Perhaps no sexual-wellness "aid" has created as much of a stir as the jade egg. Last year, Gwyneth Paltrow's wellness brand, Goop, had to pay $145,000 in fines for selling the eggs on their website with unsubstantiated health claims, per CNN, and yet, they're still being talked about-and sold. Just, ya know, with very vague (or zero) descriptions.
So what exactly is a jade egg, anyway?
A jade egg, a.k.a. yoni egg, is an egg-shaped weight (typically made out of a stone like jade or rose quartz) that you insert and hold inside your vagina. Similar to a Kegel or Ben Wa ball (does anyone remember Fifty Shades Darker?), the egg has been said to strengthen the pelvic floor, by requiring the muscles there to clench to keep it in place. The problem is-and this is a major problem-they can do more harm than good.
"There are no proven benefits of using a jade egg, but there are several risks," says Women's Health advisor Kate White, MD, an ob-gyn and director of the Fellowship in Family Planning at Boston University.
Number one: Because they're made of stone, "the eggs are porous and can absorb bacteria, which means it's not possible to fully clean them in between each use," says Dr. White. "So when you insert the egg into your vagina after the first use, you're literally putting bacteria back into your body." That's like asking for an infection.
What's more, because the egg has a glass-like, slippery texture, it can be rather hard to remove, says Dr. White. While some eggs have a string attached to them, extraction could require a visit to your gyno's office or even the emergency room. Um, no thank you.
The jade egg may not be legit, but Gwyneth's skin-care routine has some tricks you might want to steal:
Are there any possible benefits to using a jade egg?
When Goop first advertised the jade egg, which really kicked off the hype, it purported that the egg supports hormonal balance, menstrual regulation, and bladder control, none of which had any scientific research behind it, according to Forbes.
And while it's possible that a jade egg could help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, there's no reason, given its risks, to choose one over the tried-and-true, all-natural (not to mention, free) method: Kegel exercises. Kegels involve simply squeezing your down-there muscles as if you're holding in your pee, and experts say they work.
There's one other potential perk of a jade egg: increased sexual desire. Once again, there's no proof of this, but "it's possible that you would feel a bump in your libido from the placebo effect, which is powerful," says Dr. White. (As in, just thinking you're doing something to boost your drive could boost your drive.) That said, it still isn't worth the risk.
In terms of lubrication-another supposed benefit of a jade egg-"the body produces more discharge in the presence of a foreign body inside your vagina, so it's theoretically possible that it would increase," Dr. White explains. "But there are other ways to increase your lubrication without risk...like, you know, with lube."
The bottom line: Save your money (a jade egg will put you out $66), and focus on doing Kegels instead.
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