Women’s Health – The Talk You Never Got in CONV. with Dr. Ankitha Manohar
Women’s Health is the second series CONV. (Conversations) webinar session that was held on the 15th of April 2021. It is a part of the 3C’s outreach programme – CONV. (Conversations), COMM. (Community), and CONF. (Conferences) – by JD Institute of Fashion Technology. The 3 C’s is an initiative taken to provide students with knowledge and understanding beyond classrooms. This series was conducted by Dr. Ankitha Manohar, who talks about women’s health openly, that most people would hesitate to speak about.
Dr. Ankitha Manohar, an OBGYN and Infertility specialist is known to have presented at several national and state level medical conferences. She is driven by her passion to educate women on menstrual cycles, sexual and reproductive health. She is also a speaker and consultant at `Proactive for Her’.
Dr. Ankitha Manohar educating the attendees about the female reproductive system
The session on women’s health started with an insight about the female reproductive system. Knowledge about the same is important as there is a lot of myth and lack of education surrounding it. The reproductive system comprises of the internal and external organs that are instrumental in reproduction. The external part of the female reproductive system is called the `vulva’, which means covering. Located between the legs, the vulva covers the opening of the vagina and other reproductive organs inside the body.
Dr. Ankitha pointed out there is no ideal vagina or vulva. Women hygiene is not about having a perfect vulva but having a hygienic one. Vagina most commonly looked at as a bad word was changed during this session. The vulva is a self cleansing part in our body that requires no external cleaning as such, but can be cleaned, if necessary, using a soft and gentle fragrance cleanser. When one feels itching or discomfort it is advisable to consult a gynaecologist. However, not all itching is a sign of infection. Strictly no `DOUCHING’ – spraying or showering -the vulva with any product under any circumstances, says Dr. Ankitha.
Dr. Ankitha Manohar making a presentation about women’s health
Hair growth in the vulva is not unhygienic, it is very normal. But one can opt for hair removal as it is considered hygienic as well, Dr. Ankitha recommends to trim the hair rather than having it waxed or shaved as both may cause discomfort over a period of time. Waxing may cause increased chances of infections and in-growth of hair.
“Our uterus is linked with our brain, which can cause the delay of our menstrual cycle, says Dr. Ankitha as she moves to the next topic of women’s health. She explained that the cause of period pain is due to a hormone called `Prostaglandins’ which causes uterine contractions that is similar to labour contractions. If menstrual cycles are irregular, she highly recommends consulting a gynaecologist.
Dr. Ankitha also educated the participants about sanitary pads versus biodegradable pads, menstrual cups versus cloth pads alongwith statistics about which is harmful for the environment and why we need to make the switch to a more sustainable option. Another topic that not a lot of young women are made aware of is about effective contraception. Though topics like contraception is taboo especially for younger unmarried women, it is an important conversation that needs to be had without passing any judgement. The speaker further emphasised about getting a Pap Smear done once every three years from the age of 21 years until 65 years for cervical cancer screening.
The session also highlighted about UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). Common among women, Dr. Ankitha spoke about the symptoms and treatment for the same. She went on to speak about maintaining good bone health and tips like calcium intake, Vitamin D, good balanced diet and incorporation of exercise in our daily routine. Breast health is another matter of concern among women. With the increase in breast cancer, Dr. Ankitha advised that once a woman turns 40 years she needs to undergo mammography. She also listed down points on how women can conduct self-examination too to find out any abnormality before heading to the doctor.
She then, concluded the webinar session with points on how to prepare for a visit to the gynaecologist. Dr. Ankitha Manohar’s talk on Women’s Health and Hygiene has imparted much knowledge on how we can care for our nether regions. JD Institute’s initiative in hosting the gynaecologist was to impart awareness and knowledge of women’s health and well-being among its female student body and faculty.
Women’s Health is a talk that most women decide to take at a later stage of life, but it is important to learn ahead in order to avoid any consequences in the future.