Harris Interactive® for the Vagisil Women's Health CenterSM conducted a survey on feminine hygiene. There results revealsthat a large number of today's American women are taking active roles in their own feminine health and hygiene.
Nearly two thirds of women aged 18 and older (63 percent) report that they go to a gynecologist, and of those who go to a gynecologist, 61 percent say they "always" go for their annual exams.
There is still a level of embarrassment in discussing women's anatomy as evident from the less than half (43 percent) of women indicating that they are completely comfortable discussing their genitals and using the word "vagina."
According to Adelaide Nardone, M.D., FACOG, Clinical Instructor of Ob/Gyn at the Brown University School of Medicine , "The fact that many women are going to see their doctors, and doing so along the recommended guidelines, is a strong step in the right direction. However, there are still many women who need to start taking charge of their gynecological health, put the embarrassment aside and foster frank, open relationships and discussions with their doctors."
Honesty with the doc is pr paramount importance, "One example is smoking - there are certain methods of birth control with which women should not be smoking, so if you don't admit to this habit, you could be putting yourself at risk. If you feel you have to withhold information about your lifestyle from your physician, you should ask yourself why. Try to find a health care provider who is of the age, gender and/or viewpoint with which you can identify."
Forty-three percent of U.S. women aged 18 and older indicate having experienced vaginal itching. This problem is more prevalent in women under the age of 45 (50 percent of sufferers are age 18-44).
Adelaide Nardone explains, "It's important to be careful when treating a condition such as itching, particularly if you suspect that it might be the result of an infection. It's always wise to consult with a doctor if it's the first time you've experienced this, as the symptom may be a result of a different problem from the one you suspect. Itching may be relieved with over-the-counter products such as Vagisil® Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Creme or Wipes, but some itches are caused by infections.
Infections often require prescription medication. If the medication to treat the infection is used internally, it may be used in conjunction with external anti-itch treatments."
Fashion and grooming trends have extended below the waist. One fourth (25 percent) of all women aged 18 and older report that they "closely trim their pubic hair with scissors or clippers," and 23 percent say they shave part of their pubic hair off. Nine percent say they shave all of their pubic hair off.