Why so 'private'? A lot of women are too embarrassed to talk to their doctor about their vagina
Say it loud, say it proud.
And while many women are entirely comfortable speaking openly and honestly about vaginal health, so many of us still aren't.
The word is still taboo, secretive, dirty, for some reason - meaning that we're not only missing out on some general vagina chat, but we could also be ignoring key issues regarding our vaginal health.
A new study has found that 30 percent of women in the UK would be uncomfortable discussing their vagina with a male healthcare professional.
What's even more surprising is that 11 percent would be embarrassed discussing vaginal health with a female healthcare professional too.
Carried out YouGov and commissioned by bacterial vaginosis brand BETAFEM, the study asked over 2,000 women how they felt about discussing their vaginal health.
The results showed that while a considerable number of women are still uncomfortable talking about their vaginas with a doctor, even more of us would feel embarrassed discussing it with their parents.
61 percent of women said that they would feel uncomfortable chatting vaginal health with their fathers, while a notable 34 percent admitted that they would also be uncomfortable discussing it with their mothers too.
So, why the embarrassment?
According to the folks over at BETAFEM, a lot of the discomfort stems from the word 'vagina' itself - and the simple fact that so many people are still shying away from using it.
“Many women have been conditioned to feel embarrassed about their vaginas, and our new research shows that this may be preventing them from addressing important vaginal problems with a healthcare professional, including bacterial vaginosis,"they said.
“Women have been taught to use euphemisms that suggest vaginas should not be spoken about - ‘intimate area’, ‘down there’ and ‘privates.'
"Vaginal health is not something that should be ‘private’; it is important for women to discuss any concerns they have openly, be it with a healthcare professional or friends and family."
In order to tackle all of this stigma and shame, BETAFEM have launched their new campaign, #SixLetterWord.
The word in question is, you guessed it, 'vagina' - and the idea is to normalise its use, break the taboo, and get people talking openly and honestly with their friends, family, and their doctors.
It's not just empowering, it's sort of necessary.
You can find out more about the #SixLetterWord campaign here.