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Gwyneth Paltrow's Advice About Vaginas Is Hurting Women: Doctors

Don't Take Advice On Your Vagina From Gwyneth Paltrow, Say Doctors

If you're Gwyneth Paltrow and you're sending out a newsletter to over a million subscribers, you have a certain responsibility to make sure the advice you're giving is accurate. But that doesn't necessarily seem to be the case for the actress.

In this week's Goop newsletter, Paltrow extolled the virtues of a vaginal steam she received at Santa Monica's Tikkun Spa.

According to the spa (and as Paltrow writes on her site), the "V-Steam" creates a cleanse with the herb mugwort to "[stimulate] the production of hormones to maintain uterine health," as well as regulate your periods, improve circulation, help your stomach and other benefits.

Of course, this might come as a surprise to any woman who's been told by her doctor to avoid douching — which is, essentially, every woman.

"Douching flushes out the normal bacteria in the vagina that are there to fight vaginal infections," Beverly Whipple, secretary general of the World Association for Sexual Health, told Everyday Health.

Steaming, especially with an herbal supplement, falls into that same category, as it might change the pH balance that's important to maintaining vaginal health.

Mugwort, the herb used in the treatment, has been prescribed for help with digestive disorders by alternative health practitioners, according to the American Cancer Society, as well as a host of other ailments. There is no clinical evidence it works.

As OB/GYN Dr. Jen Gunter wrote on her blog this week in reference to Paltrow's post, "Steam is probably not good for your vagina. Herbal steam is no better and quite possibly worse. It is most definitely more expensive."

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