What I wish I knew about intimate health when I was younger

What I wish I knew about intimate health when I was younger

Mrs Mummypenny readers will know that I am not shy about talking about most things. Subjects such as death, depression, weight gain and weight loss all appear on this blog. Taboo subjects should be shared and I am passionate about communicating the reality of difficult situations. I am not ashamed to say that I am 40 and have been through a lot physically and emotionally. It’s only right to give back and share those experiences for the greater good.

Health & Well being

Health and well being is something that I really want to talk more and more about. I have had three babies and went through the mill having those boys. 2 natural and 1 C-section later my body has changed beyond all recognition. 20 years of being obese has also changed my body beyond recognition (probably more than the three babies). I want to share these stories and let everyone know that you can make a change even twenty years down the line to your health and fitness.

hamerton zoo

I was experiencing the most terrible stomach cramps after my third baby was born, it went on for a couple of years and I chose to ignore it, even when one episode resulted in me ending up in A&E. Something told me eventually to get it properly considered and resolved, I penned this story on my blog, and the result solution was my gall bladder being removed.

One year on I am the fittest I have ever been, with the blood pressure of a twenty-year-old (yes, my doctor confirmed this in my recent 40-year-old wellness check) and my weight is finally in the correct range of between 9 and 11 stone.

Intimate Health

Intimate health is something is a subject I discuss regularly with my girlfriends. In fact, I was getting my hair cut and coloured last week and my friend and I spent at least 30 minutes discussing our pooing and issues with food and their impact on our digestive health.

I suffer from constipation most of the time, I get thrush regularly, I have awful periods and cramps and I bruise like a peach. Just an assortment of my monthly afflictions. But you know what, I share. I ask my friends if they have experienced the same problems and if I’m in pain I talk to my family and explain why. I have to explain my mood swings somehow.

My children and their Intimate Health

I want my children to tell me when they are struggling with anything, be that health, mind or school, anything. No matter what it is I can help and come up with a solution. Intimate health is so important to talk about, yes, the most embarrassing and uncomfortable, but if you talk the moment you start seeing a problem, the quicker it can be fixed.

What I wish I had know about my intimate health

I remember being 14 years of age and getting that itchy feeling down below, I did not have a clue what it was. who knew that wearing tight clothes or non-natural fabric could cause thrush. And I didn’t know that there was a cream that would literally soothe the itching within a few hours. Unfortunately I didn’t have that kind of relationship with my mum where I could share with her health concerns. I didn’t even tell her that I had started my period, choosing to hide it for months before I could find the courage to tell her.

An appointment was made at the doctors and I found out the answer that way. I wish I had known more about intimate health when I hit puberty.

I want all children to be relaxed and open with their parents and carers to ask for help when something feels wrong down there. Boy or girl just ask and we can help.

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This post has been supported by Canesten®but all thoughts are my own.

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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

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59 Responses

    1. I have suffered from trust since child hood I remember using natural yogurt and been bathed in gentolit violet ( looked like a smurf) I had blue legs for years I wish the cream was available I have been sugar and yeast free for over two years very little trush I wish I had know when I was younger that I could have cleared it up by not having sugar or yeast

  1. I wish I’d known that there were other things that could cause pain and itching other than STIs as a teenager. I put up with the side effects of cystitis for 2 weeks because I’d had a broken condom and was scared that my Mam would lynch me for not being careful enough and catching something! We had a good long talk after that lol xx

  2. What a fab post! I wish I’d known that most things were fairly normal. I always worried that it was just me and be embarrassed that these things didn’t affect anyone else. I totally agree in being more open, talking about these things and being less embarrassed. Especially in men/boys. How many don’t get things checked out?

  3. I was the same and embarrassed to speak to anyone about anything unusual ‘down below’ when I was young, I wish I had known that it’s all normal in the end and a quick chat and maybe some medicine could save months of discomfort!
    I too definitely don’t want my little man to grow up embarrassed to ask me about things and get help. It’s a fine line though as he’d pretty much whip his bits out where ever at the moment so trying to teach him about keeping things private but not being ashamed of anything Not always easy this parenting malarkey is it!?

    1. Haha…I know you mean, all three of my boys will wonder around naked. Jack the four year old has been known to run out of the house to the driveway naked as well. I remember litrally having thrush for weeks, just not getting that something was wrong.:-(

  4. Great post !!!
    I too wish that I could have been able to talk as a younger girl.
    Watching a tape at school was not enough education on periods and sex.
    As a parent of a boy hitting puberty I feel it is 100 % my responsibility to talk to him and encourage him to ask as many questions as he needs, embarrassing or factual and let him know it’s ok, he is just being a human being

  5. I wish I knew that it is very important to gain knowledge about intimate health and that it is a natural body change that happens to all girls so completely normal. I remember feeling embarrassed to talk about these things and feeling awkward.

  6. I have spent years being too embarrassed to talk about anything and I wish I’d known that you could talk to your doctor about anything and they had heard it all before.

  7. It is reassuring to hear that we all have similar problems and fears. I always felt too embarrassed to ask my parents about anything intimate and hope that my son grows up feeling that it’s ok to talk about things. No one really told me about the massive changes that your body experiences even years after pregnancy and it would be nice for women to be able to share info much more easily and openly.

    1. Yes this, the body is so so different isnt it. I had a bra fitting a few weeks back and Clare from the bra shop told me my ribs has displaced, stuck out more than before babies, very common apparantly!

  8. my mum wasn’t one for talking about things so i wish i’d known more about body changes/periods when i was younger

    1. My mum was older, so she was 55 by the time I was a teenager starting puberty, maybe why she wasnt one for talking?

  9. This is quite an embarrassing confession but I wish I’d known more about periods and all the bits and bobs that make up a vagina. I remember at age 10 my friend telling me about periods and me thinking she was mad and such a thing couldn’t possibly happen. I was a very very late developer (trend in the family) and didn’t start my period till I was 18 (seriously thought I was a freak!) Then when it came to attempting to use a tampon for the first time I had to use a cleverly placed mirror on the toilet floor to get insertion correct. Lol the trials of being a woman who knows less than she should.

    1. Oh bless you, periods are one of those things that you just want to start, and then when you’ve got them they are awful. I cant bare mine!!

  10. Openess is so important but really hard at taht awkward teenage stage! I wish I could tell my younger self to a) always wipe front to back b) always wear cotton gusset pants c) (when I was a bit older) to always wee after sex and d) never leave cystitis untreated. Once it travels to the kidneys its a shortcut to numerous kidney infections. Although my younger self probably wouldn’t have listened to middle aged me anyway!

  11. I wish I knew that it was okay to discuss intimate issues, that it was not a taboo subject or anything to be embarrassed about.

  12. I wish I’d known how important it is to talk to a grown up about anything that’s worrying you whether you find it embarrassing or not x

  13. Wish I knew about thrush and that it was normal to have especially when on antibiotics , in pain thrust thinking about the infernal itch , funnily I have an infernal itch all over my body which I have had for over 20 years wish I knew how they cure it , my doctor & the chemist know that if I get antibiotics I also get a prescription for canestan combi. I also wish I had known about discharge and that it was solvable by buying party liners. My mum wasn’t very forth coming in these things. I wish I knew about contraceptive pills that didn’t make you put in loads of weight especially when you didn’t produce eggs in the first place having PCOS from a young age.
    I don’t have any children but I have a stepson and 3 & a bump grandchildren and they will be educated in the ways of their bodies growing & changing with puberty etc.
    My 7 year old granddaughter (after the school run home) did show her grandfather how babies were made and how they were born from a book ( grampa is not a prude but he was slightly taken aback ) she did ask her grampa did he know what a Vagina was and did he know what a Penis was and how was his? This was in front of her other granny , mum & auntie. Grampa said yes and made his leave to come home. Marked in the books for her wedding:

  14. I was always a shy person when I was younger and struggled to admit my worries about intimate health issues. Too embarrassed to even discuss things with my mum, I went to my GP and it was the best thing I ever did. I feel much more confident now and recently joined a slimming group and lost 2.5 stone so far 🙂

  15. I wish I had been told that it was okay to have discharge, I always thought there was something wrong with me! I never asked my parents and think I read it was normal in a teenage magazine problem page!!

  16. I wish I had known that most people get thrush and it’s nothing to be ashamed of – I remember being too embarrassed to tell my mum and then crying and feeling worse! I have a daughter and hope she will always feel that she can come to me about anything no matter how embarrassed or silly she thinks it is. Fab post thank you !

  17. Oh… I wish my parents had been more open about pubity issues! Strange smells and body changes scared the hell out of me!!

  18. I was very fortunate and had a Mum I could talk to about anything, including intimate health. I have been the same with my children. An informed child is a safe and happy adult 🙂

  19. As a young person, I wish I had known that STI testing is confidential and FREE. I spent far to long worrying about what could be wrong, when I could have put my mind at ease by ordering a test kit at RUClear. I was clear, but for those that aren’t, it is much better to get the right treatment as soon as possible.

  20. My mum was great around the ‘lady’ things and brilliant when I started my period at the age of 10 on holiday in Italy! All bit embarrassing for me as still shared a room on holiday with my brother, who had to go wake my parents in the middle of the night thinking there was something seriously wrong with me! Anyway from that day forward she used tell me how important it was to be clean ‘down there’! Ands that where I think my problems started with thrush! Over use of soaps, shower gel etc probably combined with a bad diet and drinking of wine in my twenties! So I have had a lot of use my friend canesten over the years!

    1. Oh no Clare, nightmare, starting at 10. Wow thats young! I couldn’t tell you you amount of times I have had thrush. At least once a year since teens!! Hopw you are well and enjoying your new life up north xx

  21. It’s not a CURSE!!
    instead of hearing you’ll have to put up with this for 40 years -wish I’d of heard ” you are blossoming into a beautiful young lady”
    This is what I tell ALL my neices

  22. I wish my Mum had talked to me about intimate health, I learnt everything from Just 17 and friends. I have always talked about things with my children as I didn’t want them to not know what was happening to their bodies

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