Are Feminine Hygiene Products Harmful? | This Morning

Are Feminine Hygiene Products Harmful? | This Morning



we aim to to cover every topic here on this morning even the ones that sir people feel awkward about talking well research has shown that nearly half British women are embarrassed when the word vagina comes up in conversation but self-confessed Kaimuki dr. anita mitre is here to help break down those taboo and last time you came on it actually made a big difference isn't it being able to speak very openly not being embarrassed stop breaking down that taboo and you you notice you had a good response to that yeah absolutely so many people just coming forward saying it's really good to just get this out there and I think just people like yourselves on TV saying the word it just shows that it's not a word to be afraid it's not aware and it surprised me actually that I always thought guys are pretty useless when it comes to you know going to the doctor's with problems on your bits but but women just as just as bad don't get embarrassed about it definitely yeah exactly it's something that we see and also even just thinking of going to the doctor there's something called the lay referral system which is where you talk to your friends and your family about your problems and it's something that happens much less when it comes to going to illogical problems because people are embarrassed to talk to family and friends about things that they think are going to maybe embarrassed that other person or they themselves are embarrassed to talk about and and I see so many patients who say it's really nice to be able to actually come and talk openly about it but it shouldn't just be something that you feel only a doctor can talk openly and also it is really important to get good health and and go speak to a doctor because things can get serious I mean you are an ambassador for the eve appeal charity and they is charity the only charity to focus on five gynecological cancers which is a variant womb cervical oval and vaginal cancer so you know as we always say with any of these things if you don't talk about it and you don't go and get the correct attention that you need exactly because there's so much push these days for early diagnosis because a lot of these cancers are diagnosed late and so that makes them much harder to treat and it just really restricts what we can offer people that's what your teachers yeah exactly so I was just saying before that the t-shirt has 58 black hearts which represents all the women in the UK every day diagnosed with a gynecological cancer and the red ones are 21 red hearts unfortunately for the women who pass away from these conditions it's not an insignificant number no it's certainly not so if you're going to the doctor and you're nervous and you're embarrassed you're you're here to say it's really important to just go and be open and honest and it's the the language that we use is quite important isn't it exactly I mean there are so many barriers to healthcare but I don't think that the language should be a barrier and so really what we're trying to do is equip people and empower people to be able to say the words and be able to you know feel a bit more comfortable talking about what they want to with their doctor interestingly and this is something we've covered a few times the vaginal health products and you're quite outspoken about me yeah there's such an explosion on the market and we're talking about washers wipes and Ivan started seeing things like serums highlighters even for the vulva and vagina and these are just not things that are needed but if you see something on the Shelf you think oh I'm not using that should I be using it and so then I personally feel that it's really playing on insecurities even breeding insecurities and these are products that women don't need actually they intentionally be harmful well yes and in certain in some places they do alter your chemistry exactly so we know that there is healthy bacteria in the vagina it's called the vaginal microbiome and that is something that protects us from infections and also keeps the tissues healthy and keeps them nice and strong and robust so if you're using these kind of products they can wipe the bacteria out they can wash it away it causes more irritation it can cause the skin to the crack and you know it's really not what you need if there is a problem for example discharge or itching then you need to go and see a doctor and so personally I feel that these products are really turning a medical problem into a lifestyle problem and it really shouldn't be that way so if you're going to see your doctor and you've crossed that first boundary of being embarrassed about things you've also only got ten minutes in order to get all this information out and you've got your top tips haven't you yeah definitely just discuss are the first one knowing your menstrual cycle first of all exactly so that's really important I think that there's lots of great apps there that you can use today to try and track your cycle and that can be really useful when you're on the spot and you think I just want to have a quick look if a patient gets a phone out and shows me the app we can go through and look what the cycles like in terms of regularity how long it's lasting it's really helpful for that but even if you're not tracking try and know when your last period was and what's maybe changed and what's going on and think about how the symptoms are affecting your life definitely we're just we are not numbers we're not algorithms we're human beings and so for me the most important thing is to understand how a symptom is actually affecting my patient so then we can work out the treatment accordingly and really just understands how severe it might be yeah I'm also knowing the name of your contraceptive pills an important one but also don't be afraid to say ask to be examined if you feel like that something that you definitely definitely and I find a lot of people when I say well sure we just have a look they say okay that would be really good they're really relieved to be able to just show me what's the problem and sometimes you know that's just easier than trying to explain anything and keep a timeline definitely so it's really helpful for us to understand what's been going on maybe how it started how it's changed what you've tried as well so what medications you've tried because unfortunately all our medical records from the GP and the hospitals are not always linked up so it is quite important to try and keep record of that yourself okay well and Sue's going touch there let's see if we can help her she said I use a liner every day because my discharge is quite heavy on a daily basis it's been a constant throughout my life since puberty and it doesn't smell or look odd is this normal I feel self-conscious having to wear a liner daily but wonder if there's anything I can do about it yeah I mean I think that it's really important for women to understand that it is normal to have discharge and I always tell people that is actually a good thing because that's what your body's doing to protect you it's making all these really good chemicals we've got what we call natural antibiotics that actually um help to protect us so I think to understand that it is normal but then if it becomes abnormal that may be something that you want to look at but certainly if you have excess discharge don't use these kind of products over the counter to wash it away okay thank you Katie says I'm really unhappy with my excessively long lips and the excessive amount of skin covering my pitches it's affected my self confidence I even get undressed in the dark even in front of my partner I wanted to get them reduced for a long time but I'm not sure how to go about this could my GP refer me for surgery how much would it cost to go private yeah so this is something that's increasingly common lots of people want to have a Celina vagina if you've got that Blaine exactly yes it's also called a labiaplasty and lots of people are increasingly asking for them I think that you know we're not really very aware of what a normal vulva labia or vagina looks like there's lots of great resources online for people to actually see and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has actually produced a leaflet for younger women in particular because it's really important for them to understand before these kind of insecurities both to understand exactly because that's where you sort of feel the pressures coming certainly it's not normally something that can be done on the NHS though because it's seen as a cosmetic procedure unless there is a physical reason to need it doing a lot of people actually are not really that satisfied afterwards so it's not something to to get something to come up with lightly what would be Katie's next step um so it may be worth asking the GP for a referral to the gynecology clinic so that we can have a look and even just discuss a little bit further but otherwise it would be something that would need to be done privately okay alright Jane that says I'm 29 with no children and I keep getting vagina thrush I have used every single over-the-counter treatment but it it just comes back as soon as I finished the treatment my GP prescribed me with oh gosh that's the one which has not stopped me getting a thrush again I don't use any soaps or anything harsh on my vagina when I wash it and I'm really at a width and is there anything I can do this is really common lots of people reporting that they're not using anything but they're still getting thrush the first thing I would say is are you really sure that it is thrush because there are lots of other things that can cause itching and irritation chronic skin condition so it's quite important to be examined by the doctor so we can really be sure that it's actually thrush to start with in terms of if it is recurrent thrush that is not successfully being treated there is a small amount of evidence now to suggest that probiotics actually might be useful and it's not something that everybody would necessarily recommend because the evidence is still emerging so it's something that we may be able to offer in the future okay well thank you thank you very much come back again I will you

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