Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website, Goop, has a new crazy offering: a $66
ornamental rock that you stick up your vagina.
Despite absolutely no scientific
studies and only a handful of anecdotes, walking around with a porous green rock inside you like you're a chicken promises better
orgasms, hormonal balance and an enviable glow. Sure, doctors are warning that the "jade egg" puts users at risk
for toxic shock syndrome and bacterial vaginosis (maybe the glow is actually a fever?), but Gwyneth Paltrow, famous for steaming her vagina, is a believer.
In an interview with Goop,
“beauty guru/healer/inspiration/friend” (note the absence of any medical
expertise) Shiva Rose explains how to use and care for the jade egg.
She says users should first boil their jade eggs in order
to clean them. Or one can also spiritually cleanse these eggs by setting them out
under a full moon or by burning sage so that the eggs absorb the energy.
Though more specific instructions are probably saved for the package insert,
Rose does mention that users should insert their eggs in their vaginas with
And then when they are done (though Rose doesn’t specify exactly
how long people should use these eggs), they simply wrap their eggs up in silk.
Gunter, a California ob-gyn, wrote a scathing
response to the Goop interview about jade eggs. As Gunter argues, “… the
claim that [jade eggs] can balance hormones is, quite simply, biologically impossible.
Pelvic floor exercises can help with incontinence and even give stronger
orgasms for some women, but they cannot change hormones.”
And even if jade egg
use does help to promote pelvic floor strength, Gunter said she worries that it might
come with a cost. If one walks around all day wearing a jade egg, as Rose
suggests, then one might risk overexerting one’s pelvic floor muscles. Gunter
points out that this could lead to pelvic pain and pain during sex—the exact
opposite of what jade egg enthusiasts proclaim.
Nevermind the western medicine-level risks surrounding this crotch cure-all. These suckers have been around forever and, cue the gongs, they're ancient and Chinese so you know they're good. Goop hails the jade egg as a
“strictly guarded secret of Chinese concubines
and royalty in antiquity.” Paltrow exoticizes Chinese culture in her publication's write-up of the eggs, which appeals to
stereotypes about Eastern cultures (and Asian people) as secretive, mystical
Plenty of people appreciate rituals and spiritual practices and also think that these
practices can have profound effects on physical health. However, medical experts warn that such practices should not replace medical advice. Consumers
should be cautious when spiritual experts claim to have medical expertise. Rose
makes clear that some people—especially pregnant people and those with IUDs—should
consult their doctors before using a jade egg.
Nevertheless, she attributes a number of
medical benefits to jade egg use: namely, vaginal muscle toning, hormone
balance, menstrual cycle improvement, sexual health improvements and kidney
strength. She also claims that jade eggs help to restore feminine energy (though this is inherently problematic since femininity itself is a social
The Goop article includes a disclaimer: “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
Those suffering medical problems with any of their reproductive organs or with sexual health
in general should go see a medical professional. Beauty
guru/healer/inspiration/friend’s advice should never be confused with medical advice.