Earlier this week, I mentioned that’d I’d had a Za-hoon treatment at a Korean bath house in my area. Now it’s time for the big reveal. A Za-hoon service is also called chai-yok, a V-steam or (let’s just call it what it really is) a vaginal steam bath.
To sum up, a Za-hoon involves stripping down to your birthday suit, sitting on a stool with a hole in it and wearing a shower curtain type drape that hangs around your neck covering you and the stool completely. Beneath the stool, centered under the hole, there is a pot of hot water in which herbs are immersed. As the water boils, the steam gathers underneath this shower curtain drape thing, essentially steaming your girly bits.
I wish I could have taken a picture of myself draped in my own personal pink shower curtain, but you just don’t go around snapping pictures in a mandatory nudity area of a Korean bath house. So you’ll just have to imagine exactly how comical I must have looked. Thankfully I did not have to do it alone. My comrade-in-arms, Sarah, was right by my side sweating it out with me.
Now, I’ve done some strange things in the pursuit of fertility and pregnancy. I’ve listed most of them here before. There’s the classic, put your feet over your head after sex move. Inserting Softcups after sex. Basal temperature charting. Checking cervical mucus. Tracking ovulation with urine tests. I’ve seen an herbalist, an acupuncturist, and, of course, a reproductive endocrinologist. And I’ve taken supplements while imbibing special uterus-strengthening tea blends.
But I have never, ever, steamed my vagina in an attempt to increase my fertility– until now. I wasn’t really into the idea until I read the list of ailments it supposedly treats. I’m not particularly worried about the “fat building up around my waist,” but when I read about the alleged fertility boosting effect I decided to give it a whirl. I mean, really, what could it hurt?
The treatment I had lasted about 40 minutes, but honestly the spa personnel seemed happy to leave us to our Za-hoon-ing for as long as we pleased. Sarah had to tap out at about that time but her little mugwort and wormwood infused pot of water was at a rolling boil while I kept mine at more of a simmer. Staff members also encouraged us to occasionally pull the shower curtain drape thing up over our heads so that the steam would be able to coat our faces as well. Apparently it could be considered a full body facial.
Do I think it worked? Doubtful. Is it enjoyable? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Is it the strangest thing I’ve ever done to bolster my fertility? The verdict is still out. But I will tell you this, I slept like a baby the night after my treatment. If nothing else, I’d recommend a Za-hoon as a sleep aid. Or maybe that was just spending four hours at a spa.
Za-hoon is such a great word. ZA-HOON!!! I guess it’s better than the alternative.