Internet trends are always somewhat outrageous and shocking, from eating a spoonful of cinnamon to the ice bucket challenge or the latest dance craze. Recently, Tik Tok has taken prime position in hosting the weird and wonderful, with the latest viral craze being a more than intimate piece of information.
TikToker, @ambrosialicewf, took to the video platform to share the latest hack of ‘splinting’; an unusual way to ease constipation. Her video quickly went viral and, at the time of writing, has over 2.5 million views on the app alone – not to mention the times it has been shared on other platforms. The term refers to a woman inserting their thumb into their vagina, which allegedly frees trapped stool. She explained that her success with the method came after hearing a popping sound while doing the technique.
Although ‘splinting’ is scientifically proven to work and often used by medical professionals, it comes with a list of warnings. The vagina is a sensitive part of the female body and is prone to many health conditions. Most women are made aware of UTIs and yeast infections but some issues are less spoken about.
What Are The Concerns?
Stephanie Taylor, Managing Director of Kegel8 explains: “I’d recommend women proceed with caution before inserting anything up their vaginas to relieve themselves, as getting bacteria from your faeces in the vagina is not pleasant and could result in bacterial vaginosis.”
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an upset to the delicate balance of bacteria in the vagina. Although extremely common, this can cause further complications, such as STI’s, if left untreated. The symptoms most likely to be experienced can include a burning sensation while urinating as well as itching and pain. Taylor adds: “ensure hands are freshly washed before inserting, as unclean hands can spread bacteria and upset the natural flora”.
How Is It Treated?
In every case, visiting a GP is the best option. However, if bacterial vaginosis does occur, there are several ways to ease discomfort at home. Wearing loose-fitting clothes, as well as avoiding scented soaps will allow the vagina to breathe and avoid further irritation. Eating foods containing probiotics such as yoghurt can also help in re-balancing the natural bacteria of your vagina. Personal hygiene and patience are key.
‘Splinting’ isn’t the be all and end all to easing constipation. If you do choose to try the method, Taylor says: “ensure your thumb is lubricated, as any type of penetration without it can cause friction and irritation to the vaginal walls”. However, if you struggle with constipation regularly, it may be worth changing your diet, drinking more water or increasing exercise.
Whatever the condition, be that bacterial vaginosis or simply a common cold, visiting the doctor is always a fail-safe when it comes to physical health. Remember to be gentle with your body, not every hack is as helpful as it looks.
Words by Eliza Laben
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