Sure, I’m not a full-fledged hippie, but the longer I live in LA the more off-beat habits I pick up. Case in point: My recent obsession with crystals.
They’re aesthetically pleasing and look good on my nightstand. But lately, I’ve taken to holding them in my pocket or keeping them tucked in my bag for a little extra magic or luck, or something. And during the last full moon, I strategically set my crystals on the windowsill in my bedroom because I read that was the best way to “cleanse” them. Yes, it’s mildly embarrassing and no, I’m not joking—I actually let my crystals bathe in the light of a full moon in an attempt to increase their power.
The pragmatic side of me shakes her head cynically at the idea that rocks have energetic properties … But I’m still all about those pretty crystal-infused water bottles and crystal-supported fitness classes; perhaps there’s even some merit to healing crystal massages. Who am I to say those practices don’t actually work? But everyone has a threshold, a breaking point where they look around in disbelief and say, “You’ve gotta be kidding me?!”—and for me, it’s the idea of sticking a crystal in my vagina.
The skinny on jade eggs and vagina crystals
It sounds kind of painful, sticking jagged rocks up your hoo-ha. Thankfully, that’s not exactly what crystal vagina therapy (I guess we can call it that?) entails. Fans of the practice, like goop founder and CCO Gwyneth Paltrow, recommend using a polished jade or crystal egg to “cultivate sexual energy, increase orgasm, balance the cycle, stimulate key reflexology around vaginal walls, tighten and tone, prevent uterine prolapse, increase control of the whole perineum and bladder, develop and clear chi pathways in the body, intensify feminine energy, and invigorate our life force.”
Depending on which kind of crystal egg used, you’ll see different results. Chakrubs, a website that sells crystal-based sex toys, claims that the black obsidian egg “shields against negativity, transmutes negative energy, increases self-control, connects mind and emotions, [and] aids in manifestation,” while a rose quartz egg “encourages unconditional love, compassion, peace, tenderness, and emotional wellness and healing.”
So you stick a shiny egg-shaped crystal up there, and it cleanses the bad juju from your lady bits? Maybe I’m a being unnecessarily pessimistic, but I have a hard time getting behind that idea. I’m less sceptical, though, about the idea of using a jade egg to strengthen Kegel muscles and the pelvic floor. But is that a legit theory?
Why you need to strengthen your pelvic floor
For women, the pelvic floor is an incredibly important group of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that support the bladder, rectum, and reproductive organs. It’s situated between the pubic bone and the sacrum, and is necessary for bladder control, achieving orgasm, and giving birth.
Unfortunately, it’s usually a muscle group that even the fittest women overlook. And yes, Kegel exercises are a pretty good way to keep your pelvic floor healthy, but often times they’re performed improperly or not often enough to be effective. Props like Ben Wa balls, which are metal balls that can be inserted in the vagina and held in place by activating the pelvic floor muscles, are a great way to properly activate and exercise the right muscles. So it could be assumed that the jade egg would do kind of the same thing, right?
A gynaecologist weighs in
I wanted to consult with my personal gynaecologist on the whole vagina crystal thing (GP mentions that if you have an IUD or any other medical condition, you should check with your doctor before you throw down $65 for a jade egg), and ask her what she thought about all of it. Honestly, she was having none of it and dismissed the idea out of hand … and then pretty much hung up on me. I guess she was busy? Or perhaps annoyed that I’d even wasted her time with such a dumb question.
Gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter published a blog post firmly dissuading readers from using the egg, noting:
JADE IS POROUS WHICH COULD ALLOW BACTERIA TO GET INSIDE AND SO THE EGG COULD ACT LIKE A FOMITE. THIS IS NOT GOOD, IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING. IT COULD BE A RISK FACTOR FOR BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS OR EVEN THE POTENTIALLY DEADLY TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME.
REGARDING THE SUGGESTION TO WEAR THE JADE EGG WHILE WALKING AROUND, WELL, I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES ARE NOT MEANT TO CONTRACT CONTINUOUSLY. IN FACT, IT IS QUITE DIFFICULT TO ISOLATE YOUR PELVIC FLOOR WHILE WALKING SO MANY WOMEN COULD ACTUALLY CLENCH OTHER MUSCLES TO KEEP THE EGG INSIDE. IT IS POSSIBLE THE PAINED EXPRESSION OF CLENCHING YOUR BUTT ALL DAY COULD BE WHAT IS LEADING PEOPLE TO STARE, NOT SOME ENERGY GLOW.
Pretty clear, right? At the end of the day, it doesn’t sound like using a jade egg is particularly safe … or any more effective than tried-and-true methods like Ben Wa balls or good ol’ Kegel exercises.