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Fake "virginity kits" have been pulled from the shelves after critics slammed the "appalling" invasive products and called for a ban.
Firms including eBay and Amazon have been blasted for selling packages of blood capsules designed to be inserted "2-3 hours before intercourse" to give the illusion of a hymen.
The fake-blood capsules were available for anywhere between £36.80 to £82.57 at the time of writing.
On Amazon, the "artificial hymen kit" was being flogged for £42.99, with £12.95 delivery to the UK.
In some parts of the world, women are still tortured and killed because they were not thought to be virgins on their wedding night.
Even in the West, some girls fear abuse and shame from new partners if they believe they have slept with another man.
But charities have slammed firms for offering that are designed to trick partners and "restore virginity".
It comes after it was revealed that clinics were offering virginity reconstruction surgeries here in the UK.
The kits, which come with fake blood capsules and tweezers, are self-administered. No qualified doctor is involved in the DIY procedure.
VirginiaCare is one such firm offering self-dissolving artificial hymens that ‘simulate virginity’.
The kits, which are readily available on Amazon and eBay, included two pills to be inserted in the hours prior to intercourse.
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Their website explains: “The capsules and the high-quality blood powder contained therein have then completely dissolved. In the case of sexual intercourse, it mixes with your vaginal secretions and runs out as a natural quantity of blood.”
The website also carries testimonials from customers, one of which, from a woman named Saloni in India, reads: “I would like to thank you for sending Blood Capsules on time.
“You saved my marriage life.”
Campaigners have slammed the products as being dangerous and damaging to perceptions of virginity – and called for them to be banned.
Since being approached by the Daily Star, eBay has pulled the product from its online market place.
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Jane Kenyon, CEO of teenage empowerment charity Girls Out Loud, told The Daily Star: “I am appalled by this product. Not only am I stressed it is so easily available to teenage girls I am even more distressed it is needed at all for any woman and reading the instruction on use it hardly seems safe or sanitary.
“It never ceases to amaze me how far society will go to make women and young girls feel inadequate and somehow not good enough.
“I spend my life listening to girls list everything about their bodies they dislike or often hate, everything from their hair to their big toe. I kid you not.
"So we do not need a product that tells them unless they are a virgin when they have sex they will be judged unworthy and don’t get me started on the dangerous implications of invasive products like these.
“I don’t think we will be seeing similar kits for men and boys anytime soon do you?
"I would like to see these products banned or at the least be restricted to some sort of medical intervention, although I am struggling to understand why any woman would need this or any of the complimentary products available.
“But as a minimum let’s keep them away from our young girls.”
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As well as the blood capsules, other virginity restoring products on offer included a 'tightening gel' which purports to make the vagina 'tender yet firm'.
Lisa Hallgarten, head of policy and public affairs at sexual health charity Brook, told the Daily Star: “We would strongly discourage people from purchasing or using 'artificial hymen' or 'vaginal tightening' products.
“Tightening products may be physically harmful, because they work by having an astringent effect on the vagina simply drying it out to increase friction. This is likely to make intercourse uncomfortable or even painful and brings with it the risk of tissue damage, inflammation or even infection.
“Many artificial hymen products are simply fake blood capsules which give the illusion of bleeding as a result of vaginal penetration that has been historically associated with first sex.
“However, many women do not bleed at first sex, because for most there is little left of their hymen which is tissue that has largely disappeared by adolescence. When women bleed at first sex it is likely to be because of lack of natural or artificial lubrication and more likely indicates painful sex than first sex.”
A spokesman for eBay told the Daily Star: “eBay sellers are not allowed to make unsubstantiated health claims. We have removed the listings, and are communicating with sellers regarding our policies to prevent these items being listed in the future”.
Amazon declined to comment.
VirginiaCare has been contacted for comment.
- In the News
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