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Vagina pearls are the latest health craze no one needs

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

Ladies, your vagina does not need a detox!

Ladies, if we love two things it's pearls and vaginas, right? But that doesn't mean we should stick one into the other — especially not if the "pearls" are little balls of dubious herbs.

Herbs are showing up in oils, teas, makeup, food and pills. But one place I bet you never expected to find herbal supplements? Up your lady business. And yet, this is, apparently, a thing people are doing.

Companies are now shilling "vagina pearls," or little herbal sachets, for your babymaker. The idea is that the herbs will soak into your vagina and womb and will naturally "detox" and tighten them. All you have to do, supposedly, is stick several up your vagina and let them marinate there for 72 hours.

Ladies, "I'm a little teapot" was never meant to be an imperative.

First things first: Have they never seen an anatomy chart? Unless you are a sperm, it is really hard to make it past the cervix into the uterus. This isn't to say that some herbal juices couldn't get through the tiny opening (I guess?) but rather that it probably isn't going to work like a tea diffuser.

More: How certain foods can lead to issues down there

But the real issue here is the detox part. Vaginas don't come with an owner's manual but if they did rule number one would be, "Don't clean me, I can clean myself just fine," says Sheryl Ross, M.D., an OB-GYN and women's health specialist. Don't douche, don't spray perfumes up there, she adds, and definitely don't stick foreign objects like herbal packets up there. (Although cleansing the outer parts of your vagina with water and a mild soap is just fine.)

Not only will these "pearls" not help clean up your vag, but they could potentially make things worse by disrupting the delicate balance of bacteria. Moreover, some herbs could have harmful side effects, such as causing blood to thin, cramping or even infertility. And since supplements aren't regulated by the FDA, there's no guarantee as to what you're getting (or not getting) in those cute little gauze packages.

More: Creepy vaginal cream promises tighter vag, better sex

And let's not forget the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, also known as the horror story every woman who's ever read a tampon insert is terrified of. This happens when you leave things in your vagina for too long and it causes an infection. It's painful, gross and also potentially deadly.

So do your Kegels, eat plenty of yogurt, and save the herbs for your tea!

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