Today in "News We Probably Shouldn't Have To Tell You But Here It Is" is this item about how women should not put ground up wasp nests into their vaginas. Not, make sure you catch the part about "not." Because apparently this is a real thing that some women are doing.
Now, you might be thinking, "Wait, why are women inserting the dried up homes of stinging insects into their genitals? What does it do? SHOULD I TRY THIS?"
First, no, you should not. Second, it's not actual the nest itself but something called "oak galls," which, according to gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter, are "balls of bark and wasp excreta that once nurtured a wasp larva." She writes that oak galls are formed when a "gall wasp punctures an oak tree and deposits larva" (here's a video about them). This sounds exactly like something you'd want nowhere near your private parts, right?
So why would anyone think putting the old home of wasp larva into their hoo-ha is a good idea? Well, what some websites are positing (like this Etsy seller) is that when these oak galls are ground up, they tighten the vagina and reduce vaginal discharge, which this ebay seller claims is "believed to remove unpleasant odor and itching."
This may, in fact, be true. But Dr. Gunter explains that drying and/or tightening your cooter is definitely not a good plan, medically OR sexually. Drying out your natural vaginal secretions makes your vag more susceptible to damage during sex, and also kills the protective mucous layer. Besides making sex painful, scientific studies show that a dry, unprotected vagina is also at a higher risk of HIV transmission.
The thing about products that dry and tighten your vagina is that they make women think there's something wrong with a damp vagina, which is absolutely not the case. As this EverydayHealth post explains, "A healthy vagina will also secrete small amounts of discharge to keep itself clean, much as saliva is produced to help cleanse your mouth. Any interference with these normal conditions, and you may face vaginal irritation or infection."
As the good Dr. Gunter writes, "Here’s a pro-tip, if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina." Words to live by, friends.