This post has been supported by Canesten®, but all thoughts are my own
Ok, I know – this is slightly different to my usual blogging style, but sometimes you just have to sit down and have an honest chat. Something I love about blogs is that people are able to talk about anything they want to, meaning it’s a totally open playing field. I think it’s amazing that blogs and social media have managed to normalise talking about so many difficult, embarrassing topics – ones where we’d previously be oh-so-British-about but now is commonplace in our conversations – like it should be.
Today I’ve teamed up with Canesten to open a discussion about our Intimate Health – with 75% of people suffering from thrush at some point in their lives, it’s super common and so totally normal. But why does it make us cringe to talk about so much?! I’m sometimes not open enough on my blog about intimate issues but I actually wholeheartedly support normalising conversations about these issues so I was happy to join up and share some information around our intimate health to help empower other women (and men!) who might be still suffering in silence.
I certainly think being pregnant for the second time has meant I have lost my ’embarrassment’ filter, I’ve been through IVF, pregnancy, birth and had more ‘intimate’ appointments than I care to share. Through this have learned that it’s ALL totally normal and our Doctors and nurses have seen it everything many, many times before. At the moment, I’m used to having lots of midwife appointments and they always do all their standard checks like testing my wee for infections and discussing all kinds of symptoms and bodily fluids, including talking about conditions like thrush) – I’ve definitely got to the stage I just ramble on like we are chatting about an episode of Eastenders. It’s all just part of life and doesn’t have to be embarrassing, honestly.
So, if you were wondering – Thrush is a common yeast infection, experienced by both men and women. It’s caused by an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans. This fungus is naturally found on the skin however, when the natural balance of the skin flora is disturbed, the fungus can multiply excessively triggering the typical signs of the infection. It’s also super common in pregnancy as your body and hormones are ALL OVER THE PLACE and something I’ve learned through teaming up with Canesten is that it’s also common in men too. (So, men – it’s not just a women’s issue – listen up!)
It can be really uncomfortable, but the good news is that it’s really easy to diagnose and treat, even at home. Canesten have a really informative website with a full list of symptoms so take a look at that if you are worried. Even if you aren’t sure if you have thrush (but something isn’t feeling right) there is also Canestest – this is a simple swab test that can be done in the comfort of your own home, no trip to the GP required and it’ll guide you to which infection you are suffering from (Thrush or Bacterial Vaginosis) and also guide you to the thrush treatment you require, most of which can be bought from local pharmacies over the counter. See, there really isn’t anything to be embarrassed about these days! All of these issues are so normal and can be treated so easily.
It seems that maybe having a chat through our screens is the first step to these topics being part of normalising discussion, without any red faces or flushed cheeks – but soon I hope we’ll be able to ask questions and talk about these things openly with our friends, family or Doctors without hesitation as it IS totally normal, it’s just part of every day life and we are all in the same boat, honestly.
More information about intimate conditions and Canesten® product range can be found here.