Doctors have once again been forced to warn against the risks of using steam as a vaginal treatment, after a 62-year-old Canadian women suffered horrific burns.
According to a new paper published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, the woman took things into her own hands when suffering a prolapsed vagina, believing the treatment might help her avoid surgery.
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The BBC reports the woman saw a traditional Chinese doctor for help, believing she might be able to avoid surgery. She reportedly ended up in hospital with painful, second-degree burns after being advised to sit over boiling water for 20 minutes.
Vaginal steaming, also known as V-steaming or noni steaming, involves sitting over a hot water and herb mix for an extended period of time.
The controversial procedure has seen a surge in popularity over the last decade after actress Gwyneth Paltrow recommended it on her wellness website Goop.
Last year, US model Chrissy Teigen also shared a photograph of herself undergoing the treatment.
Many think the heat and subsequent blood flow helps to kill infection and increase cleanliness. But according to Dr Rachel Nall, "adding extra moist heat to the vagina and exposing the vagina to certain additives within the steam could also increase a woman's risk for yeast or bacterial infections".
"If the vaginal steaming equipment is not kept clean, a person could also be at risk for infections and other side effects. Therefore, it is essential to clean all equipment thoroughly before using it," she wrote for Medical News Today.
Funnily enough, it seems it's always best to consult a doctor before exposing your nether regions to extreme heat.