Lady garden, women’s bits, ‘down there’? Charity campaign vows to get embarrassed young women educated and use word ‘vagina’

Young women in the UK are too embarrassed to say the word ‘vagina’ and instead use covert code names to talk about their anatomy, according to research by a women’s cancer charity.

The Eve Appeal conducted the research to coincide with Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM) in the hope of getting women to chat more confidently about these issues.

Their survey revealed that a lack of basic knowledge meant that just half of those surveyed aged 26-35 were able to label the vagina correctly on a simple diagram while on in five couldn’t name a single correct symptom of any of the five gynaecological cancers.

Chairman of The Eve Appeal, Helena Morrissey, said: “At the Eve Appeal we know how important it is to promote straight talking about the signs and symptoms of gynaecological cancers to women of all ages, and this survey has highlighted just how far we still have to go to make this happen.

“These cancers have some of the worst outcomes for women, with a 40% mortality rate.

“Understanding the symptoms will save lives, which is why we are urging women this Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month to talk more openly about these life-saving issues.”

More than one in ten of 16-35-year-olds said they found it very hard to talk to their GPs about gynaecological health concerns, and nearly a third admitted that they had avoided going to the doctors altogether due to embarrassment.

With the survey results revealing that more than half of women (51%) would find it easy to talk to their female friends about gynaecological health concerns, and more than a third (34%) saying the same of their sister, The Eve Appeal is encouraging women to get together this GCAM and learn more about the risks and symptoms of gynaecological cancers.

For more information about GCAM visit

Picture courtesy of Hey Paul Studios, with thanks

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