Did you know that some ancient medical books have cut out vaginas in illustrations of female anatomies?
Some say this perfectly portrays society’s fear to explore women’s sexuality. Others see it as an explanation as to why understanding female anatomy seemed to be a little delayed compared to male’s. Still, this fact is very telling of the reality that women’s intimate health is rarely talked about before, and to some degree, today.
Silence on the Subject
For many cultures, like ours, women’s intimate health is still taboo. Just consider the cute, sugarcoated nicknames we attached to vagina and other sexual-health-related terms to keep our conversations low-key: “vajayjay”, “sandwich” (for sanitary napkins), “that time of the month” (for periods).
This culture of shame towards the female body leaves many women confused about themselves. Pretty sure, you have asked yourself: “Is my vagina normal?” or “why does my vagina ‘fart’ sometimes?” or “why are my labia lips swollen?”. But of course, these questions are rarely verbalized. Bet you consulted not your best friend or mom about these, but… Google.
When it comes to intimate health, the last thing women want to do is talk about it and understand it better, that’s why it becomes harder for them to make informed decisions.
It’s important to open the conversation about intimate health and break the stigma towards it.
Breaking the Silence
One of the most-often avoided talks about intimate health is vaginal problems.
Most people go about their lives without being able to understand their body and each body part’s functions. The vagina is one of them, remaining a big mystery for many women.
Contrary to what most people think, the vagina is not just the external body part you see when peeing. The vagina is like a tube that extends approximately 9 centimeters, about the size of a lip gloss container. The vagina is an ecosystem, consisting of bacteria and microorganisms. It’s like you have a garden down there, with many stuff growing microbiologically. See, John Mayer is right – your body is a wonderland.
When there’s an imbalance in this ecosystem, with not enough good bacteria to counter the bad, bacterial vaginosis happens. This is one of the intimate health issues many women aged 15 to 44 face, with pregnant women more at risk for the condition. It’s an embarrassing health problem, as its common symptom is a smelly discharge that’s often color grayish white or yellow.
Who would want to have a smelly vagina, right? To treat the condition, probiotic suppositories, like Ecovag® are often recommended. These can also help maintain the healthy vaginal flora, preventing such infections.
Another topic about intimate health that’s commonly avoided is sex. Sex brings pleasure, but for some women, it’s something to be avoided because it only brings stress and pain.
Female sexual dysfunction (FSD), a condition characterized by recurrent problems in sexual drive and response, is common among middle-aged and older women. That feeling of not being in the mood or not being able to come? Or that “it’s-like-a-desert-down-there” sensation? It’s not you who’s at fault; those are symptoms of FSD.
This condition is very complex, as it involves not just physical factors (age, hormonal levels, presence of other medical conditions, etc), but also psychological, like depression or anxiety.
To manage symptoms, some women use intimate gels, like VSense®. The active ingredient of the product improves blood supply in the intimate area, increasing sensitivity and allowing faster reach in orgasm. It’s important to consult your ob-gyn also if you think you’re suffering FSD symptoms so they can properly diagnose your condition and recommend appropriate treatments.
Women’s intimate health has long been swept under the rug. Break the silence on intimate health. Speak up.