This is Taboo Topic Tuesday, a weekly series that tackles a “taboo” subject and gives tips on how to talk about it with your vinas (sans judgement). Have an idea for a topic? Tweet us @ilikevina using the hashtag #Talking Taboos, and we’ll get talkin’!
TODAY: At 3pm EST we’ll be #TalkingTaboos on Twitter! Wanna join the conversation? RSVP here and share with your friends!
Periods, pregnancies, birth control, gynecologist visits…oh my! It can be difficult dealing with all of these things as a woman, so it’s nice to have vinas to relate to. But wait, why would anyone ever want to talk about bodily functions and fluids with another person, much less one you might not know too well?
Talking about reproductive health with someone else can be awkward and uncomfortable, no matter who it is with. However, if the subject comes up naturally, heart-to-heart talks about lady parts and hormones may actually deepen our relationships with our vinas. After all, who else in our lives is also going through a menstrual cycle and getting Pap smears?
The topic of reproductive health is very sensitive and should be approached with caution and great care. Here are a few simple do’s and don’t to keep in mind when having “the talk” with your vinas.
DO BE OPEN-MINDED
This is important in any conversation, and is a definite must when tackling personal issues. The topic of reproductive health can be TMI, yet it shouldn’t feel that way. Know that you and your vina may feel uncomfortable when talking about a taboo topic in-person, and that’s okay. Be all ears and all mind.
DON’T BE JUDGEMENTAL
Though you and your vinas may relate to some things when it comes to health, there are bound to be some differences too. No body is built the same, and everyone has different beliefs and thoughts on medicine, contraception, choice, and other aspects of women’s health. Even if you don’t agree with them, be respectful of your vinas’ opinions and experiences and that respect will be returned.
DO OFFER RESOURCES
Sometimes there might be an “a-ha!” moment in a conversation and your knowledge might come in handy. If you know a lovely doctor or clinic that has helped you out or are loving an app or website related to reproductive health, definitely tell your vinas! Sharing is caring.
DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU NEED TO SHARE EVERYTHING
There may be some things you only want to share with a medical professional and keep to yourself. It’s totally fine to set your own limits and share only the things you want to share with someone else. If your vina asks a question that makes you feel iffy, kindly let them know that you’d rather keep your answer private. Likewise, if you happen to be the inquisitive vina, be respectful of the other person’s wishes and move on in your conversation.
DO BE SUPPORTIVE
Reproductive health issues are extremely varied across the board. Some can be as annoying as menstrual cramps and PMS. Many others can be very heavy-hitting like diseases, cancer, and infertility. It can be difficult for some people to open up about these experiences and others. If a vina chooses to share her personal stories and thoughts with you, offer support by listening and with kind words. Reproductive issues can take a physical and emotional toll on anyone, so a little bit of vina love can really go a long way.
How do you approach difficult conversations with your friends? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to use the hashtag #TalkingTaboos and tag @ilikevina on Twitter to let us know which Taboo Topic you’d like to see next! (Feature image via @judithshalva)