#SWAAYthenarrative

Why Are We Still Afraid To Discuss Vaginal Health?

3 Min Read
Health

In the last 20 years, society has made great strides in gender equity. More women are leading businesses, more are in management positions, more are taking on legislative roles, and global female literacy rates are way up.


Girls worldwide are actually spending more years in school than their male counterparts. We're making these strides because we're consistently pushing to have the tough conversations and take the actions that result in meaningful change. And yet, we still have much farther to go to reach true parity — after all, women are still earning less money than men and spending more time on household tasks and chores — but we are making real progress.

We're making these strides because we're consistently pushing to have the tough conversations and take the actions that result in meaningful change.

There is, however, an important issue deeply affecting the lives of millions of women worldwide that continues to go largely unaddressed. Even with all our efforts to speak out and stand in support of our fellow women, most of us are embarrassed and squeamish to even speak about the uniquely female problem. This issue is still often lingering in the shadows, and it is time to relinquish the shameful baggage we've attached to it.

I'm talking about vaginal health. And, specifically, the unpleasant vaginal odor that nearly 50% of women will experience at some point in their lives and, according to the CDC, is the most common vaginal condition.

This is an uncomfortable topic — one that many people, including women – would prefer we not discuss openly. It's often perceived as "unladylike" or "unattractive" to point out. Vaginal odor is primarily mentioned in whispered conversation with one's closest female friends, sheepishly discussed in doctor's offices or posted anonymously on message boards online. However, I think it is way past time to kill the stigma attached to this very normal, natural issue.

Vaginas are beautifully complex and are an amazing part of a woman's body. They give us so much, including the opportunity to birth new life and the pleasure of sexual intimacy. They deserve to be cared for with the most holistic and effective methods available in modern science.

This issue is still often lingering in the shadows, and it is time to relinquish the shameful baggage we've attached to it.

For many, many women, vaginal odor is a problem — often a recurrent one. It is commonly misunderstood and believed to be the result of poor hygiene or somehow the fault of the woman herself. Actually, that's almost always not the case. Typically, this very normal odor is caused by a pH imbalance in the vagina, usually as a result of menstruation, medication, intercourse, or some other root cause. Simple, natural products are available to easily and quickly prevent and treat this odor by restoring the body's natural balance. It's no mystery— just basic biology.

I've met so many women who have deeply personal stories of shame and fear about the odor from their vaginas. It's not just a roadblock to sexual intimacy and relationships, it can also affect a woman's desire to sweat it out at the gym, put on a swimsuit, or even get a pedicure. The fear, worry, and shame surrounding vaginal health and perceptions around odor can be very real obstacles to living a full, happy life. Women routinely break down in tears when discussing feminine health, and it's heartbreaking to see this reaction to what is actually a very common and easy to solve problem.

The fear, worry, and shame surrounding vaginal health and perceptions around odor can be very real obstacles to living a full, happy life.

I've also met women who have tried to address this issue in secret, using poor home remedies or tricks they've read about online. Some women will clean themselves so intensely and so frequently that they only further damage the delicate pH balance of their vaginas, which can make the problem even worse. This is what happens when we don't talk openly about the causes and cures for vaginal issues. Women suffer in silence, attempt to solve the problem using information that can be inaccurate, and then suffer even more.

In this time of change and growth for female equality and empowerment, I'd like to see us bringing our vaginal health and well-being out of the shadows. Let's de-stigmatize this critically important issue and get brave about talking about women's health.

So, if you're struggling with vaginal odor, remember my very important message to you: It's normal, it's not your fault, and it's fixable… let's talk about it.

Creative DIY Tips for Making Your Own Calendar

The current state of the world definitely affected us in many ways, it made us stay locked up in our homes away from all the social events and seemingly fun stuff. But the responsibilities didn't just vanish into thin air, they are still there, waiting to be organized and prepared. Times are super hectic and you are probably not in the mood to think about the foreseeable future, but there are ways to turn in into a fun time. Starting a journal or making a simple calendar can bring you peace, use that creative time to yourself and relax while doing it. Grab your colored pencils, stickers, scraps, and everything in between, your inner DIY queen is about to jump out!

Fill in the blank

So probably the easiest way to start when it comes to making your own calendar is by simply printing a blank template found online. This way you'll have a base, a blank canvas if you will. Take all the materials that you have in your house, like washi tapes, sticky notes, glittery colorful pens and anything you can think of that could work as a decoration on your calendar. And go at it! There are no rules when it comes to decorating, it's super personal and it can differ from person to person.

The only real advice you'll need is to leave some space while decorating, don't overdo it since it will clutter and distract you from the written parts. Finding the perfect template that will suit your aesthetic is extremely easy and fast, a simple google search could get you whatever you want and the best part is, it's free! There are many printable options out there, so don't worry about not finding something you'd like, the possibilities are endless and you'll find just the right calendar you imagined!

Start from scratch

If you don't have a printer at home or you're just determined to make the calendar yourself, there are awesome ways to make the best and most unique personalized calendar there is. This gives you the full freedom to do whatever you can think of, want to make a calendar from old newspapers, do it! Want to cut out a certain shape and disguise the calendar as an art piece in your kitchen, why not?

Nothing is stopping you when it comes to unleashing your creative side, use everything that you can get your hands on, think outside the box, don't be afraid to experiment. Making a calendar from scratch is an amazing opportunity to explore your artistic side, especially if you've been busy with work and responsibilities. This is a great excuse to do something creative, at the end of the day you are making it for the purpose of being more organized and having everything mapped out and planned. So make this time, the best time possible, be free and create!

Mix and match

Since there are absolutely no rules when making any diy project at home, what's stopping you from making the ultimate, super personal calendar! If you have basic knowledge in photoshop, you can even modify the blank calendars you got online, add pictures of your loved ones and family, maybe your pets or anything you like, and then print it out. Or you can print the blank template right away and add pictures or polaroids later on by using some washi tape.

Also, you can even paint over the printed blank calendar, this is a good option for those who aren't as skilled, so you'll have a base to start, just dip in your paintbrush in some acrylic or watercolor paints (or whatever you have around the house) and go for it. This is a great way to start doing artsy projects while still having some form of direction and help.

Have fun

Sure keeping your priorities at bay and making plans and notes for everything is important...but the heart of this project has to be your willingness to turn something as boring and blank as a calendar into something spectacular. This calendar should proudly be up on your kitchen wall, so loud and colorful it just draws your attention to it.

If the calendar is decorated, personalized, and fun to look at, maybe it will inspire you to look forward to some events or responsibilities even if you didn't feel like it in the first place. So be creative and free, there are no rules so just go at it. With everything that happened this year, try to be positive and find little joys in seemingly insignificant things like diy calendars!