Talk

Advanced search

You need a vagina to benefit from a vaginal microbiome intervention

(268 Posts)
VaginalMicrobiome Tue 13-Oct-20 02:52:58

Namechanged as discussing my job and potentially outing product.
I work in a biotech company where we've been researching and developing a new probiotic treating various aspects of vaginal dysbiosis (thrush, BV, HPV risk and other conditions associated with a disturbed or sub-optimal vaginal microbiome). The formulation we've been working on is nearing market readiness, and this week I (as lead researcher on this project) have been briefing the non-technical members of the company as to the mechanisms of action and clinical applications of the product. In my presentation I addressed the need for a better understanding of the impact of vaginal microbiome disruption, and of women's genitourinary health in general. I used the word 'women' a lot, as one would expect when talking about vaginal health. Anyway, at the end of my presentation, some bright spark in marketing mentioned that we should probably say our product was for 'women and those identifying as women'. Afraid I just could not help myself and snapped back, in front of the whole company, 'well, I do think you would actually need to have a vagina in order to benefit from this product'. He did have the grace to nod and say 'well yes, I guess so'. I possibly should not have reacted so strongly, but was so furious as I felt that all the work I've been doing developing an intervention to help WOMEN was undermined in seconds by a 24 year old male asking for men to immediately be included.
After this, I spent some time searching the published literature on the 'neo-vaginal microbiome'. There hasn't been much research yet, but it seems that, surprise surprise, a neo-vagina is colonised by completely different bacterial species from an actual vagina, so taking a probiotic targeting vaginal health will do diddly-squat for a man with a 'neo-vagina'.
Not sure what I really want out of this thread except to share my despair that women's health issues are being co-opted everywhere, even in an area that could not be more pertinent to female health.

OP’s posts: |
SnuggyBuggy Tue 13-Oct-20 03:17:17

I think men instinctively hate not being centered, apparently even when it comes to vaginas.

LunaTheCat Tue 13-Oct-20 03:31:37

Sounds like a great product!

Chocaholic9 Tue 13-Oct-20 03:38:59

Can't believe this actually needed saying?!:

'well, I do think you would actually need to have a vagina in order to benefit from this product'.

What a dumbo that man is.

PurpleHoodie Tue 13-Oct-20 03:40:00

Well done for your work.

Send a blunt message to everyone in your particular professional circle that emphasises important and basic facts (quite a few of us here have had to do this at work. It is a tedious 2 minutes here and there, but necessary)

Your business (and employees, top down) rely on biological facts and clear information to avoid criminal negligence charges, prison terms, and professional and personal financial ruin.

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 13-Oct-20 03:48:08

I think you did really well. Had he commented about transmen, then you would have had more of an issue to address. As is, he outed himself as a misogynist with the TWAW line. These types are all the same. Females, who now identify as trans don’t cross their radar and he mansplain all whilst not having a clue what he was talking about. If a manager feeds anything back to you, you can now 100% back up your words having researched the biological colonisation of a neo vagina.

Delphinium20 Tue 13-Oct-20 04:12:19

I am sure the majority of those who heard you were in agreement. Bravo.

PearPickingPorky Tue 13-Oct-20 04:32:47

The arrogance of men, especially young men astounds me.

If I was part of a team about a product to do with penises, I would sit and listen intently. I wouldn't start 'making my voice heard' by interrupting a knowledgeable man speaking about the male organ health issue to hijack it with feminism & make it all about females. I would never think that was a necessary contribution to the session.

Unbelievable arrogance. And more importantly, stupidity. How stupid do you have to be to not realise that a vaginal treatment is for people with a vagina. He's just talking woke for the kudos because he thinks it is the coik thing to do.

DimidDavilby Tue 13-Oct-20 04:55:31

I think if you're concerned about inclusivity it's trans men you need to think of. So it's women, and others with vaginas. HTH.

AnyOldPrion Tue 13-Oct-20 05:01:01

Sounds like your response was entirely appropriate. Hopefully he won’t butt in again when an educated woman is talking.

ThePawtriarchy Tue 13-Oct-20 05:11:20

DimidDavilby

I think if you're concerned about inclusivity it's trans men you need to think of. So it's women, and others with vaginas. HTH.

The OP doesn’t sound like she needs help. I’m pretty sure women identifying as transmen, that have a vagina, are well aware of the fact without worrying about ‘inclusivity’.

ThisShitDontMatter Tue 13-Oct-20 05:54:30

LoL well done!

Hollyhead Tue 13-Oct-20 06:12:19

Well done on standing up for vaginas and women 😁

But as a recurrent thrush sufferer THANK YOU for focussing on this as a piece of work. Do you think it will work?

Chocaholic9 Tue 13-Oct-20 06:13:22

DimidDavilby

I think if you're concerned about inclusivity it's trans men you need to think of. So it's women, and others with vaginas. HTH.

'Cause those people didn't know they have a vagina? Don't be silly.

SnuggyBuggy Tue 13-Oct-20 06:16:02

Transmen are seen so differently by men. It's like us women have to "be kind" and accept transwomen are women but no one really expects men to see transmen as the same category as them.

Igneococcus Tue 13-Oct-20 06:40:18

The company I work for makes similar products, I work in a different department though, and I just checked our product site and it's all "women's health" and "female", phew.
I would have reacted exactly like you.

Rainallnight Tue 13-Oct-20 06:40:47

OP, I agree with all you’ve said, but I’m a bit worried for you that your post is so outing, and might have commercially sensitive info in it.

EmpressJKRowlingSpartacus Tue 13-Oct-20 06:44:09

Great work.

As for your colleague, I think ‘women and those identifying as women’ apart from being wrong for your product, would just have pissed transwomen off anyway because it would make it clear they were actually men.

Collidascope Tue 13-Oct-20 06:49:29

Mummyoflittledragon

I think you did really well. Had he commented about transmen, then you would have had more of an issue to address. As is, he outed himself as a misogynist with the TWAW line. These types are all the same. Females, who now identify as trans don’t cross their radar and he mansplain all whilst not having a clue what he was talking about. If a manager feeds anything back to you, you can now 100% back up your words having researched the biological colonisation of a neo vagina.

Yeah, this. Talk of vaginas, and Mr Wokery (like Daniel Radcliffe before him) decides to ignore trans men and just focus on trans women being women. Can't help themselves, can they?

ShagMeRiggins Tue 13-Oct-20 06:49:49

You were right to point it out and—separately—how can I get my hands on this product?

CircleofWillis Tue 13-Oct-20 06:52:21

Rainallnight

OP, I agree with all you’ve said, but I’m a bit worried for you that your post is so outing, and might have commercially sensitive info in it.


Thank you for posting but I agree with this.

FannyCann Tue 13-Oct-20 06:52:25

Don't know if the research into new-vaginal health turned up this study OP but here it is for anyone interested.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695466/

Trixie18 Tue 13-Oct-20 07:13:33

What a prat but you handled it and put him in his place!
Also can you give us a heads up when this product is launched, sounds great 😁

FannyCann Tue 13-Oct-20 07:14:39

*neo-vagina I meant, not new vagina. 😳

TikTakTikTak Tue 13-Oct-20 07:29:35

I wouldn't buy a product for women from a company who tried to be woke. Using the word woman ensures that I will actually consider it.
Here's hoping it works, I get BV after every period.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in