Vital information

Almost half of British women cannot identify the vagina, study finds

Women carry a sculpture during a protest against a proposed abortion law in Malaga, Spain, December 27, 2013. (REUTERS/Jon Nazca)

Almost half of women in Britain do not know the basic anatomy of their vaginas, according to new research. Of 1,000 women surveyed by cancer charity the Eve Appeal, only half could locate the vagina on a diagram of the female reproductive system, and fewer than a third could correctly label six different parts. Of the five gynecological cancers — ovarian, womb, cervical, vaginal and vulval — one in seven women failed to name a single type. The poorest results were found in women over 65.

The Eve Appeal’s Specialist Gynaecological Cancer Information Nurse, Tracie Miles, said, “Body knowledge is vital from the time young girls begin to experience puberty, to their first sexual experience right through to motherhood and eventually the menopause. However, the lack of basic knowledge about the female body or conversations around how the female anatomy works, is extremely worrying — how can we expect women to know what to look out for in terms of unexpected changes in their vagina or vulva or to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a gynecological cancer, if they’re not body aware?

Referring to the recent upswing in body positivity, Athena Lamnisos, chief executive of The Eve Appeal pointed out that while “body confidence is important … body knowledge is absolutely vital, and our research has shown that women don’t know their vaginas from their vulvas.”

Read the full story at The Independent.


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