Gwyneth Paltrow wants you to steam your lady parts – but before you going running off to the nearest vaginal spa (yes, they exist), you might want to consult your doctor.
In one of her latest GOOP posts, the Oscar winner/lifestyle guru, 42, raves about a special treatment available at Tikkun Spa in Santa Monica.
“The real golden ticket here is the Mugworth V-Steam,” Paltrow says. “You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al.”
And this isn’t your mother’s vagina steam: “It is an energetic release – not just a steam douche – that balances female hormone levels. If you’re in L.A., you have to do it.”
But according to Dr. Jen Gunter, a board certified OB/GYN and expert in vulvovaginal disorders, Paltrow’s medical claims surrounding the steams are just a bunch of hot air, at best.
In a detailed post to her blog, Dr. Gunter warns, “Steam is probably not good for your vagina. Herbal steam is no better and quite possibly worse.”
She explains, “Mugwort or wormwood or whatever when steamed, either vaginally or on the vulva, can’t possibly balance any reproductive hormones, regulate your menstrual cycle, treat depression, or cure infertility.”
Dr. Gunter also takes issue with Paltrow’s claims that the steam “cleanses your uterus.” She writes “Steam isn’t going to get into your uterus from your vagina unless you are using an attachment with some kind of pressure and MOST DEFINITELY NEVER EVER DO THAT.”
As with most medical questions, it’s generally wise to get a second opinion.
Dr. David L. Finke, a Los Angeles-based OB/GYN, tells PEOPLE, “I don’t think it’s completely crazy to say [the steam] could be beneficial – just maybe not in the way Paltrow claims.
“It could change the circulation patterns for probably 30 minutes to an hour,” Dr. Finke says. “Depending on how the steam is applied, the benefits could be similar to a regular steam room.”
Dr. Finke notes, “As far as bold claims that doing this will change hormonal balance or cleanse the uterus, it’s probably bogus.”