Women's problems are mostly ignored because women do not raise discussions about their health problems and often feel shy over intimate health conversations. Young ladies, especially, are not comfortable in discussing women's health or genital issues. It is found that most women are ashamed of talking about toilet problems such as frequent urination, excess vaginal discharge, menstrual problems, vaginal odor, bowel issues, etc. Vaginal infections can occur at any age and can cause severe problems if ignored.
When we took views from several women gynecologists, they stated that we as women ourselves need to create an environment for our girls that helps them and encourages them to speak on their health problems instead of being ashamed of their body. Discussing women, genital problems should not be considered taboo but should be taken seriously to improve women's health standards.
Do You Know About Vaginitis?
Vaginitis is a common genital (vaginal) problem that occurs due to infections by bacteria, fungus, or yeast. It leads to swelling, itching, or burning sensation in the vagina. Even using soap, wearing clothes, vaginal sprays, etc., can create some discomfort during vaginitis. About one-third of all women are believed to have symptoms of vaginitis at some point in their lives. Common types of vaginitis include bacterial vaginosis, candida (or yeast) infections, viral vaginitis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, etc. During vaginitis, the vaginal discharge becomes heavier (like cottage cheese), and its smell (fishy) and color also changes.
Bacterial vaginitis is more common among women, increasing the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID). PID is a severe infection affecting the uterus and fallopian tubes. If a pregnant woman suffers from vaginitis, it increases the risk of pregnancy complications such as early birth or low weight of the baby at the time of birth.
Why Do Discussing Women Genital Problems Feel Like a Taboo?
In a study, it was stated that more than 65% of women all over the world feel shy talking about women's health issues. The sexual culture and traditions make a woman feel inappropriate to talk about her sexual health, sexuality, or sexual desires. About 60% of women restrict themselves from using terms such as "vagina" or "vulva" during a discussion to save themselves from the feel of being embarrassed. Norms formulated by society make it uncomfortable for a woman to initiate discussions on intimate hygiene and associated problems. These social customs or standards for judgment lead to the development of inferiority complexes and low self-esteem in women.
Another study in the UK reveals that about 40% of women never talk to anyone regarding their vaginal health. Whether vaginitis is sexually transmitted or not, women should feel free to discuss sexual health matters (to their partners and society) with no anxiety of being judged.
Vaginal health is important for physical well-being and is also a necessity for psychological and emotional balance. We suggest that if any woman is suffering from any vaginal discomfort, she should speak about it. At least discuss it with a close friend or her partner and should consider visiting a doctor at the next instance. There are various campaigns being run worldwide to make women understand that discussing vaginal issues is not disgraceful. Such activities provide recognition to women's health and educate women about the problems which arise due to ignorance of genital health.
Vaginal problems should be treated like other common health issues, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. We need to stand for our women and help them feel comfortable in their skin. Consult your gynecologist as early as possible to avoid the development of any other severe women problem.