Few of us look at our vulvas with any regularity. Perhaps even fewer have considered what self-knowledge and care of our vulva and vagina could mean for our long-term health, both physical and emotional.
This was the impetus behind our first ever Knowledge Series, hosted in the Fall of 2021 and led by a powerful team of experts over four weeks. During those sessions, we learned, shared and collectively vowed to seed a ‘new normal’ for dialogue around women's health and wellbeing.
Here are our key takeaways from this eye-opening series.
Lucky Sehkon, MD, kicks off Session One of our inaugural Nyssa Knowledge Series with some eye-opening facts and statistics about body awareness and female anatomy.
The study that statistic comes from was conducted in the UK but a similar poll made headlines in the US in 2020, finding that 1 in 4 of the 2,000 women surveyed couldn't identify the vagina on a diagram.
Many women also were unable to correctly identify other important parts of the female anatomy, like the uterus, or were unaware of simple facts such as why menstruation occurs.
The bottom line is that too many women, and people in general, lack good information about female anatomy. 'Where is the uterus?' shouldn't feel like an obscure trivia question--it's vital knowledge for our health and wellbeing.
The amazing Dr. Lucky Sekhon helped us kick off our Viva La Vulva series by delivering a compassionate, eye-opening, and incredibly informative anatomy lesson to all who attended.
In the clip below, Dr. Sekhon discusses some of the statistics mentioned above, potential reasons for those dismal numbers, and the stigma around the word 'sex' in her own home growing up.
As Dr. Sekhon points out, there is still, now, in the 2020s, a lot of shame and stigma around female anatomy. One needn't look further for evidence of that stigma than the comments of 'Ewwww' that have popped up under social media ads for our VieVision Between Legs Mirror
Why would the idea of looking at one's own vulva and vagina elicit disgust? Likely because the world we all operate in finds so many ways, both subtle and less so, to tell us that we should find our body parts disgusting and shameful.
In the next clip, Dr. Sekhon discusses how this sense of shame around women's bodies extends beyond our personal orbits: women's health is deprioritized from the top down, resulting in a lack of research and fewer solutions for women's health concerns.
From Dr. Sekhon:
This is so evident when you think about the fact that there are at least 23 FDA approved medications and for male sexual dysfunction...and right now there's only one FDA approved treatment for female sexual dysfunction...
Knowing your body is important. Naming your body parts is important. Sex Ed, unfortunately still has a long way to go in this country, but it's not too late to make up for what they didn't teach in school.