Whether it’s endometriosis, menstruation, abortion or STIs, women still face many barriers to talking about their sexual health. This is evident from a new study, which shows that almost one in two women find it difficult to talk about these topics with those around them.
No, menstruation is not “dirty” or “embarrassing”. Instagram accounts, associations, podcasts, documentaries or books have all been working around a common goal in recent years: breaking the taboos surrounding menstruation.
Yet menstruation still tops the list of sexual and reproductive health taboos. According to this survey, conducted for the medical application Livi*, 15% of the respondents find it difficult to talk freely about this topic with their loved ones.
This is not the only subject that the French women surveyed find it difficult to indulge. For example, sexually transmitted diseases are associated with a “sense of shame” in 24% of them. Menstruation ranks third (15%) of these taboos, which are related to endometriosis, a gynecological disease that affects about one in ten women, but which has become widely known (and therefore not visible) in recent years.
The shame felt about these particular themes seems to be closely linked to age. Menopause, for example, is at the very bottom of the list (only 6% of the women involved say they have trouble talking about it with those around them). Conversely, respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 are those who have the most difficulty raising these topics, especially those related to pregnancy and abortion (23%).
However, the survey shows that all ages are generally embarrassed as a total of 46% of the women surveyed “that it is difficult to confide in the people around you”† Teleconsultation is also mentioned as an effective lever “towards freedom of expression”. The women surveyed believe that this method of consultation helps to somewhat reduce the inhibitions to talk about topics related to intimate health (compared to medical practices).
*Study conducted by YouGov Direct for Livi on March 2, 2022 among 453 women aged 18-54.
(ETX Daily Up)