Have you heard the latest bizarro sexual health trend? Apparently, women are putting parsley inside their vaginas because it’s a “natural” way of inducing a period.
The idea for this vagina-parsley practice reportedly came from the UK edition of Marie Claire. In a since-deleted post, the magazine advised that parsley can help jumpstart menstruation by fixing hormonal imbalances and softening the cervix, according to IFL Science.
We’re all in favor of parsley; this garnish makes any dish look pretty, and it’s supposed to be a natural breath freshener too. But does parsley really have menstruation-inducing properties? We reached out to an ob-gyn to find out.
“There is no proof that something like this would work,” Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, Florida, tells Health. “If you’re having issues with getting your period, you need to see a doctor. There are multiple reasons why that may be. Pregnancy is the most common, but it may also be polycystic ovary syndrome or a lack of ovulation, among other medical reasons,” she says.
Not only does it not work as a period kick-starter, but putting parsley inside your vagina can be harmful. “Parsley is a vegetable. Just because it’s healthy and natural does not mean that it isn’t full of other components that can negatively affect the vaginal flora,” says Dr. Greves. When the normal balance of bacteria and other microorganisms in your vagina is out of whack, it leaves you more susceptible to problems—such as itching, irritation, or a yeast infection.
Should you end up with any of these complications, then you damage the tissues in the vagina that naturally protect you from more dangerous infections. “The tissues can’t do their job, which is to provide protection,” says Dr. Greves, and that can make you more susceptible to getting a sexually transmitted infection, if you’re exposed to someone who has one.
We get it that a late period can make you anxious. We’ve all been there. But parsley or any other leafy green is not going to hurry up your flow, and you should keep these and other foods as far from your vagina as possible.
“If you have any concerns about your period, you should see your doctor. That’s what we’re here for—to figure out the underlying cause,” says Dr. Greves. Unless you’re inserting a tampon, applying a vaginal medication prescribed by your doctor, or using sex toys specifically designed for the vagina, keep foreign objects outta there.To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
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