Lately I’ve been getting feedback from family, friends, and even people I don’t know very well at all that I talk about vaginas too much and it makes people uncomfortable.
The fact that talking about women’s health as it relates to the vagina is considered shocking or inappropriate is nuts to me –half the population has one- why is talking about it such a no no?
So far, no one can really explain that to me.
But why I am continually talking about healthy vaginas? The answer is I run a web publication called thefemalecondition.com, which covers issues like women’s health and feminism. I started the #FemCon because women need more information about their health. If we don’t provide that education within our own communities, many women simply won’t get it at all.
For example, I’ve suffered from yeast infections for as long as I can remember (quietly, I might add). Not talking about them hasn’t done me one bit of good.
Jazmine working on the femalecondition.com
I know what you’re thinking, “Why didn’t I ask my doctor and stay off the Internet with my problems?” Well, I did. I asked 3 doctors. And not one of them had a single suggestion for me other than, “getting a yeast infection at the time of my period is completely normal and I shouldn’t be alarmed.” For the record, I wasn’t alarmed. I was uncomfortable.
Then one night I found myself at a product launch, mostly for drinks the chance to network. Lauren Schulte, the CEO of the FLEX Company went to the front of the room and started talking about Flex – a period product she developed to solve her own battle with yeast infections. As soon as I heard her story, I couldn’t run over fast enough to talk with her and her co-founder Erika for more info.
By my next cycle I was a Flex subscriber. 60 days in, I had my first month yeast infection free.
Jazmine marching at the Woman's March on Jan 21, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
A month later, I found myself on a bus headed to Washington, D.C. for the Women’s March. On the bus ride, I was very aware that my period was going to arrive sometime between Friday and Monday. The last thing I needed was to start my period mid-march on Saturday in a crowd of people and limited access to bathrooms – that single moment of stress made me love Flex even more. Not only does FLEX help with my yeast infections, I can wear Flex in anticipation of my period, that way it doesn’t catch me at an inconvenient time.
I’m proud to say that day I was able to march for women’s rights, while using a product designed by women for women that made it so I could be fully present without worrying about my period.
- Jazmine Duke