The other day, TLR writer, Lizzy posted about feminine washes. She talked about all the ways excessive cleaning of your vagina might not be in your best health interest. It got me thinking: what other myths do we have about our woman parts? What other silent WhatsApp groups exist where ladies can codedly ask questions about their cervix, vaginal health and whatnot?
Women have long been uncomfortable with the physical functions of their body – from shyly tucking away sanitary pads in their purses to using coded language when referring to their reproductive parts.
The worst is that sexual education is so de-emphasized in this part of the world. Mothers, aunties, and even fathers, believe that once they inform their teenagers about the workings of their body and hormones, then the said teenagers would run off on a sexual spree. Lol. Maybe our parents are just as mystified and uncomfortable by the idea of sexual and reproductive conversations.
Either way, we need to normalize sex education and biological awareness. I realized this after a conversation with a doctor. My health care practitioner asked me when last I had a self-exam. At first, I assumed she was talking about my breasts (given that as an adult woman, you should check your breasts regularly for lumps.) Then I realized she meant my actual vagina. According to her, it was important to do a regular self-check of your vagina and look out for a mass/bulge or unusual tenderness, discharge and so on. ( God forbid bad thing.)
Prayer asides, it is important to know how things are doing down there. It is after all your body, your temple, and like every other aspect of your health, you should have a proactive approach to self-care. Now, fair warning, a vaginal self-check is just to help you stay familiar with your body and any changes that might be occurring. It does not in any way replace a trip to your health care practitioner o. Hmm, please let’s all be guided. Lol.
The important thing is that you take control of your health and your body. Contrary to the popular saying, what you don’t know can actually kill you.