(TMU) — Here’s something that should be starkly obvious to most people: it’s never a good idea to place an active vacuum hose within a bodily orifice.
And for women who are on their period and seeking an end to cramps and discomfort, this is doubly the case.
However, as Voltaire famously said: “common sense is not so common,” and apparently the idea of “menstrual extraction”—women ending their periods early by inserting a vacuum hose inside themselves to suck out menstrual blood—has caught on in some circles.
Such was revealed by a Seattle-based nurse who wrote on Twitter earlier this week that two women, aged 19 and 23, were sent into “shock” after attempting the poorly-conceived home remedy. In a now-viral tweet, the nurse said:
“Ladies… Please stop using your vacuum hose to end your period early.
You’re gonna wind up sucking out a lot more than blood!
There were 2 cases of this so far this week and both women had to be admitted. Just… STOP!”
Ladies… Please stop using your vacuum hose to end your period early. You're gonna wind up sucking out a lot more than blood! There were 2 cases of this so far this week and both women had to be admitted. Just… STOP! 🛑🚑
— Twinny 💜🖤 (@OdesseyT99) June 5, 2019
The nurse further explained why menstrual extraction is such a dangerous method of dealing with a period:
“Your period has a steady flow of it’s own that for all intents and purposes your body can tolerate.
A vacuum increases that flow over a 1000 times which your body can’t tolerate, therefore sending you into shock.”
And while the idea of menstrual extraction seems like a horrendously awful new online “challenge,” it really does exist as a valid medical treatment for unwanted pregnancies.
During the 1970s in the United States, before women were allowed to access safe abortions, menstrual extraction was a method devised by the feminist movement to perform at-home abortions using a cannula and syringe that would extract fetal material from a woman’s uterus, according to a Mic report.
However, the method is a far cry from DIY methods involving a Bissell, Dirt Devil, or any other home vacuum appliance.
Gynecologist and obstetrician Shazia Malik told the Sun that the self-treatment attempted in Seattle was horribly dangerous and could easily result in “vaginal laceration, damage to the cervix and life-threatening infection from the germs on the hose.”
“The amount of suction that a vacuum hose could put your insides through is more than enough to move some blood, and could cause permanent damage that will be much more difficult to manage than your average menstrual cycle.
And as if that weren’t enough, your vacuum cleaner is a far cry from sterile medical equipment, so trying to put it into your vagina could lead to other medical complications, such as infections or worse.
If your periods are causing you a lot of pain or discomfort, you find that you bleed a lot during your monthly cycle, or you have any other period related problems, I’d recommend that you speak to your doctor or local sexual health clinic.
Medical professionals will be able to offer you the help you need without having to resort to sticking a vacuum hose into places it really shouldn’t be.”
Let’s hope that unlike many of the other awful trends spread over the internet, this one is halted in its tracks immediately.
If you or a loved one are suffering from an exceptionally brutal period, always consult a trained specialist. As a general rule of thumb, ghetto-rigged medical solutions are never a good idea.
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