Feminine health is a complex and vast topic to cover in one blog post.
But let's talk about some of the key issues us ladies face from time to time…
Now before you jump down my throat about offering medical advice, I want to make it clear that this post was written FOR She Does This. I have offered my personal experience but the advice in this article has been researched!
Back to it…..
There’s so much we have to deal with as women! Pap smears, periods, child bearing, OH MY! Then we’ve got all those hormones to deal with, that no one outside of the uterus bearing world seems to understand, and yet somehow we juggle this with all of the other challenges life throws at as as women.
There’s a lot of misinformation surrounding looking after your vagina and how thorough you have to be with your pH balance. Truth is, your vagina can usually look after itself. A funky smell is usually the result of something going wrong internally, not due to a lack of cleansing. I can tell you from personal experience that products like FemFresh can often cause more harm than good when it comes to pH balance!
Anyway, back to some causes for funky smelling bits…If it’s uncomfortable to sit down or go to the toilet, it might be time to check in with your doctor to see if an infection is spreading, as yeast can collect at any time when you’re running a busy lifestyle or you’re needed to constantly wear tight clothes. It could also be the result of not urinating after sex.
More on your vagina and sex life…Taking precaution is always the best medicine, but that doesn’t mean there’s no help available for the morning after. After all, things like the morning after pill exist and there are STD and HIV testing clinics to help if you feel you need to be tested. When in doubt, go get yourself checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry as leaving some STD’s untreated can lead to bigger problems down the track.
Be sensible about dieting!
Women have a lot to go through concerning their bodily changes, and because of that, women have different needs for their calories than men. But then society likes to get involved and make us feel bad for eating the things we want, for reaching for a chocolate bar because of how it might affect our waists, and for not eating in small bites when out at a restaurant. I blame INSTA-CULTURE but the truth is, body shaming goes back way further than that.
My opinion? You can eat what you want when you want, if you’re living a balanced life. You need to be comfortable and happy in your skin and I believe that being strict and constantly counting calories doesn’t amount to that. There’s so many misconceptions over what a healthy weight actually is so why not just go with what feels good to you?!
People like to use BMI to understand where they are in terms of health when it comes to weight, but is BMI a good measure to actually use? Seeing as it was invented in the 19th century by someone who wasn’t even a physician, maybe not so much…again, just go with what feels good!
Knowing if Something’s Wrong
Googling symptoms is something I’ve tried to stop doing lately. It can lead to a whole lot of anxiety and concern over what usually is a relatively minor symptom or issue. I’ve learned to trust my gut a bit more when I’m feeling under the weather. Have I felt this way before? Are my symptoms a cause for real concern? Would my Mum tell me to go to the doctor? These are just some of the questions I ask myself before I go to a doctor demanding blood tests or what have you. It can be hard to get the results you want as a women with a medical issue that needs diagnosing too, especially if they’re hormone related!
If you are concerned though, you should definitely seek medical attention, especially if you’re experiencing new/odd symptoms.
A doctor can see things from a professional, medical perspective (NOT LIKE OLD MATE GOOGLE!). They can connect the dots of one symptom with any of the other symptoms you’re experiencing. Always reach out for help during these times, and never be afraid of making a fuss over what might be nothing. This is your life we’re talking about, and it should always come before being perceived as a hypochondriac!
Hormones are what we always consider to be a big problem in our bodies, as women, but they’re completely normal and the fluctuations are too. Things like the pill (or any hormonal form of contraception), food and the environment can affect our hormones as women.
It’s important to know our hormones and cycles so we can detect when something may be a little off or whether it’s a sign of a bigger issue.
An example of this is your thyroid gland and how some of the symptoms associated with both hyper and hypothyroidism can mimic what seems to be a simple hormonal imbalance. You can become a lot more lethargic or lose/gain weight and have mood changes… So it’d be a good idea to get your thyroid checked if you have any of these symptoms, or anything described above.
Know What the Myths are
There’s a lot of myths surrounding feminine health, and how mystical some people consider it. So much of what we’re told are either old wives tales or complete lies!
For example: The idea that the pill keeps you from ever getting pregnant is a dangerous thing to believe.
My advice? Do all the things we know to be good for us ladies like regular pap smears etc. and when in doubt, visit the doctor.
Take ownership of your beautiful, wonderful and complex body, it’s the only one you’ve got!