What Is a Yoni Egg? Here's Why You Shouldn't Put One in Your Vagina

This egg-shaped stone can't improve your sex life and may even be harmful to your vaginal health.

Getty Images / Design by Jo Imperio

Yoni eggs are egg-shaped gems, typically made from quartz or jade, but they can also be made from other stone materials. Fans of these eggs claim they provide numerous reproductive and sexual health benefits.

As of 2022, Goop, a lifestyle website owned by Gwyneth Paltrow, claimed these eggs could "harness the power of energy work," provide a form of crystal healing and be a part of a Kegel-like practice.

Health reached out to experts to ask what yoni eggs are, what they supposedly do, and if they are safe to use (short answer: no).

What Is a Yoni Egg?

Yoni eggs are small gemstones that some claim have pelvic floor, sexual, and reproductive health benefits. They can be made from various stones and vary in size. For example, the rose quartz eggs sold in Goop's store are 1.7 inches long and 1.2 inches wide, and the jade eggs are 1.57 inches long and 1.18 inches wide.

Also, some yoni eggs, like those sold on Goop, come with a pre-drilled hole. The hole allows you to tie a string to the egg, so the egg is easier to remove. (Goop recommended unwaxed dental string.)

Per Merriam-Webster, the term yoni originates in Sanskrit and is symbolic of female genitalia. This depiction of female genitalia has meaning in Hinduism as "a sign of generative power, and that symbolizes the goddess Shakti."

History of Yoni Eggs

Yoni eggs are traditionally believed to be of Chinese origin and used in ancient Chinese sexual health practices. However, a 2019 study that looked at more than 5000 jade objects in online databases in four major Chinese art and archeology collections didn't find any evidence of these practices. Unable to identify any vaginal jade eggs, the researchers concluded that yoni eggs were likely not used in ancient Chinese culture.

Without an archeological record, we can't say for certain how old these eggs are or where they came from. Perhaps future research will help unlock this mystery.

What Does a Yoni Egg Do?

Per the book, "The Yoni Egg: Reveal and Release the Sacred Feminine Within," there are numerous claims regarding what these eggs can do. Examples of purported health benefits include:

  • Improved sex life
  • Help with urinary incontinence
  • Toning of the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles
  • Increased vaginal sensitivity
  • Childbirth preparation and recovery
  • Numerous additional mental and sexual health claims

Goop provides instructions on its website for how to use the eggs. Goop suggested beginning with a 10-to-15-minute session of squeezing and releasing the egg. Goop then explained that if this is comfortable and enjoyable, you can work to build up your practice.

However, having the egg inside of you, especially for long periods, may be harmful.

Jennifer Gunter, MD, a San Francisco-based ob-gyn and author of "The Vagina Bible," said that leaving a weight inside your vagina all day long isn't a healthy training method. "You want to contract and relax, not have [your muscles] contract continually," said Dr. Gunter. "Contracting constantly is like doing half of a bicep curl and not finishing it—that's not how you work on a muscle."

And as far as the other so-called benefits go, Dr. Gunter said there's no truth to them simply because "there's no such thing as magic."

Dr. Gunter said that some individuals might feel short-term benefits from these eggs because of the placebo effect. "But this is a potentially harmful placebo—both from a possible risk of infection and from how this practitioner recommends you use them," said Dr. Gunter.

Are Yoni Eggs Safe?

Female health experts explained that you should exercise caution with yoni eggs. Walking around with one clenched in your vagina is one addition to the list of things you shouldn't do if you're trying to improve your vaginal health.

Another mistake people make is thinking that the eggs are safe because they are made of natural materials.

"Many people have this idea that if it's natural, it must be good, useful, and not harmful," Lauren Streicher, MD, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University and author of "Sex Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever," told Health. "To which I always say, arsenic is natural, but that's certainly harmful."

Even though they are natural, stones like these eggs are porous and may be difficult to clean or sterilize between uses. Dangerous bacteria could get lodged in the nooks and crannies and then get reintroduced into the vagina every time the egg is used, said Dr. Gunter. By dangerous bacteria, Dr. Gunter is referring to the ones that cause toxic shock syndrome or bacterial vaginosis.

Even though manufacturers will recommend sleeping with the egg in, Dr. Gunter advises against it because of the risk of infection. "We don't recommend that tampons or menstrual cups be left in for longer than 12 hours, and those are either disposable or cleanable," said Dr. Gunter.

Dr. Streicher also worried that one of these slippery stones could get stuck in your vagina and that you could scratch your vaginal wall trying to retrieve it. (Dr. Streicher has seen this happen to clients with sex toys.)

What Are Alternatives to Yoni Eggs?

Many effective ways exist to address the problems this egg supposedly solves, such as urinary incontinence or sexual well-being. If you're having sexual issues, Dr. Streicher recommended honing in on the root cause and exploring relevant solutions.

For example, if you're struggling to reach orgasm, Dr. Streicher recommended getting to know your body through masturbation. "Find out where your clitoris is and how to stimulate it. Or invest in a good vibrator, scientifically proven to address this challenge," said Dr. Streicher.

A 2018 study reviewed the current literature on genital vibration for sexual function. The authors concluded that research supports genital vibration as an evidence-based treatment for those who struggle to reach orgasm.

And, if you want to strengthen your pelvic floor, Dr. Gunter recommended sticking with exercises that have been proven to work, like Kegels. You could also buy a device like the Elvie Trainer, specifically designed for pelvic floor training and made from safe, cleanable materials.

Most importantly, it's crucial to realize there's no cure-all for your problems, said Dr. Streicher. Even if there were, it likely wouldn't come as a product promoted by prominent figures like celebrities. "Just the fact that they're famous doesn't mean they have some insider knowledge," said Dr. Streicher.

However, while magical cure-alls don't exist for most health concerns, you can take steps to address your health issues—and a healthcare provider can help.

A Quick Review

Instead of relying on a yoni egg to fix everything, seek help from a healthcare provider. Especially since, as Dr. Streicher said, the questionable benefits of the product are not worth the potential harm.

If you are experiencing genital or sexual health concerns, know there are options to address these concerns. A healthcare provider can help you determine a safe treatment plan that meets your unique needs.

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5 Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Goop. Jade egg.

  2. Goop. Rose quartz egg.

  3. Merriam-Webster. Yoni.

  4. Gunter J, Parcak S. Vaginal jade eggs: ancient Chinese practice or modern marketing myth? Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2019;25(1):1-2. doi:10.1097/SPV.0000000000000643

  5. Rullo JE, Lorenz T, Ziegelmann MJ, Meihofer L, Herbenick D, Faubion SS. Genital vibration for sexual function and enhancement: a review of evidence. Sex Relatsh Ther. 2017;33(3):263-274. doi:10.1080/14681994.2017.1419557

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