Yup, you read that right. University of Wisconsin graduate student Cecelia Westbrook decided to take a break from her MD/PhD studies and make yogurt from her very own vaginal secretions. It's possible because a woman’s vagina contains the organism lactobacillus, so-called friendly bacteria that help keep your gut and privates healthy. Lactobacillus also happens to be one of the bugs used to culture yogurt.
Westbrook grabbed a wooden spoon, collected some of her lady juice, added it to milk, and let it simmer overnight. (Ever the researcher, she also had two controls: one with milk using regular yogurt as the starter culture, and one with just milk, nothing else added.) The next morning, she woke up to a sizable sample which she, er, sampled.
"Her first batch of yogurt tasted sour, tangy, and almost tingly on the tongue,” wrote her friend Janet Jay in an article for science blog Motherboard. Westbrook reportedly compared it to Indian yogurt, and to sweeten it up, paired it with blueberries.
Westbrook declined to comment to Health, but according to Jay, the idea behind this make-her-own breakfast was that it could boost vaginal health, with the good bacteria Westbrook consumed in her yogurt ending up right back down in her vagina.
But Gregor Reid, PhD, professor of microbiology at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and one of the world’s leading experts on probiotics, completely disagrees.
First of all, he points out, while her vagina probably carried a hefty amount of lactobacillus, it's possible that it may have also held a trove of other organisms, such as the nasty bacteria E. coli, which could actually throw off her digestive tract.
And it’s highly unlikely her experiment had any health benefits: “If she was eating it to get the benefits of the lactobacillus, she already has plenty in her vagina, so that makes no sense,” Reid says. (The U.S. Food & Drug Administration concurs with Reid, a spokesperson telling Jay that “vaginal secretions are not considered 'food', and they may transmit human disease.”)
Even docs who specialize in down-there health and sexuality say Westbrook’s yogurt experiment leaves a bad taste in their mouth. “I’m probably the most vagina-positive person in the world—I travel the globe telling women to taste their own secretions so they can feel more comfortable when their partners give them oral sex,” says Hilda Hutcherson, MD, an ob/gyn at Columbia University Medical Center in NYC and author of Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need and Deserve ($17, amazon.com). “But to make a yogurt out of them? I’ll pass, please.”