TikTokers Are Putting Ice in Their Vaginas—Here's Why
When Hannah first heard about the TikTok trend where people put ice in their vaginas, she brushed off the idea as dumb—but, eventually, she began to consider it. "Well…It wouldn't hurt to try," she said in a 2020 TikTok video. So, she grabbed a cube of ice from her refrigerator and headed to the bathroom to try it out.
Her expression told viewers everything they needed to know: Looks of discomfort, confusion and concern all crossed her face within seconds.
"You're just going to have to take my word for it, but do not do that," she said. "It's just like, so uncomfortable and just like the weirdest sensation. I will never be doing that again."
While many TikTokers have talked about why you shouldn't try this trend, several others have actually done it. The videos are pretty popular, too: Hannah's viewership soared past 57,000, while most of her other videos garnered somewhere between 100 to 300. The price of going viral may come with some discomfort.
The so-called 'benefits' TikTokers claimed—and the truth behind it
Jennifer Lincoln, an OB-GYN on TikTok, addressed some of the "pros" of this trend she saw in people's videos. Relief for depression and anxiety, vaginal tightness and curing warts were all among the list—unfortunately, none of which comes from ice in your vagina, she shared in a video. Other users claimed the ice could cure bacterial overgrowth in your vagina, which, again, is untrue.
Further, ice can cause problems. "It can, when used directly, sometimes damage the skin," said Ness Cooper, a clinical sexologist who works as a sex and relationship coach at The Sex Consultant. "The coldness of the ice may trigger the vagus nerve and send some people's hearts racing a bit."
Additionally, this trend can mess with your vagina's pH balance, which can lead to infection.
"The pH of water is about seven, and the pH of the vagina is about four. Very different, and that could throw things off," said Staci Tanouye, M.D., a board-certified OB-GYN, in a TikTok video. "So it will not help with infections, and could put you at risk for even more."
#femininehygiene #gyn #idknever #icecube #icecubechallenge #edutok♬ original sound - Staci Tanouye, MD
In other words, as you've probably heard many times before: Don't believe everything you hear on the internet. But if you're going to try it, Cooper recommends adding lube first to reduce the risks of chilling your nether region.
How to actually get those benefits
If you're interested in the trend because of the positive improvements TikTokers claim, you'll probably want to stick to the usual methods.
For mental health struggles, consider going to therapy, taking medication and practicing self-care. As for tightening your vagina, while the concept of a "loose vagina" is a myth used to shame women for having sex, you can tighten things up by practicing Kegels, aka squeezing your pelvic floor muscles.
And while cryotherapy, a treatment in which doctors apply extreme cold to destroy abnormal tissue, is used to help with genital warts, shoving a piece of ice up inside you isn't the same thing and won't do the trick.
Finally, if you're worried about preventing bacterial overgrowth (which is what leads to bacterial vaginosis), wear cotton underwear, use condoms and dental dams, don't douche and avoid getting anything that's touched your anus on your vagina. Remember, as mentioned above, ice can actually cause an infection, not cure one.
But, if you're into temperature play…
If you want to try this trend for other reasons, such as making sex hotter with something cold (which is called temperature play, a form of BDSM), you can still do that—with some modifications.
"When using ice, it's best to either use a condom over it to help reduce the risk, or opt for items such as glass sex toys that can be cooled under a cold tap and won't be as cold," Cooper said.
You can use lube that's been in the fridge, too, she added.
While playing with cold sensations can make sex feel more pleasurable, putting ice inside your vagina is not the way to go. This TikTok trend (yet another one) is not worth trying.