Your vagina is your friend most of the time, you know, except for when she lets Aunt Flo pass through and come to town.
You need to take care of it, and while it’s true there are some things that can go inside it (penises, sanitary products, properly cleaned sex toys and so on), there are many other things that you should never, ever, ever stick in your hoo-haa.
Aside from the fact that you don’t want to end up in hospital with an embarrassing tale to tell, some of these things can cause you other health concerns.
1. Fruits and vegetables
I have heard a story that might just be an urban legend, but a friend of mine who has worked in an emergency department swears is true: one time, a woman presented with an entire butternut pumpkin up her vajayjay and it was so firmly wedged, she needed surgery to remove it. And then a bit of reconstruction afterwards.
Aside from the fact that I don’t understand why anyone would look at a butternut pumpkin and think, “Oh yeah, I want that in my vag,” sticking produce in there is bad for other reasons than getting stuck.
Items like carrots, cucumbers and bananas that you sometimes hear people have used for “fun” might contain insects, soil and bacteria if they haven’t been thoroughly washed. Just because it’s sort of penis-shaped doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to put it inside you.
No matter what Gwyneth Paltrow tells you, steaming your vagina is really not the greatest idea. The procedure is offered at fancy spas where you sit, sans underwear, on a special chair that sends herb-infused steam up inside of you, supposedly to balance your hormones out. Doctors advise against doing this because you can actually burn your insides with the steam and the herbs can cause irritation.
Lots of women think they need to douche to get rid of their natural vaginal smell, but doing so does more harm than good. It can reduce the natural bacteria in your vagina, irritate the mucous lining and introduce foreign bacteria.
If that’s not enough to deter you, douching has been linked scientifically to pelvic inflammatory disease, reduced fertility, bacterial vaginitis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, cervical cancer, and ectopic pregnancy.
4. Tea tree oil
I don’t know why anyone would want this inside their vagina because I am certain it would sting, but supposedly, some women have been known to put it up there.
Just because it is an oil, doesn’t make it suitable as a lubricant. In fact, it is caustic and can cause burns to your vagina.
Household grade oils that you can probably get away with are things like coconut oil, olive oil and almond oil because they are pH neutral.
5. Toppings that belong on an ice cream sundae
If you’re thinking of spicing things up in the boudoir with whipped cream or chocolate syrup, maybe think again. Anything sugary like that will not only mess with your pH levels, you’re asking for a yeast infection if it gets in your vag.
6. Anything that has been inside your butt or someone else’s butt and hasn’t been cleaned
If you put a penis or a sex toy or another object inside your vagina that has been used for anal shenanigans, you’re likely to spread bacteria into your vaginal cavity that really, really doesn’t belong there and you can end up with serious side effects.
7. Vodka tampons
Supposedly, this is “a thing”. Some women soak tampons in vodka before inserting them into their vaginas, allegedly to get a buzz as the alcohol is absorbed into their bloodstreams. Not only is it likely to be painful, you can cause damage to your vaginal walls.
8. Yoghurt tampons
Some people recommend soaking a tampon in yoghurt and inserting it as a natural home remedy to treat thrush. You’re actually just introducing more bacteria up there and making things worse.
9. Sharp objects
Do I really need to explain why? You can cut yourself. Up there.
10. Your mobile phone
Just because it vibrates doesn’t mean it’s an actual vibrator. And did you know that your mobile phone probably has more germs than your toilet seat? Why would you stick that inside your vag?!?
11. Herbal womb detox balls
This bit of quackery, also known as a detox pearl, is a ball of herbs that is wrapped in a piece of gauze that you are supposed to place in your vagina to “detox” your reproductive tract. It’s claimed they can cure “imbalances” ranging from yeast infections through to polycystic ovarian syndrome. There’s actually no science to back up any of these claims and not only are you likely wasting your money buying this stuff, you could be endangering your reproductive health.
You can still put those rhinestones on the outside for decoration, so if you’re into that kind of thing keep on keeping on. But you should never attempt to stick rhinestones on the inside of your vagina. Because of someone, there’s a warning. The tissue on the inside of your vag is sensitive and can have a bad reaction to the glue.
13. Electric toothbrushes
Again, just because it buzzes doesn’t make it a sex toy. You’re also likely to spread bacteria from your mouth right up inside you.
14. Small animals
Those people who like to put gerbils and other critters inside them aren’t just part of urban folklore. They are extremely rare, but they do exist. There’s all sorts of reasons not to do it. For starters, the animal can’t consent. And it has tiny claws and is likely covered in germs. And you might kill it. Leave it the hell alone.