Things spread like wildfire on the Internet. We find people talking about some weirdass trends every now and then. First it was the deadly scorpion-manicure trend and now, women are inserting wasp nests in their vaginas to tighten them.
Some online retailers, including Amazon, have been selling oak galls, which are nests of wasp eggs. Oak galls are formed when a gall wasp lays eggs in a tree's leaf buds and the larva will then develop while inside the gall.
The substance, once inserted in the vagina, allegedly restores the uterine wall after childbirth, heals an episiotomy cut and also cleans out the vagina. Believe it or not, Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow endorsed it on her lifestyle blog, GOOP, and claimed that it boosts orgasms, vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and 'feminine energy'. One website alleges that oak gall can prevent cervical cancer.
A Canadian gynecologist, Jen Gunter, however called out this bullshit on her blog. She wrote how these wasp nests could actually increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis or cause deadly toxic shock syndrome.
Dr Gunter wrote on her blog,
I read the post on GOOP and all I can tell you is it is the biggest load of garbage I have read on your site since vaginal steaming. It's even worse than claiming bras cause cancer.
This product follows the same dangerous pathway of other 'traditional' vaginal practices, according to Dr Gunter. She said in her blog that the claim that these 'pearls' can balance hormones is biologically impossible. Using these nests can dry the vaginal mucosa which increases the risk of abrasions during sex and destroy the protective mucous layer, both are which are not good for you.
She noted that these wasp nests could destroy the good bacteria present in the vagina and increase the risk of HIV transmissions as well. She advised that using these is a dangerous practice which could result in real harm.
A seller on Etsy has sold out/removed its product since they hawked the product as a South East Asian medicine claiming to improve sex lives of users. However, it did warn that the paste will hurt but said it was due to the 'galls' powerful astringent'. To this, Dr Gunter had a suitable reply,
Here's a pro-tip, if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina.
Vaginas are self-sustaining and there's absolutely no need to douche or insert anything to your vagina to make any changes to it, because these can wash away the protective fluids present naturally. Women, please, don't do this to yourselves.