For $66 you could treat your office to a pizza party, subscribe to Netflix for six glorious months, or splurge on a sweet new bluetooth speaker. Or if you're so inclined, you can purchase a palm-sized green rock to put inside yourself. Because, why not? Better yet, WHY???
First, let's start with a more apt question: WTF? Whether you love Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop, or love to hate it, you've probably caught wind of the Jade Egg and the controversial claims made by the wellness site. Here's a brief recap: In January of 2017, the site published a Q&A with "beauty guru" Shiva Rose touting the benefits of a Jade eggs to "help cultivate sexual energy, increase sexual pleasure, balance the cycle, stimulate key reflexology, tighten and tone, prevent uterine prolapse, increase control of the whole perineum and bladder, develop and clear chi pathways in the body, intensify feminine energy, and invigorate our life force."
Those are some big claims for a small stone, which Goop sold for $66 — and quickly sold out of.
The idea is to insert the egg (made from Jade or Quartz) into your vag*na for a kegel-like practice purportedly used by ancient Chinese royalty. When Goop-cynics spread the word about the story, more than a few OBGYN experts raised concerns.
Dr. Jen Gunter, a San Francisco-based gynecologist, was one of the first to criticize the practice in a blog post that warned women about the dangers of putting a rock in your ya-ya. Gunter explained that jade is porous, which means it "could allow bacteria to get inside" and become "a risk factor for bacterial vaginosis or even the potentially deadly toxic shock syndrome." She also warned that walking around with the egg inside you could cause pelvic pain from continuous contractions and constantly clenched internal muscles.
"Imagine how your biceps muscle (and then your shoulders and then your back) might feel if you walked around all day flexed holding a barbell?" writes Gunter. "Right, now imagine your pelvic floor muscles doing this."
Gunter's concerns were echoed by Dr. Lauren Streicher, an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University, who suggested it's possible the egg could get stuck, and cause you to scratch your vag*nal wall in an attempt to remove it.
"Many people have this idea that if it's natural it must be good, useful, and not harmful," says Streicher told Health.com. "To which I always say, arsenic is natural, but that's certainly harmful."
Such warnings set off alarms with the California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force which filed a lawsuit against Goop, citing that their claims about its benefits were "not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence." The suit was settled for $145,000—and ultimately prohibited the site from hawking products with misleading claims that aren't scientifically backed. Goop is also offering refunds to those unsatisfied egg buyers, but distanced itself from the actual claims made by Rose on the site. In response to September's settlement, Goop released the following statement:
"Goop provides a forum for practitioners to present their views and experiences with various products like the jade egg. The law, though, sometimes views statements like this as advertising claims, which are subject to various legal requirements…The Task Force assisted us in applying those laws to the content we published, and we appreciate their guidance in this matter as we move from a pioneer in this space to an established wellness authority."
While some, like Vanessa Cuccia who sells Yoni eggs on her site Chakrubs, still stand by the practice, she concurs that it's not for everyone—particularly if you have pelvic floor dysfunction. Cuccia suggests checking with your doctor before using it, but believes in its power as "an intentional practice" which "strengthens the relationship people have with their vag*nas," according to an interview she gave to SheThinx in November.
So where does that leave us with the incredible, inedible Yoni egg? The general medical (and legal) consensus is that you should probably spend your $66 elsewhere. If you are looking for some Kegel-style assistance, Dr. Gunter suggests using "weights made with medical grade silicone or plastic and to not wear them for long periods of time," noting that "Kegel exercises are not just about the contraction, the relaxation phase is just as important."
Bottom line? Maybe keep your eggs on the frying pan and out of your yoni.