Hello everyone and welcome to Gash Gossip. A blog dedicated to your gash, nunnie, poonani, fanny, yer bits, vagina, that word beginning with C that nobody is allowed to use but I secretly love and use too frequently! Firstly yes, I’m reclaiming the word ‘gash’, I’m sorry if it puts you off your breakfast, maybe put down your corn flakes now because this is going to be like the vagina monologues, BUT NOTHING LIKE THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES. My name is Sophie, I am 24 and this is my broken, but still just about fully functioning vajayjay. This idea has come from my own recent experience with my vagina playing up in an unexpected and frankly unpleasant way. At the start of a fresh, new and exciting relationship, I was having the time of my life, too much gin, late nights, great sex and postcoital bleeding…. Yup. That buggery (this is a good example of when I would use that naughty word I’m not allowed to use!!!) At first I thought nothing of it, change of willy and all that, even the doctor’s were at first convinced it was the penis’ fault and recommended lubrication, but as the bleeding continued the panic and fear inside was rising until I was fully convinced I had cervical cancer. I’m going to stop there for a second. This is not going to be a place committed to talking about cancer, it will probably be spoken about at some points because of its importance with regards to women’s health and my own very real fear. There are plenty of wonderful other platforms set up for help, guidance, and awareness, this just isn’t one of them. My main reason being is there are a lot of other vaginal related issues that women face all of the time, and guess what, no one is talking about them. I want to see positive stories as well as the doom and gloom. Thus the Gash Gossip ethos was born! I do not want this to be a place of scaremongering, it is not the place where you can type your symptoms into the Google search bar (we’ve all been there!) nor is it your GP’s office, it is simply somewhere where we can talk about our vaginas in any which way we want to, express our concerns yes, but just enter into honest conversations so that we don’t feel alone on anything we might be facing downstairs. I want to put the Positivity back in Pussy, the Magic into Minge and the It’s Fine! back into your Fanny…. Well I’m going to try.
My aim is to have a chat with different women, with a range of ages, experience and stories to tell, to hear what they have to say about their own vag, any experiences or pearls of wisdom they can impart, and hopefully begin talking about the stuff that we usually don’t like talking about. I will also be writing about my own vagina’s current journey. I’m going to rip the band-aid off and say private parts no more! Let’s chat! I would love this to be a comfort to some women, maybe even a place of learning, and most importantly, I hope it brings you some joy. I’m sure there will be some funny anecdotes along the way. I believe there are women out there afraid to turn to a friend and express a concern or simply chat because even saying the word vagina in public makes us squirm a bit. I’ve found that when explaining my idea to some of my girlfriends I’ve actually mouthed the word “vagina” rather than the words that normally prelude that, e.g f****** or c******* (there’s that word again.) So I am just as guilty and here to erase those little taboos.
So without further ado, I’ll go first. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet to ease us in, but these stories sometimes require gory detail so here is your first TMI warning. If TMI is not your thing, I give you permission to click off now.
As I mentioned, I was bleeding after sex. It wasn’t painful, uncomfortable, nor was it an excessive amount of blood, but it was enough to notice something wasn’t quite right. After a visit to the sexual health clinic, three visits to my GP accompanied by numerous vaginal examinations and swabs, I was told I had developed a cervical ectropion. Cervical what I hear you say? YES! Exactly! I didn’t know what one of these was either and still find it tricky to explain when asked. Insert Wikipedia description here!
“Cervical ectropion (or cervical eversion) is a condition in which the cells from the ‘inside’ of the cervical canal, known as glandular cells (or columnar epithelium) are present on the ‘outside’ of the vaginal portion of the cervix. When at a routine check up, it can be seen by the doctor when a vaginal examination is done. The area may look red because the glandular cells are red. While many women are born with cervical ectropion, it can be caused by a number of reasons, such as: hormonal changes, taking ‘the pill’ and pregnancy.”
I was told this was quite normal for someone my age, as I am changing, so are other parts of my body. I was told it was nothing to worry about and that it would most likely go away on its own. I felt satisfied with this response from my GP. I must quickly add here that I am a big fan of Dr White in Bedfordshire. She has been so kind during this process and has helped me with my health anxiety, which has made this particular situation quite difficult for me to deal with. So much so that I haven’t signed up to a new doctor even though I’ve moved away from my parents home and GP surgery. I still make the £15 trip from London so as not to have a complete melt down in the doctors waiting room. Anyway! Staying on track, the worry hadn’t gone and the situation, 6 months down the line, had not improved. We all know our bodies better than we think we do, we know when something isn’t right, so back I went to bug my GP even more and that is when she referred me to have a colposcopy. Immediately I thought F***. I am dying. I must add here that I had previously been refused a smear test that I requested because I’m not yet 24 and 6 months, I’m 24 and 4 months… I know. We’ll come back to that at a later date! Cut to now. I’ve just had my colposcopy. Some of you may not know what one of those is, I certainly didn’t know the proper terminology. It is where a specialist looks at your cervix with a camera to get a closer look at what’s going on. Like a colonoscopy but for your fanny! Palms were sweating, I felt sick, I was white as a sheet and I had to get my Mum to come into the room and hold my hand as I lay there in my bright blue hospital gown, legs splayed out, looking and feeling like I was about to give birth! I look back at that moment now and laugh at myself, but at the time I was a blithering, emotional, nervous wreck. There were a lot of tears that day. Terrified tears. I was bloody petrified. I thought for sure the gynaecologist was about to turn my world upside down and tell me I had cancer. Especially when he looked up over the paper sheet separating us, and said, “I’m going to have to take a biopsy”. He had found some abnormalities in a collection of cells on my cervix and they are currently being analysed…. even writing that down makes me feel a bit queezy. I can’t think about it too much otherwise I go into panic mode. BUT! Positive thinking positive thinking positive thinking. So that is essentially where I am with my vag. I have been persistent with getting to the bottom of it, badgering my GP and requesting a smear test to dot the I’s and cross the T’s and now I’m finally getting some form of results and hopefully an action plan will be put in place.
What about YOU guys? Has anyone else experienced the same thing? Any mildly funny first time colposcopy stories out there to share? Did anyone look at the monitor so you can look at your own cervix? I couldn’t. My eyes were fixed firmly on the ceiling or my Mum. The nurse did say to me, “Are you sure you don’t want to? It might be the only chance you get to look at it?” I smiled weakly and said, I’ve never been so sure on anything in my whole life… but thank you! I have some more rather intimate details, but I won’t over load you with them now. We’re only just getting to know each other!
My nunnie’s journey to recovery continues as I await these results but also because of the many other weird and hopefully wonderful things that are going to occur down there over the next few years. I want to talk to as many women out there about what they are encountering and follow them, help them, lend an ear, as they go through it feeling hopefully a little less alone because that is how I’ve felt during this process so far, all on my larry! After all, vaginas are on the most part normal, they give life, they change, they develop, they react, just as we do, and hopefully this blog will not only help us out, but them too. Please do get in touch if you would like to come and have a cup of tea (or gin) and chat. Or if you have any suggestions on what to discuss/what you would like to hear spoken about, write to me. Here is a little list of things I’m already keen to talk about and if you feel like you could shed some light on any of these topics, I would love to hear from you.
- Polycystic Ovaries
- Contraceptive Pills and Other Contraception
- Smear Tests and Colposcopy’s
- Sex Education in School
- Sexual Health – STI’s & HPV
- What do we actually know about our vagina’s
- All the things we don’t know about our vagina’s
- What do men know about the vagina/What SHOULD they know
- The general taboo of talking about our bits!
- Health Anxiety
- Talking to your partner about sexual health
You can find me on Twitter @sophiedessauer! Tweet or message me your suggestions and let me know what you think. Please be kind! This is a place of positivity, help, empowerment and hopefully we’re going to have a couple of laughs.
No matter your age, story, even if you don’t have one yet and just want to gossip about ya’ gash, natter about your nunnie, I’m here, ready and waiting so without further ado… Bring out the Fannies!