Breaking the stigma around the Six Letter Word

Feminine Story Banner

When it comes to personal health we all do our best to make sure our body is in the best condition possible at all times. Whether it’s taking daily vitamins such as cod liver oil to maintain healthy joints, or going for regular check-ups with our local GP, the majority of the population are quite open when it comes to talking about their own health.

No one is immune to health issues, whether it’s a spell of flu during the winter months or something more serious. If you’re unlucky enough to catch a virus or infection, then the chances are you wouldn’t think twice about voicing your concerns with a family member or friend, or even visiting a health professional.

However, a number of female health concerns are clouded by a stigma of embarrassment and uncertainty, resulting in people being reluctant to talk about the Six Letter Word and the taboo surrounding it.


What is the Six Letter Word?

We took to the streets of the UK to film a number of reactions when people were asked about the word “vagina” and what it meant to them.

Breaking the stigma around vaginal health

Here at BETAFEM®, we wanted to try to understand why women are so reluctant to talk about vaginal health. We carried out a survey asking 2,000 British women a series of questions surrounding the subject and the results were surprising.

Our research found that 41% of respondents wouldn’t feel comfortable speaking to a healthcare professional about their vaginal health. It was also revealed that it’s not just professionals who women aren’t comfortable speaking to, as a further 19% said they wouldn’t speak to anyone at all, whether that is a family member or friend.


What is Bacterial Vaginosis and how is it treated?

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a mild infection within the vagina and can often be the cause of unusual discharge and unpleasant odour. We wanted to know how people would react if they had BV or whether they’re even aware of what it is.

The most surprising result of our survey was that 60% of women believe they wouldn’t be able to identify what BV is. Although it is a common infection, 26% of the respondents would mistake it for thrush and a further 5% feel it would lead them to think they had developed an STI.

BV isn’t something to be embarrassed about, although 25% of women say they would avoid going to work and enjoying a social life if they developed the infection. Treatment for BV is fairly straightforward: Antibiotics are recommended as first line treatment but other options such as BETAFEM® BV gel are also available. 

Although treatment for BV is straightforward, 56% of the women surveyed said they wouldn’t use a gel or take antibiotics and would instead hope the infection passes on its own.


Why BETAFEM® want to remove the stigma around vagina

Here at BETAFEM®, we want women to feel comfortable speaking about the #SixLetterWord and eradicate the taboo surrounding vaginal health.

Vaginal health issues are extremely common and shouldn’t be a cause of embarrassment, as the majority of them can be treated.

Whether you’re suffering from a vaginal health issue or not, let’s make this a subject we all talk about openly.