Intimate health. It’s one of those topics that many people shy away from. When it comes to worries about our own bodies, we can be embarrassed to talk about it or seek information or pass on the knowledge that we do have to our own children. I was recently contacted by Canesten® to be part of their Mummy Conversations campaign. This campaign aims to help normalise conversations about intimate health and to empower women to feel more comfortable about their own bodies and more confident about discussing intimate health with their children.
The feeling of embarrassment when it comes to discussing intimate health is certainly something I can relate to. As a teenager growing up, it wasn’t a topic I could comfortably discuss with my mum. Most of what I learned about intimate health was through school or reading leaflets from the doctor’s surgery. I don’t remember any conversations with my mum on this.
It wasn’t until I reached my twenties that I became more confident about my own body and felt less embarrassed about discussing intimate health. Being a student midwife helped with this – those kinds of discussions that I would have shied away from as a teen were now part of everyday conversations. What had once been something that I would have been embarrassed to talk about was now something I could talk about quite normally and naturally. It was liberating.
Thankfully, I don’t remember having any concerns during those years when I would have been quite embarrassed to seek advice. Yeast infections, such as thrush, are very common though. Around 75% of women will get thrush at least once in their lives. I can imagine how worrying it would be though for a young girl to have thrush, not knowing anything about it and to try to figure out what was wrong by herself due to being too embarrassed to discuss it with anyone.
Being able to normalise intimate conversations helped me to become better informed and more aware, but it also helped to me to feel more comfortable with my own body. Canesten® believe that if you are more comfortable with your body, you are more able to reach your full potential. I certainly found it very liberating.
I hope that my daughters will also grow up being comfortable and confident with their own bodies. At 5 and 3, they are a little young as yet for me to be able to have much of a conversation about intimate health with them. Any discussions so far have mostly been part of potty training, for example making sure they learn which way to wipe and the importance of wearing clean knickers. As they get older, I will teach them a little more here and there as other pieces of information become relevant. Being open about intimate health will also make it easier to discuss personal boundaries and consent – and I hope will help ensure that my girls will feel able to come to me if they have any concerns relating to the more intimate areas of their bodies.
What do you think is the right age to begin discussing intimate health with our children? Let me know and you could be in with a chance to win a £100 Amazon gift voucher which Canesten are kindly offering to give to one of my readers. You can enter using the Gleam widget below. Terms and conditions are as follows:
- There is 1 prize of one £100 Amazon voucher. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
- Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees and relatives of Little Hearts, Big Love and Bayer plc.
- Closing date for entries is 23:59 on 30/12/16.
- Entrants must log into Gleam and leave a comment.
- Optional entry methods are to follow on Twitter and Facebook, tweet on Twitter and visit the chosen web page.
- The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
- The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 28 days or a new winner will be chosen.
- The winner’s name will be available on request.
- The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address.
- This is a joint promotion between Little Hearts, Big Love and Canesten®
- Entry to this confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
This post has been supported by Canesten® but all thoughts are my own.