All About Vaginal/Pelvic Steaming
Check out these TOP reported benefits…
• Pain Free and HEALTHY Menstrual Cycles
• Relaxation and Deep Sleep
• Relief in Vaginal Dryness and Increased Vaginal Nectar
• Womb Awareness and Abdominal Tension Release
• Relief of Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, Menopausal Symptoms
• Improvement with Incontinence
• Heightened Libido and Sexual Sensation
• Infection Releasing, Relief and Clearing of BV and Yeast Infections
• Cyst Release and Fibroid Management
• Pain Reduction and Relief in Reproductive Disorders (such as Endometriosis or PCOS)
• Heightened Fertility
• Clearing of Lochia and Improved Healing After Giving Birth
• Relief in Prolapses, Hemorrhoids, Skin Tears/Tags
• Overall Circulation Improvement
• Decreased PMS Symptoms
• Water Retention Disbursement/Less Bloating
• Emotional Balance
• Skin Beautification Tightened and Lifted Vaginal Canal
• Scar Softening
• Helps Prevention and Treatment of Ingrown Hairs
Exposure to heat from steam causes vasodilation which increases circulation to the exposed area, as well as the uterine blood vessels that connect to the vaginal canal, cervix and uterus. As with any organ, increasing circulation helps to improve the overall function and vitality so that it can perform its functions more optimally.
Following regular steam sessions, users commonly report an increase in the removal of old residue in their menstrual flow. It is not uncommon for users to report the expulsion of black, sticky, tar-like menses, large clots, tissue masses, dried blood chips and scar tissue from previous uterine surgeries or trauma. Once the old residue clears, however, steam user periods are often characterized with fresh, red, oxygenated blood from start to finish.
Steaming appears to clear out irregular discharge that is described as thick, yellow, green, or malodorous. Discharge of this nature fosters a hospitable breeding ground for bacteria, yeast and viruses. By draining irregular discharge the vagina is better able to maintain a suitable pH and healthy flora. It is possible that the increase in temperature caused by steaming may kill heat-sensitive viruses such as HPV upon contact.
Steaming helps both external and internal tissue cells to be deeply cleansed and drained, resulting in the reduction or elimination of swollen or inflamed bumps, ingrown hairs, clogged ducts and related issues.
Vaginal Steam directly reaches the external perineum, vaginal canal, the bottom of the cervix, and possibly the uterus cavity. This quality makes steaming a useful tool for gently reaching delicate and sensitive areas without the use of manual tools, instruments, hands, surgery or invasive force.
Vaginal Steam stimulates a meridian point named conception vessel 1 that is located where three of the most powerful yin channels converge on the body — the conception, governing and penetrating channels. These three channels are responsible for all of the qi flow through the upper and lower parts of the body and all of the extremities.
Vaginal steam may be a method of herb administration because of how permeable the vaginal mucus membrane is and how vaginal blood vessels connect to the body’s circulatory system. If herbs are indeed absorbed during a steam session, this may help to target specific health imbalances through administering herbs with specified properties. For example, instead of oral antibiotics to treat infections connected to the reproductive organs and adjacent anatomy, one might be able to observe comparable success with anti-bacterial herbs administered via vaginal steaming.
In contrast to how people feel about most treatments from the gynecologist, steam users describe vaginal steaming as soothing, relaxing, and enjoyable. Such feelings increase the likelihood of benefiting from vaginal steam therapy.
When Vaginal Steaming Doesn’t Work
Vaginal steaming may seem ineffective in some cases due to a misunderstanding of how to interpret efficacy. Some users initially experience an increase in irregular discharge, clotting, cramping, brown or black menses, or vaginal irritation and attribute steaming as the cause of these ‘problems’.
It is critical to understand that steam itself loosens and liquefies old residue and then the menstrual period allows it to fully flow out.
One must understand that steam cannot introduce matter, such as clots or mucus, into the vaginal canal.
Since steam helps to expel, dislodge, and clear out matter, however, vaginal steaming may result in a more intense post-steam period as built up stagnation drains and as the uterus contracts (cramps) to expel it. For this reason, understanding proper period care (how to care for the womb during the period in order to assist and not hinder the cleanse) is vital. It goes hand in hand with introducing a steam practice into someone’s routine.
Vaginal Steaming For Menstrual Irregularities
Vaginal steam users report improvements with menstrual irregularities such as absent periods, long menstrual cycles, short menstrual cycles, heavy bleeding, light bleeding and clots. They have also reported that steam is useful for managing negative menstrual cycle side effects such as cramps, pain, headaches and back pain. It is recommended to try steaming on a weekly basis and before and after the period to see if that improves the irregularity or side effect. It is also advised to get a custom steam plan and a menstrual cycle analysis to determine the underlying imbalances that are potentially causing the problem and create a tailored steam plan for underlying imbalances.
Steaming For Youth
On average, menarche (the first period) occurs around the age of 13, though it may occur earlier or later. It is recommended that a child start steaming at the age of 12 in order to encourage a healthy first period.
Once the first period occurs, steaming should be done the day after the period ends as a regular monthly practice.
They can also add weekly steam sessions to encourage cycle regularity and improved period health.
Steaming For Fertility
Steaming is recommended prior to conception regularly for one year, in order to ensure that the womb is healthy and ready to conceive.
Optimal conception readiness occurs when someone has a menstrual cycle that is 28-30 days in length, a healthy four-day period that begins and ends with fresh red blood flow and has no signs of old menses.
Most people will be ready for conception with one year of weekly vaginal steam sessions.
Vaginal steaming can be used in tandem with fertility assistance as suggested by Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Laurena White of The Eudaimonia Center.
Steaming For Labor
Although steaming is contraindicated during pregnancy, it can be used once the mother is full term for labor preparation and active labor support.
Case studies show that steaming may be useful to encourage labor starting naturally, shorten labor time and prevent birth injuries. If possible, every birth-giver or their birth-worker team should have vaginal steam supplies in the home and designated birthing space.
A vaginal steam sauna and steaming herbs are a great gift for every mom/parent-to-be.
Steaming For Postpartum
The most common and universal use of vaginal steaming around the world is for postpartum recovery.
A trial study called the Fourth Trimester Vaginal Steam Study found that postpartum steaming was useful for returning the vulva to it’s pre- pregnancy state more quickly; expelling lochia (postpartum discharge) in a shorter period of time; reducing the strength and occurrence of postpartum contractions; lowering blood pressure and pulse; helping the uterus shrink below the pelvic bone more quickly; accelerating waist girth and weight reduction; alleviating suture discomfort such as itchiness, tightness, pulling or tenderness; improving bowel regularity; and reducing postpartum hemorrhoids.
Though it’s best to start as soon as possible (as early as the day of birth), it must first be confirmed that the uterine blood vessels are closed and it is safe to initiate steaming.
Link for the study:
Insemination Prevention (Plan B):
Specific herbs and steaming protocol are available
Steaming For Pregnancy Loss
Vaginal Steaming can be used during and after pregnancy loss. Vaginal steam users have found that it is useful for clearing out retained pregnancy matter, returning post pregnancy loss missing cycles, encouraging a healthy period upon menstruation return, initiating contractions for missed miscarriages and recovering from fallopian tube removal.
Steaming For Stages of Menopause
Vaginal steaming may be used when approaching menopause to make sure that when the period comes to a complete stop, there isn’t any old residue left in the womb.
Weekly steaming during pre-menopausal years is also recommended to help relieve symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and night sweats.
Vaginal steaming may be used after menopause. Steam users report relief of vaginal dryness, vaginal atrophy, phantom period symptoms, low libido and poor sleep.
Postmenopausal steam users can also use steaming if they have infections, fibroids and cysts.
Steaming For Infections
Vaginal steaming can be used while experiencing viral, yeast and bacterial infections.
Vaginal steaming helps to clear out irregular vaginal discharge which appears to relieve and reduce infection symptoms. Steam users report that it has helped with yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, cervical dysplasia and HPV. In China and Korea, steaming has also been used to address uterine cancer.
Steaming for vaginal infections requires special training and should be done after consultation or intake form. The practitioner will first determine the nature of the infection, if and when steaming can be used, the appropriate herbs and setup, as well as additional factors that may trigger the infection in order to help with prevention.
Steaming For Ovulation Pain
Vaginal steaming can be used for ovulation pain and cramping. It can be used before ovulation to attempt to prevent the problem as well as during the pain for alleviation. If there are any signs of old residue in the womb during the period, it should be resolved to see if it can prevent further occurrence of the problem.
Steaming For Reproductive Disorders
Vaginal steaming may be used when uterine disorders present themselves. Vaginal steam users have reported improvement with fibroids, endometriosis, PCOS, ovarian cysts, Bartholin’s cysts, cervical cysts, paraurethral cysts, polyps, scarring, Premenstrual Syndrome and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
Steaming for womb dysfunctions requires special training and should not be done without a certified practitioner.
Steaming For Trauma
Steaming can be done anytime someone experiences sexual trauma that may have been painful or triggering or difficult to process. This is true for experiences where there was consent and someone is with a trusted partner as well as if there was a rape or other type of violation.
Vaginal steaming can be used to clear out other person’s semen and/or scent, disinfect wounds, possibly prevent pregnancy. Additionally, it serves as a soothing experience that may help to aid with relaxation when struggling with disturbed sleep.
Lastly, vaginal steaming may help with the return of menstrual regularity and health which would be useful in hormonal balance — likely, a key factor in trauma recovery.
Steaming For Painful Sex
Vaginal steaming can and should be used when experiencing pain during sex. In many cases, steam users have reported immediate relief. If focused on using steam to help with sexual pain, try steaming directly prior to sex with a home setup.
Steaming For Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Vaginal steaming can be used when pelvic organ prolapse of the uterus, colon or bladder occurs.
In many cases, vaginal steam users have reported prolapse improvement with steaming, especially if done immediately postpartum.
In other situations where the prolapse has a longer history, vaginal steam users have used steaming coupled with pelvic floor exercises to see improvement.
Steaming For Rectal and Fistula Issues
Vaginal steaming can and should be used for certain rectal issues. When steaming to target this area, the user must elevate their feet or tilt their body to allow steam target the rectum.
Steam users have reported improvement with hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, anal fissures and anal fistula. There have been several cases where people were able to avoid surgery for these issues. In Korea, rectum steaming is also used for colon cancer.
Vaginal steaming can be helpful when there is a fistula (hole) in the rectum, vagina or bladder. Steaming appears to help clean the fecal matter or urine at the fistula site and disinfect the abrasion to allow the hole to repair itself.
Steaming For Pelvic Exams
Vaginal steaming can be done immediately before pelvic exams to help with skin elasticity and possibly reduce the occurrence of abrasion or pain.
Vaginal steaming may also be done as soon as possible after pelvic exams to disinfect tears, clear out lubricant, and prevent any chance of cross contamination from medical tools or hands.
Steaming To Avoid Surgery or Post Surgery
In some cases, vaginal steam users have been able to successfully use vaginal steaming as an alternative to surgery.
If your health provider is recommending an elective, non-emergency hysterectomy, myomectomy, uterine artery embolization, exploratory laparoscopy or pelvic floor reconstructive surgery then you can schedule a consult to outline a 3-12 month steam plan to see if the problem can be naturally resolved before making the decision to schedule a life-altering surgery.
If an elective surgery has already been scheduled, please remember that you can cancel or postpone your surgery at any time. An elective surgery is your choice.
Vaginal steaming can be used following a recent or previous surgical procedure, as long as any incisions have been completely healed prior. Vaginal steam users have reported a variety of post-surgical steaming benefits including relief from scar tissue discomfort, diminished sensation, vaginal dryness, irregular discharge and pain during intercourse.
Steaming For Men
Pelvic steaming can and should be used for male health issues. In Asia, the practice is as widely used for male reproductive issues as it is for female reproductive issues.
Male steaming may be used for erectile dysfunction, prostate health, reduction of an enlarged prostate, any penile or scrotal diseases, any rectal issues, colon cancer, hemorrhoids.
READY TO GET THE STEAMY GOODNESS STARTED?
HERE’S HOW IN 3 EASY STEPS…
Book a Vibe with Your Vulva Consultation or Wholesome Personalized Steaming Service
(If you’re already a steaming pro or using the practice for maintenance can skip to the next step!)
Purchase Your Custom Steam Blend
It is common to add herbs to a vaginal steam session. By design all herbal formulas are likely to increase circulation and decrease old residue because of the steam itself. In addition to the steam, steamers will want to use an herbal formula with properties that match their cycle and or body signs, rather than use a one-size-fits-all approach.
All the herbal blends are formulated by Ashley, a Certified Vaginal Steam/Peristeam Practitioner and Vitalist Herbalist. Our custom herbal formulas are defined by the Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute and use a base formula to bring out dominant herb properties.
Reported Benefits of Steaming Postpartum
- Clears Lochia
- Tightens the vaginal opening and canal
- Helps to lift the uterus and facilitates proper repositioning of neighboring organ
- Reduces skin swelling
- Helps with postpartum hemorrhoids
- Disperses water dampness
- Addresses past gynecological problems
- Releases oxytocin: helping milk production, mood, and stimulation of cervix and uterus.
In 2019, a small group of researchers from the Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute crowd-funded a trial study called the “Fourth Trimester Vaginal Steam Study”. For centuries, women across the globe have used vaginal steaming to assist with postpartum recovery. This practice is experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the US but obstetricians and gynecologists remain largely unfamiliar with the practice and are unequipped to provide informed advice to their patients on its safety and efficacy. For this reason, clinical studies on vaginal steaming are in high demand.
The following study was designed to provide a foundational exploration of the impact of vaginal steaming on postpartum recovery.
This initial study found that postpartum steaming was useful for more speedily returning the vulva back to it’s pre-pregnancy state; expelling lochia (postpartum discharge) more quickly; reducing the strength and occurrence of postpartum contractions; lowering blood pressure and pulse; helping the uterus to shrink back down below the pelvic bone in a shorter amount of time; accelerating waist and weight reduction; alleviating suture discomfort such as itchiness, tightness, pulling or tenderness; improving bowel regularity; and lowering the instance of postpartum hemorrhoids
When choosing your set up remember to do what is comfortable for YOUR body.
-Book a Vibe with Your Vulva Consultation or Check-In if unsure of setup or wanting to be screened for sensitivities
-Use the restroom prior to your session
-Test the temperature of your steam with your forearm prior to steam exposure
-Keep in mind to prevent feeling overheated, if feeling too warm remove the wrap or skirt. If necessary, take a break from the steam all together.
-Drink plenty of water before, during, and after session.
Basic Steam Setup
- Pot (lid recommenced to help retain steam)
- Wholesome Custom Herb Blend
- Blanket/Long skirt to create “tent” around the pot
In a basic steam set up you’re going to boil some water then remove from heat. The pot of water is is placed on the ground (be careful of hot metal pots on wood floors), wrap your towel around the pot to protect your legs from the heat, and kneel with your knees on either side of the pot. You can support yourself by either resting arms on a spare chair or the end of a bed. Use a blanket to wrap around your bottom half or wearing of long skirt allows to create a “tent” around the pot trapping the steam inside. This set up works well if you want to try steaming before investing in a steam stool, wanting to save space, need a quick set up (mom life), or traveling. The benefits of this set up are that it’s easy and you don’t need any special equipment. The downside is that kneeling for extended times isn’t always necessarily the most comfortable which is why eventually you may want to invest in a steam stool.
Advanced Steam Setup
- Steam sauna/stool, or chair with a hole cut in the center
- Electric burner
- Pot (lid recommended to help retain steam)
- Wholesome Custom Herb Blend
- Blanket/long skirt to create “tent” around the pot to help keep warm
The advanced set-up does use a steam sauna or stool. You can find them on Etsy by typing in Steam Sauna, v-steam sauna or stool, yoni steam stool. Or you can create your own! It’s advised to pick out a steam stool that works well for your space. If you want to put it away when not in use, pick a stool with detachable legs. Always make sure the stool is rated at the correct weight limit for your needs.
An electric burner like this one will keep the heat going longer, so you can steam up to 45 minutes. It is recommended to be screened for sensitivities prior to longer sessions.
Directions for preparing water and herbs are the same as basic setup.
Ambiance IS important!
Steaming is very relaxing.
Enjoy and embody it. It is recommended that instead of using your 10-30 minute steam session as another chance to multitask, let yourself fully relax and enjoy the experience. (Though easier said than done sometimes, and that’s ok too!) Steaming is a great time to journal, read, listen to music, draw/paint, meditate or just do whatever relaxes you.
Let this be YOUR time.
You don’t need to do anything perfectly, just let the stress melt away with the steam!