Why don't we as women talk about our own Vagina? They are not something sinister, or an abomination to the world? Our Vagina is the place where life itself initiates, it is the place that gives us sexual pleasure and the internal functionality of it makes sure our bodies are cleansed each month. Then why do women shy away from talking about the health of their vagina?
This week we have Ashleigh, a full-time physiotherapist in Melbourne who loves tackling topics that make women cringe. She wants to tell you that it is ok to talk about... your vaginal health!
Over to Ashleigh
Vagina. There, I said it. It’s out in the open. I’ll give you 10 seconds to get over your shock, and then it’s time to get on with it…
Why is it that as women we’re so scared of the word “vagina?” It’s just a body part, right? By the time boys hit 14 years old they’re well acquainted with their private parts, to the point of bragging about them with their mates. Yet as women, we barely know our own bodies.
Getting to know Ashleigh
I’m a Physiotherapist and work a lot in the women’s health space. I’ve seen all sorts of vagina’s, and I’m clearly comfortable with talking about them.
Yet I can’t help but take notice of the squirmish looks I receive when I ask my female patient’s about their lady bits.
It’s part of my job to know about whether you’re experiencing painful intercourse, leakage with exercise, or a heavy dragging sensation “down there”, but when I ask I’m often met with shyness, confusion, irritability, or disgust.
What is the problem, Ashleigh?
The problem goes beyond odd looks and awkward discussions though. Many of the women I see are unaware of their sex organ anatomy and all the amazing things our female bodies are capable of.
They often don’t even really know what their own vagina looks like, let alone touch themselves to find out how it feels.
It’s this lack of acquaintance that’s causing a massive problem in our society.
Show me some STATS!
Here are the stats. 1 in 3 women will experience leakage or incontinence in their lifetime, and over half of all women who have given birth will experience some level of pelvic organ prolapse, but only 1 in 5 women seek help.
It’s estimated that sexual difficulties affect 20-40% of the population, but most of these women just learn to live with it.
There are of course many factors leading to this issue; culture, fear of having to discuss it, and not knowing that it can be treated among many, many others.
The first step
But how about we start with this. “Vagina”. Go on, say it. Talk about it. Laugh about it with your girlfriends.
Confide in your mother about it. Ask your health professional if something can be done. Teach your daughters about their vagina’s.
Why? Because the sooner we remove the taboo around the word the better. Because otherwise, we have no hope of changing those statistics until we start to talk about them.
Follow the journey of physiotherapist @Ashleighlani on Instagram
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