Sellers of Madura sticks, the potentially dangerous devices are more than the “cigarettes for the vagina” promise that these sticks will do everything like revitalizing genitals of women and restoring their virginity. The experts have warned about the use of these dangerous devices, a scam rooted in harmful stereotypes about gender around sex and pleasure.
There is no evidence about the notion that these tools are safe and that women should satisfy their partner more than their safety and sexual preferences. There is no evidence of their benefits. Once placed inside the vagina, these objects have named an island in Indonesia which releases an unknown cocktail of ingredients.
However, a 27 years old Indonesian girl, Sarifah Nurhayati is one of those who swear by these objects. She told that she is five-month pregnant and plans using them after giving birth to get her vagina in good shape and to satisfy her husband. Her husband also sells the Madura sticks at his store in Depok.
Nurhayati says that she has been using the sticks for many years and she claims about placing them inside her vagina for two to three minutes which in result makes her vagina drier, stronger and tighter. According to her, one stick can be used 20 times.
The researcher at the Charity Wellbeing of Women and Professor Linda McGown of the University of Leeds took a poll based on hearsay among the Indonesian students. One of the students told that she knows women who use these sticks. They claim good testimonies about these sticks. Some women also bought certain herbs known as “ratus” for steaming the vagina which is a very dangerous practice that can cause burns.
McGowan is one of the experts who warn women and urge them to avoid these sticks that can cause severe damage to women’s bodies observed worldwide. The World Health Organization published a report in 2012 on vaginal practices in Indonesia, Thailand as well as Mozambique and South Africa. The WHO concluded that practices like inserting herbs, powders, tablets, and sticks in the vagina for tightening it make women more susceptible to serious infections like STIs and HIV.
A gynecologist, Dr. Jen Gunter, the author of The Vagina Bible told that many women think that too much discharge isn’t good so that they wipe out the vagina but it is the pat of the spectrum and is not as extreme as using Madura sticks.
Such products contain astringents which shrink tissues, desiccants which cause dryness and some other harmful substances. All these things damage the skin and mucous layer of the vagina and also disturb the good essential bacteria. They contain chemicals that makes sex painful.
Experts say that healthy women should avoid such products that claim to freshen, clean or enhance the vagina. Vagina itself and the secretions can keep the organ clean. Gunter gives the example of a self-cleaning oven. Experts urge women not to buy any such product as they are medically dangerous and can play off with patriarchal tropes.
Gunter said as a doctor she can see more harms of such things. There is more volume of advertising about these vaginal products than that of cigarettes. These products considered cigarettes for the vagina. Experts emphasized the need for the restriction of such advertisements as there are restrictions on advertising cigarettes.