For some inexplicable, unfathomable reason, Gwyneth Paltrow has recently been advising women to put jade eggs in their vaginas to enhance their reproductive health. Not only does this sound entirely ludicrous, gynecologists are saying doing this could lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome or other serious health risks.
Paltrow is not new to doling out health advice that are completely unfounded, and which leave health experts scrambling to correct her misinformation. Since the launch of her lifestyle website called Goop, Paltrow has advised women that the underwire in their bras may cause breast cancer, and that detoxing and colonics should be important health habits.
She has even promoted and endorsed the strange, and potentially quite painful, act of vaginal steaming. Not only have experts debunked any health benefits of the “V-steam,” they say that doing so could cause women serious burns and infections.
Not to be outdone by the preposterousness of vaginal steaming, Paltrow’s most recent health revelation led her to believe that inserting a small egg made of jade can boost a woman’s “yoni.” Supposedly, keeping jade in the vagina can "harness the power of energy work, crystal healing, and a Kegel-like physical practice. Fans say regular use increases chi, orgasms, vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and feminine energy in general," wrote a Goop contributor.
Yes, Paltrow has led fans to believe that holding a golf-ball sized jade egg in their privates is good for them. In fact, the $66 jade egg is currently sold out on their website.
But here are the facts.
"There are no studies or evidence to show that jade eggs help with orgasms, vaginal muscle tone or hormonal balance," said Dr. Leena Nathan, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA Health in Los Angeles.
A stone cannot have any influence on your biological processes, no matter where you put it. "Jade does not result in hormonal changes, even when inserted in the vagina," Nathan said.
As for Kegel-like benefits, Nathans and other gynecologists say it’s not effective and can stress the vaginal muscles. "Holding the jade egg in the vagina does require the same muscle contraction that a woman would perform with a Kegel exercise" in order to keep the egg in place," Nathans said. However, "a woman would need to perform a constant Kegel, which would not be comfortable or advisable," she added.
"Overenthusiastic Kegel exercises or incorrectly done Kegel exercises are a cause of pelvic pain and pain with sex in [women I see in] my practice," wrote Jen Gunter, another OB-GYN, in a scathing blog post addressed to the actress herself.
Aside from no scientifically grounded basis for the health claims, what the egg can do is cause actual and serious harm to women. Because the jade is porous, keeping it inside a woman’s vagina creates a dangerous breeding ground for bacteria. This can "[result] in infections such as bacterial vaginosis, or even toxic shock syndrome if left in for too long," said Gunter.
So, Gwyneth Paltrow, please stop telling women to put jade eggs in their vaginas. In fact, please just stop telling women anything about their health until you’ve earn a medical degree and have at least 5-10 years of experience treating women with science-based medicine. Until then, please just stick to acting and leave the health advice to real, learned doctors.