Gwyneth Paltrow is not one to shy away from discourse about her vagina. She’s been credited with starting the Brazilian bikini wax craze years ago by waxing rhapsodic about her favorite pubic hair groomers in New York City. More recently she extolled the virtues of vaginal steaming and, in her controversial newsletter Goop, a 24-karat gold-plated dildo.
The actress-turned-lifestyle guru’s latest nether-regions obsession is “jade eggs for your yoni,” as she puts it in one of Goop’s latest installments. The eggs, made of actual jade, are meant to be inserted into the vaginal canal to “increase chi, orgasms, vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and feminine energy in general,” per Goop.
Paltrow found out about the $66 stones through her wellness guru, Shiva Rose, who has been using them for seven years. Women are instructed to clench the egg inside their vaginas for extended periods of time, as many Chinese queens and concubines used to do “to stay in shape for emperors,” says the site.
But now an acclaimed gynecologist is coming forward to blast the entire idea as not only “ridiculous” but also dangerous.
“I read the post on GOOP and all I can tell you is it is the biggest load of garbage I have read on your site since vaginal steaming. It’s even worse than claiming bras cause cancer. But hey, you aren’t one to let facts get in the way of profiting from snake oil,” Dr. Jen Gunter wrote.
She dismisses the claim that jade eggs can help with hormonal imbalances, calling this “biologically impossible.” She blasts Goop’s recommendation that women both walk around and sleep with jade eggs in places, as “your pelvic floor muscles are not meant to contract continuously.” Dr. Gunter compares the constant flexing of pelvic floor muscles to the constant flexing of any muscle, noting that this is bound to lead to great pain.
“Imagine how your biceps muscle (and then your shoulders and then your back) might feel if you walked around all day flexed holding a barbell? Right, now imagine your pelvic floor muscles doing this,” Dr. Gunter writes.
But more than that, says the gynecologist, sleeping with jade eggs inside the vagina invites bacteria, which can cause infection and even death. “I would like to point out that jade is porous which could allow bacteria to get inside and so the egg could act like a fomite,” she writes.
In her takedown, Dr. Gunter acknowledges that Kegel exercises, which are known to strengthen pelvic muscles and help facilitate orgasms, can be effective when done the right way — but holding jade eggs in the vaginal canal is not the right way. In fact, she writes, “Overenthusiastic Kegel exercises or incorrectly done Kegel exercises are a cause of pelvic pain and pain with sex in my practice.” For women who do want to use devices to improve their Kegels, Dr. Gunter suggests “using weights made with medical grade silicone or plastic and to not wear them for long periods of time. Kegel exercises are not just about the contraction, the relaxation phase is just as important.”
In addition, Dr. Gunter was baffled as what Shiva Rose meant when she said that practicing with jade eggs can boost “female energy.” She wrote, “I’m a gynecologist and I don’t know what that is!? How does one test for it? Organically sourced, fair trade urine pH sticks coming soon to GOOP for $77 I presume?”
The doctor was also offended at Goop’s assertion that reproductive organs are “where many women access their intuition, their power, and their wisdom.” She retorted, “Terminology aside, the vulva, vagina, cervix, and uterus are not intuition repositories and neither are they sources of ‘power’ or ‘wisdom.’ In fact, I find that assertion insulting. Do you really mean a woman who does not have a uterus is less effective? Is a woman without a vagina less intelligent? Is a woman who had a vulvectomy due to cancer less creative?”
Her advice: “Don’t use vaginal jade eggs.”