Uh-oh! Women are putting wasp nests in their vaginas in the name of wellness

Californian gall wasp

Girls, please! In the latest instalment of woo-woo for the hoo-ha, ladies are putting ground up wasp bits and bobs in their vaginas to improve muscle tone and increase libido after childbirth.

The worrying world of oak galls

A post on Dr Jen Gunter’s blog alerted us to this news and we’re super glad it did.

Dr Jen is an Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist AND a pain medicine specialist, as well as author of a handbook for premmie parents – The Preemie Primer. In other words, she knows her stuff.

Dr Jen took to her blog to write fruitily about the problems with some waspy-herbs-for-her she spotted on Etsy, revealing that there are a whole host of risks involved with using faux-science products such as these. And by these we mean – Oak Galls – a product that’s selling right now on Etsy and wants you to put it on your delicate bits.

 The seller of the Oak Galls describes them extremely scientifically thus:

“They are produced when the bark or leaves of the oak tree Quercus infectoria are penetrated by the female Gallwasp, Cynips Gallae-tinctoriae, who lays its eggs inside.The spontaneous chemical reaction caused by the penetration stimulates the bark or leaves to produce a roundish hard ball called an oak gall.”

(Maybe you’ve seen similar “galls” on your backyard lemon tree?!)

Oak galls via Etsy

Add to cart?

So the scary story of the vagina galls goes something like this:

Somewhere in the exotic jungles of “Asia Minor and Persia” a wasp lays an egg on a twig, leaf or some bark. The bark/twig/leaf goes a bit hard and weird – live eggs still inside. Someone enterprising grabs hard, weird, eggy, wasp-y lumpy thing. We think they grind it up. Then they pop in online with the promise of a much more satisfying and streamlined “inner life”.  Sigh. Someone buys that promise. The promise arrives in the mail and they put the promise in their vagina and wait for the magic to happen.

Shudder.

Danger, danger!

Observantly noting that the Oak Galls are quite firmly focused on creating a tighter, dryer vagina, Dr Jen explains why this quest is in vain.

“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,” Dr Jen writes.

Further, she sensibly advises that “if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina,” warning that products like these can increase the risk of HIV transmission. 

Vaginal insecurity

It seems vaginal rejuvenation has found a way out of their usual “ladies who have procedures” market and into the wellness-crunchy-boho-newschool-hippy market. We’re not pleased by any of this.

Advocates of policing ladies nether regions and coming up with vaginal beauty standards must be so very, very pleased. Ugh.

The takeaways from all this?

  1. Listen to Dr Jen.
  2. Stop stealing wasp babies.
  3. Let your vagina just be itself.

It’s worth remembering that your uterus and vagina (and the rest of your body) will take some time to recover postpartum and it’s totally normal to feel a bit worried about whether things are okay with your reproductive bits – especially as things can often feel different after childbirth.

If you’re concerned about how things are progressing, ask your doctor for advice. 

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