Doctors warn women not to put tobacco in the vagina amid claims that it "increases sexual desire"

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Although tobacco is generally associated with smoking, a worrying trend has seen some women putting tobacco in their vaginas in hopes of increasing their sexual desire.

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The practice is popular in West Africa, where tobacco is often called a "miracle recipe" for "sending your man to seventh heaven".

However, doctors warned against the practice, which can lead to a series of complications including ulcers and abnormal menstruation.

Talking to SciDevNet Professor Pascal Foumane, a gynecologist at the University of Yaoundé, explained: “These products generally create ulcers that, due to scars, shrink the vagina, make it difficult and may even go so far as to close it completely.

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"It can even make normal menstrual flow impossible."

Tobacco is generally associated with smoking

Experts believe that tobacco can give users a tingling sensation due to the retraction of the vaginal muscles when in contact with its chemical components.

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However, Abdoulaye Diop, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Dakar, warned: "This feeling is transitory and misleading, because the attacked vaginal mucosa will eventually develop changes that are the gateway to cancer."

Vaginal smoking can also cause complications during childbirth if used by pregnant women.

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Aminatta Seck, a midwife based in Sedhiou, said: "They had a very large increase in the rate of uterine contractions, which sometimes caused a decrease in oxygenation in the fetus, resulting in stillbirths or, in other cases, neonatal death."

The warning comes shortly after experts warn against eating food in the vagina.

Speaking to Mirror Online, Bethany Fawcett, a contraception and sexual health nurse for the sexual health of young people and charities, Brook said: “It's never a good idea to put food in your vagina or vulva.

"Doing so can disrupt the pH of the vagina and potentially lead to urinary tract infections, fungal infections or bacterial vaginosis (BV)."

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