Yoni eggs are intended to be inserted into the vagina and carry with them a range of false benefits, such as increasing libido and easing period cramps. WUKA experts discuss.
What is a Yoni Egg?
Yoni eggs supposedly have a long history, with some believing that they were first used in eastern medicine practices of ancient China more than 5,000 years ago, although there is little evidence to support this.
They are small egg-shaped stones that are usually made from quartz or jade but can be made from other gemstones too. Rose quartz and jade are chosen because they are thought to have healing properties for the reproductive organs.
Yoni eggs come in different sizes – ranging from small to large – and they are all intended to be inserted into your vagina. Some have a hole drilled into them so that a string can be attached to make it easier to remove.
The advice is for women to start with a small egg, and for short period of times at first – one or two minutes at a time, once or twice a week. From there you can build up from minutes to hours, and some women use them overnight too.
What Does a Yoni Egg Do?
Wondering what the purpose of inserting a gemstone into your vagina is? The debate has been going on for a while. On the surface, the list of benefits looks impressive, with claims that they help to heal the reproductive system, balance your menstrual cycle, ease menstrual cramps, strengthen the pelvic floor, increase libido and intensify orgasms.
When you consider what the body is required to do while the egg is in place, it kind of makes sense why some believe in their ‘powers’. When the egg is inserted, the muscles in the vagina are required to tighten in order to hold it in place, hence the claims that they can help to strengthen the pelvic floor.
It is believed that yoni eggs can also help to cleanse and purify the body, by helping to balance hormones and reducing negative energy.
Are Yoni Eggs Safe?
So, are they safe? We spoke to Dr Ghazala Aziz-Scott, specialist in integrative women’s health and bioidentical hormone balancing at Marion Gluck Clinic, who told us that the purported claims are too good to be true.
‘Yoni eggs are balls of quartz and jade that are thought to have properties of increasing libido, easing cramps and balancing hormones- but there is no medical basis to this and actually they can harm vagina health by causing bacterial infections, muscle strain and vaginismus, so they cannot be used safely.’
The bottom line is, placing a foreign object inside your vagina is always a risky business and can disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria that help to keep things healthy down there. With no medical evidence to back up the claims that these eggs can improve your health or wellbeing, it seems there are more risks than benefits.
Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Bacterial and fungal infections occur when the pH level of the vagina is disrupted, and the bacteria normally present becomes imbalanced.
Inserting any foreign object into the vagina always runs the risk of infection, because the balance between good and bad bacteria is so delicate. And because yoni eggs are made from semi-porous gemstones, bacteria are able to grow inside them too, meaning the chances of developing a vaginal infection are higher if you use them.
You are also at a higher risk of scratching inside your vagina when you insert or remove the eggs too – and these scratches can also become infected.
Common signs of a bacterial infection include changes in your discharge (women report a thin, greyish coloured secretion) and a strong, fishy odour.
Early signs of a fungal infection include itching and irritation around the vagina and vulva, a thicker, odourless discharge than normal, and a burning sensation when you use the loo.
If you think you might have an infection, stop using yoni eggs straight away and seek medical treatment.
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Toxic Shock Syndrome is most commonly associated with tampons, but it can occur if any vaginal infection becomes severe enough. So, while rare, the risks of TSS are a lot higher if you place the eggs inside your vagina. Mr. Narendra Pisal, consultant gynaecologist at London Gynaecology, told us:
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a name given to a serious condition of septicaemia (blood poisoning) caused by infection. TSS classically was caused by retained tampons, but it can also be caused by other retained foreign bodies, such as forgotten pessaries or swabs. TSS occurs when bacteria release toxins, which cause a severe reaction in the body. Symptoms tend to be a vaginal discharge which can become smelly and purulent, discomfort, lower abdominal pain and occasionally symptoms of severe infection such as raised temperature and feeling unwell.
Mr. Pisal adds: 'At London Gynaecology, we do not recommend use of Yoni Eggs. If you have any symptoms or concerns, please visit your gynaecologist or physiotherapist for an appointment.'
Damage to Pelvic Floor Muscles
Your pelvic floor muscles are so important. They are the band of muscles that support vital organs and help to regulate bladder and bowel control, not to mention sexual pleasure. And because so many of us experience a weakness in these muscles, it is little wonder that the supposed benefits of yoni eggs sound so appealing.
In reality though, studies have found that the eggs can damage your pelvic floor in the long run, not strengthen it. The pelvic floor muscles are required to contract and tighten to hold the egg inside the vagina – so, yes, they do work in that respect. But keeping the egg in place forces the muscles to stay contracted, and this is where the problem is.
In order to gain strength, the pelvic floor muscles need to contract and release, as they do during certain yoga poses, or traditional pelvic floor exercises. Holding the contraction for long periods of time can cause muscle spasms, leading to weakness. This is exactly the opposite of what we want.
Alternative Uses For Yoni Eggs
Yes, the supposed benefits look attractive, but there are other, safer ways that you can alleviate the symptoms the eggs claim to treat.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Traditional pelvic floor exercises are always a better option, and especially if you already have a weak pelvic floor. Exercises that require the muscles to contract and release – and are approved by doctors – will help to strengthen the muscles and will not contribute towards any further weakening of the pelvic floor, unlike yoni eggs.
Performed correctly, exercises such as kegels, or some yoga positions, can help you to build a better mind to muscle connection with your pelvic floor, and you’ll find you get better at doing them over time.
Read more about the top exercises to keep your pelvic floor happy.
Menstrual Cramp Relief
Again, there is no evidence to show that the eggs can help to ease period pains. The best way to ease these symptoms is to use a combination of tried and tested methods; hot water bottles and period pain relief patches are usually great at providing alleviating cramps.
There is also evidence linking diet and exercise to menstrual cramps too; avoiding processed food and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated can help.
Visit a Doctor
If you are at all concerned about potential weakening of your pelvic floor, or you would like more advice on how to perform exercises that will help to strengthen the muscles, it is advisable to seek medical advice. Your doctor can signpost you towards information that will help you.
If you are concerned that using yoni eggs may have damaged your pelvic floor, again it is best to speak to a doctor to find out what you can do to rebuild strength in those muscles. Likewise, if you are concerned that you may have an infection following use of the eggs, seek medical advice as soon as you can.