Ladies, we need to talk about our vaginas.
From periods to pap smears, we’ve come a long way in opening up the dialogue on women’s health. But when it comes to talking about our vaginas, we still fall mute in many areas.
So why is this the case? And more importantly, how do we change it?
With International Women’s Day on 8 March, we thought we’d share the costs of feeding the stigma on vaginal health – and how we can all help shatter this taboo.
The final frontier: talking about vaginal health
In the past century, we’ve made leaps and bounds in breaking the taboo on women’s health topics.
We’ve destigmatised breast health, spoken loud and proud about fertility, and now, we’re even starting to smash the shame surrounding periods – thanks in part to progressive, down-to-earth brands like Modibodi and Thinx.
But when it comes to talking about certain aspects of our dear vaginas, we still seem to clam up. Namely, when discussing vaginal health issues like thrush and vaginal infections – which still have an air of taboo.
Yet this stigma has serious costs
Yes, it can feel easier to ignore a stigmatised topic in the moment. But continuing to do so comes with sobering long-term consequences.
The irony here is that by not talking about something, we’re actually speaking volumes. We’re saying that the topic doesn’t matter. We’re saying it’s not important.
So what if your vagina doesn’t feel quite right… and it’s a stigmatised issue to discuss?
You’re unlikely to seek medical advice – which could be disastrous.
But by openly discussing vaginal health, we’re more likely to know the signs and symptoms of a vagina that’s not so healthy. And this will dramatically reduce our risks of expensive and serious medical issues down the track.
Breaking the taboo will also empower us to be more in tune with our bodies – and banish those feelings of embarrassment or shame. After all, you’d never feel embarrassed about a throat infection, so why feel shameful about a vaginal one?
In short, the outcomes are only positive!
How we can give vaginas a voice
Everyone has a role to play when it comes to amplifying and destigmatising the subject of vaginal health.
And it all starts with you.
When we reflect on taboo women’s health issues over the centuries, it always came down to courageous individual women who spoke out about their experiences and issues.
So perhaps you can be a trailblazer too? We know it can be scary, but other women will thank you for it.
And of course, the onus falls on our healthcare practitioners to lead initiatives that help to normalise vaginal health.
We also need the Government to play their part through adapting our education system – wouldn’t it be amazing if girls could learn about vaginal health at school?
Never underestimate the power of a community to break down barriers, overpower the silence and fuel the revolution in vaginal and intimate wellness.
Finally, it’s up to companies in the vaginal healthcare industry. These businesses have a corporate responsibility to pave the way in the vaginal health movement.
At Kolorex, we’re practising what we preach. As a leading provider of vaginal care products, we’re dedicated to breaking down the taboos about vaginal health. This means never shying away from using the word ‘vagina’ – and embracing every opportunity to talk about vaginal health.
Because we know that vaginal health is the last frontier of women’s health empowerment. And we want to be at the forefront.