Experts warn against vagina 'health hack' going around TikTok

·2-min read
Photo credit: vvmich - Getty Images
Photo credit: vvmich - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

A vagina-related technique, known as 'splinting', said to help relieve constipation, has recently gone viral after a TikTok user shared that she uses the 'hack' and offered up a tutorial. Apologies if you're eating right now... but the tip involves inserting a thumb into the vaginal opening, to push against the area between the vaginal wall and the rectum in order to encourage a stuck (or as she describes it "turtling") poo out.

In the clip, posted by a user who goes by the name @ambrosialicewf, the woman says she knows the process has been a success after she hears a popping sound. Again, apologies if you're reading this while attempting to finish your breakfast/lunch/dinner.

The TikTok video has already been viewed over 3 million times, and has now caught the eye of an intimate health expert, founder of Kegel8, Stephanie Taylor – who wants to warn people against trying splinting at home, without taking proper precaution. Of course, it goes without saying that you should always seek medical advice for any health issues you may be experiencing beforehand.

"While 'splinting' may sound like a bizarre way to relieve constipation, it’s apparently a scientific method used by medical professionals," says Taylor. "However, I’d recommend women proceed with caution before inserting anything up their vaginas to relieve themselves as getting bacteria from your faeces in the vagina is not pleasant and could result in bacterial vaginosis."

She adds that if anybody is going to try the technique at home, then they need to thoroughly wash their hands beforehand.

"If you are to try this technique, ensure hands are freshly washed before inserting [a finger or thumb into the vaginal canal], as unclean hands can spread bacteria and upset the natural flora," Taylor continues.

She also advises lubricating the thumb beforehand, in order to avoid any friction or irritation that might occur. "Secondly, ensure that your thumb is lubricated, as any type of penetration without it can cause friction and irritation to the vaginal walls."

If you are suffering with constipation, there are many other things you can try before resorting to 'splinting'. The NHS advises the following:

It also notes that constipation can be caused by various factors ranging from a diet lacking in fibre, stress, anxiety, depression or pregnancy. The NHS also says that constipation is common in the six weeks after giving birth.

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