The method can cause painful sex and an increased risk of contracting HIV
An all-natural treatment for women looking to rejuvenate and tighten their vagina is giving doctors serious cause for concern – ground-up wasp nests.
That’s right, some women are actually using oak galls – tree deformities caused by wasp nests – as an at-home remedy for vaginal rejuvenation.
But, while some natural ingredients are hailed for their ability to alleviate health problems, Canadian gynaecologist Jen Gunter says using this method can have serious long-term implications.
Formed when a wasp lays eggs in a tree’s leaf buds so that the larva can develop inside, oak galls are being sold by online retailers – including Etsy – who claim that grounding them into a paste can help tighten the vagina and get rid of bad smells.
But, Dr Gunter has slammed the practice on her blog warning women that using this method could lead to painful sex, a lack of healthy bacteria and an increased risk of contracting HIV.
“This product follows the same dangerous pathway of other ‘traditional’ vaginal practices.
“Drying the vaginal mucosa increases the risk of abrasions during sex (not good) and destroys the protective mucous layer (not good).
“It could also wreak havoc with the good bacteria. In addition to causing pain during sex it can increase the risk of HIV transmission. This is a dangerous practice with real potential to harm.”
The Etsy retailer that Dr Gunter found selling the oak galls – Heritage Health Shop – claimed that they could improve sex lives and be used on cuts with a warning that the paste will hurt.
“Here’s a pro-tip, if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina,” Dr Gunter added.
While it’s worth noting that this particular seller has since removed their listing, oak galls are still available elsewhere.
In fact, one store called Indojuara continues to market the product as a way to tighten the vagina, cure urinary infections and even abolish bad odours.
But, as you might predict, none of these claims are backed by science.