Getty | Raydene Salinas Hansen
Yoni eggs, aka smooth, egg-shaped stones meant to be inserted into the vagina for kegel training, first became popular when Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s site, began selling them around 2017. Yoni eggs can also be called jade eggs, though not all yoni eggs are made of jade. Aside from the purported kegel bennies (we’ll get to that in a sec), the material of the eggs is also meant to work as a healing crystal, depending on whatever kind of stone your egg is.
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When it comes to ~ancient exotic secrets~ in the wellness or health space, it’s generally a good idea to take the folklore behind the marketing with a grain of salt, especially when it’s being touted to give a product exotic clout or flair. In a 2017 Q&A which no longer clicks through from their site (the link now redirects to a different page), Goop featured an interview with a woman who claimed that jade eggs were “an incredible, secret practice” used by concubines (servants meant to sexually please a master and have his children) in ancient Chinese temples, according to a report from The Washington Post. The tastelessness of romanticizing an enslaved women’s sexual appeal for her master aside, this mythology behind yoni eggs is also bull.
In fact, famous OBGYN Jen Gunter and her colleague, archeologist Sarah Parchak, even published a paper debunking the idea of jade eggs being ancient Chinese secrets. The two examined over 5,000 Chinese jade artifacts and found that zero vaginal jade eggs existed. So while yoni or jade eggs may not have the street cred of being “””ancient Chinese secrets””” they’re still being sold. Here’s the deal with yoni eggs in case you’re curious.
What is a yoni egg?
A yoni egg is a smooth stone that’s been polished enough to be non-porous and egg-shaped for insertion into your vagina. The word yoni is Sanskrit and means “womb” although modern use usually refers to yoni as the vulva or vagina. The egg part of the name is because it’s well, egg-shaped.
What do yoni eggs do?
The selling point of yoni eggs is usually a two-parter. One, the weight of the egg is meant to act as a kegel ball, and two, the material it’s made of is meant to promote crystal energy healing.
While doing your kegels can be beneficial for lifting and toning your pelvic floor, they won’t “make you tighter” during sex, unfortch.
Do yoni eggs really work?
In the same way that inserting anything up your vagina and using it as a free weight would tone your pelvic muscles, sure. “Anything that strengthens the pelvic floor can reduce urinary incontinence and improve sexual pleasure and response [ed note: for yourself, not so much a discernible difference for your partners],” says Kimberly Langdon, MD, of Medzino, an online doctor and pharmacy company. By inserting the eggs and contracting your pelvic floor muscles like your PC muscles and levator ani muscles that help keep your vagina, bladder, and rectum in place and toned.
As for the crystal component, that’s probably not gonna help you much. While yoni eggs made of natural gems like quartz, jade, and amethyst have alleged different qualities like healing abilities, “the healing ability is probably more related to the method and duration of use rather than some intrinsic magical powers,” says Dr. Langdon.
Are yoni eggs safe?
If you keep them clean (with warm soap and water) and dry, use lubricant with each use, and make sure your yoni egg is truly non-porous and smooth. “Most gems have surface defects and can be porous, so how well the gem is honed for smoothness will be important so as not to harbor bacteria in the crevices if not properly cleaned,” explains Dr. Langdon.
That being said, Dr. Langdon does note that stainless steel or silicone is easier to keep clean than yoni eggs made out of gem stones. Thankfully, there’s a TON of stainless steel and silicone kegel products you can use, and they’re usually much cheaper than the gem ones.
An even cheaper option? Just doing kegels alone without any fancy toys involved.
Are yoni eggs really an ancient Chinese secret?
Sorry to disappoint, but no. OBGYN Jen Gunter and archeologist Sarah Parchak proved this in their research. Also anecdotally, I, a Chinese woman have never heard of them, and my mother also rolled her eyes at me when I asked if she had ever heard of them.
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