Gwyneth Paltrow has once again found herself at the centre of a gynaecologists’ fury after her lifestyle website Goop advocated women putting stone eggs in their vagina.
Goop, which Paltrow launched in 2008, has been the source of both bemusement and fascination ever since. From its step-by-step guide of how to yawn properly to its recommendation for a $15,000 gold-plated sex toy all in the name of health and wellness, it really does get people talking.
The latest offering came in the form of an article titled: “Better Sex: Jade Eggs for Your Yoni” and discussed ‘jade eggs’ - stone eggs made from rose quartz or jade. Why? Because apparently “fans say regular use increases chi, orgasms, vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance and feminine energy in general”. The website interviewed Shiva Rose, an actress and beauty guru, who claims to have been using the eggs for seven years and says she has since noticed a more regular cycle, positives in her sex life and sometimes feeling “people are more attracted to you when you’re carrying a jade egg”.
However, the suggestion has already been condemned by one gynaecologist who lambasted the advice in an open letter addressed directly to Paltrow.
Dr Jen Gunter, a California-based gynaecologist and obstetrician, began by criticising the fact that the practice is a heralded as way of keeping your male partner happy given that apparently “queens and concubines used them to stay in shape for emperors” and then ridiculed the idea the eggs can help re-balance hormones.
“The claim that they can balance hormones is, quite simply, biologically impossible,” she furiously wrote. “Pelvic floor exercises can help with incontinence and even give stronger orgasms for some women, but they cannot change hormones. As for female energy? I’m a gynaecologist and I don’t know what that is?!”
She then issued a health warning claiming that as jade is porous it could pave the way for a bacterial infection.
She also criticised the suggestion from Rose on Goop’s website that you can sleep with the egg inside or that you could walk around with it in.
“I would like to point out that your pelvic floor muscles are not meant to contract continuously,” she wrote “[…] Overenthusiastic Kegel exercises or incorrectly done Kegel exercises are a cause of pelvic pain and pain with sex in my practice. Imagine how your biceps muscle (and then your shoulders and back) might feel if you walked around all day flexed holding a barbell? Right, now imagine your pelvic floor muscles doing this.”
The doctor labelled the advice “the biggest load of garbage I have read on your site since vaginal steaming”. In 2015, Dr Gunter was an outspoken critic of another Goop article which suggested readers head to a Santa Monica spa for a Mugworth V-Steam: “You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus et al. It is an energetic release – not just a steam douche – that balances female hormone levels”.
In response, Dr Gunter said: “Steam is probably not good for the vagina. Herbal steam is no better and quite possibly worse”. Paltrow later unashamedly defended the advice insisting it has “real healing qualities”.
On their website, Goop post a disclaimer underneath articles written by experts reminding readers the point of such articles is to “highlight alternative studies and induce conversation” and to state that it is not necessarily representative of the views of Goop or Paltrow.
“This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice,” it says.
Representatives for Paltrow did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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