USA TODAY International Edition

Kardashian’s ‘ vagina gummies’ send mixed messages, experts say

- Hannah Yasharoff

Kourtney Kardashian’s vitamin supplement brand, Lemme, recently rolled out a line of aesthetica­lly pleasing gummy vitamins promoted as a way to boost vaginal health – 60 lavender- colored gummies for $ 30 a bottle with a tonguein- cheek name: Purr.

Not only have medical experts questioned the effectiveness of these oral vitamins, many argue that the product as a whole perpetuate­s problemati­c messaging that women’s bodies need to be fixed.

“The best case scenario is that ... they’re basically like taking candy,” says Dr. Mare Mbaye, a New York- based OBGYN. At worst, experts say, they could trigger vaginal issues. And more, they contribute to the myth that women should be self- conscious about the natural state of their bodies.

USA TODAY has reached out to representa­tives for Lemme for comment.

Do Lemme Purr vaginal health gummies work?

The Purr vitamins are marketed as “clinically- studied SNZ 1969 ™ probiotics specifically target vaginal health and pH levels to support freshness and odor,” with “added Vitamin C for antioxidan­t benefits and real Pineapple extract.” Doctors have a few issues with that.

First, clinically- studied can mean a wide range of things, Mbaye says, noting companies often say their products were studied, but that study could have been done internally, without bias and without enough of a represente­d group to make an accurate claim about effectiveness.

Probiotics are a hot topic in wellness culture right now, but Mbaye notes that there isn’t much evidence to suggest they make a difference for the average healthy person. And for those sensitive to certain ingredient­s, this product could affect their vaginal bacteria and “make them more prone to infections or other side effects,” Mbaye adds.

Plus a product that helps balance probiotics and pH levels is mostly unnecessar­y, experts add.

A vagina, for most people, takes care of this on its own. Vulvas also can be washed with mild soap and water to promote regulated levels, adds Dr. Laura Purdy, chief medical officer of sexual and reproducti­ve telehealth company Wisp.

What message is this sending?

Capitalism is at least partly to blame here, experts note. The Kardashian- Jenner family has built an empire around identifyin­g body insecuriti­es and offering solutions that can seemingly only be solved with the products they sell.

“It’s frustratin­g because it’s basically taking advantage of young people’s insecuriti­es and this patriarcha­l idea that the vagina needs to smell like flowers or smell like fruit to be appealing to somebody else,” Mbaye says. “You don’t see this happening with penises. We’re not trying to make penises smell a certain way.”

Anyone considerin­g purchasing a product to affect the vagina in some way should first determine if they think there’s a legitimate issue. If the answer is yes, experts say consulting a medical provider is the best step to take.

“It’s important to dismantle the notion that vaginas should have an overwhelmi­ngly good smell – they’re a part of the body and as such, can have a variety of scents, all of which can be healthy, which is what matters most,” Purdy says.

Mbaye adds: “I wouldn’t fall for these gimmicks that make you feel like something is wrong with you because these aren’t going to improve your vaginal health enough to prevent or treat any actual vaginal issues that you may have.”

 ?? MICHAEL LOCCISANO/ GETTY IMAGES ?? Kourtney Kardashian is raising eyebrows with gummies for vaginal health.
MICHAEL LOCCISANO/ GETTY IMAGES Kourtney Kardashian is raising eyebrows with gummies for vaginal health.

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