WITH everyone wanting to get a designer vagina nowadays – women are desperately turning to cheap trends to make their downstairs tighter.
And some are even using cider vinegar, which is used in salad dressings and chutneys, in the hopes that it will tighten up theirs.
Supporters of the method say it will not only make the vagina tighter but also shrinks the vulva – noting that it is something that women have been doing since The Dark Ages.
The revelation that women have been using this strange method was first made on US TV show The Doctors.
Unsurprisingly, however, it's a terrible idea and has prompted experts to warn women not to put vinegar anywhere near their genitals.
Not only will it not make your vagina look any more "designer" but it could actually cause infections, irritation and potential trauma down below.
Anne Henderson, consultant gynaecologist, told The Sun Online: "This new trend to use cider vinegar vaginally is very worrying from a gynaecological point of view.
"It is likely that women are using vinegar due to its acidic and supposedly antimicrobial properties, due to the recent media coverage about the benefits of maintaining a healthy low acidic vaginal pH and preventing infections like thrush and BV.
"Some women are also using cider vinegar to tighten the vagina. Because of the different constituents in cider vinegar, however, including potentially sensitising additives, I would advise all women to avoid this trend like the plague.
"Any tightening effect from cider vinegar is likely to be due to localised irritation and inflammation, and as such will not cause a long lasting benefit and may potentially damage the delicate vaginal skin.
"There are far safer alternatives available and I would instead recommend that women use a combination of pH modulating vaginal gels (e.g. Balance Activ or similar brands) and a high quality probiotic (e.g. OptiBac) as these treatments are scientifically proven and completely safe and which will do a much better job than vinegar."
Pelvic floor exercises DO work
Experts have also advised women to tighten their vaginas through exercises, such as squeezing the pelvic floor muscle and doing ten slow contractions.
Professor Linda Cardozo, spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, added: "It is a myth that cider vinegar will tighten the vagina.
"Putting cider vinegar in your vagina would not only be uncomfortable but it also has the potential to cause damage and disrupt the natural flora of the vagina.
To achieve a tighter vagina, pelvic floor muscles should be strengthened through exercises.
"There are various different ways in which women can carry out pelvic floor exercises but the easiest is to sit or stand comfortably with knees slightly apart and then draw up the pelvic floor muscles as if trying to avoid passing urine or flatus," Prof Cardozo said.
Vinegar has the potential to cause damage and disrupt the natural flora of the vagina.
"It is important not to tighten the stomach, buttock or thigh muscles during the exercises.
"To check that the correct muscles are being exercised, women can place a finger or thumb into the vagina and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles at the same time.
"They should feel a gentle squeeze as the muscles contract.
“Women can build up the strength of their pelvic floor muscles by doing ten slow contractions and holding them for about 10 seconds each.
"The length of time can be increased gradually and the slow contractions can then be followed by a set of quick contractions.
"The whole process should be carried out three or four times a day.
"Women who have concerns about their gynaecological health or have any new or debilitating symptoms, should contact their healthcare professional.”
Say no to ice lollies
It's not the first time women have been warned against putting foreign objects in their vagina.
Earlier this summer, it was revealed that women had been sticking ice lollies inside them in a bid to cool down during the heatwave.
However, it prompted consultant gynaecologist Dr Anne Henderson to warn that putting anything with food colouring, dye or high levels of sugar in the vagina would have a negative impact on vaginal PH and lactobacillus – which could increase the risk of vaginal infection such as thrush and bacterial vaginosis.
Similarly, Dr Sarah Welsh, co-founder of condom brand HANX, said: "There are many things that should never go near a vagina, and ice lollies are up there.
"The ice can stick to the delicate skin of the vagina and cause real trauma and damage.
"What’s more, putting any foodstuff inside your vagina can introduce microbes, disrupting its normal balance and allowing an environment for bacteria to grow and infections to develop."
Other foods to avoid
Some women have been sticking garlic cloves inside their vaginas in the hopes it would help to treat thrush.
According to an old wives' tale, putting a clove in there for three days can clear things up.
However, gynaecologist Dr Jennifer Gunter quickly revealed that the vagina is the "perfect" environment for botulism bacteria to grow, which is an incredibly serious condition which can leave people paralysed and at worst, is fatal.
She also said that garlic is known to leave biofilms (collections of microorganisms) on braces – so it's possible that it'd leave the same in your vagina.
Bloggers, vloggers and a number of alternative health therapists have encouraged women to "cleanse" their vaginas with cucumber – but ONLY after peeling it (a thinly veiled attempt at safety advice, perhaps).
They claimed that it can "help sanitise and maintain a pleasant odour", as well as potentially warding off STIs.
Dr Gunter warned that "if you have a vagina you should definitely not do this".
She said attempts at cleaning your vagina in this way can actually cause more harm than good.
She said: "This idea that some kind of vaginal cleansing is required, be it a peeled cucumber or the 'feminine washes' sold at drugstores, is misogyny dressed up as health care and I am having none of it."
You can kind of see how people might think that yoghurt will help with yeast. After all, it contains lots of good bacteria which in theory could help fight off fungus.
But it's honestly a rubbish idea.
Multiple studies have shown that putting the creamy stuff in your vagina doesn't do anything beneficial.
Soaking a tampon in yoghurt and putting it into your vagina is nothing more than a waste of a perfectly good yoghurt.
And eating a load of yog won't make any difference either.
Earlier this year, Marie Claire encouraged women to stick a sprig of parsley up there in order to induce a period.
Aside from the total lack of evidence, herbal inserts can be really dangerous.
“It’s a bad idea to insert anything not prescribed by a practitioner inside your vagina. Your vagina has a natural healthy balance which can be upset by the introduction of foreign objects," Karin O’Sullivan, Clinical Lead at FPA Charity told The Sun.
“When it comes to plants, hygiene can be an issue, with the introduction of new bacteria. Herbal inserts have not been medically tested and cannot be considered safe. As they’re untested, there’s also no guarantee of any health benefits. There is no evidence to suggest that taking parsley orally, or vaginally, will help to induce a period.
“More importantly, there is a risk that introducing foreign objects to the vagina can cause infections and even lead to toxic shock syndrome if left inside, which can be deadly."
In fact, a pregnant woman died last year after inserting parsley stems into her vagina in a botched bid to induce a miscarriage.
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