A vaginal steam or sometimes referred to as Yoni Steaming is an effective and relaxing way to promote reproductive health. The steams are ph balanced to help the body naturally cleanse the vaginal and uterine linings in a safe and gentle way. The warm steam and natural essential oils from the plants nourish and tonify the vaginal and uterine tissues. While improving circulation, the steams alleviate symptoms caused by, or related to, congestion in these tissues. Steams can be a perfect way to show yourself some self-care and can have beneficial effects. They can: - Significantly reduce pain, bloating and exhaustion associated with menstruation. - Decrease menstrual flow as well as reduce dark purple or brown blood at the onset or end of menses. - Enhance fertility - Improve sexual health and desire - Balance Hormones - Regulate irregular or absent menstrual cycles. - Speed healing and tone the reproductive system after birth. - Reduce uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, uterine weakness, uterine prolapse & endometriosis. - Assist with the healing of hemorrhoids. - Relieve chronic vaginal/yeast infections, and works to maintain healthy odor. - Ease symptoms of menopause including dryness or pain during intercourse. - Detoxify the womb and remove toxins from the body. Common Outcomes Of Steaming: Increased relaxation, deep sleep, increased vaginal nectar (clear fertile cervical mucus), heightened libido & sexual sensation, heightened fertility, circulation improvement, decreased PMS Symptoms, decreased bloating, increased emotional balance, toned and lifted vaginal canal, scar tissue softening or disappearance, decreased cramps and clotting, the shortening of long cycles, the lengthening of short cycles, bringing back missing periods, shrinking cysts, fibroids, and polyps, and relief from endometriosis and PCOS. I do not claim that vaginal steaming can cure these issues through steaming, but these are potential positive benefits that have been reported by clients. Some people feel changes right away, but can take 3-6 months. It is best practice to consult a licensed acupuncturist or other healthcare professional to create a custom blend of herbs and frequency of treatment for your specific constitution. Common plants included in the steams:
motherwort (tonifies, cramping, infections)
mugwort (all purpose)
ku shen (rejuvenates skin tissue)
red raspberry leaf (tones and relaxes the uterus)
huang qi (to boost energy)
Miscarriage and Vaginal Steaming Whether a miscarriage is natural or medically assisted, old tissue commonly remains in the uterus. In this case the miscarriage is incomplete. Signs of an incomplete miscarriage would include ongoing cramping, missing periods or heavy-clotted periods. When it comes to miscarriage recovery vaginal steaming has a history of use dating back to ancient times. Vaginal steaming is a therapeutic practice that naturally cleans out the uterus. The steam appears to relax and open the cervix rising into the uterus and helping the uterus contents to loosen and flow out. The heat from the steam also helps to increase the blood circulation to the area which improves the uterus's self-cleansing function.
How to Use Vaginal Steaming to Recover from Miscarriage Wait until the miscarriage blood turns to brown and then do a complete uterine cleanse by steaming 30 days consecutively. If the blood turns fresh red again stop steaming (!) Only resume once it returns to brown again. The miscarriage and any old residue prior to the pregnancy should entirely clear out. This may also help to optimize the uterus health for the next pregnancy. If you miscarried in the past and your period didn't return to normal you can also do a 30-day cleanse. Stop when the period comes and then resume afterwards. The period naturally helps to aid in this process. Who should steam?
Women! All women! (over the age of 13, that is…)
Who should NOT steam?
There are certain times when it’s not a good idea to steam. The big one for most of my clients is you don’t want to steam after insemination while you’re trying to conceive and you don’t want to steam during pregnancy. So in general, if you’re trying to conceive don’t steam after ovulation. You can do it after your period during your follicular phase before ovulate. You also don’t want to steam when there’s fresh blood, so don’t steam on your period. Avoid steaming if you’re in the middle of an infection, the heat can exacerbate things. And avoid steaming if you’re prone to spontaneous bleeding at all. You’ll know if that’s you. Do not steam if…
After ovulation when trying to conceive (Two week wait)
Any time there is fresh, red blood
Risk of spontaneous bleeding
You are under the age of 13 and have not gotten your first period
Have had your tubes tied
Use certain types of birth control that function by forming thick uterine lining
Is vaginal steaming safe?
Yes, vaginal steaming is as safe as going to the sauna and steaming your whole body. Obviously please use your best judgement and be cautious when around hot liquids. The few bad experiences people have had with steaming involve sitting too close to the water and burning themselves or steaming for way too long. How often should you steam?
For most people steaming 4-6 times per month is plenty. It is not recommended to steam more frequently. Unless after miscarriage the protocol differs.
How long should you steam?
10 minutes is a great starting point when first beginning your vaginal steam practice. Certain people should not steam any longer than 10 minutes, and others will benefit from including an electric burner in their set up so that they can steam up to 30 minutes. It is best to start with 10 minutes and then consult a vaginal steam facilitator if you wish to incorporate herbs or a longer steam to make sure it is appropriate based on your current signs and symptoms.
Are there any side effects of Steaming?
Yes, there can be some side effects that you should be aware of:
- You may feel the urge to use the bathroom.
- Your symptoms may increase at your next period. This is usually a good thing. Don’t let these side effects deter you. They are all signs that your body is cleansing itself. The first period after steaming may be more intense. Usually the second period is better and they continue getting better from then on.
- If you tend to have clots during your period, you may see a lot of clots come out after steaming. This is a sign that your body is releasing old residue.
- If you tend to see brown or black blood before or after your period, you may see more during your next period after steaming. This is also a sign that your body is releasing old residue.
- If you often have painful cramping, this is the same mechanism as during labor. The uterine muscles are contracting to push something out. Cramping could be more intense the period after steaming as your body works to release anything that has built up inside your uterus.
- If you tend to have infections, you may feel some itchiness as the bacteria is carried out with your cervical fluid.
- If you have past trauma, sexual or otherwise, you may experience an emotional release during steaming.
- If your cycle was very long or very short, it may be a different length next cycle. It should be coming closer to a 28-30 day cycle. If it is getting shorter or longer, be sure you’re using the right herbs for your situation.
- All of things are actually good signs that your body is releasing what it no longer needs.
As always, consult your doctor if you are worried. And be sure any herbs you’ve used are appropriate for your condition and you are not allergic to them.
There are so many wonderful benefits of vaginal steaming not only for miscarriage or painful periods. Maintenance steaming can be enjoyed if you are suitable for the treatment. Always consult a healthcare professional before vaginal steaming. Book a free 15 minute consult with me at https://theacupunctureroom.janeapp.com to see if this treatment would be beneficial for your situation.
Kelsey Bru is a licensed acupuncturist and TCM Herbalist with her doctor in Traditional Chinese Medicine in Comox Valley, British Columbia specializing in fertility. She loves sharing her passion for natural approaches to women’s health through her online articles and at her clinic, The Acupuncture Room, on Cliffe Avenue, in Courtenay. Call for an appointment at 250-800-7738.