Everything you need to know about Vaginal Steaming at home
What is Vaginal Steaming?
Vaginal steaming, Yoni steaming, steam baths, vsteam, are all different names for the same practice. Yoni means vagina in sanskrit.
Vaginal steaming is a women’s health practice of sitting above a pot of hot water with your lady bits exposed and allowing the steam to rise.
The best way to explain why vaginal steaming is beneficial for uterine health is to talk about the other ways we use steam for health.
Steam is used to clear your sinuses when you’re sick.
You stand over a pot of boiling water and breathe in the steam. The hot water in the air loosens the mucus that builds up when you have a cold so that it’s easier to get rid of the gunk and you’re not so congested. The steam also increases circulation in your sinuses so you get fresh blood flow.
Steam is used in spa facials to open pores.
When you go to a spa they put damp, hot towels on your face so the steam can open your pores and you can get a deeper clean.
Steam is used in saunas to promote sweating and aid detoxification.
We go to the sauna to steam our whole body. Sweating helps with detox since your skin is your largest detox organ. Detoxifying helps the body release the things it no longer needs.
The benefits of vaginal steaming are the same. Steam helps to release old residue, to clear away built up mucus, to increase circulation. The uterus is a self cleaning organ, but like all of our organs these days it’s needs support too.
Vaginal steaming is a very gentle practice. The steam is warm, but not scalding. Steam can penetrate easily into your skin and tissues, helping to release any old residue and increase circulation to your reproductive organs.
What are the benefits of vaginal steaming?
The immediate benefits are calm and relaxation. Steaming is very pleasant and will quickly become one of your favorite self care routines.
The long term benefits of vaginal steaming include:
Less painful periods, reduced cramping
Regular periods. Long cycles shorten, short cycles lengthen
Potential decrease in fibroids and cysts
Reduction in black or brown bleeding
Potential increased fertility
Faster postpartum recovery
Return of missing periods
Reduction in large clots during menses
Manage herpes outbreaks
Increased natural lubrication
Why haven’t I heard of Yoni Steaming before?
There are dozens of countries that currently practice vaginal steaming regularly for reproductive care. It’s just a new concept in the states.
In fact, vaginal steaming is practiced on every continent and is referenced in literature going back thousands of years. This is one of the ways women cared for themselves, and protected their fertility, before modern medicine was available.
The way we deal with women health issues right now is with the birth control pill or surgery. Those are the two main routes offered when your hormones or fertility are out of whack. The birth control pill has been around since 1960s. And modern gynecology with hysterectomies, only started in the late 1800s.
So what did women do before that? They used techniques like vaginal steaming regularly to keep themselves healthy and protect their fertility. Our society doesn’t teach us how to care for fertility, it only teaches how to prevent pregnancy.
Vaginal steaming is one of the traditions that was lost when we stopped looking at health holistically, from preventative standpoint, and started using drugs and surgery to solve our problems.
Vaginal steaming may be a new concept to you and I encourage you to give it a try! It’s like taking your lady bits to the spa.
Does vaginal steaming help specific conditions?
There are some signs that indicate you may get some extra benefit from steaming.
Brown or black blood any time during your cycle
Long periods, more than 7 days
Long cycles, over 36 days
Short cycles, less than 26 days
Yellow or green discharge
Past sexual trauma
Disclaimer, I’m not a doctor, I cannot diagnose you or treat medical conditions, its always a good idea to talk with your doctor about any of these issues.
If you want to try steaming to support your body while managing any of these conditions, we can do a consult where we can go over your current issues and you’ll get a protocol of exactly when to steam, for how long, and which herbs are recommended.
I definitely recommend doing a steam consult if you do have a specific reason you want to steam to make sure you’re doing things properly for your issue.
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.
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 Yoni 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.
I recommend steaming regularly for about 3 months to really see how it will help you. These side effects generally don’t last long and you’ll get tons of benefits if you persevere.
Can vaginal steaming improve fertility?
Yes, there is every reason to believe that vaginal steaming can support, if not improve, your fertility.
Release Build up from Estrogen Dominance
Lets look at PCOS for an example. PCOS is characterized by high testosterone and irregular cycles. I’ve done videos before on why you must get to the root cause of your PCOS and that holds true. Steaming is not going to solve hour insulin resistance. What it will do is improve the health of your uterus and help you release old reside.
When you have very long cycles, especially cycles where you don’t ovulate, it’s common to have estrogen dominance. This means your estrogen and progesterone are not balanced, there’s too much estrogen compared to progesterone. Estrogen is a growth hormone.
During your cycle one of the main functions of estrogen is to grow your uterine lining so that an egg can implant. If you have a lot of unopposed estrogen, your lining can really build up, especially those of you who only get a period once every four or five months. I’ve spoken to many women who didn’t get their period for six months and when it finally came, they felt like they were bleeding for weeks on end. This is because there was so much tissue built up during those six months. So steaming can help your body to release any extra build up, so that you’re fully starting fresh every month.
Healthy Uterine Lining
Steaming also helps build a stronger uterine lining for the egg to implant inside. The reason we even have a period at all is because the uterine lining needs to be fresh in order to nourish a healthy embryo. Steaming helps to remove any old residue that wasn’t properly flushed out during the last cycle. This allows a new lining to grow, improving your chances of supporting a fertilized egg.
In Chinese medicine, one of the biggest causes of infertility is a “cold womb” due to poor circulation. If the uterus isn’t getting enough blood flow it won’t be able to fully release old growth, or build new growth. If the ovaries aren’t getting enough blood flow, they won’t be able to produce healthy hormones or support maturing eggs.
Vaginal steaming is an amazing practice for increasing circulation. Heat itself increases circulation. Steaming allows the warm water to penetrate deeper into the uterus and fallopian tubes to increase circulation throughout all of your reproductive organs. Making this a regular practice is an amazing way to care for your fertility, even if you aren’t yet trying to conceive.
Steaming is a really easy, enjoyable practice that you can do comfortably at home. And if you’re working on improving your fertility, if you have PCOS, fibroids, really short or long periods, we can do a consult and I’ll help you set up a steaming protocol that will address your issues so you can steam confidently.