Women in the UK know more about intimate beauty treatments than they do about serious sexual health conditions, a new survey suggests.
While 67 per cent claim to have heard of Brazilian bikini waxing and 48 had heard of vajazzles - made famous by The Only Way is Essex - just 39 per cent know about Bacterial vaginosis (BV).
This is a condition that can lead to fertility problems, miscarriage and increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.
BV affects one in three women, making it twice as common as thrush, and if untreated during pregnancy it can lead to serious complications.
Women in the UK know more about intimate beauty treatments than they do about serious sexual health conditions
The condition can put women at risk of contracting STIs such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia
Pregnant women with the condition are six times more likely to miscarry and twice as likely to give birth prematurely.
BV occurs when the balance of internal bacteria is disrupted, leading to an unpleasant odour. It can be treated with antibiotics.
The survey, carried out by Balance Activ – producers of a BV treatment – also revealed that the condition often goes undiagnosed as 38 per cent of women only feel comfortable getting intimate health advice from online forums while 19 per cent are too embarrassed to talk to their GP.
The research comes shortly after experts warned that women who use shower gels and soaps in intimate areas are putting themselves at higher risk of developing sexually transmitted infections.
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that soaps and lubricants can damage sensitive tissues and raise a woman’s chance of becoming infected with herpes, chlamydia and HIV.
Women who use soaps in intimate areas are putting themselves at higher risk of developing sexually transmitted infections
Study leader Joelle Brown said there is ‘mounting evidence’ that using these products internally can also increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis.
Dr Brown's team recruited 141 women in Los Angeles who agreed to answer questionnaires about their product use and undergo lab tests for vaginal infections.
The researchers found that 66 per cent of the women reported using lubricants and cleansers internally.
The most commonly used products were sexual lubricants - 70 per cent of the product-using group used commercial lubricants, while 17 per cent reported using petroleum jelly and 13 per cent used oils.
Test results showed that the women who used products not intended for internal use, such as oils and Vaseline, were more likely to have yeast and bacterial infections.
For instance, 40 per cent of the women who used petroleum jelly as a lubricant had bacterial vaginosis - an infection that can be caused by a number of common bacterial species - compared to 18 per cent of women who did not insert petroleum jelly.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2309816/British-women-know-intimate-beauty-treatments-health-problems-affect-fertility.html#ixzz2Qk0rJpSR
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