This article is brought to you in collaboration with Happy V
If you’ve ever left your gyno’s office feeling frustrated, you’re definitely not alone.
As pretty much anyone with a vagina knows, going to the doctor can quickly turn into a nightmare. We’re often ignored, told the pain is in our heads, or even given the wrong diagnosis. It’s not uncommon for someone to see doctor after doctor, hoping and praying to finally find an answer.
And the disparities in care are significantly worse for BIPOC, who constantly face both explicit and implicit bias by doctors and hospitals. Studies are still too few and far between on racial bias in medicine, but we know from personal stories that it can lead to neglect, a lack of treatment, incorrect treatment, misdiagnoses, and more.
Of course, all of this only matters if you even make it to the doctor’s office in the first place. Because of terrible social stigmas, we’re often too embarrassed about vaginal health issues to speak up and seek help.
And that’s what inspired the birth of Happy V, a wellness company designed to help you care for your vagina — without the stigma attached.
Happy V’s founder Daniella Levy struggled with her own health issues, specifically bacterial vaginosis (BV), for five years before finally finding an answer. She had to switch gynecologists five times and was consistently prescribed antibiotics, which only made the situation worse.
When BV started getting in the way of her daily life, Daniella took things into her own hands. She discovered that natural supplements like probiotics could help her get a handle on her condition.
Hoping to help others just like her, Daniella started Happy V so anyone with a vagina could have access to solutions without having to feel ashamed. Danielle explained,
“There’s this perception that if you had a vaginal infection, you aren’t taking care of yourself. It’s critical that people understand that vaginal infections are normal and they’re not entirely associated with sex or hygiene.”
“This has truly influenced my wanting to speak out on all things related to vaginas —especially in our society— because it’s important to let people know that this is normal, that it’s okay, and that there are solutions. The more we speak out, the further we’ll go in breaking these stigmas.”
Happy V is all about offering natural solutions with a line of products specifically made to tackle vaginal health issues.
Their Prebiotic + Probiotic pills were formulated by doctors to treat BV by helping repopulate your vaginal flora with good bacteria and rebalancing your vaginal pH.
But Happy V doesn’t just tackle BV. They also have cranberry pills blended with antioxidants to tackle UTIs, capsules to minimize the symptoms of menopause, CBD drops to reduce PMS symptoms, and more. And if you struggle with chronic infections — as many of us do — they even offer a subscription bundle plan to help you to ward off future infections.
Vaginal infections are all too common and yet something we actively avoid discussing. Every year, 21 million people suffer from bacterial vaginosis, 8 million from yeast infections, and 7 million from UTIs. And even though our culture has convinced us that we should be ashamed of our vaginal health issues, we don’t have to suffer alone.
Daniella told us,
“How we chose to brand Happy V, the ethos that we are trying to get across, was also very important. We want to make these conversations more approachable, and frankly, we want to destigmatize the vagina! Our goal is to create a space where people feel heard, respected, and where they know that they are not alone.”
If you’re concerned you may be suffering from BV, check out Happy V’s handy guide here. BV is commonly misdiagnosed and confused with UTIs and yeast infections so it’s important to go to your doctor’s office armed with information.
Common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include an unusual odor, substantially more discharge than normal, thin and gray vaginal discharge, and burning and itching while urinating.
It’s time we all start taking control of our vaginal wellness without the fear of stigma. Vaginal infections are absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about and are all too common.
To learn more about how Happy V can possibly help you, check out their website here.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.