A recent survey carried out ahead of Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month by the Eve Appeal found that a shocking 50 percent of young women in Britain are unable to properly locate a vagina on a medical diagram, while 65 percent admitted they have issues with using the words vagina at all.
The survey was intended, among other things, to raise awareness among young women of the potential warning signs of the five cancers that can affect the womb, ovaries, vulva, vagina, and cervix.
What the researchers didn’t expect was that only half of the 1,000 women surveyed would be able to accurately locate a vagina on a medical chart.
The statistics showed that awareness among the younger women questioned was way lower than that of women surveyed in the 66-75 age bracket. In that group, eight in 10 were able to able locate ovaries, and nine in 10 could label the womb with no problem.
More worrying is the fact that one in five women, aged from 16-26, were completely unable to name a single correct symptom of any of the five gynecological cancers.
On top of that, 40 percent of the woman in the same age group also said they use “other names” when referring to a vagina, such as “lady parts” or “women’s bits” instead of using the term vagina itself out of embarrassment.
In fact, it is well-known that the embarrassment associated with one’s private parts leads many women not to seek medical help, as they find the issue simply too embarrassing to approach.
A spokesperson for the charity said, as reported in The Independent in Britain, “We know our own bodies and if something is happening that isn’t normal for a person, then they just need to get it checked out; it doesn’t mean it’s going to be anything bad, but it just needs checking.”
The charity also found that a staggering 20 percent of women don’t attend a smear test when invited to by their family doctor.
Helena Morrissey, chairman of the charity, said, “At the Eve Appeal we know how important it is to promote straight talking about the signs and symptoms of gynecological cancers to women of all ages, and this survey has highlighted just how far we still have to go to make this happen.”