It’s been a busy month for my two favourite (and frequently overlapping) subjects, mental health and sexual health. September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month, but it’s also packed full of other great awareness weeks. Most notably for me, Pre and Post Natal Depression Awareness Week (PNDAW) fell from 4th-10th, and this year focused on antenatal mental health, while Sexual Health Week ran from 11th-17th.
So, I’ve been writing lots about vaginas, wombs, hormones, fertility, periods, pregnancy, abortion, and mental health – from antenatal anxiety to womb cancer, and why straight men find it so difficult to talk about their partners’ vaginas.
Over Half Of Men Are Uncomfortable Talking About Their Partners’ Vagina – for Broadly:
hen was the last time you and your boyfriend talked about sexual health? Can he say “vagina” out loud without giggling? And would you trust him to notice if something was wrong down there? Unless you do a lot of yoga, most of us physically can’t get a good look at our own vulvas all that often. So you’d hope that our sexual partners are at least keeping an eye on things.
However, despite their ideal vantage point, only one in five men feels confident enough to mention a change in their partner’s vagina, and more than half of them aren’t comfortable discussing gynecological health at all. That’s according to a survey of 2,000 people, published by UK gynecological cancer charity The Eve Appeal.
What it’s like to have anxiety when you’re pregnant – for NetDoctor:
“I had such mixed feelings when I found out I was pregnant – lots of emotions and excitement, but then also this feeling that my life was over, as awful as that sounds,” says 25-year-old Jade, who was 23 when she had her son. “I was about five months pregnant when the anxiety really hit me. I’d been having panic attacks, struggling to leave the house, and then one day I just broke down. It was completely overwhelming.”
Antenatal anxiety affects around 13 per cent of pregnant women, while 12 per cent suffer from antenatal depression, and many experience both. Like at any other time in your life, some amount of anxiety and worry is totally normal and understandable during pregnancy, but it becomes a problem when that anxiety begins to affect your everyday life.
What It’s Like To Lose Your Fertility To Uterine Cancer In Your 20s – for Broadly:
Lydia Brain has had heavy periods since she was a teenager. In her early 20s, they got so heavy that she would regularly bleed through her clothes in public—but Lydia never imagined it was a sign of endometrial cancer.
“I can’t remember ever not having to use a tampon and a sanitary towel. For years my periods got heavier and heavier,” Lydia says. “Sometimes I’d get stuck on the toilet for hours. I couldn’t go on holiday or out for a day if I was on my period, because I had to make sure I could always get to a toilet.”
What Happens to Your Body in the Hours and Days After an Abortion – for Vice UK:
One in three women in Britain will have an abortion at some point in their lives, but if it hasn’t happened to you, you might not know much about the actual process. Outdated horror stories involving iron forceps still loom large in the public consciousness, when the majority of abortions today begin with taking a pill.
There are two main types of abortion: medical (using pills to induce a miscarriage) and surgical (where the pregnancy is removed during a minor operation). Exactly what happens and how long it takes varies from woman to woman, and, obviously, depends on how far into the pregnancy you are. But if you’re going for a medical abortion, here’s a rough idea of what you can expect to happen during the 72 hours afterwards.