About My Female Health Post…. A Few Additional Thoughts

Categories Featured, This Month
Female Health

Hi everyone, last week I did a post on female health related issues and some of my own struggles in that area. Today I’d like to chat about a few feelings I’ve had since putting that post up. If you haven’t read that post, head here first, otherwise this post will make very little sense.  

Firstly, I’d like to say thank you. The response I had to that post was overwhelming. Everyone was so kind and supportive, I honestly don’t know what to say. Which brings me on to this post, I don’t know what to say. I haven’t replied to the comments on that post yet because every time I try, I’m completely at a loss for words. And when I do reply, I’d like those words to have some meaning, to have a proper conversation about this.  

Should you be proud?

There are however a few recurring themes in those comments that I’d like to go a little deeper with. A lot of you told me I was brave for posting it, or that you were proud. By the way, being told by a large number of people who are essentially complete strangers that they’re proud of you is very emotionally overwhelming. Those comments were all so lovely, but I’d like to take a minute to discuss why it’s brave. It shouldn’t be. Many bloggers talk about health issues, whether that be stomach issues, intolerances, or something else, I see new posts about health every single day. That post should not be considered any different.  

While I’m so grateful that people were applauding my decision to post it, I can’t help but feel sad that talking about my menstrual cycle is considered so taboo that people feel like it’s worthy of an applause to begin with. 

It’s 2018 and if my stats are correct, 90% of you are women. And 90% of you are between the age of 18 and 44. So the vast majority of you have had a period in your life, even if you’re not having them right now for whatever reason. We should be more comfortable talking about this. 

Education (or lack of)

Another comment got me thinking for quite some time, and that was by Alice (Black Tulip Beauty). She said she’d been chatting to her friend about the lack of education we have about periods.

That got me thinking about my own education and the first time I ever recall it being mentioned at school. I think I was in year 9 the first time someone came in and tried to explain what a tampon was. For those of you outside the UK, you’re 13-14 in year 9. I don’t know the average age girls get their periods, but I’m pretty sure most of them have theirs by then. At least my friends all did, and I was already on medication for mine by then. Making that whole session completely redundant. I’m 24 next Friday, so this was 10 years ago. I sincerely hope for the sake of every teenage girl in the country, that the system has improved greatly since I hung up my blazer and tie.  

Outside of school

Then I thought about this deeper.  I educated myself. I’ve read just about every NHS leaflet that’s available, I’ve spent hours of my life Googling things. I spoke to my mum about the treatments she had, I’ve spoken to other people about their experiences, what’s worked and what hasn’t. Whenever a course of treatment has been suggested for me, it’s because I brought the discussion to the table. As you know, I got knocked back every time, mainly because I’m childless. But that got me thinking, what if I wasn’t the kind of person who did this research? What if I took the doctor’s word that the pill is the only answer? That’s just a further example of the fact we have no education on this subject.  

Many of you said in those comments that you weren’t aware these options even existed. That’s not your fault. I can understand how someone wouldn’t necessarily know about these things if they’d never had any major issues or no one close to them had either. But I also think it’s something we all deserve to be informed about. We all have a right to know the options regarding our health. I don’t know why doctors don’t tell us, and whether or not it’s as simple as the NHS can’t afford it, so we don’t like to talk about it. But I think it’s wrong that we’re not told about the possibilities available.  

Going Forward?

Another comment that came up a lot was people thanking me for starting this conversation. I don’t think I can take any credit at all for starting this conversation. Some other great bloggers/ vloggers have discussed similar issues before, Hannah Witton is the first who comes to mind (I’ll leave a list below). While I can’t take credit for starting it, I would love to be one of the people who helps continue it. I wasn’t sure if posting a reaction to that post was the right thing to do, but I also thought I couldn’t leave the subject there when I still had so many thoughts on the issue.  

Obviously, I’ve opened those doors now, so I’ll obviously keep you updated if my situation ever changes or I make any progress.  

Thank you for taking the time to read my second essay length post on periods in as many weeks. I’d love to know your thoughts on education around this subject. Also, if you’re younger than me, how old were you when school first gave you ‘the talk’? I’d really love as many answers as possible on that one.  

Until next time, 

Sophie  

 

Hannah Witton: The Hormone Diaries 

Beth Sandland: Why I Decided to Come off of The Pill  

Melanie Murphy: PMS Parties 

I’m sure I’ll add to this list as I remember/ come across more. If you know of anyone I can add, please let me know!



14 thoughts on “About My Female Health Post…. A Few Additional Thoughts

  1. That’s interesting. I think I got lucky; my mother was always very open with me growing up, so anytime I had a question about periods (or around the time when girls start going through puberty, which I think is between 9-16) my mom was very honest. And programs Sex Ed programs were offered before the age of 14 with a parents’ permission. I think the most important part of Sex Ed/Feminine Ed is to get the parents on board with realizing that this information is important, whether they like it or not. YOU might think your daughter is too young, but her body might disagree with you. And it’s better for you to stay on top of it than deny her that education. I’d hate to think what would have happened if I’d gotten my first period (at 11 or 12) with no little to no knowledge of what was happening to me.

  2. I’m so glad you had such a great response to your post! That’s what I love about blogging, people are so much more open about topics that previously weren’t openly discussed. Although I’m the same age as you I was first spoken to about periods in P5 which is when you’re age 8/9 and although we all giggled and had no idea back then, I was very thankful when I got my period in P7, two years later at age 11!
    PaleGirlRambling xo
    http://palegirlrambling.co.uk

  3. Ah I LOVE that you have spoken about this. Period chat is weird, because its kind go taboo but its also kind of not? Like we’ll all happily announce that we’re pms-ing to our mates but if something is off we’re suddenly hesitant to tell anyone! I agree that something is definitely lacking in education. Admittedly, in my school, we learnt about periods in year 6, which I thought was good. But even then, it was only really a ‘you’ll bleed, when you do, use a sanitary towel’ kind of thing. Nothing about how your mood can completely change, any of the other side effects, or signs that something isn’t right. I think these things definitely need to be taught and not just expected that we’ll go discover it ourselves!

    http://www.whatevawears.co.uk

  4. The sex education at school is definitely better where I live. I left school two years ago, and I can remember we did get a fairly detailed explanation of how to use pads and tampons. I would have been ten or eleven when we first got ‘the talk’.

  5. It’s nice to see posts about the importance of knowing about female health. I’m taking some medication for my health (I won’t name specifically) and so far it’s been helping me. I think it just depends on what you think is best for yourself and your body. But I do agree that more countries need to advance their education on the female biology because this just goes to show that they (the education system) do not take women seriously.

  6. I’m happy that you’ve received a positive response overall! I feel like we need to be more open to talking about health issues – especially when it revolves the female body. It’s real and we need to share our experiences. I always felt like I had to fit the 28 day cycle but learned (as I grew up) that everyone is different. Hope you’ll continue to be open about the topics you want to discuss :).

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  7. I went to an all-girls school for secondary education and we had really good sex education and this included periods. However this was basic until year 9 again I think this is a bit late. I knew girls who started their periods in primary school and they had to use the teachers toilet as we didn’t even have sanitary bins in our toilets!

  8. I completely agree that there’s not enough education around periods! I went to a Catholic school so we had no sex education and other than learning about the science behind the menstrual cycle we didn’t get taught anything about periods! I definitely think young girls need more education to help them! Another great post lovely!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com
    xx

  9. This is such a good post. I didn’t get ANY education, just a book about puberty that my mum shoved into my hand when I got my first period (and I went to a girls school!!)

    Education is SO important, for boys and girls, because periods happen to half of the population!

    Naomi xo
    tralisty.com

  10. I learned most of my sex education at school, it was just s part of health class and no one really thought much about it. I was also lucky in that my mom was very open and honest about these sorts of things so it was easy to talk about. Although I am trying to be the same for my children I am slightly alarmed because where we live now sex education is basically non existent in the school system and she is quickly approaching the age where it should be addressed. I imagine I will have to handle it all myself and really dont want to mess it all up!

  11. We definitely need to be having period conversations much earlier! I started mine when I was 9, thankfully my mum was wonderful and explained everything… but there are so many that aren’t as lucky! I had friends who still didn’t understand their bodies at the age of 16… which must be terrifying!
    I’m 23, so can’t really expand on whether education is better now… but I sincerely hope so, in the meantime… the best we can do is keep making blog posts helping young girls and women!

    Katie | http://www.katielclark.co.uk

  12. You are so right, there is a distinct lack of education around anything to do with female health and it so important that we keep talking about it. Thankyou for sharing! x

    abbiejadewanders.co.uk

  13. I’m really glad the response to your post was one of support and positivity. I agree with the “brave” comments. When I posted about my depression a lot of people would tell me I was brave, whilst that was a lovely comment meant in support it shouldn’t be that I should be brave just because I have depression and I’m talking about it. You’re so right with that comment!
    I also agree that girls should be given more information on periods and that those session should include the medical help you can get for your periods. I think I said in my comment on your last post that I had no idea about the medical help women can have, that’s a prime example of the type of education needed (I’m 22).
    You definitely should be carrying on this conversation. As someone who has had trouble with your own period, I think you’re one of the right people to be talking about this issue. I feel as though I can’t comment on this issue as I’m not one of the people who has suffered.
    In answer to your question, I was 11 when my school gave me the “talk”.

    Lots of love,

    Molly xo
    http://gracetoglowandgo.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.