Symptom Checker

Millions of People are Confused about Their Bodies

Balance Activ Campaign Aims to Help People Understand their Intimate Health

Recent research we conducted showed that men and women in the UK are often confused about how their bodies work. In fact, thirty-nine per cent of respondents don’t know the difference between the kidneys and the liver – and a quarter can’t explain how veins and arteries differ either.

When it comes to intimate health, there is a lot of confusion out there – while one in ten men think a period lasts for over a month, 56 per cent don’t really know why women have smear tests and a fifth have no idea what ovaries do, and 24 per cent of UK adults don’t know whether females have a prostate gland or not.

These findings came from research conducted as part of a campaign to encourage women to understand more about how our bodies work, especially when it comes to intimate health which is something many women are reluctant to discuss with their partners or their healthcare professional. Having a basic understanding of how our bodies work can help us notice any changes that may need medical advice or treatment.

The survey, carried out by OnePoll, also found one in ten women are not sure what happens to their bodies during menopause. Perhaps more worryingly, when it comes to vaginal health, just over a fifth of women were not definitely sure what a smear test was for.

Half of those polled revealed they don’t check their bodies regularly for abnormalities or bumps and around one in 10 pay more attention to their physical appearance than how well their body functions. It’s probably not too surprising as it’s hard to check for abnormalities when you’re not sure what normal is.

Most of us carry on and ignore how our bodies work until something goes noticeably wrong, in fact 55 per cent of those polled would wait a week or two to see if their condition improves before making an appointment to see their GP or before taking any other action.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and intimate health issues are something that women are often reluctant to discuss, and the study also found six out of ten women questioned didn’t know what BV is. It’s important to identify the problem and get the right advice as BV is often mistaken for thrush even though it affects one in three women and is twice as prevalent as thrush. Getting the right treatment can make all the difference to taking control of intimate health.

BV occurs due to the over growth of bad bacteria in the vagina which can occur when the natural balance is disrupted by something as simple as washing with a fragranced soap.

35-year-old Natasha joined the IHT in a bid to encourage other women to talk about intimate health. She says: “I suffered in silence because I was terrified about what might be causing such symptoms. But when I did find out, I kicked myself for not doing something sooner. Having knowledge and the reassurance from people who understand BV gives you the confidence to talk, this makes all the difference when it comes to managing your health and overall well-being.”

We know that intimate conditions such as BV and thrush, or yeast infections, can often be misdiagnosed, and the key to getting the right advice is to understand your symptoms, and what the problem is. Having knowledge and the reassurance from people who understand BV gives you the confidence to talk about your vaginal health, this makes all the difference when it comes to managing your health and overall well-being. There are clinically proven treatments out there such as Balance Activ, available online, from your pharmacist or from most major supermarkets, that can quickly treat BV so women don’t have to suffer with on-going symptoms.”

To find out more about your intimate health, click here to access our online symptom checker or find out more about BV and vaginal conditions here.