The essence of this post is, “Careful what you stick up your naughty parts”. It’s a long read, but that’s because it’s important.Just “Women’s Problems”?Yesterday, the Independent Review into Medicine and Medical Device Safety was published. The Review was authored by the indomitable Baroness Cumberlege (@JuliaCumberlege) (one Peer that IMHO actually deserves her seat; she works damn hard) and has been over 12 months in the writing, focusing on issues created by surgical mesh implants, a hormonal pregnancy test called Primodos, and an anti-epilepsy drug called Sodium Valproate.Why is this a big deal? Well, before the review was written, I and a bunch of amazing, tough, proud women went to see the Baroness at Westminster. We asked her to consider including a device called Essure in her review, because we had all been affected not just by the device but by the lack of information surrounding it, and the attitudes of the medical profession towards sufferers. She didn’t include it, but the Baroness listened graciously to each one of us, and was touched by the experiences we’d all undergone. She was shocked to learn that everything we had been through could have been avoided.Endemic SexismHer Review (@IMMDSReview) makes the point that all of the devices and medicines mentioned affect women particularly (Sodium Valproate is linked to birth defects). The Review points out that women are regularly ignored or dismissed by medical professionals. She suggests that sexism is sadly well embedded in the medical industry. The Review also illustrates that the reporting and regulation around medical devices is woefully inadequate.Can you believe that although any medical device is obliged to carry a serial number – but there is no central register of devices implanted? There is no way to track what implant is put into what woman. That’s terrifying. Think of the implications. What if there’s a recall? At one point, there was – remember the PIP breast implants? Yep. No register for them. And who is affected? Women. Again.An Unregulated IndustryNow, sex toys aren’t exclusively a woman thing, we know that. I would guess, though, that a lot more women than men use insertable toys. And guess what? The sex toy industry is pretty much unregulated.Scary, right? There are European Normative standards by which manufacturers have to abide – for almost everything. Your car. Your toiletries. Your makeup. Your kids’ toys. Your cookware. Your electrical goods. Not for your dildo. Not for your buttplug. These things don’t fall under any kind of category – they’re not beauty products, or medical products, or toys. There is no recognised Standard. They can be made out of pretty much anything, and only the conscience of the manufacturer stops them making toys out of materials that are not body safe.Is it safe?I almost fell foul of this when I started hunting down suppliers – I saw the most gorgeous clear dildo with preserved flowers inside it, made of resin. It was only when the maker posted photos online and several people pointed out that resin, when warmed, can give off nasty fumes and isn’t necessarily body-safe that I had to rethink.So when you buy a cheap toy, and you unwrap it and take it out of the inevitable plastic wrapping, and it stinks of chemicals… Do you really want to put that inside you? That’s a huge part of my reasoning for working with wood and other inert materials. After the Essure thing, I’m so much more careful about what I put into my body, in all kinds of ways. Incidentally, if you’re going to be careful about what you shove up there, remember your sanitary products too. Consider a reusable cup or switching to cloth pads – it’s a great way to support small businesses, reduce waste, and be eco-friendly, and there’s some fabulous makers out there (@NoobyNooCSP, @SillyPandaCo).Follow @HigherDesireUKInstagram has returned empty data.