Judgement behind Vaginal Diseases

Judgment behind Vaginal Diseases


Sssshhhh!! Matters of private parts should always stay private. Open conversations about Vaginal Health are still in the shadows. We all have been there, not able to talk to someone about the irritation, itching sensation, pain, and unusual discharge. Vaginal diseases are labeled as not clean and unhygienic; though there can be many reasons. 

A lot of girls/ women are judged at the doctor's office. Vaginal Health education in schools and colleges is still a taboo subject in India. Google has been an uncertified doctor to many girls who haven’t received any education through school or family. How can one openly talk about Vaginal Diseases if girls haven’t been taught about Vaginal health, symptoms of vaginal diseases, and how to feel comfortable about talking to doctors.  Most of the patients, especially unmarried women/ girls do not mention to their gynecologist that they are sexually active, for the fear of judgment. Information about sex life is one of the most important detail to be shared with doctors while getting treated for Vaginal Diseases. But, is it possible to do that without being judged? 

Vaginal Diseases like Bacterial Vaginosis, Yeast Infection, STIs, and other non-infectious difficulties like chafing, cuts, bruises, and vaginal dryness can be treated with medication and hygiene practices. Vaginal Diseases do not just impact physical health but also mental health, sex, and social life. 

Impact on Physical Health - The discomfort that comes with itching, burning, and unusual discharge affect the day-to-day activities of women. High vaginal discharge and a sweaty vagina might cause chafing and bruises around the vagina. The foul smell that comes along with unusual discharge contributes to a low desire to participate in sexual activities. 

Impact on Mental Health - Vaginal diseases cause anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression. Women who are suffering from vaginal diseases are constantly worried about malodor when they are at work, in public places, or even with their partners. In some women, malodor may not be a symptom but it is noticeable only during or after sex. Women who experience recurring BV are always conscious of the itching sensation and malodor when in public. Women often feel distressed, ashamed, dirty, distracted, self-conscious, and annoyed. 

Impact on social and sex life - Women feel helpless, confused, and frustrated as they lack control over these symptoms and recurrence. Always confused and worried about what’s going on down there, things that could have been done differently. Maybe a different soap or a branded hygiene product, what else can I do? What if there’s another episode of BV or Yeast Infection. Women are over-conscious about what their partner thinks if they smell during sex, they avoid certain sex positions, and oral sex abstained from partners and turns disinterested in sexual activities. Some women restrict themselves from participating in recreational activities, sitting and standing frequently or staying too close to others, or borrowing friends' clothes. Most women feel unattractive and insecure about recurring symptoms. 

Vaginal Health is as important as the health of any other organ. The vaginal disease is not something to be ashamed of. People should always keep an open mind about vaginal health and be supportive of the symptoms of vaginal diseases. Poor hygiene practices are not always the cause of Vaginal diseases, there are many other practices like intimate hygiene products, wearing tight underwear, douching, unhealthy food habits, unprotected sex, etc. The severity of symptoms is not the same in all women, recurrence of Vaginal diseases with high severity has a greater impact on daily activities. Responsible sex and hygiene practices are the keys. 

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