IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT FEMININE INTIMATE HEALTH

REALLY it is.

Sure it may be tricky, embarrassing or awkward at times, but it’s a topic that we need to be more comfortable with.

Something we need to be able to discuss more openly. Something that we shouldn’t feel funny about. Something which has to stop making us cringe.

Feminine intimate health.

It’s as simple as looking after our vaginas (yep, I went there) and making sure they remain healthy and well, happy!

So why is it so difficult to #GetComfortable with?

It’s a strange thing, typing the word ‘vagina’ on here, I admit. Just a word and an important one too, but I’ll be honest and say, it makes me feel a little uncomfortable even just typing it!

Which is why when Canesten approached me to write a piece on feminine intimate health and hygiene, I very quickly said yes and agreed to help.

Not because I couldn’t wait to talk about this topic (!) but, because it made me feel a little uncomfortable. And well, if I feel uncomfortable at the thought of writing about it, then just how many of us feel uncomfortable talking about it?

It needs to be addressed, does it not?!

Orchid landscape

I don’t know where the ‘shame’ or embarrassment’ comes from, but I do know this. Our vaginas are precious. And need looking after.

They deserve us to speak up for them. To appreciate them. To show them (and ourselves) some love. Especially when things go a bit bonkers down there. Especially when they get a little poorly.

And so today, I’m doing exactly this. For you and for me.

But also for my daughter.

At just three years of age, Elsie is constantly asking questions about her body or my body, and I always try my hardest to answer them honestly and without any hint of shame or embarrassment.

I never discuss my weight in front of her.

I never talk about diets or calories.

I never shy away when she traces my stretchmarks with her little chubby fingers or makes my mum tum,’wibble wobble’.

I’m determined to do my best to help her grow up with a healthy body image and that has to include talking about feminine intimate health issues too, as she becomes a young woman.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

We’ve all suffered bouts of cystitis or thrush. We’ve all had those times when we’ve noticed that things aren’t quite right.

We’ve all suffered in agony after giving birth, feeling so sore that we can barely walk for days or even weeks.

So why can’t we be more open and talk about it more?!

We need to educate ourselves and our daughters more about feminine intimate health, so we can prevent feminine intimate health problems from occurring and stop this cycle of shame.

Canesten has created a brilliant new website, providing all manner of advice and information  so if you’re sat there now feeling embarrassed or like you’re lacking in the knowledge department about your lady region, please do check it out.

The #GetComfortable campaign is such an important initiative so I urge you to get involved, educate yourself about feminine health and also take part in the conversation if you’re comfortable enough.

It will help you, it will help stop the shame and it will help us all to learn to appreciate and care for our incredible bodies a little bit more.

Ladies, it’s about time we learned to love our vaginas AND get much more comfortable with talking about them.

————

A GIVEAWAY!

To get the #GetComfortable conversation started on Pouting In Heels, Canesten have very kindly given me a £50 John Lewis voucher to give away to one lucky reader!

To take part, all you need to do is leave a comment below, answering this question – Do you find feminine health a difficult topic to discuss?

With love,

Kate

Lips

 

 

 

Disclaimer – This post has been supported by Canesten, but as always, all thoughts are my own.

 

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569 Discussions on
“IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT FEMININE INTIMATE HEALTH”
  • I used to find talking about intimate health issues difficult to talk about but for a while now my Mum has been having lot’s of problems so now it seems normal to talk about it, I think in general talking about it more will help people feel less awkward :)

  • It depends who I’m talking to. I can’t with my mum but that’s the way I was brought up. I can talk openly with my husband and my children though.

  • No I don’t find it a difficult topic as I think it’s something that a lot of the population go through and our body isnt something to be embarrassed about

  • No, it’s a part of who we are, the world has moved on from the days when things weren’t discussed and pushed under the carpet

  • depends who I am talking to, but generally only my partner and doctor and maybe my sister. Not Mum though!

  • I found it awkward to talk about things when younger but now I am fine talking to close friends and family about anything

  • I think sometimes it can be awkward but depends on who I’m talking to. It would be great for people not to feel embarrassed.

  • Hi, yes I really do. I had a hysterectomy in march and people tend to just nod or change the subject when I’ve tried to talk about it or even mention it. Its something that shouldn’t be so tabboo. I had it done to prevent ovarian cancer so its been a huge thing for me.

  • No, completely natural. At one point in a woman’s life, every woman would probably have the same problem.

  • Yes I find it very difficult to discuss the topic with anyone other than my doctor! I am used to my Doctor and she puts me at ease
    If she isn’t available then I do tend to get very nervous but once you have discussed any issues it is a huge relief

  • I think it depends who you are talking to about it and in what context, I do think we should be happier to discuss issues than most people seem to be.

  • No not with family and friends but I wouldn’t openly discuss with colleagues for example.
    Not for the embarrassment factor more a privacy matter :)

  • Yes, before I had children! But not anymore, once you have kids and lost your dignity a few times I think feminine health issues become alot easier to talk about. Although I do understand how women find it a difficult subject to talk about, especially to a doctor, it’s a very private matter but you just have to remember that you won’t be the first or last women to talk to that doctor or professional person.

  • Not anymore, I used to shy away from everything to do with that area but after 4 children, two boys and two girls you realise that it is better to go red and have a giggle for 5 minutes but get a problem sorted than leave it to get worse, I try and be very open with my children and they are with me :)

  • I agree with the comment above that it’s not a topic for dinner parties! However, I’ve had issues since I was tiny so it’s just part of who I am and I’m used to it. It’s something I’m very aware that I want to get right for my daughter.

  • Sometimes its easy if you’re talking to a female doctor or a long time friend, but other times it’s very difficult xx

  • I don’t find it difficult but I have an open circle of friends and family. I can see sometimes that others are shocked to be expected to talk openly though which is sad.

  • Not at all anymore, i was never too bothered but since becoming a mommy this year i have no problem at all.

  • yes i do. i have never talked about it with my mother and have difficulties talking t my own daughters

  • Not really as have a very open relationship with my husband and find it easy to discuss any hinges with him. Also find it easy to talk to my close friends about.

  • No I think it’s a good idea to talk openly, I’ve always been brought up that way and even though I’ve only had boys I have brought my two grown up boys to talk openly also and discuss anything and never feel embarrassed or afraid

  • Yes, I do. It’s a very private thing to discuss. I think both upbringing and culture influence how easy or not people find it.

  • Oh god yes! I feel extremely uncomfortable discussing personal issues. I’d rather Google things then I don’t have to speak to anyone.

  • I used to be embarassed before having children but not now, i’m quite happy to discuss feminine hygeine with my husband, daughter friends etc. it’s not a taboo subject these days which is a good thing

  • I think as we’ve got a bit older and health issues come up me and my friends are more open about things and appreciate knowing someone else as had similar experiences.

  • I’m able to discuss stuff with the doctor and some of my pals . Not all of them though as I know some find it difficult

  • Yes I do!
    In my Gp surgery it’s full of male locums, so I either have to wait 3-4 weeks to see a woman or speak to a young unapproachable nurse that’s there.

  • I’m far more open to discussing these issues as I get older but usually only with female relatives and friends.

  • It depends with whom. I can talk about it with my hubby, and sisters – but not if they’re in the same room!

  • No, I don’t. If I have a problem and I have to see the doctor I just get on with it and treat it like I’d be having a cold ;). I often feel that doctors seem more embarrassed than me. I also make sure my daughters can trust me and tell me if there might be something they need to tell me about. They are still young, 3 and 8, but I want them to be open about any issue they might have in future.

  • Before having children I would have been too embarrassed but now I feel I can openly talk to my mum and my husband about feminine health. They were both there with me when I had my son and I now feel much closer to them both.

    I would love to win the voucher to treat all my family xx

  • Sometimes – I find it best to trust either a good friend or a health professional. A website would be good to search all those things you think no-one has ever searched before…!

  • I find it quite embarrassing, it depends who I am chatting with I would be more comfortable chatting to a friend rather than my mum x

  • I can talk to my friends, workmates and my children, including my 2 sons, but would not broach the subject with my mother. We’ve never talked about personal things like that. If she asked me about it I would answer but if i had problems i would discuss with friends.

  • It depends who i am talking with, if its my Dad then yes, although if i wanted to tell him something i would

  • Not at all, I work with a bunch of girls and we have regular discussions about our bits and bobs, it’s good to talk, especially if something isn’t quite right

  • It depend on who I am talking too, I am quite open when talking about it with family and close friends.

  • I don’t find female health difficult to discuss at all!! I find it offensive when people do find it hard to discuss! Its natural!

  • I can talk to my mum and sister about it, and when I go to the doctors I ask to see a female doctor but I have to admit I have avoided my last smear reminder and only go to the doctors if I really have too xxx

  • Have to say yes I do, with anyone really, I’m ok with a woman doctor, but that’s about the only person, I have a habit of making light of anything, only so I don’t have to discuss it with my husband or family

  • I wouldn’t bring the topic up through choice but would talk to someone if there was a problem with myself or my daughters had a issue.

  • Depends who I am talking to my, am ok speaking to my bes friends and sister but to other people I find it difficult.

  • I openly talk to my sister or friends but not so much my mum as she worries too much and I also think it’s time for me to listen to her and not have the worrying of me.

  • Yes, I am even finding it difficult to type that. We really shouldn’t though, we should just relax and remember that we all have the same bits and bobs!

  • I suppose so, it’s never really been something I’ve had to discuss and so like anything I find that makes it feel more of a ‘taboo’ subject but after reading your article to my mum we ended up having a lengthy conversation about it and why it sometimes can be ‘awkward’ and we realised together just how ‘normal’ the topic actually is! Thank you!

  • It depends who i’m talking to but ultimately yes, I do find it quite a difficult topic to bring up and discuss. I know I shouldn’t really as it’s completely normal but I think the subject can still be very ‘taboo’

  • Sometimes but once I start to talk I feel relieved to be getting answers so need to be more open as most trained professionals have come across similar problems many times; it is only me that feels uncomfortable.

  • No we are a lot more outspoken now, I even took my son to sex clinic years ago (don’t tell him I told you that, he wouldn’t be amused)

  • it depends who I’m talking to, I guess but I have a daughter and I have tried to make all things natural with her so that they become easier to talk about – for me and her. the more you don’t talk about it, the harder it becomes to talk about, I think

  • It depends who I’m talking to…. My mum was never afraid to talk about that sort of stuff but since she passed away theres no women in the family I can talk to it about. But my hubby and girl friends its no problem at all.

  • It depends who I’m with but as a general consensus, I don’t find it a difficult subject at all. #GetComfortable

  • Depends on who I am talking too, the person I would ask advice from would be my mum and there might be the odd discussion with a very close friend!

  • I used to when I was younger but I found it easy enough to talk with my daughter and would not have problem discussing it with anyone

  • I don’t! I’m a secondary school teacher so it is something I have to have discussions about yearly. I think it’s important to be open with these things.

  • No not really although I am a nurse so I’m quite used to strange conversations about female anatomy! Lol 😄

  • Yes I find it difficult. My mother was never one to be shy about anything but being a young girl and new to everything I was! So because of this I was never able to talk to her again about anything to do with my body, I can talk within limits to my friends but there are no details! It’s a shame because I feel I probably didn’t get the advice I needed! But it’s a lesson learnt for me if I ever have a little girl!

  • I do find it difficult talking to a male doctor about health problems that only another woman can appreciate (PERIOD PAINS).

  • A little still but I am getting better as I am now starting to discuss things with my stepdaughter.

  • No, not at all. I’m very open with my friends and husband and my friends are very open with each other. There is to much at stake to mess around.

  • When I was much younger I did find talking about feminine health difficult, but now I am much older and have a daughter of my own I find it much easier and also encourage my daughter to be open and discuss any issues she may have.

  • I used to find it quite difficult as it seemed that if you mentioned feminine health, there was something terribly wrong with you or you were considered gross just for mentioning it! Now I find it much easier to discuss with friends and family and have found that a lot of the time if you’re experiencing it, you aren’t the first or the only. It’s much better to talk about. There aren’t always a lot of symptoms when something is wrong and by keeping quiet, something serious can be allowed to become worse, all because of a little embarrassment.

  • It depends on who I am discussing it with. With a total stranger yes, but with family and close friends, not really.

  • after having cancer 20 years ago as my kids grew up took them to all my smears check ups now nobody has a problem with feminine problems not even my son

  • It is one of those things that only gets discussed when absolutely necessary and I find it difficult to discuss. I think the campaign is a good idea as it will make future generations less shy and should improve female health

  • I don’t find it hard most of the time – some of the words can be slightly awakward to say though!

  • I did at first but I feel its essential to be honest with my daughters and to try and help them look after themselves.

  • No l find it easy l think us girls should talk about it more after all we all have them.
    my mum had endometrial cancer and so did her mum sister and gran so she’s always asking if everything is ok downstairs lol xxx

  • Since my very difficult delivery of twins 20 years ago and subsequent multiple gynaecological problems since, I have no problems talking about feminine health at all! My shyness and embarrassment had to take a back seat and now I am very comfortable talking about it.

  • I do not find it uncomfortable to talk about my body and brought my children up to be comfortable talking about their own . I would not want them to be too embarrassed to talk to a doctor if they had a problem

  • It can be difficult as we do get embarrassed but after having smears with pre-canerous cells i take it seriously as prevention is better than cure and it’s made me less embarrassed to talk about it

  • I invented a treatment for menstrual pains while still a school boy, which is on my website. I cannot get publicity for it, or get the medical profession to campaign on it, so I rely on word of mouth. Whenever I see a woman in pain I go and talk. I also invented a way of stopping blushing so it is a role I can do.

  • No, not to discuss….but examinations such as ‘Smear Tests’, that’s a different matter.

  • Yes, I find discussing feminine health topics difficult to discuss. I think it goes back to our upbringing – certain things were never talked about as they were too embarrassing. These days, however, feminine health topics should be discussed openly, not kept hidden away.

  • I am generally comfortable but it does depend who I am talking to and how many people are in the conversation.

  • No. We women all go through intimate health problems so I don’t think there’s any shame in discussing it.

  • No, not at all – after infertility investigations then having 6 babies and suffering from Crohn’s, I am used to talking about all my bits and having them looked at to!

  • I never discussed anything with my Mum when I was young, I still don’t now. I talk more comfortably with friends, will definitely be different with my daughters as they grow.

  • Yes I do, I go out out of my way to talk to a woman doctor. I’m ok with my sister and close friend but I would rather look on the internet for answers/concerns.

  • I find it a difficult topic to broach – it would have to be the right setting to discuss it (ie not over dinner or afternoon tea!). I can discuss such things easily with mum but not with many friends

  • I’d find it slightly uncomfortable discussing the topic with my male Doctor, but realise how important it is, so would overcome any shyness. It’s not a topic I’d feel comfortable discussing with friends, but I would not be embarrassed talking about this to my sister.

  • I think it depends who I’m talking with. Complete male stranger then yes, female, less so. My family (mum ok but dad I’d be embarrassed!). Ok with husband and daughter – though she’s only 5 so tends to be “wee wee bit” lol!

  • I feel more comfortable discussing such things in a small group or one on one than a bigger group, not sure why though!

  • Thank you for this article, it really helped me to see things differently. Yes I don’t tend to talk about things like that, but will certainly do it more.

  • No but then I’m a nurse and it would be a bit worrisome if I couldn’t! It constantly surprises me though how many women seem completely unfamiliar with their anatomy and the correct names for their body parts. I cannot tell you how many women have been surprised at the fact that their urethral entrance is actually a separate ‘hole’ to their vaginal entrance. Get a mirror, check it all out, get familiar with it all, it’s your body after all!

  • Yes I do find it difficult to discuss. I am lucky to have found a lovely female doctor though & I feel happy discussing anything with her.

  • im a real prude and wont go the doctors or talk about intimate health unless there is something wrong i really feel so silly how ashamed i get talking about matters liked theses as a 31 year old woman but it is something im yet to overcome xx fab giveaway thankyou x

  • As I have got older & experienced life I do not find any subject difficult to discuss anything with anybody. The world seems to have moved on from bodies being a little taboo to talk about,

  • Definitely! I’m not 100% comfortable with talking to other women about it, but I definitely feel it is a taboo subject around men. Whenever I make any reference to my time of the month – however vague – around men I get responses of disgust and get told it’s ‘too much information’!

  • I think most ladies in their younger days are embarrassed by these issues. I used to be very uncomfortable talking about feminine health issues until I suffered a miscarriage. I then had a D & C which caused me Ashermans Syndrome (severe scarring in my uterus). I had to have two further operations to try to correct this. I was prodded and poked by gynaecologist after gynaecologist and now I have no shame! They really have seen it all, so no point in hiding if you have even the slightest worry about your ‘feminine’ health. Better safe than sorry. I had no idea that Ashermans Syndrome existed and I struggled for nearly a year to get a diagnosis. I now know that fertility can be restored with quick treatment to divide the scarring. I wish people were more able to talk about issues women face. There might be less ignorance about conditions such as this and I could have had a better outcome fertility wise if I had been treated quickly. I am now spreading the word to anyone who will listen and I find that the more you talk about these issues, the more comfortable you feel about it. They are just human bodies and we all have vaginal health issues at some point in our lives. Take the lead and talk to your friends about these issues, I bet that they will respond by sharing their stories too. A problem shared, is a problem halved!

  • I was never able to discuss that type of thing with my Mum but over the years I’ve had so many problems with endometriosis & precancerous cells that I find I must talk to friends about it to warn them of the telltale signs. I was lucky & caught mine before it turned cancerous because I had an amazing GP & Gynaecologist

  • Hear hear! I think that a great deal of us couldn’t discuss these things with our parents. I grew up reading “Just Seventeen” and then “More Magazine” came out – which my mother HATED!

    I agree that the key is to not be embarrassed. All women have vaginas and all women should check their breasts. I am open with my daughter but only when she wants to talk and when it has been age appropriate. It’s a real role reversal in our relationship – it is my 11 year old daughter who is embarrassed to the point that I bought her a book about ‘growing up’ for Christmas. However, she knows that she can ask me anything and I will talk about vaginal health as easily as talking about the weather. I think it is critical to be able to talk because it could prevent something going untreated – being it cystitis or something more dangerous.

  • I always found it difficult to talk about it with my parents but I can talk easily about it with friends.

  • Yes I definitely feel uncomfortable talking about any health issue with both family & friends & try to avoid engaging in those conversation topics !!

  • Yes i do, i can’t talk to anybody about it as i have serious body issues with my self, im being medicated for my anxiety but im still extremely scared to talk to people or doctors about my body, so what your doing is incredible and it going to help your daughter in the long run i to have answered my daughters questions as good as i can without talk about me to her so hopefully she wont be as shy as i am about everything.

  • I suffer from interstitial cystitis so I have always had to talk about kind of intimate stuff quite often, but saying that I could only discuss it with my family – and I DO find it harder to talk about intimate things to males….other than my husband!

  • No – I have no problem talking about it – as I was growing up my Mum and her friends who would openly discuss their ‘womens’ problems’ around me without embarrassment and I guess that has influenced me.

  • No – Just watch an episode of embarrassing bodies & realise that the doctor’s have seen it all before!

  • I find it very uncomfortable to discuss it. I will look on the internet to try and find out more. My hubby is brilliant, I can talk to him even though I get embarassed, he doesn’t, he’ll help me get it sorted. He tells me to go to the doctor as at the end of the day, I won’t be the first person to go with that problem and I certainly won’t be the last.

  • It depends who with. Not so much of a problem with women. I find there is not a lot of medical research on some areas of feminine heath and needs to be more.

  • Luckily my husband is a GP so I find it easy to talk to him about things like that, but I am much more ill at ease talking about it with my friends and female family members.

  • I was so very lucky to be bought up by my mother and grandmother where apon no questions were out of bounds, therefore I have always been like this with my 2 daughter and 1 son, and all 3 know about the woman’s body and how it works and in this day and age this is a must, my eldest daughter I can very openly discuss any problems .

  • Having had serious problems in my teens downstairs and do not find it hard to discuss my health downstairs with male or females. I do feel that it is easier to talk to male Dr’s though as I have had females tell me ‘all women go through it’ and be generally condescending…when I have quite a debilitating illness

  • I don’t find it too difficult as I have got older but I have a friend who just does not discuss things of a personal nature at all and another who gets very squeamish at the mention of anything intimate at all.

  • Sometimes, it depends on who I am talking to. If somebody else brings it up I am happy to add my bit, but I’m not one to start the conversation.

  • No actually. I’ve lived with lots of men at university too, so as long as the other person isn’t too awkward, I won’t be either

  • I find it impossible because my Mum never discussed it with me. I had to find out at school. I found that quite hard to forgive her for really, if she couldn’t do it why not get one of my Aunts to do it?. but no, she just did nothing. I in turn find it hard to talk about now, later on Mum never called them periods either, it was always ‘A visit from Auntie Flo’ no wonder I grew up confused!

  • No, but only because I have a network of exceptionally good family and friends and a husband I can discuss anything with.

  • I don’t find it difficult to discuss. If I’ve had any issues I’ve dealt with them despite visits to the doctors not being right up there with my favourite things to do hahaha! I think my health is very important, no matter which bit of me is the problem!

  • No I can discuss anything with family and friends, we talk and recommend products and I tell them what works or not for me. I am not embarrassed.

  • I don’t have a problem with speaking about it at all but I was Nurse. Although, I know some of my female relatives found it hard to talk about uncomfortable symptoms of the menopause and would suffer than rather go to their GP to discuss it with them.

  • It depends on who I am talking to. If it is a fellow sufferer I have no problem. Prefer to speak to female professionals.

  • I don’t find it embarrassing, after all, it is all natural, however I do get into a dither over what terminology I THINK that the person I am speaking to, would expect me to use!

  • I dont find it hard to talk about at all but i understand why some people do. I definitely think your childhood and partly your relationship with your own mother may have something to do with it.
    My mother is and has always been totally open with me and i think this has contributed to the way i am so open and not embarrassed about it. I am exactly the same with my 10 year old as i want her to be able to talk about any concerns and worries she may have with her vaginal health.

  • It just depends who I spoke to about it- if it was my close friends not- but a stranger probably yes x

  • It really depends who I am talking to. I was not brought up in an open household; my mum never spoke to me about anything relating to feminine health. I didn’t even tell her when I started my period and still don’t discuss things like that with her now! I find it very easy to talk to friends and to Doctors. I think I’ve become more open after finding out I had endometriosis, as this required me to be prodded and probed. We definitely should be more open about feminine health and if I ever have children, I like to take on the same approach as you.

  • I can talk to my close friend about anything but I couldn’t to my mother, she had very old fashioned ways

  • I find it as difficult as any health issue – no one likes to face their body’s ability to go wrong!

  • i feel comfortable talking about it to my girl friends but uncomfortable talking to others including doctors.

  • It should not be difficult but it is, I have 2 daughters and I encourage them to talk about issues to make them aware and not be shy so they would not ignore issues that may occur

  • I feel a lot more comfortable talking to other women about sensitive feminine issues. I feel very happy to talk to other female relatives and more comfortable talking to male relatives than I would with other males even male doctors. But I am lucky as we are a close family and have always been pretty honest and open with each other.

  • I find it very difficult to talk about feminine issues, it was how I was brought up and it is very difficult to break. I had two sons so I never had to talk about it so its not got any better

  • No however I’ve had 2 kids and talking about my hoo-ha is normal! Besides I find having a sense of humour about the whole thing helps :D

  • I found it easy to talk to my daughter as she grew up…hopefully she will do the same. Please try to remember it is just another part of the body, albeit a very important part for differing reasons :)

  • It depends who with, my nearest and dearest I can chat quite freely…even my other half gets in on the conversation and my 12 year old daughter.

  • I used to – but not since abnormal cells were discovered in a recent smear test – now I’m more than happy to talk about feminine health to make others aware of how important smear tests are!

  • depends on whom you are talking to and personal emotional factors at the time?
    i recognise the value of being open about issues to encourage a healthy attitude to and healthy practice in this area.

  • Yes I do, not sure why exactly, its just one of those subjects that seems a little taboo to discuss. On the rare occasions I need to see a doctor about it then I always see a female doctor or the nurse, I feel very uncomfortable discussing the issue with men.

  • No not really, I’m pretty open with that kind of stuff, its your health after all! Unfortunately my nan died because she was embarrassed about going to the doctor when she actually had bowel cancer :(

  • Yes I do. I know I shouldn’t but I never talked about it with my mother and would find it difficult talking about it with my daughter.

  • Personally, yes, partly because it’s the kind of household I grew up in. I also think it stems from the way women are treated by doctors, quite a few male doctors are very quick to dismiss “women’s problems” as “normal”, and therefore women struggle further with talking about it as they feel they’re not being listened to. When you talk to women who have PCOS or endometriosis, one of the most common things that comes out of it was “my doctor didn’t listen and told me my symptoms were a normal part of being a woman”.

  • Before having children I did, but not anymore after the amount of things you have to share with people when pregnant.

  • Never really thought about, I guess I’ve had a problem with it. A good thing as I have two daughters and am quite matter-of-fact with them about health and hygiene!

  • I find it easier to talk to female doctors about it than males. No problems talking to my husband about it though.

  • Yes it can be embarassing – I would only feel comfortable discussing it with a female medical professional really.

  • Yes, to some extent. It depends on how common the topic I’m discussing is. If it’s something a bit *weirder* :/ it is definitely awkward.

  • It depends who I’m talking to I think, I’ll never forget when I first started my period when I was 12, and my Mum went running into the living room to tell my Dad at the top of her voice! I’d never been so embarrassed!! :)

  • I used to but im finding as i get older im less worried about things like that. I think women are much more open to talking about vaginas and that intimate area

  • No I have been brought up to talk about any problems I have no matter what and at the end of the day not speaking out or talking about things like that is when problems can happen.Just find someone you feel comfortable with.

  • I used to, but more comfortable now I had some issues myself. I think more posters and advertisements of the subject will help a great deal.

  • It depends who I’m talking to. Absolutely no problem with my mum and the female gp it’s embarrassing but I can talk to her. It’s very hard to talk to a man though xx

  • depends who i’m talking too, I have no problem talking to my doctor (who is male) or my close friends and even my husband, not sure I would be comfortable talking to Men who were not a medical professional.

  • Things don’t seem to embarrass me as I’ve got older so I suppose age is a plus then!

  • I find discussing things like this ok with a very good female friend but would be quite embarrassed to talk to my mum. However if I have had any sort of problem I would not hesitate to go to my GP

  • It depends who I’m talking to. I don’t find it awkward or embarrassing but I know a couple of my friends do so I don’t discuss such things with them, but I do have friends who are ok about it so I’d be happy discussing things with them.

  • I am not really that embarrassed now having given birth 4 times and having had regular smears…silence kills so it is important to be honest and open.

  • I don’t find it difficult at all either with my close friends, family or hubby. I prefer to be open and honest about things!

  • yes it is difficult to talk about, but if I have a problem I go to one of the female doctors, and find I don’t have too much of a problem explaining to them

  • I am alright with a female doctor but not a male doctor, I know they have heard it all before but still find it too difficult. Ok with my husband and friends.

  • Not with my two closest friends but outside of that I was definitely until I fell pregnant. Now child birth is approaching I’ll discuss just about anything – dignity be gone!

  • Nope. I may have done in the past, but I work in a children’s home now and it’s part of my duty to care to teach our girls about these kinds of things, so no point being squeamish!

  • Actually between friends its very easy to discuss concerns, I have no problem talking to a dr either, they’ve heard it all before!

  • I have Crohn’s disease so I’m far past being embarrassed about anything ‘downstairs’. However, knowing what’s ‘normal’ is harder.

  • Yes I do, I grew up in a family where we didn’t really talk about anything personal at all so I struggle as an adult to discuss things.

  • Actually I don’t- i have always been open about talking about bodily issues. I have a degree in Physiology, am fascinated by the human body and am know to talk about all sorts of wierd and wonderful things at the dinner table. As a result both my kids (boy and girl) have a very open and healthy attitude to sex, the human body and all its variations, diseases and intricacies. Having said that, my hubby is as closed as anything not helped by a Catholic upbringing so has needed a lot of work in this direction

  • I think there are some bits that are easier to talk about than others. I’m a breast cancer survivor and nowadays its easy to talk about breasts and show them!
    Its very different from my parents generation when we didn’t talk about bodies or sexual health at all.

  • I feel quite comfortable talking about feminine health with my friends and the GP. At the end of the day theres nothing to be ashamed of.

  • As a bloke its harder for me to talk about. Ok to talk with my wife, very hard with my daughter or mother.

  • I am determined to be very clear and matter of fact with my daughter and to answer her questions in a way that allows her to stay safe and healthy. My mum was pretty clear and open with me and I can discuss feminine health with friends.

  • depends who i am talking to, i can talk about it to my best mate fine and my dr but anyone else I do find it hard

  • I have to admit it depends entirely on who I’m discussing it with. If it’s a close friend or relative we can discuss anything – no matter how personal – for hours on end. If it’s a stranger and the discussion is ‘cold’ and to the point, it can be very uncomfortable.

  • To friends and family I would generally say no it’s not difficult. It can take me a while to go to a GP though.

  • It’s traditionally an awkward subject, but one I overcome with light heartedness and humour. Not only does it lighten the mood, it relaxes you both and removes a psychological barrier to discussion. Result!

  • I am completely comfortable discussing any of my issues with friends and family but a little more uncomfortable with my gp.

  • No, I’m pretty comfortable chatting to all in sundry (much to my husband’s embarassment!)

  • I can talk to my hubby, close friends and my sister quite easily. I hope that when my girls (3 & 5) start asking ‘tricky questions’ then I’ll be able to talk easily to them too!

  • It’s a difficult subject and I used to be horribly embarrassed but I do find it easier since I’ve had children, having to discuss ‘personal’ things to complete strangers!

  • Talking to my female friends isn’t a problem for me and I make a point of being very open with my daughter although she is still young at 7 – if she asks questions, then she needs answers. Being pregnant has created opportunity for lots of personal type conversations recently too!!

  • Generally, with female friends and family no, button a very male dominated work environment, YES !

  • no I don’t, I’m unsure though if I feel more comfortable speaking about it after having my kids though or I’ve always been quite upfront, although even in labour with my first kid they asked if students could come in, which without hesitation I allowed and ended up with around eight of them looking at my lower extremities at the one time (male and female).

  • No, I don’t have difficulty talking about feminine issues. After all it’s just another body part.

  • I think I do – it’s probably to do with the stigma surrounding it. It’d be great if we can get rid of that for future generations!

  • I’m not completely comfortable with it, but for the sake of my daughter I at least pretend to be and if she asks me anything I will answer as best I can because I want her to feel that she can ask me anything!

  • No, not really although I guess it depends on who I am talking to. I am mostly very open about anything and everything, but some of my friends wouldn’t appreciate a conversation about feminine health as they are not so comfortable with it.

  • I think my generation (mid 40s) were brought up to not talk about intimate issues, I remember starting my periods and all I was told was ‘here use these, they will come roughly once a month until you’re around 40’ scared me witless, that seemed such a long time!
    When I became a mum I made a conscious decision to be open, honest and talk in plain language with all 5 of my children and in turn found it easier to talk to my close friends about various things, although there are still some things that I’d rather just keep to myself.

  • No, not at all. Part of that is conscious though – I make an effort to not negate any part of my body. Finding it difficult means you are buying into the social construct that there is something wrong or shameful about your body. We all have vaginas, why should we be embarrassed talking about them? :)

  • I do find it difficult yes – maybe being a bit older is a reason. I think my younger freinds find it easier.

  • Sometimes…it depends who too. I would never talk to my mother in law about it but to friends yes I would feel more comfortable.

  • No, its no different than discussing other health issues. I find being open is especially important as a mother of a daughter. I want her to feel comfortable discussing anything with me.

  • No I talk to my husband about any worries that come up, and my Daughter who’s 27 talks to me about women’s things too its nice so we can help each other mother daughter is best

  • Yes, I still think there is a bit of stigma and embarrassment when talking about Women’s health issues. For me, it depends who I’m talking to, for example, I’d feel less embarrassed talking to a doctor than a work colleague, but I still feel uncomfortable discussing some personal feminine issues with the doctor at times. Since having my first child earlier this year, these sort of discussions have become more frequent, therefore they are becoming easier to discuss, but there is at times a bit of embarrassment still attached.

  • I definitely do, even the Gp’s don’t seem to want to discuss these issues, makes it hard to raise concerns

  • I use to when I was a few years younger but now I think it’s good to talk about it! It doesn’t bother me at all now.

  • I’d love to say I find it easy, and my sensible head says it should be, but when it comes down to it, I actually find it very difficult. I find myself worried about being judged, not just when talking to friends, but even my doctor.

  • As I’ve got older I find it much easier to talk about things I would have felt awkward about before. I think friends and I have all had problems and it helps to chat about our experiences

  • I find it easier to talk to female family members and close friends but I agree it’s a subject that we shouldn’t feel ashamed of and should encourage younger females to feel the same.

  • It would depend on the audience. In front of women that I’m close to, I would have no problems talking about it, but it always strikes me as funny as how we’re even afraid to say the word ‘vagina’ in front of people.

  • It depends whom I am taking to – if it is other women that I know, I do not find it difficult. Everyone else – yes!

  • At times. I think its who your talking to. Im fine talking to friends and my sister but not really my mum.

  • Yes! But I’m not sure whether that’s just me… I have close girlfriends who don’t seem to have any issue sharing. And I admire them for that.

  • Not any more, whatever I am thinking is probably what a hundred other people worry about so I’d rather talk about it than constantly worry.

  • No i don’t find it difficult I am quite an open person so find it easy to talk about a lot of things x

  • It depends who im talking to. I think the other half is more uncomfortable than i am so dont tend to bother talking about things like that with him. Im happy to discuss with close friends and my mum and sister

  • Yes I find it very difficult – always have done. Since there has been a regular nurse ie the same nurse in my GP’s practice – I have a little more confidence to broach such a subject but still feel uneasy.

  • I’m not emabarrassed to talk with a doctor or nurse but would be embarrased talking to my mother family members and friends

  • Yes because it seems too personal and intimate to discuss ‘details’ even to medical professionals. After the first time I had too I have found it easier, but always prefer to talk to a woman.

  • I don’t find it difficult to talk about at all, it’s 100% natural! I’m very open with my mum, boyfriend and best friend and also doctors. If something isn’t ‘quite right’ down there you have to pluck the courage to seek advice!

  • No.
    When you’ve had babies and all the side effects of hormonal problems it makes you a bit blasé!

  • I dont find it difficult at all but i think it depends if its been an open subject when you were younger too, if your made to think of it as a subject that shouldn’t be discussed it makes it hard when your older.

  • I’d be comfortable to discuss them with healthcare professionals and friends or family but not friends of friends.

  • female family members and professionals would be the only people I would feel comfortable discussing it with :)

  • I do sometimes find it a bit difficult to talk about, but not so much that i would;t talk about something with my doctor or pharmacist if I needed to.

  • Not in the slightest. Considering what alternative outcomes might be, I’d rather talk than suffer.

  • Sometimes it depends ont the exact topic.I dotn mind talking about periods and things because they happen to most women. Any thing else that may be a little more sensitive, serious I would only prefer to talk to a women in the profession. good luck all !

  • Yes I do find it difficult and always ask to see a female doctor. It is easier now i’ve had a baby though.

  • It depends on the topic, I can talk to my husband about anything, but the ladies at work, depends on the subject, periods, cramps etc not too bad, but if it gets too much I’ll go and do something else!

  • Personally I don’t, but I can appreciate that a lot of people do. It’s something we all have to deal with at some point and once you start to talk about it, it will encourage others to do the same.

  • Am quite happy to hear about my partner’s “Lady issues,” but tend to slope off if she’s chatting with her friends

  • Yes, but then I live with men only so there’s no one to really discuss things with. My mum died a few years ago and I wasn’t that close to her

  • I’m a really open person and so quite happily discuss feminine health with others…I can understand it’s not that easy for everyone though.

  • No I don’t and I think it’s important that we, as women, are open about the issues we might face with our health.
    Secrecy doesn’t help anyone, it just gives myths and rumours room to grow and can stop people from getting the help & support they need.

  • No, not at all, I’m lucky enough to work within a small group of ladies and we talk openly about these subjects; discussions are open about all aspects of women’s health and even the synchronising of our periods. Years ago I imagine it was a very taboo subject but not in the 2010s.

  • It can be a difficult topic to discuss about but if there. Was a intimate issue doctors are always willing to listen and understand and help you with the problem

  • I used to find it quite difficult – and i work in healthcare! However since having a child, I no longer sweat the small stuff and am quite open in chatting about it.

  • not a subject that bothers me – i had both my children at a young age so learnt not to be embaressed by these things

  • I don’t mind talking it about it with friends as it is a relatively easy subject to approach and discuss. I find family and health professionals slightly more uncomfortable.

  • Yes I suppose so, in general I don’t discuss it much but then I haven’t had the need to. I think past the initial discomfort of discussing it I would be okay.

  • I have one friend I talk openly with. We shared a flat for ages and we just tell each other everything especially after we both had kids but there is a whole load of unnecessary embarrassment around intimate health so well done for starting the conversation

  • Oh no. It should never be embarrassing or difficult to discuss your health whatever or wherever it is.

  • I find it easy to discuss, as I have lots of sisters, and our Mam is very open on the subject.

  • have to confess – feel my cheeks reddening even typing – find this topic mortifying to talk about : – /

  • Much better talking two my two girls about body bits I was brought up in a house where nakedness was fine and we were able to ask all the questions we needed. I am doing the same and feel confident. But not to good at looking after myself but that’s getting better

  • I think generally there is a real issue discussing this topic, however I feel it is very important to talk about it as you learn and also it isn’t and shouldn’t be a taboo subject it is far too important.

  • Yes most of the time I do, think that has to do with my mother and the way she addressed things with me. Hope to be more open with my little girl when she’s older.

  • Yes, very hard. It’s bizarre though as I have no issue or discomfort with a friend of mine discussing theirs with me, just find it very hard to open up about myself.

  • Talking about ‘women’s subjects’ far more lately seeing as a lot of us are having very early signs of the menopause, some going through it. Happy talking about it with girlie friends, but wouldn’t like to chat with my (cow of a) line manager, although some do. Other half hears it all.

  • I ok discussing it with my closest friends, especially over a bottle of wine, but more apprehensive with health professionals and family members

  • I dont at all – both my parents re nurses and majority of people in my family work in healthcare. Add to that I have 2 sisters who are 12 and 10 years older than me I probably new more about vaginas than any other girl as a kid in school!

    I’ve also had some gyney probs which means I have smears every 6 months as well as yearly ultrasounds and internals.

    I know some people find it difficult to talk about but seriously they need to get over it – you hear about people suffering horrendously because they are too scared to speak up but really most drs have seen it all

  • Not now no. Maybe as a growing adult I found some topics embarrassing but after I started having kids dignity was left at the door then. Lol. Talking about intimate feminine topics is how we grow and learn so I tend to be very open. I’m quite an open person and don’t get embarrassed very easily. I tend to encourage people to be open and do the same with my 2 girls, I don’t want my kids to feel embarrassed about speaking openly due to pear pressure or other wise.

  • I don’t find it difficult to talk about in itself, but I don’t think it’s taken very seriously. I don’t think feminine health problems are viewed by a lot of people as being something that genuinely affects people’s quality of life; people who haven’t got direct experience of them often seem to view them more as tiny inconveniences.

    So I tend not to raise the subject unless I’m talking to someone, male or female, whom I trust to accept the importance of it, or unless I’m fired up and in the mood to educate!

  • yes i do find it abit hard to discuss with males would definitely rather discuss it in female company x

  • I find it very difficult I live with my stepdad and younger brother so it’s something that has to be kept hidden and something they joke and tease me about. when I was younger it was worse as my mother never taught me about what was going to happen to me as I aged. when the time came and I freaked out as I had blood staining my jeans she just gave me a pound and sent me to the shop with out letting me change saying it would teach me not to be embarrassed, this of course did the opposite and that time of the month was something that I had to deal with alone.

  • Yes, I find it hard, I have discussed it briefly with my mother and husband, but wouldn’t dream of talking about it with my friends.

  • It depends who, My Mother a no no, Hubby to a discretely and Kids the oldest 3 definately, they go into great details usually.

  • No. I think mainly because when I was growing up, my parents were so embarrassed to talk about anything, and I mean, anything! I hated it! I had to learn it all for myself from toilet walls and other kids, and the amount of stuff I got wrong! lol. I started my periods and I was so scared amd embarrased, I knew SOMETHING was going to happen, but I didn’t have a clue for how long, or what I needed, I thought only adults could use pads and tampons, so for a whole year I would stuff toilet roll in my pants and it made life bloody (excuse the pun!) hard! For ages I took the cue from my parents that everything was taboo and embarrassing and you couldn’t discuss it, and it makes life very hard, so I made a promise to myself that with my own kids, I was going to be frank and open about anything, nothing is taboo to discuss, I have two older teenage boys and two young girls under ten, and I love that they can talk about pretty much anything! It helps that their dad is also very blase about feminine issues and will happily talk to the girls about anything they think to ask about! I love this, it means there is no embarrassment, and they don’t have to rely on other kids bits of gossip to talk about their bodies or anything else thats bothering them. In fact, I think I have gone completely the other way & can be a bit too blase about it all lol. But love that my 16 yr old son will go and buy me tampons and things without batting an eyelid, and hope that by being open and honest about all things women, they will understand thir girlfriends later on in life and be able to support them the way my husband supports me when I’m in Aunt Flo Agony! ;-) x

  • Yes I do, but it generally also depends on who I’m talking to as it’s a very private thing so I could only discuss with my hubby ad doctor

  • I don’t really think it’s difficult to talk about, but I work in a hospital environment and I think that makes it easier for you to talk about any topic.

  • I have no problems at all. My health is very important as I have 2young children who rely on Mummy being there. I have fab doctors at my surgeryand fantastic friends who support any issues and who are willing to talk about things

  • No not really I just think whatever I want to talk about they will have heard before and I won’t be the first or the last x

  • There needs to be more education about feminine health starting from school age to destigmatise the issue. This would help girls and women to talk about any problems and to stop make “vagina” a dirty word. Using animated characters and computer games might be a good way to help educate younger children and adults.

  • Not so much as I did 2 years ago – My was was really poorly last year and its surprising what you get used to hearing when you pend almost a year around hospitals – to start with mum would lower her voice when talking about anything personal now she just says it as it is and its made me do the same.

  • sometimes yes but now i’m under a very good gyno doctor at hospital and i can talk to him ok now but it did take a long time before i could

  • I’ve never been embarrassed on the subject, but even less so after giving birth to two babies and losing 4 more. We need to keep ourselves safe and the more we discuss issues the better.

  • No, not really. Obviously it is not my favourite topic of conversation and I wouldn’t recommend it as an “icebreaker”. However, having experienced the dreaded thrush on a number of occasions and having a close and open relationship with my sister I would have no qualms in moaning to her about it! I also think that once you have been through labour a couple of times you loose a lot of modesty and inhibition which makes such things easier to discuss.

  • No not at all. The more we discuss these topics, the more the stigma attached to it will diminish. We can educate women and empower them with the tools they need so they do not feel ashamed. It is vital to be regularly checked for silent killers like cervical cancer and other diseases. This can only happen if we talk and have honest conversations. When talking to eachother, often we are reassured that we are not alone.

  • I find it easier to talk to family members ie. mum, sister but would feel a little uncomfortable speaking to strangers x x

  • I too find it difficult to talk about certain things to do with womens health and would never discuss them with my mother. Maybe a close friend but if not only the doctor

  • I used to be embarrassed to talk about it, but not anymore. I think it’s an important subject and talking about it openly can help to educate others, give them confidence and help people realise when something is wrong. I think it’s important we discuss these things openly and give the next generation the idea that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

  • I used to be embarrassed but not anymore. I think if more people are open then it won’t be so embarrassing to talk about intimate matters. Which hopefully will mean problems can then be detected early enough xx pool

  • No not really – after having 3 children and also laser treatment for pre-cancerous cells I feel comfortable talking about feminine health in all aspects

  • It depends who I am with. My mother never talked about anything like that with me, so I’ve always shied away from discussing stuff like that with her. My sisters I can talk about anything without any embarassment and I have online friends that I’ve known for years and discussed all sorts with them, but mostly it’s not a topic that I would bring up myself and have a face to chat with anyone about unless we were close enough friends! I don’t think there is any shame in it, but the topics aren’t ones that people talk about readily! It doesn’t phase me if anyone starts chatting about personal issues as most women have experienced similar. I think since being a parent other mothers do bring up and discuss a lot more “taboo” topics as most of us have been through similar things with giving birth, post birth etc. and it’s definitely nothing to be ashamed of.

  • I used to find the topic quite difficult to talk about, as people used to make comments about “loose morals” or being accused of talking about things that should be kept quiet. I have never understood this point of view. It just propagates ignorance and embarrassment. As I’ve got older, I’ve got less inhibited about personal issues! Now I just say what’s on my mind!

  • I feel more comfortable talking about these things with other women. I also have a lot of friends who happen to be nurses or that sort of profession and they aren’t bothered about it in the slightest.

  • not at all, there are only certain individuals i can discuss it with, but you quickly get that vibe from another woman as to whether or not they are comfortable talking about it. But i think we all go through it, its nothing to be ashamed of.

  • I am happy to say that i do not find it hard to discuss and even today I had a discussion via skype with my daughter currently in Australia who has succumbed to a feminine itch due to an over chlorinated pool. As she has no issues with talking freely about such things she has not had to suffer and has sought help without embarrassment so now all is well.

  • Not at all i have worked in health care for 18 years and is the most natural thing although my mum has always been quite private most of her life and doesn’t speak about it xx

  • I used to feel uncomfortable when I was younger but since I turned 40 it doesn’t seem to bother me anymore. I can talk to my Mum, Husband and girlfriends about the subject and not bat an eyelid. If there is a problem it needs to be talked about as it could be detrimental to ones health if brushed under the carpet.

  • Because it’s difficult we don’t know enough, even as adults. I spent over a year with a horrible vulval problem that my elderly GP kept saying was thrush, though I knew it wasn’t. Eventually saw a young female locum who immediately diagnosed it as lichen scelerosis, which I’d never even heard of….. Hope this might help someone else

  • You have to be open about these issues no matter how difficult they may be to open up about because it’s important to catch any issues early

  • Personally I do but I am just so pleased my daughter is happy to talk to me with problems should she need too

  • As a paramedic I regularly have to talk about this with my patients, its one of those subjects that Im always made to do if there is a two person crew of myself and a man as I know the man feels very uncomfortable talking about this to a female, I think this also needs addressing. I myself find it very easy to talk about, but I can understand why others don’t feel as open as I do when talking about it.

  • Previously, I would only discuss with friends at a very superficial level. However, due to MND, I have lost the use of my hands. Having to have my hubby help me with personal hygiene and periods has forced us to know me at a whole new level. This has been extremely difficult and challenging.

  • Not particularly, my best friend is a Doctor and I work with adult products and toys so we are used to hearing about anything!

  • I really don’t have a problem when it comes to talking about feminine health, i find that if you speak to your daughter or friends openly they will feel at ease to discuss any problems they have with you that they couldn’t tell the own family..At the end of the day we are all human (women or men) and problems occur..

    A quick real story for you.. i went out one evening with my partner and when i returned home my baby sitter took me aside and said that her friend that was with her started her period for the first time and was so embarrassed she didn’t know what to do, so i took her upstairs and explained it’s perfectly ok and there is nothing to be ashamed of, i gave her new knickers and a pad so she could wash up in the bathroom. I placed the solid knickers in a bag to throw out and from that day onwards she loves talking to me and now feels she can talk to her mum more about these things.. :)

  • I do but i have to remind myself when going to the doctors or a nurse that they are ised to it and it is there jobs they see them all the time haha xxxx

  • Nope – im one of 3 sisters and i have 6 children myself so this topic is frequent in our home. I think the more open you are the less it becomes a taboo subject and thus gets rid of any fears over the unasked questions. Women need to feel empowered and know how their bodies work, inside and out.

  • i find it easy to speak to professions male or female and female relatives and friends easy to speak to

  • When I was younger I probably found it awkward to discuss it but now I’m older I can discuss it quite openly.

  • Not at all i just think everyone has issues and problems and it helps to be open their is nothing to be embarrassed about

  • Sometimes, but I just remind myself that we all have the same bits and we’re probably all worrying about the same things :)

  • No shame for me, I am happy discussing with anyone. If they feel uncomfortable then that is their issue, not mine.
    I am very open about things like that. Especially with my partner. Doesn’t bother him either, He is just as open too.

  • I do find it embarrassing approaching my to with issues to tend to wait until things don’t seem to be resolving before i go to but should go sooner as I’m always put at ease even with a male doctor

  • Yes I find talking about this subject if males there as well. But with my close friends and family I have no problem ☺

  • It depends on who you’re discussing the issue with. I’d find it easier to talk to a doctor about it than friends in general.

  • I definitely find it difficult to talk about, I recently had a bartholin cyst removed it was the most awkward conversation telling my (male) boss about having to have time off for the operation – I was just really vague. As soon as I said “women’s problems” he ran for the hills! :-)

  • I don’t usually get embarrassed easily and can talk about absolutely anything – except this!! Have no clue why but its just not a topic of conversation that I can strike up easily!

  • I feel very comfortable discussing this with my husband and very close friends, and when I have children, I will be keen for my children to ask any questions they need to. However I’m still quite British in the fact that it is a conversation to be held in private and not something I want to hear a group of women talking about in a restaurant.

  • Totally feel awkward!!. I have never discussed this with sisters or friends. it just doesn’t come up. I prefer to speak to a profession if I really have to.

  • I am very comfortable talking about any aspect of health but I think that is because I am a health care worker in maternity and being embarrassed wont help the women I see at all.

  • As a teenager I used to find it incredibly difficult to speak about it , I didn’t speak to my Mum or even any female friends . .Female intimate health issues were embarrassing and I avoided the Dr and Gyne , but Small problems can lead to larger ones .That all changed though due to my being diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 24 I had to have a radical hysterectomy I was lucky I had already had all of my children . I now speak out about it especially with the young girls in my family , Female intimate health is something that needs to be broadcast , whether its a mild case of Thrush or something more sinister , you NEED to Talk about it .

  • no,not at all,often discuss things with my daughter.I also discuss sexual health with male prisoners as i am a sexual health nurse working in the prison sector

  • Depends who I’m talking to – I get more embarrased talking to my Doctor than I do talking to my close friends! I find that I can only talk to some friends though – some just won’t talk about anything to do with it, they just find it too awkward.

  • It really depends who one is talking to and the circumstances in which the subject comes up. I found that once I had given birth to my first child I found it a lot easier to discuss intimate matters than before. I am now nearly 70 and I can honestly say I have no inhibitions about discussing these matters at all. Whether this is to do with age, experience, or the fact that intimate matters are more openly discussed these days I’m not sure!

  • I think it depends with whom you are talking. Certainly it is easier with women and extremely important as some intimate health problems can be signs of something very much more serious. My aunty has just completed a course of chemo for cervical cancer. Un nerving, but make it all the more important that people are not afraid to discuss the subject of intimate health.

  • Having suffered with many health issues with periods etc, I have learnt not to have any problems talking about feminine health. Some people are quite shocked with my bluntness about it, but we are all human!

  • I used to until my mum dying of cancer prompted me to go and have a long-delayed smear test. I had level 2/3 abnormal cells which, left much longer could have become cancerous.
    Now I just think a few minutes of embarrassment can save your life – which is more important??

  • Like so many others, it really depends who I am talking to. Much easier with some women (but not all) than men as a rule too.

    It’s a shame that we aren’t more open about this and I am glad things are being done to address this. It’s (an) important (part of who we are)!

  • I feel comfortable talking with a close friend but for sure bringing up to doctors, partner, other males and even my mum I still feel it’s a no no. I do however have a lovely female doctor who is very open and always gives me a chance to talk when she knows there is an issue. I think it’s a shame many feel this way and like to keep it bottled up like me. I think it could be tackled if people were happier to listen and understood.

  • I find it so embarrassing. I know I shouldn’t but some how can’t stop feeling that way.

  • Yes and No…. it depends who I am talking to. Sometimes I am afraid of what the answer will be; for example: my smeer test was abnormal but was told it was nothing to worry about…. so why tell me!!! I wanted to know more but didnt ask because I was afraid of the answer.

  • It depends where and when it is with a group of my girlfriends yes no problems around the table at tea time wth the family is a definite no

  • I find it easy, but that may be because i work in pharmacy, i deal with diificult topics every day

  • Oh hell no I’m very open I can talk about pretty much anything if people don’t like they can go away lol x

  • I actually have a very open family & group of friends so find it quite easy to discuss personal problems or issues. I know im quite lucky really :-)

  • I don’t generally feel embarrassed talking about my intimate health as I have had to do it so many times due to gynecological problems.

  • I don’t think I would have a problem with it, should I ever experience an issue, I just have never had need to. On a similar topic though, I have openly discussed issues of a female nature with my partner (male incidentally and not particularly holding much insight of our female complaints!). Sometimes, you just need to talk! It shouldnt be taboo, but equally, there is nothing wrong with gauging your audience – I wouldn’t want to be confronted with such discussions in response to a mere “good morning all”. Time and a place even given being open is a good thing.

  • It’s a bit awkward with the milkman first thing in the morning for example, but with the appropriate person at an appropriate time, I find it somewhat easier.

  • I have no problem talking to my girlfriends, friends, about intimate issues……but …….
    I find it very uncomfortable talking to my doctor if/ when things don’t quite feel right, no idea why?!
    Maybe it’s because he doesn’t look me in the eye and he’s now made me embarrassed to speak to him, so I try to avoid him now!
    But generally..no!
    I’m quite an open person.

  • yes; but as Ive got older I have a few friends I can confide in personal things and the internet is a great source of information for peace of mind.

  • Well not really. The reasons for that are because I think once you reach a maturity about relationships an maybe have had a child then it’s so easy to discuss these things. I am always learning and sharing. I am slightly mindful of giving opinions, I rather like to share experiences as each woman knows her body.

  • Maybe when I was younger, maybe til the age of 18ish. But I come from Holland and I think that Dutch people and Scandinavians speak much more openly about vagina’s and sex. I think it’s a very British thing to not talk about ‘awkward stuff’, which in my eyes makes it even more awkward.

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