According to Bayer’s Health Survey released this Wednesday, one-third of Irish women report ‘low or no’ confidence.
The survey which questioned women about their intimate health knowledge and general confidence levels, is part of the #BeV Confident campaign designed to educate women about their vaginal health and instil confidence in women around their intimate health.
The survey showed other insights into Irish women’s confidence and wellbeing including that;
- None of the women surveyed (0%) said they are completely happy with how they look
- Almost 70% of those polled are embarrassed discussing intimate health issues with their GP or pharmacist
- Women are more likely to discuss intimate health issues with their best friends (61%) than their partners (57%)
- Over half (55%) of those questioned have never heard of bacterial vaginosis (BV), despite it being the most common vaginal infection in Irish women of childbearing age
- Almost half of respondents are embarrassed when buying vaginal medication
- Almost one-fifth of those surveyed wait to see if intimate health symptoms go away on their own rather than seeking help
None of the women surveyed described themselves as being completely happy with how they look. Just 3% of women felt very confident, but more encouragingly, 42% describe themselves as reasonably confident. 1 in 3 women surveyed said they are somewhat unhappy with how they look.
This year, Ireland will host it’s first Body Pride event, an event that celebrates body diversity and self-love. Body Pride is the brainchild of blogger, mother and plus-size model Michelle Marie, who recently suffered “racism, sexism, fatphobia and homophobia” to a degree she “has never known” when she took over the @Ireland twitter account. Michelle has struggled with her own weight and body confidence issues. When speaking about Body Pride with IMAGE.ie, Michelle said she recognized the negative attitudes Irish men and women have towards their own bodies, and she thinks Body Pride could help; “I think Body Pride is needed everywhere, but particularly in Ireland. There is a strong shame culture here, and it was particularly noticeable coming from the UK to Ireland. Body positivity is part of that change, and we should celebrate our differences and start frequently acknowledging that it’s okay to be different.”
Body Pride 2016, which will be held this December at The Castlecourt Hotel in Westport, will be a day-long event which will include three main diversity catwalks, as well as an incredible panel of speakers and the Models of Diversity agency; which represents men and women with physical disabilities.
TALK TO SOMEONE
Two-thirds of respondents said they are embarrassed discussing their problems with a GP or pharmacist or buying feminine health products.
61% of the women surveyed said they turn to their best friends to talk about intimate health, 43% of respondents said they will discuss intimate health matters with female family members and 57% of the women questioned said they discuss these type of problems with their partner.
A third of those polled (33%) get embarrassed buying vaginal medication, 27% are embarrassed when they buy lubricants and 18% are embarrassed buying sanitary towels.
Almost 1 in 5 women surveyed said they wait for an intimate health issue to disappear by itself and over half of those surveyed (52%) search the web first.
Talking about the survey, Dr. Sinead Beirne, a Dublin-based GP said, “Talking about intimate health can be a real source of embarrassment for some women. What I would say to women is talk to your GP or pharmacist, talk to your friends or partner about your concerns in the same way you would about any other health issue.”
For more information, visit www.intimatehealth.ie