Vaginal Steaming - FAQ'S!
Have you had these questions about vaginal steaming? Maybe this is something you've seen on social media but don't know exactly why it's practiced or about the endless benefits.
Vaginal steaming is a practice that dates back hundred of years, and it's commonly known as "yoni steam", "vsteam", "bajos" or "hip baths".
Regardless of which term you are familiar with it, steaming has likely caught your attention, aroused your curiosity and motivated you to learn more about it.
I understand steaming may be new to you, and in this article I'll be answering questions I've received the most over the years about the practice of steaming.
I hope this article brings you clarity and offers you a chance to make an informed decision regarding your womb health.
So let's jump right in!
What is vaginal steaming?
Steaming is a natural, holistic and gentle modality of feminine care and reproductive healing that's revered by women all over the world, and dates back hundred of years.
Women from many cultures steamed because they understood the importance of using plant medicine in a gentle and effective way to support the woman’s body, specifically her reproductive system - the WOMB.
Traditional medicine women, shamans, midwives and women in the community hold steaming in high regard. As a medicine woman myself and a naturopathic practitioner, so do I.
Simply put, vaginal steaming is the practice of sitting over a steaming pot of water that is infused with loving and healing herbs, in which the combination of plants and heat therapy facilitate a therapeutic process.
Why should I steam?
Steaming can be used as a natural therapy for many womb conditions like an irregular, painful or missing period, cramps, bloating, fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, prolapsed, blocked fallopian tubes, perineal tears after childbirth, vaginal and sexually transmitted infections, hemorrhoids and constipation.
Steaming can also be used if you're experiencing blocked energy, feminine disconnect, sexual trauma or bad feelings about your body. Download my Sacred Steam Guide to learn more about holistic womb healing.
Steams help to rejuvenate your reproductive system by noninvasively warming your uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, increasing the circulation of oxygenated blood to your vagina, womb and pelvic space, and by restoring moisture, vitality and integrity to your tissues.
When the intimate heat from the rising steam opens the pores of your womb, it allows the medicinal properties of the herbs to be delivered through your bloodstream.
Because of the increased integrity and circulation that steams encourage, steaming is also useful for heightening sensation during sex, as well as exploring feelings both physical and emotional that are held in your womb space.
When is the best time of the month to steam?
You can steam at any time of the month, as long as you are NOT menstruating or actively bleeding.
If you suffer from PMS, pain, bloating and exhaustion during your period you can steam before your menses to help ease your symptoms.
Steaming after your period is a great way to cleanse and refresh. In fact, many woman adopt steaming as a better alternative to douching.
When should I NOT steam?
Although steaming is gentle and painless steaming should be avoided if you are menstruating, pregnant, expected pregnancy or have an IUD.
How often should I steam?
As part of an overall self-care regimen you can steam once a month. If you are steaming to help reverse a womb imbalance please use the chat box at the bottom of your screen to speak with me, an herbalist and steam practitioner, to determine your individual steam regimen.
Why should steaming not be done during menstruation?
During menstruation your uterus is in its natural process of shedding and releasing, and because this is already an intense downward moving energy the added stimulation of a steam may cause heavy bleeding. For this reason it's best not to steam while you're menstruating.
Why should steaming not be done during pregnancy?
Vaginal steams encourage your uterine lining to shed any excess build up each month. This is important to note because in the case of pregnancy the uterine lining is built up in order to create a nourishing haven for a fertilized egg.
Therefore anything that causes the uterus to contract, such as steaming, may cause the uterus to release its content. So steaming should be avoided to ensure the lining stays intact to.
Why isn't it recommended that women with an Intrauterine Device (IUD) steam?
It is not recommended for women with an IUD to steam because steaming could disrupt the hormone therapy the contraceptive provide by potentially altering its effectiveness. Steaming can also dislodge, shift or expel your IUD.
Vaginal steaming is held in such high esteem because of the plant's ability to naturally support fertility. With that said, some women with IUDs have tried steaming and have reported great results, including reduced cramps during their period.
If you choose to steam, limit your steam time to avoid heating of your IUD and steam at you own risk.
What should I expect after doing a steam?
Your menstrual cycle can and will change after you start steaming. Often times there is a great deal of material encrusted to the inside of the womb that is expelled naturally some time after steaming. The herbs effect on the uterus helps move out old material and build-up in the womb.
Sometimes this means your flow will be heavy and dark (old blood) for a day or two. And, other times it may extend the length of your period to get everything out.
In either case, ultimately over time expect a lighter and more pleasant period after you womb does its thing to balance itself with the help of steaming. Other than feeling relaxed, pampered and rejuvenated you should not expect to see visible discharge at the time your steam session ends.
I must warn you, you will likely experience a healthy flow of vaginal juices (wetness) do to the increased blood flow and circulation that steaming promotes.
How long after birth should I wait to steam?
I recommend waiting until you are no longer bleeding before steaming. Spotting with dark colored blood is okay. In case of extreme bleeding or hemorrhaging a steam would be contraindicated.
For the postpartum period a vaginal steam may be done multiple times per week to help repair perineal tears and tone uterus and pelvic floor muscles after birth. There is no point at which it is too late after birth to steam, as you will receive benefits anytime you decide to steam.
I have fertility challenges, can steaming help?
Yes! Steaming has been seen by many women to support their fertility naturally. There may be many reasons for you fertility challenges, and one of the reason may be induration (build up of material) on your uterine wall. Steaming helps to loosen that material and allow it to release through menstruating. This event makes space for a fertilized egg to successfully attach to the inside of the wall.
Steaming for at least 3 months (90 days) before expecting to see results. Do not try to conceive during the 3 months of steaming.
Fertility challenges are also caused by underlying hormonal imbalances. For support with balancing your sex hormones and helping your body eliminate excess hormones and system waste purchase your Whole Body Cleanse.
I have uterine fibroids, ovarian cyst and/or endometriosis, how can vaginal steaming help me?
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus that develop from the smooth muscular tissues of the uterus. Ovarian cysts are closed, sac-like fluid filled structures within a thin membrane inside your ovaries, similar to a blister. Endometriosis is when tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis.
A vaginal steam can support the natural shrinking of fibroids, cyst or endometriosis by cleansing and nourishing your uterine tissues to promote a natural process of detoxing and elimination.
There are also herbs included in my steam blends that help balance the hormones that cause extra tissue growth in the womb. This helps to treat your fibroids, cyst and endometriosis at the root. When you are not bleeding you may steam to gently but effectively encourage your womb to take care of itself. Start by steaming twice a week on the weeks you are not menstruating for 3 months to see a shift.
How is vaginal steaming beneficial for women pre or post menopause?
Steaming is beneficial for women going through pre or post menopause because it helps with symptoms of vaginal dryness, internal discomfort and pain during intercourse. These are all symptoms of an underlying hormone imbalance.
I've had a partial or total hysterectomy. Are there any benefits of vaginal steaming for me?
Yes, steaming is great for ALL aspects of women's health! Although all or part of your physical uterus may have been removed, your energetic center still remains and can benefit from the warmth, pampering and clearing that steaming provides.
Isn't it contraindicated to steam if I have a vaginal infection (i.e. yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis)?
On one hand, some may say that it is contraindicated to steam with any kind of bacterial infection because of the introduction of heat and moisture. But here's the thing about steaming, if you are using anti-microbial herbs (like the herbs found in my steams) you are actually effectively treating the infection by killing the microbes that cause it.
I have heard testimonies of women experiencing relief from their symptoms of vaginal itch, irritation and odor. It is worth giving steaming a try.
Does steaming increase sex drive?
Yes, steaming can definitely help to increase your sex drive! On an emotional level steaming supports you to cultivate a profound sense of self-love and confidence which has great implication on your sex life.
On a physical level steaming increases your circulation, sensation and lubrication by stimulating fresh blood flow and tightening your vaginal tissues. The process of steaming is very arousing!
Does steaming really work?
Steaming is plant therapy that has stood the test of time. For generations women have shared their success stories among one another and only now are more of us beginning to share our storied with the world. We can thank this "information age" for that.
My doctor told me to not try vaginal steaming, why would this be?
Some Wester medical doctors may be resistant to the idea of vaginal steaming. This is not because the steaming is dangerous or ineffective. It's simply because this is natural medicine that is not taught in medical school and there are no scientific studies to "prove" it's effectiveness. So western doctors often feel quite uncomfortable about it as a result.
Keep in mind that we live in a left-brain patriarchal society that has steered away form honoring the divine feminine. If you're relying on your doctor to support your decision to steam ask for their reason to better understand if the recommendation to not steam rooted in fear and ignorance (a lack of information and knowledge).
Most importantly, listen to your own voice and intuition as your guide to honoring your body. God/Universe didn't lead you here for no reason.
Can I use essential oils with my steam?
No! Please do not use essential oils. Essential oils are too volatile for your lady parts. Only use fresh or dried plant parts. Purchase your organic steam herbs here.
Are your organic steam herbs hypo-allergenic?
The ingredients are usually safe for all skin types, unless you have individual allergies to certain plant botanicals. The same holds true for any cosmetic or food grade ingredient. If you have a sensitivity to plants you can test for a reaction by placing the herbs in the back of your hands. If you experience itchiness or discomfort do not use.
We have not had any reports of an allergic reaction to our steam herbs. We offer an open disclosure policy regarding our ingredients by listing them on the label.
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Love and Health,
- Shavonne Richardson
CEO, Herbalist, Naturopathic Womb Alchemist & Women's Health Educator
Phone: (205) 440-2740