As women, our bodies do lots of weird and wonderful things. We are constantly changing! And there has probably been a time when something occurs that might be a little embarrassing or taboo, and you find yourself asking, is this normal?
Well, the truth is, health professionals have probably seen five other people like you that day.
Watch: How well do you know your 'Lady Garden'? Post continues below.
But new research by Priceline Pharmacy has found that women preferred to let that rash get angrier, or let that tingle turn into an itch, because speaking to a health professional was too awkward an ask.
In fact, the study found 38 per cent of women experienced an uncomfortable condition for longer than necessary, and nearly half (47 per cent) of women have googled symptoms because they were too embarrassed to turn to a health professional.
As a GP, here are the 6 things I wish women would stop feeling embarrassed about:
Changes to vaginal discharge or odour.
This is a common topic of discussion in my consulting room.
Patient’s often start the consult with, “I’m so embarrassed but things are different down there.”
Honestly, you are probably the third person in the day I’ve spoken to with the same problem – there is nothing to be embarrassed about and you certainly aren’t alone!
Vaginal discharge and odour changes can be due to a range of issues such as thrush, bacterial vaginosis or sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia so it’s well worth a chat with a health professional, whether that be a GP or a pharmacist.
Having your cervical cancer screening test done (previously named a pap smear).
Please, please don’t feel embarrassed about this.
We also don’t remember your vagina the next time you come in – trust me!
A cervical cancer screen can be lifesaving and literally prevents cervical cancer – the intention is to pick up changes before they progress to cancer.
Patients will often get really embarrassed and apologise for not having had a pedicure or their legs waxed as they climb onto the examination bed; trust me, the last thing I’m doing is looking at any of those things. My job is to locate your cervix, take the samples and high five you for coming in for your test!