The Vagina Dialogues
How much do we really know about “down there”?
Vajayjay. Lady bits. Lady parts. Yeah, we’re pretty good at giving our genitals cutesy names. But some of us aren’t all that aware of what actually goes on in that area of our body, and we’re not thrilled with the way society thinks about the vagina (to use an uncool term).
According to a survey of 1,600 women, a fair number of us still believe some myths about vaginal health: Thirty-one percent think you can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period, and 37 percent are convinced you can lose a tampon inside your vagina. Even more of a wow statistic: 27 percent of women had no idea what was happening when they got their first period.
The survey, conducted by Kotex, also found a surprising number of women still feel ashamed when it comes to discussing their vaginal health—a term that covers a number of issues, including menstruation, gynecological cancers and sexually transmitted diseases.
A majority of the women surveyed believe that they’re supposed to keep those issues to themselves, and about a quarter think that women who do discuss down-there are seen as weird, dirty or promiscuous. No surprise, then, that 60 percent of women get their information about vaginal health from the Internet, while only 30 percent discuss issues with friends. And when they do talk about it with friends, the respondents said, it’s more likely to be “humorous”: in fact, nearly half are most comfortable using slang words to discuss their vagina (vajayjay, anyone?).