By Rob Knight
Millions of Brits are clueless about their bodies – with two thirds unable to tell their a**e from their elbow, a study found.
Members of the public were presented with medical definitions and asked to identify the elbow bone.
However many wrongly identified the bone as the coccyx bone or the coccygeal nerve.
It also emerged 39 per cent of respondents didn’t know the difference between the kidneys and the liver - and a quarter couldn't explain how veins and arteries differ.
One in ten men thought a period lasts for over a month, 56 per cent didn't really know why women have smear tests and a fifth had no idea what ovaries do.
And 24 per cent of UK adults didn’t know whether females have a prostate gland or not.
The research of 1,000 males and 1,000 women was commissioned by intimate health brand, Balance Activ, as part of a campaign to encourage women to understand more about how their bodies work.
Anne Dawson, Senior Marketing Manager for Balance Activ, said: “Our campaign especially aims to highlight the importance of understanding our intimate health - something many women are reluctant to discuss with their partners or a healthcare professional.”
Dr Sarah Jarvis added: “Even though, when you think about it, it should really be the one thing we know most about, this study suggests that actually we know very little about our bodies.
“This lack of awareness could also suggest that we take certain functions for granted, which could be a bit of a worry when it comes to spotting any potential health issues.
“Having a basic understanding of how our bodies work can help us keep tabs on when we may not be functioning at 100 per cent health and can help us notice any changes that may require some medical advice to help us get back on track.”
The survey, carried out by OnePoll, also found one in ten women were not sure what happens to their bodies during menopause.
And perhaps more worryingly, just over a fifth of females weren't absolutely certain why they have smear tests.
Over one third of women questioned were not completely sure what their ovaries do, and a quarter had no idea what a man’s prostate does.
Slightly more men - 27 per cent - didn’t know what a prostate does either and around a third couldn’t explain what happens during the menopause.
Only one fifth of Brits believed they are in-tune with bodies, although 95 per cent thought knowing how your body works is important in order to stay healthy.
Despite this half of those polled revealed they didn’t check their bodies regularly for abnormalities or bumps.
And around one in ten paid more attention to their physical appearance than how well their body functions.
When it comes to seeking help and advice, Brits are most likely to confide in their partner when it comes to intimate health issues - although a third of men and 29 per cent of women would rather talk to their GP.
However, 55 per cent of Brits would wait a week or two to see if their condition improved before making an appointment to see their GP or taking any other action.
The study also found 41 per cent of women either believed - or didn't know - whether Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a sexually transmitted infection – and six in ten didn’t know what the condition is.
While half of females had no idea what the potentially serious implications of leaving BV untreated are.
More than one in ten said they would use vaginal deodorants, washes or douches to relieve the symptoms of the condition – even though they can actually cause BV rather than treat it.
Dr Sarah Jarvis said: “BV is one of the most common vaginal conditions and is in fact twice as prevalent as thrush.
“BV occurs due to the over growth of bad bacteria in the vagina which can occur when the natural balance is disrupted by something as simple as washing with a fragranced soap.”
Anne Dawson added: “We know that intimate conditions such as BV and Thrush can often be misdiagnosed, and the key to getting the right advice is to understand your symptoms, and what the problem is.
“Having knowledge and the reassurance from people who understand BV gives you the confidence to talk, this makes all the difference when it comes to managing your health and overall well-being.
“There are clinically proven treatments out there such as Balance Activ, available online, from your pharmacist or from most major supermarkets that can quickly relieve symptoms.”
To find out more about your intimate health, visit www.balanceactiv.com – here you can access useful information, an online symptom checker and an Ask the Expert service.
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