Don’t glitter-bomb your vagina, top gynecologist warns: Bizarre new trend could give you inflammation, ‘vaginal sunburn’, and increased risk of STI

We all know glitter – dubbed the ‘herpes of arts and craft’ – gets everywhere.

But for some people, that’s not enough.

The scratchy shiny stuff has plagued our food (unicorn noodles), drinks (unicorn tear juice), clothes (unicorn leisurewear), and drug paraphernalia (unicorn pipe).

Now, you can even put a glitter-bomb in your vagina – and a top gynecologist is warning women to avoid the bizarre trend for the sake of their health.

An online retailer claims to have sold out of 'passion dust' (vaginal glitter). Now a top gynecologist is warning women to avoid the bizarre trend for the sake of their health

An online retailer claims to have sold out of ‘passion dust’ (vaginal glitter). Now a top gynecologist is warning women to avoid the bizarre trend for the sake of their health

An online retailer, Pretty Woman Inc, is selling ‘Passion Dust intimacy capsules’ filled with candy-scented glitter.

The product description on the website says: ‘It is a small capsule that you insert into your vagina and allow it to naturally dissolve and release it’s contents’ – with a disclaimer to users that it does not cause any magical or supernatural sensations.

According to the site they sold out of their stock in a matter of days.

Dr Jen Gunter, a leading doctor based in Canada, warns this unusual concept is guaranteed to lead to a dangerous infection.

By throwing off the delicate balance of your vagina’s bacteria, it could also increase your risk of catching a sexually-transmitted disease, she warns.

‘Just because something is safe for your lips, for example glitter lip gloss, doesn’t mean it is safe for the vagina,’ Dr Gunter warns readers on her blog.   

Dr Gunter warns there is, to date, no known way of making a vagina-friendly glitter. 

The website says Passion Dust is made of gelatin capsules, starch based edible glitter, acacia (gum arabic) powder, Zea Mays starch, and vegetable stearate.   

Dr Gunter warns this could cause a nasty inflammatory vaginal discharge and/or an inflammatory mass in the vaginal wall.

Most importantly, edible glitter contains sugar. 

‘Depositing sugar in the vagina lets the bad bacteria go wild,’ she writes.

Passion Dust's retailer pre-empts the backlash, with a section urging readers to make their own decisions about vaginal health, instead of heeding a gynecologist

Passion Dust’s retailer pre-empts the backlash, with a section urging readers to make their own decisions about vaginal health, instead of heeding a gynecologist

According to the site they sold out of their stock in a matter of days

According to the site they sold out of their stock in a matter of days

‘Could the vehicle be an irritant and cause a vaginal contact dermatitis? Yes and ouch. Think vaginal sunburn!’ 

This is not the first time Dr Gunter has taken to the internet to warn against ‘vagina wellness and beauty’ trends. 

Like many other gynecologists, she describing the vagina as a ‘self-cleaning oven’: anything that interferes with its natural balance, damaging the good bacteria increases the risk of getting an infection.

Passion Dust’s retailer pre-empts the backlash, with a section urging readers to make their own decisions about vaginal health, instead of heeding a gynecologist. 

‘Any gynecologist would tell you that NOTHING should go in your vagina! (…) The point is; People have opinions and love to share them,’ the site says. 

‘If you’ve ever had vaginal issues you had them before you used Passion Dust anyway. If you’ve ever had a yeast infection i’m sure it wasn’t caused by glitter, it just happens sometimes.’

It continues: ‘As mature adults we play and experiment with our sexuality and Passion Dust is a bedroom novelty aid that is meant to add something new and fun to your bedroom play and lovemaking experience. It does not do anything biochemically or physiologically to your body.’

WHY VAGINAS ARE CALLED ‘SELF-CLEANING OVENS’ 

Compared with those of other mammals, the human vagina is unique.

As warm, moist canals exposed to all sorts of things including penises, babies and dirt, most mammalian vaginas harbor a diverse mix of bacteria.

However, for many women, one or another species of Lactobacillus has become the dominant bacterial resident.

WHAT VAGINAL BACTERIA DO?

Lactobacillus bacteria pump out lactic acid, which keeps the vaginal environment at a low, acidic pH that kills or discourages other bacteria, yeast and viruses from thriving.

There are even hints that certain Lactobacillus species reinforce the mucus in the vagina that acts as a natural barrier to invaders.

BRIEF HISTORY OF VAGINAL BACTERIA

Although no one knows for sure, researchers speculate that human vaginas gained their Lactobacillus protectors around 10,000–12,000 years ago when humans began fermenting milk and eating foods like yogurt and cheese, which are full of the bacteria.

Certain Lactobacillus may have expanded their territory to colonize the vagina – travelling the short distance from the anus to the vaginal opening.

There, they found their perfect environment, a low-oxygen chamber that, during a woman’s reproductive years, has an abundant supply of the sugars Lactobacillus feed upon.

For the most part, we’ve been happily cohabitating ever since, but it’s a delicate balancing act.

DIFFERENT FROM WOMAN TO WOMAN

Researchers are realizing that all Lactobacillus bacteria – long thought to keep vaginas healthy – are not created equal.

In 2011, a study found five different types of bacterial community.

Four of these were dominated by different Lactobacillus species.

But the fifth contained a diverse mix of microbes (including Gardnerella, Sneathia, Eggerthella and Mobiluncus species), many of which have been associated with bacterial vaginosis.