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We Need to Discuss Taboo Subjects

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 143

Whenever a medical condition carries a stigma, which women's health issues often do, people become skittish about discussing it with each other and with their doctor. Whenever there is a lack of discussion, a wealth of misinformation grows, and people go on living with a condition like urinary incontinence that is slightly embarrassing and extremely treatable.

We keep up the pretense of living in an age of openness, but we are far from open when it comes to our bodies. Especially when the conversation meanders anywhere near a belt buckle, we suddenly get squeamish and avoid the issue. It's like we've got a highly conservative TV exec from the 1950s acting as a censor, bursting in and telling us not to talk about that in polite society.

There is such a thing as sharing too much information, but we can still have intelligent conversations about issues like yeast and bladder infections without being impolite. The effect of our failure to do so is that many people suffer needlessly. In some religious subcultures that are controlling of women, reproductive health isn't just kept out of the conversation, it's specifically forbidden.

In the rest of society the taboo might not be so rigid, but it still causes many people to hide treatable issues because they are ashamed. Even though half our entertainment content focuses on sex in order to attract viewers, it is still hard for the average American to talk openly about urinary incontinence, especially when it affects them personally. The only way to broach the subject in public is to hire a certain gray-haired comedienne to pitch bladder control products.

For the most part we can't talk about it, even though most women suffer from urinary incontinence after giving birth. Should a subject really be taboo when half the population is likely to experience it at some point? And what about bladder and yeast infections, which are common and can lead to poor health if they aren't treated? What about screenings for early detection of uterine cancer? At some point, the urgency of an issue makes talking about it responsible, not impolite.

Taboos rarely prevent things from happening. They just prevent people from discussing those things. But when we fail to discuss, we fail to understand. When we don't understand, we open ourselves up to misinformation that can actually be hazardous to our health.

Most of the results to a search for incontinence or other tabooed medical subjects will return a little bit of information on the condition and a lot of information about home remedies. People don't want to talk about it, so marketers anticipate they'll be willing to pay to deal with it at home. But while incontinence can be the symptom of a temporary healing process it can also indicate a more serious issue; the right thing to do when dealing with incontinence is to talk to a doctor first.

It's not really so difficult to have a conversation about urinary incontinence out in the open. All we need to do is open up a bit. Millions of new mothers have discussed it with their husbands; the subject just needs more attention. Maybe one day a younger woman who is still perceived as a sex symbol will step forward to promote awareness, and then we'll be able to have these conversations in polite society.

Kyle is beauty professional who specializes in urinary incontinence.

Source: EzineArticles
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