Skin Deep: The Vagina episode – everything you wanted to know about vaginal health but were afraid to ask
In the second episode of the podcast Skin Deep, in association with BTL Aesthetics, Irish Tatler editor Jessie Collins talks to leading women’s health practitioners, Dr Hugh O’Connor, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at The Coombe Hospital, and Aoife Harvey, physiotherapist and founder of Women’s Health Dublin
A central part of our health, historically women have been underserved in terms of knowledge and information about the vagina and what happens when you have children and as you age, says Aoife Harvey. “A lot of women have never looked at their vulva or vagina before they've had a baby. And they might look afterwards and see a little bit of a car crash, particularly in the first week and then say, Is this normal? And is this what it should look like? I'm like, well, have you ever looked at it before?”
Just how to look at your own anatomy is just one of the areas this podcast covers (spoiler: there is no perfect form), the episode also focuses on post-natal care, and how women struggle to reclaim their bodies after childbirth. “On average, breastfeeding mothers I’ve polled had sex once in the first six months after having a baby. Not only is baby there, and they're being disrupted at night, but there's a huge fear the first time they have sex, what's it going to feel like? Is it going to be sore?
But there are solutions, with new technologies helping to restore women’s muscle strength, and wellbeing after pregnancy, and through menopause. The newest is BTL’s Emfemme 360, a radio frequency treatment that stimulates blood flow in the vagina, something Dr O’Connor has been one of the first to trial. “I think that could be an area where that kind of technology comes into its role, or has a role to play, in that it can help stimulate collagen, stimulate elastin, tighten things up a little bit. It's not going to cure things, but it will help.”
Skin Deep is a five-episode podcast in association with BTL Aesthetics, creator of innovating aesthetic solutions for over 30 years. With a new episode available every Sunday, episodes are available now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.