A 62 year-old woman who tried to treat a common gynecological condition sustained a second degree burn while undergoing “vaginal steaming.”
Per the case report published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada, the woman was attempting to treat “vaginal prolapse.”
Vaginal prolapse is a term used for weakness of the vaginal walls and pelvic musculature. This can occur from childbirth, heavy lifting, aging, menopause or chronic coughing.
Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus hangs low due to weakness in pelvic floor muscles. This can be very uncomfortable as the cervix (opening of the uterus) can come closer to the vaginal opening or poke through.
“Vaginal steaming” is a procedure, popularized by Gweneth Paltrow in 2015, in which a person sits on a chair that has an opening, allowing for a pot to sit below and steam the genitals.
So although the patient’s physician suggested surgery to correct the prolapse, she followed the recommendation of an herbalist who suggested using a pan to put in the toilet with herbs and steam.
She didn’t feel any pain but subsequently began bleeding and when doctors examined her, found second degree burns to her vagina and cervix.
Steaming has not been proven to help uterine or vaginal prolapse. However it does make broccoli less crunchy…..
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.