#GetComfortable with intimate health and thrush

This post is an uncomfortable one.  About something uncomfortable.  Something I don’t think I’ve ever written about and certainly not something I would really talk about.  Intimate health isn’t high on my list of topics of conversation but that’s the point of this post.  Feminine hygiene & health is vitally important but something which we have a tendency to keep quiet on.  Something which we worry about and quietly google to try and find out what’s causing the discomfort so that we don’t have to go to the GP and show him (or her) “down there”. 

Photo Credit: Hey Paul Studios via Compfight cc

I must admit that having had three children I’m less shy about what’s going on down there.  If it needs treating, it needs treating.  I will never forget arriving at the hospital in labour with Ben and one of the nurses telling me to “leave my dignity at the door” – and whilst she said it in jest, she wasn’t far wrong.  I remember feeling all coy when I had that first internal examination, being carefully covered with a sheet and so forth but by the time I’d been in labour for 26 hours and had an emergency c section the whole world seemed to have seen my wares – it certainly left me less self conscious when it came to my “girl’s bits”.  That said I’m still not skipping with joy when it comes to be time to lie legs akimbo in the Dr’s surgery . . . 

Smear tests, thrush and funny smells are all things bound to make us girls cringe and bury our heads in the sand but they are all issues which need addressing.  As someone prone to chest infections which need treating with antibiotics I’m no stranger to a bout of thrush as a parting gift from my illness.  It took me a long time to realise that it was thrush I was suffering from and that it was the antibiotics which were causing it – my own lack of knowledge around this certainly prolonged my discomfort as I tended to just leave it to clear up on its own rather than getting treated appropriately.  I remember waking myself up in the night with intense irritation of it (that’s the politest way I can think of putting it . . . I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!)  

Now that I know I can be prone to thrush – I also know ways I can help myself to avoid it, or at least curtail it’s stay!  The right underwear, the right hygiene products . . . you can get more information about thrush on the Canesten site.

Do you find it awkward talking about feminine intimate health?  #GetComfortable with Canesten and let me know your tips for not feeling embarrassed about discussing your intimate health.  You could win a £50 John Lewis voucher. 

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*This post has been supported by Canesten, but all thoughts are our own*



  1. Anonymous
    January 3, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    Chemists sell Canesten over the counter, so as long as you are sure you are buying the right product, and you can ask the pharmacist
    for a private consolation, you don't need to visit your GP if you don't want to. If you are going to your GP practice, you could probably ask to just see the nurse or a lady doctor if you wanted. I don't think people in general are as embarrassed as in the past because there is so much more information openly available.


  2. Lyndsay Spencer
    January 3, 2016 / 8:53 pm

    Buying over the counter is easy but make sure your buying the right product

  3. January 3, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    Be honest and open, they will probably have heard it all before.

  4. January 3, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    We all have the same problems – it just isn't embarassing

  5. January 3, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    everyone has the same bits – you have nothing different from the rest of the planet

  6. January 3, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    Have a baby-nothing will ever be worse than the embarrassment of child birth!

    Always remember a doctor will have seen worse!

  7. January 3, 2016 / 10:04 pm

    I think the best tip is that with time and experience talking about personal things becomes easier because you realise that no one is or has a right to judge you.

  8. January 3, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    I've had pre-cancerous cells a couple of times and although it's still embarrassing i make sure i go for my smear tests as it would be stupid to let something that can be prevented from happening for the sake of a couple of minutes of embarrassment

  9. January 3, 2016 / 10:30 pm

    Whatever the problem is they will have heard it before and you will not be the only one so try to remember this and tell yourself I am not the first x

  10. January 3, 2016 / 10:44 pm

    Speaking from the health professionals point of view, I have heard it all a thousand times. It is a completely normal thing to go through so there really is no need to be embarrassed, the more open and honest you are about the issue and symptoms that are irritating you, the quicker we can find the best product to find the solution

  11. January 3, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    It's only recently that because it is easier to talk about these things that has made it important to go to the GP or health clinics to talk about this kind of problem. We should all be able to be more open as it is sometimes sharing something that can help you realise that it's not all in your mind and that there's real help out there…xxx

  12. Claire Bingham
    January 3, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    Don't be afraid to open up, more often then you think the person you are talking to will have gone through the same, known someone who has had the same or is probably too embarrassed for you. As for health professionals they are likely to have heard this more times then you could imagine

  13. Leanne Bell
    January 3, 2016 / 11:20 pm

    I have an amazing group of friends and nothing is off limit. Just remember that many others are often going through similar situations x

  14. January 4, 2016 / 1:35 am

    I talk things through with close family members or friends first who will reassure you that it is just the same when talking to healthcare professionals so if necessary picture your friends face when talking to your nurse or GP about intimate symptoms – Happy New Year everyone x

  15. Anonymous
    January 4, 2016 / 5:44 am

    Have key points written down so you remember what to say

  16. January 4, 2016 / 8:11 am

    Pretend you are acting in a play/film and that your character has the symptoms – provides a bit of detachment.

  17. January 4, 2016 / 8:52 am

    Remember that health professionals deal with things like this all the time, it's their job.

  18. Susan B
    January 4, 2016 / 9:58 am

    I was told many years ago to imagine the medical personnel in their PJs or in the bath so you are not intimidated or embarrassed. It works for me.

  19. Kirsty Mackay
    January 4, 2016 / 10:01 am

    Remember that health professionals have seen, heard and read about all your problems before and take away all emotions, all you are left with are skin, bone and body parts, not very interesting, exciting or unique.

  20. January 4, 2016 / 10:04 am

    we are all the same…………….. the health professionals have seen it all before YOU WILL NOT BE THE FIRST so just talk

  21. January 4, 2016 / 11:06 am

    Just imagine you are typing the conversation online, it's always much easier to talk when it's written down. Or. If you are visiting your doctor or nurse, it's ok to take a list of questions so you don't go blank when you're there
    Kelly Ellen Hirst

  22. January 4, 2016 / 11:32 am

    be comfortable with your body and realise lots of people are going through the same thing as you

  23. January 4, 2016 / 11:41 am

    You have to be confident and understand that whatever size or shape you are you're beautiful. You have one body so don't let shame or guilt unsettle you.

  24. January 4, 2016 / 2:06 pm

    Having open friends to talk to is a big help I don't see why people are ashamed of their bodies, everyone has health issues at one stage of their life, be open ask for help if you need it why should it all be such a taboo

  25. January 4, 2016 / 2:24 pm

    Be assured that other women have been through it before and don't be embarrassed by something that is more than likely a normal thing.

  26. January 4, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    I think a little humour can lighten the embarrasment

  27. January 4, 2016 / 3:59 pm

    Remember that however bad you think your condition is, they've heard worse. A lot worse!! On that basis just say it, it'll be a relief to both of you πŸ™‚

  28. Chanise Kemp
    January 4, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    It's there job to look after people and advise them on what to do. There will always be someone who has had worse or has felt worse and it can only get better from that point onwards. Your life is worth much more than to be embarrassed or ill because of health issues.

  29. January 4, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    I get that drs and nurses are there to help but never quite got over the doctor treating me for some irregularities me lying on a bed raised to his eyeline and him speaking to my vgina instead of to me

  30. featha crowe
    January 4, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    I don't have any tips exactly, I would just say, if someone is a bit embarrassed that, everyone has bits and bobs! and any health professional has seen it all before, there's really nothing to be worried about πŸ™‚ (I say that, but I still get terribly shy!!)

  31. Karen Hughes
    January 4, 2016 / 7:40 pm

    The way to not get embarrassed about it is to make it normal. It is normal, don't think of it as a taboo in your mind. Be confident and love your body. x

  32. January 4, 2016 / 8:08 pm

    Doctors and nurses, and most likely your friends will not thing your problems are weird or embarrassing!

  33. January 4, 2016 / 8:30 pm

    Just remember you won't be telling them anything they haven't heard before!

  34. January 4, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    Just put on your metaphorical big girl pants and remember it's all been said before πŸ™‚

  35. Patricia Fraser
    January 4, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    Just remember that the doctors & nurses have seen it/heard it all before.

  36. January 4, 2016 / 9:29 pm

    Professional people take everything in their stride πŸ™‚

  37. January 4, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    I dont feel embarrassed as you know they see so many people everyday and they may have even suffered from the issue themselves, when we go home and jump in the bath were all the same naked and all with worries so its best to talk about it and free your mind

  38. Tamsin Dean
    January 4, 2016 / 10:49 pm

    when iwas in my teens/twentys I found things like this a bit embarrassing, but now 5 kids it doesn't bother me in the slightest (lol)wish iwasn't so embarrassed now cause everyone has these kind of problems at some point

  39. January 4, 2016 / 10:49 pm

    The chances are, you will never see these people again and they see that many people in their line of work that it is highly unlikely that they would remember you! Just think of a stranger that you pass in the street, would you remember them as a person you had once passed?! Its the same situation.
    Think Happy Thoughts and it will be over before you know it πŸ˜€

  40. January 4, 2016 / 11:41 pm

    remembering that I am talking to professionals who only want to help me and most likely have seen it all before πŸ™‚

  41. January 4, 2016 / 11:45 pm

    I let a group of students watch my colposcopy on a great big screen in a tiny room, so after that I feel no embarrassment about talking about vaginas and any intimate problems! They see lots in a day, so relax

  42. Mike Williams
    January 5, 2016 / 6:54 am

    Just remember the doctor/nurse will have seen it all before and will act professionally. It is also over very quickly so surely it will be better to put up with a few minutes of awkwardness to deal with the discomfort and avoid future complications.

  43. January 5, 2016 / 8:59 am

    I would say relax and don’t over think it, and remember that chances are pretty good that the other person has experienced similar anyway!

  44. January 6, 2016 / 6:40 am

    Health professionals have probably heard and seen it all before. The human body is just a very intricate amazing machine and you wouldn't be embarrassed about taking your car in for a service now would you? Same principle. Far better to endure a bit of awkwardness than suffer in silence.

  45. January 6, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    Talk to your female friends as it is very likely they have had or know someone who is having the same issues as yourself

  46. January 7, 2016 / 4:53 am

    Similar to you Colette I became a lot less shy after I had my babies! I think the important thing to remember is that we're all human and will all have slightly 'embarrassing' things going on at one time or another. Doctors see all sorts of things day in day out so to them it's all in the course of a day's work. The important thing is your health and wellbeing, so blush if you must but go get treated!

  47. January 12, 2016 / 11:12 pm

    Health is more valuable than pride or embarrassment. It's important to catch any infection early, so see a Dr at the earliest opportunity – they will always have seen something worse!!

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