I take really good care of my vagina.
I try my best to avoid soaps, body washes and lotions packed with irritating chemicals, fragrances and dyes. I avoid tight-fitting underwear and clothing. I never miss an annual visit with my OB/GYN. I get regular bikini waxes instead of shaving, because ingrown hairs are the worst. And, most importantly, my standards for selecting a sexual partner are very, very, very high.
It all started with a publicist's attention-grabbing e-mail subject line, "The Beauty Treatments You Never Knew Your Vagina Needed." Of course, I'm familiar with the "vajazzling trend," in which tiny crystals or rhinestones are applied to the upper pelvic area. And there's also the "G-shot," a collagen-based vaginal injection that is believed to enhance sexual pleasure. But my interest was piqued at the concept of a "facial" for down there.
Based on what I've learned over the years from medical experts, the vagina "cleanses" itself and douching is strongly discouraged. Yet, Gwyneth Paltrow (aka the queen of insane beauty treatments) has endorsed the Mugworth V-Steam at Tikkun Spa in Santa Monica because it claims to "cleanse your uterus" and "balance female hormone levels."
San Francisco-based OB/GYN and writer Jennifer Gunter says, "Claims that it can somehow impact vaginal or uterine health are not biologically plausible." She explained, "A vagina does not need to be detoxed. Ever. The vagina is a self-cleaning oven. That is why we have good bacteria."
In addition to potential risks of an allergic reaction and burns, Gunter added that "The more you try to clean your vagina and vulva, the more you cause harm. If heat makes you feel good, have a sauna or a bath."
Still, I jumped at the chance to test out VSpot MediSpa founder and former Real Housewife of New York Cindy Barshop's V-Steam. Here's what happened.
What Is The V-Steam?
Ancient Korean vaginal steams, better known as "chai-yok," required sitting naked for up to 45 minutes on an open-seated stool above a steaming pot of water filled with medicinal and aromatic herbs such as mugwort, rosemary, wormwood and basil.
When asked what differentiates the services offered at her VSpot MediSpa from traditional treatments, Barshop said it's all about "empowering women with services that detox and rejuvenate the vagina." She and her team of gynecologists combine holistic healing with Western medicine to "ensure safety to women's sexual health." It was also important for Barshop to have all women gynecologists, as she believes it helps to create a sense of trust.
Well, I certainly felt quite welcomed once I stepped into the offices located in New York City's Upper East Side neighborhood. The setup is definitely a bit more luxe.
After completing forms about my medical/sexual health, VSpot MediSpa gynecologist Carolyn A. DeLucia reviewed the material and explained The V-Steam process. I only had to undress from the waist down and I was provided a bright purple terry half robe for added comfort. Next, I lay back on a padded examination-style table. My legs were propped up similar to positioning for a pap smear.
Barshop re-entered the room and inserted an herbal pack, including rose, lavender and mugwort, into a long plastic tube before turning on the vaginal steam machine. Then, she positioned the table to account for my long legs. The positioning of the tube where the steam flows up toward the vagina is crucial, as it can't be too close or you'll risk getting burned. Barshop placed a large white sheet over my legs and the tube to create a tunnel. The tube doesn't touch or go inside the vagina. Once I was comfortable, she turned off the lights and set a timer for 20 minutes before leaving the room. Just outside was a gynecologist on standby for any needs.
Within three minutes, the small room begin to smell of citrus and fresh herbs. Because I was growing out a bikini wax, it took at least five minutes for me to feel warmth down there. No complaints, as I was grateful for the light "barrier" from the steam.
How Does It Make "Down There" Feel?
As I started to drift into sleep, I noticed a pulsating sensation from my vagina. And the skin down there was more hydrated and felt slightly warm to the touch. DeLucia explained that the herbs used stimulate blood flow to my nether regions.
While I can't attest to The V-Steam's ability to naturally soothe cramps, clear yeast infections or tone my vaginal tissues after just one treatment, what it has done for me is made down-there moisturized without slathering on any weird or heavy creams.
I called my best friend immediately afterward to tell her how things went and she was absolutely stunned to learn that The V-Steam also made me a bit aroused as I walked to the subway. (Note: this would've been an ideal time to test its effectiveness in enhancing sexual pleasure, but I had to go back to work.)
How Much Does It Cost?
The V-Steam is $100 and includes a medical consultation for the initial treatment. Services afterward will cost $75.
Where Can You Get It?
You can book The V-Steam facial at the VSpot MediSpa in New York City or find similar services where you live. Always consult with your doctor before starting such a treatment.
Would I Recommend It?
Yes, especially because it is virtually painless and it is perfect for women like myself who don't mind treating themselves to spa beauty treatments. Not to mention, The V-Steam could possibly reinvigorate your sexual energy!
V-Spot MediSpa provided The V-Steam for review purposes.