Vogue Williams on pregnancy, fertility and the health issues we don’t talk about
With the new season of her Taboo Talk podcast, Vogue Williams delves into the health and wellness issues many of us are afraid to discuss.
Vogue Williams, who is currently expecting her third child, is all too familiar with the taboos surrounding pregnancy. From being scolded online for eating the “wrong” food to feeling the pressure to bounce back post-baby – but not too quickly, mind you! – she admits that she hasn’t found any of her pregnancies easy, “especially when you are throwing up throughout, as I have been”. However, she underlines the importance of discussing the low moments of the last few months as well as their baby-kicking highs.
Of course, discussing the topics many of us only intimate to close friends is familiar territory for Vogue. Between her three podcasts, Spencer & Vogue with her husband Spencer Matthews, My Therapist Ghosted Me with friend and comedian Joanne McNally, and Boots Presents Taboo Talk, she’s at home talking about the things many others might shy away from – which makes up no small part of their continued success.
Take her new season of Taboo Talk as an example. Covering everything from fertility and sex to incontinence and chronic pain, it’s designed to take the awkwardness out of the health and wellness conversations we avoid having, even with ourselves. As well as talking about the taboos Vogue is accustomed to, many conversations in the latest season are topics Vogue, and by extension, the listener, is only learning about. One that took her by surprise was a chat with Lisa Snowdon and Dr Shahzadi Harper about menopause. “I always related menopause to hot flushes, but hearing how it can affect everything from anxiety to forgetfulness blew my mind,” Vogue explains. “Lisa Snowdon spoke very honestly about how deeply it derailed her life for a period, and I think that is so important for others to hear about.”
While she’s hoping to welcome their third child soon, the topic of pregnancy and fertility is another one close to Vogue’s heart. This season, she speaks with Ollie Locke and Malin Andersson on their difficult fertility journeys. As well as talking about the fertility process itself, Vogue found that her biggest takeaway from the conversation was around the language we use to discuss fertility. “By the time we decide to have children, it’s not like ‘oh let’s try’, it’s worrying about whether you’re fertile and why isn’t it happening… have a lot of friends going through IVF at the moment, and I know some of the older generation are wagging their fingers saying. ‘You two should get a move on!’ which can be so hurtful.”
As well as covering fertility and menopause, Vogue speaks to Megan Barton-Hanson about safe sex, Ugo Monye opens up about his experience with chronic pain, and Ferne McCann speaks candidly about incontinence. “Ferne is so open talking about something that people feel embarrassed about, yet her honesty is so important because so many people go through it.”
“It’s so important to cover these topics,” says Vogue, “getting to hear from people who are going through something others might think is ‘taboo’. Talking about it honestly and openly normalises it… The more you know, the more you can understand, which is incredibly important.”