I never was officially diagnosed by a western physician, but my own research and looking at pictures makes me confident I had a cyst. I'm not sure how long I'd had it, but I noticed it several years ago when it was about the size of a big grape. It was hard and strange and right at the opening of my vagina (inside).
It had grown over the years. I never was too worried about it because it didn't hurt and there wasn't any strange smells or coloring associated with the growth. It grew until it was nearly the size of a baseball and was completely filling my vaginal opening. It was perfectly round and bright red and bizarre. In addition to the cyst, I had been dealing with heavy bleeding that was effecting my iron. I was not going to consider surgery or prescriptions for either issue. I can't remember what chingona instagram post I saw mention vaginal steaming, but I looked up steamy chick right away and watched the documentary Demystifying the V-Steam. Within 10 minutes, I decided I was going to buy a box and get on it.
This is one of the best decisions I've ever made.
I started by having a consultation with Keli – just to be sure. She insisted I needed to get the heavy bleeding under control and suggested I work with a Chinese herbalist, which I did. I initially steamed with the Gentle mix for 7 minutes, and there was a small change in the size of the growth. It was still big, but I was heartened by the change in size. I steamed a couple more times and noticed the growth was getting smaller because it would slip out of my vagina at times (weird, but still not painful).
After 10 days the cyst started draining. This was familiar to me because I've had a couple boils on my back and the smell and look of the drainage was similar. It was nasty.
I was a little concerned because I knew it was infection that was leaking out of the growth. I knew the drainage would be getting in my vagina since the growth slipped in and out. Although western doctors have insisted antibiotics are required if to cure a boil (and major antibiotics if it bursts), I have found Tea Tree oil to be very effective. I didn't want to put Tea Tree oil in my vagina, so decided to do a gentle steam to help keep things as clean as possible.
I was careful, and my wife helped to make sure there was no discoloration around the growth. There was still no pain, but the cyst began to change form. It went from a bright red, round thing, to something resembling a slab of liver (yes, it was gross). I steamed a couple days later, to encourage the cyst to continue its journey to its demise.
One afternoon, it began to feel irritated/chaffed and it was uncomfortable to sit. I started getting a little worried at that point. After a day of this new and unpleasant sensation, I placed a warm compress on it. I was laying down. After 20 minutes I stood up to dry off a little and it fell off. THE MALFORMED CYST JUST PLOPPED OFF ON THE EFFING WOOD FLOOR!!!!!!!
I was completely astounded (and quite a bit grossed out). I could see the spot on the cyst where it had been attached. I steamed right away (7 minutes Gentle) to encourage the infected drainage to clear out. The chaffed feeling went away immediately. It was suddenly like nothing was ever there.
My vagina feels, looks, and smells normal. I didn’t realize how the cyst was effecting even my self-confidence and comfort in my own body. I feel so different now. The heavy bleeding is under control as well.
My wife has experienced amazing results from steaming as well. She had really bad cramps her whole life until steaming and now her cramps are nearly non-existent. She recently said to me - if western medicine knows steaming is good for vaginas, WHY DON'T THEY ENCOURAGE THEIR PATIENTS TO STEAM!!!
We are complete believers. I plan a conversation with my sister-in-law who is the mother of 2 girls. I'm already thinking of my aunties and primas who need to know about steaming. I have 2 aunties who are healers and they've never shared anything about steaming. I mean, I've never talked about vaginas with them, but I feel like I want to share steaming with every single woman in my life. I'm currently trying to figure out how to make it accessible to my mom, who has mobility issues and can't sit and stand from the height of the box. Since I've been talking to her about the growth in my vagina, she told me she has one in hers that has been there for over 5 years.
About the Author
Queer Mestiza - born, raised, and live in Colorado. Married since the U.S. finally figured it out, but partnered for nearly two decades. Lifelong learner, space geek, avid reader, amateur mariachi, professional Auntie (16 nieces/nephews and counting...), masters degree holder, university employee, poet, nasty woman, servant to multiple cats, sister, lover, daughter, cousin...