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Calling on women to break taboos around periods and vaginas

Calling on women to break taboos around periods and vaginas

Are we a nation of prudes when it comes to periods?

Menstruation is still considered the ‘unmentionable’, with new research showing that women are more comfortable to talk about their sex lives than their periods. In fact, Australian women shockingly view other females who talk about their periods as vulgar (26%), crude (29%), embarrassing (41%) – and even weird (26%), according to research from CAREFREE®.

So why is it that, in the modern era, something that billions of women experience every month is still so taboo, and what implications does this shy behaviour have for our girls?

General Practitioner, Dr Farah Kroman*, who moderates a social forum on vaginal health, sponsored by CAREFREE®, believes it’s critical to address the sensitivities surrounding vaginal health and encourage women to stop talking about periods in a ‘hush hush’ fashion, like some sort of secret women’s business.

“Every day we receive questions through the CAREFREE® website from young women asking basic questions about their periods and vaginal health. The anonymous forum gives them courage to ask the questions that, for whatever reason, are not being answered within their inner circles. If women are not confident, or feel ashamed, to talk about such issues with friends, parents, or their own doctor – how can we expect our girls to understand what’s normal and healthy, in order to care for their bodies?” Dr Farah said.

Dr Kroman’s remarks come as CAREFREE® embarks on its Be Real campaign, which looks to tackle the taboos of periods and vaginal health head on by demonstrating the reality – and normality – of periods. The very brand that shocked the nation in 2012 by daring to use real words for real body parts in its ads, is returning to TV to advance its mission of liberating girls from vagina-related anxieties. The new ads intend to show women they are not alone, and that our experiences as females – good, bad or ugly – are indeed what unite us.

The Be Real television commercial features scenarios of women experiencing everything from anxiety over how to insert a tampon, to being caught out while getting a little too amorous. The Be Real television commercial will be broadcast from Sunday 2 March and can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GPIrfS7elo.

As part of the campaign, CAREFREE® is calling on women to share their stories to help normalise conversations around periods, and encourage more women to be open, honest and real about periods.

“We need to break these taboos to normalise the conversation around periods and provide women with the comfort that they are not alone in their experiences,” says a spokesperson from the brand. “We want to encourage women to feel more open and comfortable in discussing their personal health, and in turn, feel more confident in managing their period.”

Women are invited to share their stories at mycarefree.co.nz, and enjoy reading more stories, perhaps enjoy a laugh and also seek support on the site.

* Dr Farah Kroman has been paid by CAREFREE® to provide independent professional advice to women who submit questions about personal health and wellbeing through the mycarefree.co.nz website.

ENDS

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