Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website Goop recently drew criticism from western doctors after the actress recommended vaginal steaming, the process of sitting over a hot pot of water filled with herbs to cleanse one's uterus and “balance female hormone levels.”
Goop is now recommending that women place a golf ball sized jade egg into their vagina and keep it there all day or night. The practice is an ancient Chinese secret that concubines used to boost their orgasms and “increase vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and feminine energy in general,” according to the site.
Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB/GYN for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, has called the practice “the biggest load of garbage” she's ever read on the site. She said that because jade is porous, it “could allow bacteria to get inside” a vagina and cause bacterial vaginosis or Toxic Shock Syndrome, which could be deadly. “This is not good, in case you are wondering,” Gunter wrote.
Other western doctors have refuted the positive health claims of using the jade egg. “There are no studies or evidence to show that jade eggs help with orgasms, vaginal muscle tone or hormonal balance,” said Dr. Leena Nathan, assistant clinic professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA Health. “Jade does not result in hormonal changes even when inserted in the vagina.”
Goop's website is careful to point out that “the article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.”