The UK’s leading gynaecological cancer charity is launching an appeal to ensure women are comfortable discussing their anatomy, following a YouGov poll that found one in five women don’t know where they urinate from or where the vagina is.
Now, medical professionals are warning that patients not being able to describe the female anatomy in a clear way is preventing diagnosis of certain conditions, including endometriosis, STI’s, thrush and even gynaelogical cancers.
‘Britons are worryingly uninformed about female genitalia, and women are almost as unaware as men about what’s going on down below,’ said data journalist Victoria Waldersee on the YouGov website.
According to their research, during which people were asked to label a diagram of a vulva, 59% of men and 45% of women could not label the vagina. More so, 55% of women didn’t know what the urethra was and half of both men and women failed to label the labia. While the clitoris was the only part of female genitalia accurately identified by the majority of both men and women, one third still did not know what it was.
The study went on to show that half of women think you should wash the inside of your vagina (you really, really shouldn’t) and one in five think you need to take a tampon out to urinate – not knowing the vagina and urethra are different orifices - showing that a worrying number of women haven’t been educated on how their genitalia works at all.
The results of the study are indicative of a huge lacking in female anatomical education, which was highlighted just last week by a sex educator in the US, and with such dire consequences as putting women’s lives at risk in delaying diagnosis of the five gynaelogical cancers, it’s clear a lot needs to change.
It’s with this in mind that The Eve Appeal have launched their new Get Lippy campaign today, hoping to educate people on the female anatomy and so enable women to talk about their genitalia comfortably with health professionals. ‘Doctors have on average 10 minutes with a patient,’ said Athena Lamnisos, chief executive of The Eve Appeal, ‘We want to make sure those minutes are well used to diagnose cancer at the earliest stage.
‘Women should feel comfortable to talk about their health and confident to have a conversation with their doctor,’ she continued, ‘To do this, we need to make sure women have the information and confidence they need to have a conversation about their symptoms.’
Their campaign includes buying products from their brand partners, of which 10% of the sales fund Eve's research into the prevention of gynae cancers, or you can text EVE LIPPY to 70577 to donate £5. The official Get Lippy day is 17th May, with the charity encouraging supporters to get involved on Instagram by posting a blowing kiss picture with the hashtag #GetLippy and information to donate money, tagging five friends and encouraging them to do the same.
To find out more information about the campaign, visit The Eve Appeal.