Okay, be honest, have you ever heard of vaginal steaming?
Wait, what?! That doesn't have anything to do with the color of my period. Does it?
Actually, it might. Have you ever thought about the color of your period, and what that might say about your fertility? Stay with me. I promise it'll be at least interesting, if not absolutely revolutionizing to your monthly cycle and the symptoms you experience.
Red, brown, black, clots?
A normal, healthy period could be defined as "Four days of bright red bleeding, that begins and ends with red. No clots, cramps, or other side effects." If your period doesn't look like that, how would you like if it *could* change to that? Enter this no-expense solution to your period problems. Vaginal Steaming.
Does this sound absolutely crazy to you? Vaginal Steaming, to me, sounded like some crazy thing that I probably shouldn't ever admit to doing... But it does pique my curiosity enough to find out what it is.
So what is it?
Vaginal steaming is sitting above a steaming pot of water (with herbs, or just water), bottomless, and allowing the steam to permeate the nether-region. Can you visualize this yet? Okay, wait for a second... It's hard to figure this out because chairs don't have a hole in them usually. In my too-cheap-to-buy-the-equipment house, I have a pot with my child's potty seat set on top. I can sit on it without burning myself on the hot pot. Also, I don't have to pretend that I can squat for 10 minutes without support.
What does it do?
Here's what got my attention... It helps with period problems. Heavy long periods? Awful cramps? Brown blood? Somehow allowing steam down-there helps your uterus do a more complete cleanse and get ALL the old lining to shed and come out.
Have you ever wondered why your period is sometimes a dingy brown and not fresh red? Old blood. What does old mean? Possibly as old as *last* month's period remains. What?!?! Yikes! Yeah.... I'm not so happy with that. I used to think it just meant yesterday's blood that was shed but didn't come out yesterday. Ick.
What about those dreadful cramps? Your uterus has to contract to loosen and release the lining that is sloughing off. If it's "stuck" or "sticky" it doesn't come off very easily so the contractions have to be stronger and are therefore more painful. Think of a scab that is coming off a wound that is exceptionally thick and dry... Doesn't come off very easily does it? What about that same scab after a hot steamy shower or bath, when it's been soaked? Might come off without any pain, right? That's the idea behind steaming. Help that old lining to come away easily and completely
Soooo, I didn't get the memo growing up... But apparently in cultures all over the world, this is standard practice after every period. Korean? South American? European? Yup. Everywhere. Except here. Sadly... Maybe we can bring it here?! 😉
Why would I steam?
My exposure to vaginal steaming is extremely new. Literally, I heard about it a few times but never pursued even finding out what it was! But recently I got my first postpartum period after 52 weeks of baby-with-no-period. It was red for about a day and a half, then brown for three days... Something prompted me to look into "what is that vaginal steaming thing anyway?" and I listened to a few podcast interviews of Keli Garza <--- Here's one of the interviews. (She builds/sells vaginal saunas so we can all steam too! Her website is Steamy Chick)
I'm one of those women who wants a whole plethera of children. I've been doing my best to patiently wait for that postpartum period to come so we can start trying for our next baby!! I've learned that brown blood doesn't have to be my reality for periods and that it actually is NOT a normal/healthy sign. I want to help my uterine lining be as fresh and healthy as it can be. Not to mention that I'm not a huge fan of period cramps or clots. My hope is that the fresher my lining is, the sooner we can welcome our next healthy baby into the family!
Will you consider steaming your vag? Let me know in the comments your thoughts and experiences!
This is part 2 of the Pre-pregnancy: Fertility posts