Doctors are warning against a bizarre trend of applying ground-up wasp nests into one's vagina to "rejuvenate one's privates".
It should go without saying that you shouldn't put a wasp nest in your vagina for any reason. But people are doing it, so it needs to be said, unfortunately. Doctors are warning against a bizarre trend of using ground-up wasp nests to tighten and rejuvenate one's vagina. Several online retailers on Etsy sell the product, called oak galls, as a home remedy. Oak galls are essentially growths from the bark of the trees that are produced when wasps or other organisms or their larvae expose trees to certain chemicals. The protrusions provide an ideal environment for the wasps to mature since the soft tissues that develop inside these provide food for the larva to eat as it grows. One Etsy listing claims, "According to experts, in addition to overcoming whiteness, reducing fluid and improving the elasticity of female organs, (oak galls) can also cope with dry miss V problems. The same time helps to increase the hormone secretion, cleanse the uterus after menstruation and delivery, germs in urine, promote digestion, prevent cervical cancer and reduce cellulite."
According to the Etsy seller, the product can either be made into a tea which is then consumed or ground up into a paste that is applied to the vaginal area. A horrified gynecologist, Dr. Jen Gunter, is warning people not to get sucked in by this dangerous trend. "This product follows the same dangerous pathway of other 'traditional' vaginal practices, meaning tightening and drying the vagina which is both medically and sexually (for women anyway) undesirable," Gunter writes in a lengthy blog post. She added that drying the vaginal mucosa not only destroys the vagina's protective mucous layer, it also increases the risk of abrasions during sex. "In addition to causing pain during sex it can increase the risk of HIV transmission," she explains. "This is a dangerous practice with real potential to harm. Here’s a pro-tip, if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina."
Etsy seller Heritage Health Shop, who has since removed the item from its page, describes the common uses of the product, saying, "The galls, which contain tannin and small amounts of gallic acid and ellagic acid have antimicrobial qualities and are used in South East Asia especially Malaysia and Indonesia by women after childbirth to restore the elasticity of the uterine wall." Gunter also added that the product could increase the risk of HIV transmission and blasted "GYNO Etsy" for selling dangerous products that claim to improve vaginal health, saying, "I’m thinking they should back away from the medicinal products, you know? It’s promoting both a bad sexual ideal, that something must be wrong if your vagina is damp, and a dangerous practice. It’s just one more bullshit message about vaginal health. It’s no wonder there are so many useless and/or harmful products on drugstore shelves designed to dry and clean vulvas and vaginas."
In a previous post slamming Herbal Womb Detox Pearls, a set of mesh balls that were meant to be inserted into one's vagina, Gunter explained, “Leaving a product that is not designed for prolonged vaginal use (and these are not) in the vagina is a risk for toxic shock syndrome. Just don’t do it.” Basically, just leave your vaginas alone. They're self-cleaning, they're not MEANT to be dry, and for the love of god don't put wasp nests in them. Please. They'll be just fine.