A company in the US is selling bags of herbs women are supposed to insert into their vagina to give them a "womb detox". But these 'pearls' (or so they are being called by US firm Embrace Pangaea) have the potential to be very dangerous, a gynaecologist has warned.
Embrace Pangaea says their bags of herbs are supposed to be put inside the vagina for one day, where they will make the womb "rebalance itself". Describing the womb as a vessel that can "hold on to emotional, physical and spiritual trauma and pain", the "ancient herbs" are claimed to remove toxins, tone and increase elasticity, strengthen the uterus, kill parasites, tighten the vagina and regulate menstruation. The list goes on.
The womb detox is being sold for between $15-$75 (£10-£50). While Embrace Pangaea issues a safety warning, in a blog post it claims the pearls are "simply a holistic tool" similar to how vitamin C can help when you get a cold. A video about the product can be viewed below.
A US doctor has strongly refuted all the company's claims – and instead says using the products have the potential to be "very dangerous". Jen Gunter, writing in her blog, explains why the product is "pointless" saying the uterus and vagina function without any intervention – if there is something wrong medically, they will bleed, itch, cramp or produce and odour. At this point you should see a doctor.
"Don't blame malaise, or fatigue on your uterus or vagina (unless you are anaemic from bleeding, but then you would have had the warning sign)," Gunter wrote. "Actually none of your organs want the kind of help that comes with a "detox" because they have evolved to take care of themselves in partnership with the rest of your body. There is no such thing as a detox or a cleanse, they are fake terms used by snake oil salespeople to lighten wallets."
Gunter adds the herbs (if they are what they claim to be) could in fact cause damage to the good bacteria in the vagina and cause irritation and infection. This, she says, is indicative in the pictures of discharge espoused on Embrace Pangaea and its users
"The website actually provides proof of this as they have pictures of what they proudly claim to be the 'discharge' users have removed from their vagina while using the 'pearls'... This discharge isn't some toxic swill that the vagina was hiding that only the 'pearls' could release, it's a sign that these 'pearls' are damaging."
Furthermore, and most concerning, she says leaving a product inside the vagina for any prolonged length of time has the potential to cause toxic shock syndrome. This is a bacterial infection that can invade the body's bloodstream and release poisonous toxins that can be fatal.
"Do not under any circumstances put a mesh baggie of herbs in your vagina," Gunter concludes.