘pearls’ that contain multiple herbs.
“People call them tea bags that you put in the vagina, for vaginal detoxification; but ideally it’s a bag that contains some herbs, which are believed to help in vaginal detoxification, and reducing vaginal infections.” says Dr. Robert Abade an Obstetrician Gynecologist.
The herbs found within vary from pearl to pearl and producer to producer, but common herbs include:
Dr. Abade says he does not encourage his patients to use Yoni Pearls and anything being inserted into the vagina.
“…I’ve gotten quite a number of patients, who get issues after using the pearls. The herbs are irritant, it’s like putting something caustic in the vagina.”
The name Yoni given to the vaginal tea bags, is the Sanskrit word for vagina; it translates to “a sacred space.
Using Yoni Pearls
After inserting the “pearl” into your vagina, the idea is usually said to be that you leave it inside for 24 to 72 hours to remove toxins, and cleanse it and the uterus. However, doctors globally say that anything left inside the vagina for that long can potentially cause more harm than good, as it is likely to disrupt the vaginal microbiome that exists to keep the vagina healthy; this may likely to lead to infection, which in turn leads to increased vaginal discharge and a foul or fishy odor.
Do the Yoni Pearls work?
Creators of the products claim that the herbs in the pearls create a “pulling effect that draws toxins, bad bacteria, dead cells, old blood clots, mucus and more from your yoni, while at the same time tightening your yoni and deterring vaginal dryness and other ailments.”
Others say they detox the uterus, cleanse the vagina, address vaginal inflammation, promote a healthier reproductive system among things. However, Dr. Abade says there’s zero research that any of the vaginal pearls are good for your vagina or uterus.
“They are not FDA approved….we do not have any research on Yoni Pearls.” says Dr. Robert Abade an Obstetrician Gynecologist.
What are the potential side effects?
Health experts say that when you are pregnant, your vagina is already more vulnerable to infections such as yeast infections; owing to increased estrogen levels and changes in your vagina’s pH levels. Additionally, more studies have shown that some common vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis, can increase your risk of miscarriage in the first and second trimester.
Inserting a foreign object into the vagina is also said to cause irritation, disturbance of vaginal pH, odor, increased discharge, and infections.
Common side effects of Yoni Pearls are said to include:
Doctors add that they are especially dangerous for anyone who has allergies to specific herbs.
What women are advised to do instead?
Dr. Abade, recommends that women seek the care of an OB-GYN instead, because they will be able to prescribe medicine that can clear up the underlying issue in the vagina.
“Honestly I do not prescribe Yoni Pearls and the patients who come to me on Yoni Pearls I usually discourage them against it. If they were to encounter a complication (there is no evidence to back a doctor)” says Dr. Robert Abade an Obstetrician Gynecologist
He adds that there is never a need for your vagina to be detoxed, that is able to self-clean; attempting to clean or detox the vagina is said to kill the good bacteria that helps fight off infection.
It is advised that in case one notices a drastic and persistent change in smell, this may suggest yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. Most women are said to be prone to yeast infection and other related infections because the vagina is sensitive; usually it could be caused by a change of environment, sexual partners, restrooms, tissue papers, among other factors.
Most vaginal discharge is normal and simply a result of fluid released by glands in the vagina and cervix, which can range from clear to milky white depending on your menstrual cycle, hormones, and pregnancy. It may have a slight odor, but normally it’s a foul or fishy smell that likely signals an infection, which means you need to talk to your ob-gyn, as there may be something more going on.