Exfoliating is the key to maintaining healthy, glowing skin on your face. But when it comes to your vagina, it’s a very different story. A new product that claims to exfoliate your vagina has gynecologists seriously concerned. Because seriously, your vadge is the one area of your body that never, ever needs to be scraped of dead skin cells.
The Jamu Stick, which comes in at 4 inches long and almost one inch wide, resembles a dildo. Yet it’s actually made of herbs that supposedly “remove dead skin cells” from the vaginal epithelium, aka the inner lining of the vagina. Inserting the stick for one minute every few days is supposed to tighten vaginal muscles, eliminate discharge, improve odor, and boost libido. The product even claims you’ll “return to your former tightness in seconds.” Seconds? Really?
Sold online for $24 to $28, the Jamu Stick is “100% natural” and is “manufactured according to a secret recipe.” (The “secret recipe” is a major red flag. Never put anything in your vagina without knowing exactly what it is.)
Here’s what one ob-gyn had to say about it. “Anytime they use the words ‘natural’ or ‘hebal,’ it makes people think, ‘Oh, this is fine. It’s what was intended for our bodies.’ However, it’s important to note that what was intended for our bodies is for our vagina to be a self-cleaning and rejuvenating space,” Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn at the center for obstetrics and gynecology at Orlando Health in Florida, tells Health. “It takes care of its own epithelium.”
Inserting any kind of cleansing product in your vagina can actually throw off your healthy vaginal pH balance and disrupt the vagina’s natural cleansing process, which could lead to irritation or even infection. Dr. Greves says that if your vagina feels tighter after using the Jamu Stick, it’s probably because of irritation and swelling.
The outrageous claims don’t stop there. A post on the Jamu Stick Facebook page recently sparked major backlash. It said the product can treat the “callus” inside of the vagina. Yep, they really used the word “callus.” (The post has since been deleted, but you can see a screenshot below.)
Social media users had all kinds of responses. “Excuse me? excuse me? excuse me?” one wrote on Twitter.
Another chimed in with, “I thought the Jamu Stick thing had to be a hoax but I googled and you can buy similar products on Amazon and I would like to leave this planet now.”
To set the record straight, there’s absolutely no reason your vagina should ever have calluses. “If you feel a callus in your vagina, the next thing you need to do is talk to your ob-gyn, not buy a product online,” advises Dr. Greves.
The same goes for any of the problems the Jamu Stick claims to treat. If you’re concerned about odor, discharge, muscle tone, or libido, the first thing to do is consult your doctor. She’ll be able to give you a safe solution backed by science. You should also speak with your ob-gyn before buying any kind of vaginal cleansing or rejuvenating products. She can let you know if the product is safe—and if it’s not, she’ll recommend alternative solutions.
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