After giving birth almost 5 years ago, I've decided to accept the truth: my vagina will never be the same. The physical trauma that comes with bringing a child into the world creates some irreversible changes. While most of the issues that I felt early on after giving birth have gone away, like the pain, random spotting, and the feeling that my pelvic bones were rubbing together to start a small fire, my weakened pelvic floor is permanent.
After carrying my son for 9 months and pushing him through my pelvis and out of my vagina, my strength in that area is not what it used to be. When I have the urge to pee, it isn't just an urge — it's an emergency situation. Any pressure whatsoever in that area can cause a small leak, so I have to depend on panty liners.
I know that my vagina will never be as youthful and indestructible as it was during my pre-baby years, so I'm not even going to try. That said, I would like my vagina to be able to function reasonably well. That's why I recently tried using a jade egg to strengthen my vagina.
I’d originally heard about the yoni egg (yoni is the Sanskrit word for sacred space, or vagina) on the internet, when I researched how to tighten the pelvic floor. I found that many women swear by the yoni egg's tightening and rejuvenating powers. Basically, the yoni egg is an oval egg made of materials like jade or rose quartz. Rose quartz is a crystal that is associated with love, and jade is supposed to be a healing and protective crystal. Concubines in ancient Asia would allegedly use the yoni eggs to tighten and strengthen their vaginas for ultimate pleasure.
Gwyneth Paltrow, the queen of wellness, is the most well-known advocate for the jade yoni egg. She claims that the egg works wonder on cultivating sexual energy by tightening and and toning the vaginal walls. That said, doctors and medical professionals have come out and said that the trend doesn't work, warning that the jade and rose quartz eggs could potentially cause infection.
One of the purported benefits of the yoni egg is that it creates stronger orgasms. While more intense orgasms would be amazing, for me the real potential benefit of the yoni egg was that it might strengthen my vagina. Like many moms, holding in my pee has become a challenge, to say the least. Even though I didn't have an episiotomy and experienced little tearing, if I sneeze, cough too vigorously, or put the slightest pressure on my bladder, I am risking peeing everywhere. I've tried doing kegels, or pelvic floor exercises, and for a while, I was going to the gym and doing yoga. Nothing worked. (In fact, studies have shown that a majority of women are actually doing their kegels all wrong and causing more damage to their pelvic floor.)
Because the Gwyneth Paltrow yoni eggs were sold out, I ordered my jade yoni egg from Etsy, from a handmade seller with good reviews. The Etsy seller, PatsySueBoutique, offered many natural feminine products like sea sponge tampons and yoni oil. The beginner jade egg cost $25. On the seller page, she suggested that yoni egg newbies like myself go for the larger egg and then work our way down to smaller eggs, which require much more pelvic and vaginal strength to keep inside.
I am not sure if I was expecting a fairy to fly out of there or something, but there was no immediate difference.
The egg came to my apartment in about a week. It had a tiny hole drilled at the top and a clear string looped through for easy retrieval. It came inside a velvet sachet with a set of exercise suggestions and a thin, sample-size packet of lube. After receiving my egg, I sterilized it, dusted off my yoga mat, and laid on my back to carefully and slowly insert the egg. The instructions were kind of vague, but they suggested that I pretend that my vagina walls were "sipping" and "sucking" on the egg. But it didn’t feel like any sipping or sucking was going on down there.
Next, I squeezed and held the egg for five seconds, followed by a 10-second release. I did this for about five minutes. At the end of the instructions, they said to do this up to three times a day and eventually graduate to a standing position. After my first try, I didn’t feel any different down there and was slightly bummed out. I am not sure if I was expecting a fairy to fly out of there or something, but there was no immediate difference.
The next day, I decided to up the ante and put the yoni egg in twice a day while standing, squeezing and hold for 10 seconds instead of 5. For my first session of the day, I inserted the yoni egg after my shower while I was putting on my makeup. Standing up while trying to concentrate on filling in my eyebrows evenly definitely made the exercises feel more intense. Later in the evening, before bed, I repeated my exercises of squeezing for 10 seconds and releasing for 5.
While I don't think my vagina felt tighter in general, I felt like I could control my muscles more effectively.
By mid-week, I couldn’t keep up with the twice-daily sessions and decided to make my one session count. At the very bottom of my instruction sheet, the seller said expert users should try pushing the egg out and use the vaginal muscles to pull it back in. The first go at it was difficult and I almost pushed the egg onto the floor. But as I continued to try, I finally started to feel a marked improvement. While I don't think my vagina felt tighter in general, I felt like I could control my muscles more effectively.
By the end of the week, I had a date planned. Just in case things got frisky (which TBH, they did), I wanted my vagina to be in turbo mode, so I worked out with my egg while getting dressed. While I can’t say for certain that it made a difference in the sex department, knowing that I'd put forth this effort to tone my vagina made me feel more confident about the experience.
All in all, by the end of the week, I noticed a substantial improvement.
By the end of the week, I did notice a substantial improvement. I didn't leak pee when I sneezed or coughed, and it made me feel more confident. Post-partum incontinence is something thousands of women deal with and it’s embarrassing to even talk about to your doctor or friends.
That said, I don't think the egg itself is what did the trick. The purpose of the egg is to help with doing kegels; it's like doing arm curls with a 5-lb. weight, as opposed to just doing arm curls. I could probably have achieved the same effect by doing kegels on my own. But the yoni egg definitely helped me focus my energy. It motivated me and was a valuable form of self-care, and in that sense, it was worth it.
Postpartum incontinence is something many women deal with, and it’s usually embarrassing to talk about. Thanks to the yoni egg, I definitely feel more open to talking about my postpartum incontinence with my friends. I'm definitely going to continue using it daily and try to reach the next level to create my happiest mom vagina yet.