All women should be concerned about their vaginal health, but what constitutes a healthy vagina? On this episode of Sisters Without Shame, Centurion-based fertility specialist Dr Qinisile Diale joins to unpack some of our most pressing vaginal woes.
While a healthy vagina depends somewhat on a woman’s age, the vagina generally has an acidic pH, contains rich quantities of beneficial bacteria that help fend off infections, and is naturally lubricated. Sex is a natural thing that almost every adult engages in. And while it’s an important function for our society (after all it’s how babies are made), women don’t get the same attention when it comes to fixing their problems.
But before you look to doctor Google for answers and reach for those kitchen ingredients, Diale encourages women to be vulnerable and get checked.
“I know women like home remedies and they like easy things that will keep them in the house instead of having somebody look at, or touch or examine down there. We do need things that are scientifically backed up that are safe for you.”
Getting ahead of danger
Prevention is better than cure. According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa), cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths and the second most common diagnosed cancer amongst women.
“Any cancer is painful, to live with it and die from it,” says Diale.
Regular screening is very much like wearing a safety belt when driving she says. It won’t protect you from an accident but you if you do.
“You can have cancer of just the fallopian tubes, you can have cancer of just the ovaries, you can have cancer of the womb only which can also be called endometrial cancer, you can have cancer on the muscle of the womb if you have fibroids that are cancerous, that we call a leiomyosarcoma – it is usually very rare and mostly found in elderly ladies and you can have cancer of the cervix which is then then the mouth of the womb.”
On this episode Diale also tackles:
Vaginal scents and when to be worried.
Why you should be kinder to menopausal women.
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
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