Why Don’t Women Know?

A good friend of mind asked me, “Why don’t women know”? Know about what I ask? Why don’t women know what’s going on with their bodies? To be honest, many women don’t ask. Some don’t want to know. I’ve seen many cases in which women experience vaginal/reproductive health issues for long periods of time and never ask questions. Experiencing consistent pain in the lower abdomen, vaginal discharge has begun to change in color and in smell, sores have begun to show on the outer or inner labia, and many women hope these issues will eventually go away or simply disappear. Maybe there’s a sense of shame or guilt when discussing with the OB/GYN

(assuming you have one)Imagewho by the way, has probably seen it all. But as a woman, you don’t think about that. You don’t think about the many cases/women your gynecologist has seen before examining you. This is a very private and delicate matter. Some women don’t want to be seen as ignorant, as if acting shocked when finding out she may have contracted herpes is going to make her seem innocent, blameless, or naive. The problem could be as simple as using the wrong type of soap or condom, clothing fitting too tightly and not allowing the vagina to breathe, or allowing someone’s dirty hands the pleasure of experiencing your unique flower. Or the problem could be as severe as irresponsible sexual behavior, or as complex as infection, disease, or cancer. Either way, we don’t always know, but we have the ability to sense change. What people often refer to as women’s intuition is very real and can prove to be quite useful during times of uncertainty. Many variables may effect your health, whether internally or externally. The goal is to increase self awareness.  Take note when your body changes, how your body reacts to food (especially meat, dairy, and other highly processed foods), types of fabrics, cleansers, other bodies/body parts. It’s important to listen when your body is speaking to you. How many times will I hear women describe stories of menses lasting longer than a month, burning while urinating, or constant itching, before someone realizes and says to themselves, “This is different. I feel different or this is not normal for me, maybe I should get this checked out”. Yes, consult a professional. If for some reason, due to circumstances beyond your control, you do not have access to an OB/GYN or primary care physician, research alternative treatment plans that have proven to be of minimal risk and are consistently effective. Contact your local public health clinic or your nearest sex educator, counselor, or therapist for additional resources. Hell, you can even send me an email, and if I don’t have the answer I will definitely research and locate a resource that does. Communicate to yourself and certainly to your partner or significant other. Although many of us enjoy the benefits of sexuality, we also tend to hide from accountability. Of course there are situations beyond our control. However, what we can control, we should. Why? Because ignorance is not bliss when it concerns the body. In this case ignorance can lead to sickness or even death.          -Noni Ayana

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