The US Food and Drug Administration has declared that it is cracking down on “vaginal rejuvenation” devices that use lasers to reshape the vagina. Though these have been approved for specific purposes, like treating cancer or removing genital warts, they are increasingly being used for purposes like dryness and menopause-related issues. There is no evidence that they work.
The FDA has already sent warning letters to seven companies hawking the treatment for unapproved purposes. In one instance, the company Cynosure claims that its vaginal treatments stimulate a “healing response” with “virtually no side effects.” The FDA begs to differ, claiming that these treatments can cause burns, scarring, and chronic pain.
Vagina rejuvenation isn’t the only ill-advised genital-related health advice that women are receiving. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is notorious for suggesting vaginal steaming and jade eggs, despite no evidence. In The New York Times, the gynecologist Jen Gunter writes about the increasing popularity of various “natural” vaginal remedies that lead to women experimenting with lemon juice and garlic and yogurt.
These “ancient,” remedies, she writes, “are neither ancient nor effective,” but the result of social media and celebrity wellness sites that are giving women the wrong idea. As it turns out, these modern, high-tech laser remedies probably aren’t needed either.