Dr. Jen Gunter

Gluing your labia shut during your period is a bad idea

Some dude chiropractor in Kansas wants women to glue their labia shut during their period as an option to pads, tampons, and a menstrual cup. His product is called mensez, you know, because it sounds like menses.

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He claims to have invented some amazing sealant that you apply to the labia minora to seal them together holding in blood. This amazing sealant will then magically release when you urinate, allowing the blood to flow into the toilet. Once you have finished your urinary business then you simply reapply and go on with your day until your next urge to empty your bladder. He calls it feminine lipstick, get it? Because it goes on your labia.

This is stupid for some many reasons it hurts my brain. Here are my top four:

  1. This dude wants us to believe he has invented a miracle skin sealant that is magically reversible with urine, but not blood or sweat and can withstand a significant amount of friction. Ha ha ha ha. There is no Post-it Note labial glue.
  2. Reapplying some kind of glue, even some magically dissolving one, over and over could cause abrasions of the labia minora. Guess what that causes? Real adhesions, as in the labia growing together and needing surgical separation. This is not desirable. I had hoped a chiropractor would know that. Perhaps I expect too much.
  3. The idea that a complete blood tight seal could be obtained with some kind of simple home application is ridiculous. Perhaps he has never seen labia up close? It is technically possible for the labia to fuse shut with inflammatory skin conditions, such as lichen planus and lichen sclerosus and even occasional with severe atrophy. Basically, the skin from either side of the vaginal opening grows together. I treat this condition and I have seen women in urinary retention from this, so yes, a water tight seal is technically possible when the skin grows together, but with a glue?  Getting a perfect seal without using a mirror could be challenging and messy. Also, not everyone has labia large enough to cover their introitus comfortably without significant traction.
  4. Imagine the pain if you sat the wrong way or readjusted your labia and forgot they were glued together! I’m crossing my legs in pain just thinking if it!

Given the attention to the mensez.com site I doubt this is a joke.

Menstrual products in the United States require FDA approval, so this isn’t coming to a store near you anytime soon. If this appears on Kickstarter (they looove vagina products because they get attention and so usually get funded, who cares if they are not biologically plausible or safe or useful, right?) I’d give it a hard pass. If this guy has truly invented safe, reversible, non toxic skin glue strong enough to hold the labia together for 8 hours that only dissolves with urine and not blood then it would have many applications in wound care and the operating room and Pharma or the military would be fighting over it.

So no, a Kansas chiropractor has likely not invented Post-it Notes glue for the labia. However, if it is as amazing as he claims I would love to see a video or him using it on his own lips. How he gets the urine up there is, of course, his business.