Isala wants to break the taboo around vaginal health. That’s why all our research kits contain great conversation starters  (also online available). Use these cards as inspiration for interesting chats with friends and family, and find out how much there is to say about vaginal health.

You can also start a conversation online by clicking on a question and adding your response. You can do it anonymously – your first name is fine. The Isala researchers will answer your question. This way, we can increase knowledge about the female microbiome and break the taboo together. That’s our dream at Isala. Feel free to add comments and ask questions – let’s start the conversation together! 

Project Underwire: Bras as Evidence in Cases of Sexual Violence?

Does the Isala team have an interesting route in mind to assist female victims of sexual violence? Absolutely! And are we starting by studying bacteria on bras!   
Even iconic characters from famous detective and police series couldn’t come up with this. However, we at Isala are convinced that bras can be a valuable source of information in the courtroom. And yes, bras are often collected as evidence during the physical examination after a rape, but unfortunately, they are not always fully utilized in the subsequent legal process. The Isala team hopes to change that. Keep reading! 🙂

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Will four wonderful Isala years get your vote?

The morning of the Isala launch, 24 March 2020… I remember it vividly, as if it were yesterday. After a year and lots of preparations, it was almost unbelievable that the big day had finally arrived.  Were we really about to launch? After many people doubted that we could find 200 women willing to donate a vaginal sample? Right in the middle of the pandemic? They called us ‘crazy’ and ‘very ambitious’ and wished us good luck. Fast forward 10 days… We had over 6000 registrations and even had to close off the recruitment call. Now, here we are, more than 4 years later…

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Anticonception or anti contraception? Isala and sociology researchers join forces

Having fun in bed without worrying about unplanned pregnancies. Sounds nice, right? Today, there are several “remedies” on the market to prevent unplanned pregnancies, each with its own pros and cons. There are also still the long-standing methods such as calendar methods or “getting out of church before singing” (aka withdrawal). In short, the choice of contraceptive method is very personal and can change throughout your life. We also see certain trends in society on this topic. That made us curious! We, Leen, Nina and Naomi, are researchers at the Center for Population, Family and Health at the University of Antwerp and, like the Isala researchers, we wondered which choices the Isala participants make when it comes to contraception. And are their choices related to their socioeconomic status and other lifestyle factors? Isala collected -thanks to all of you- a unique dataset. So, we explored it together and wrote an interesting scientific article! 🙂

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Participating in the Isala project: Poverty as a silent opponent?

The Isala team is very grateful for the thousands of Isala women that participated in the first research phase. But did you ever wonder what this group looked like? When I started my Master’s degree in Sociology at the University of Antwerp, I got the opportunity to choose a Master’s thesis from a wide range of topics. I realized very quickly that one topic really stood out: ‘inclusive citizen science’, using the Isala project as a case study.

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A successful start in Nigeria: a great symposium and interactive radio show

Last summer, the Dora team organized the very first symposium to launch the Nigerian sister project. The event was held in an auditorium at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria and attracted a lot of people, including college staff, students, and members of the public, including the State Commissioner for Health of Anambra (the state where the university is located). Let’s look back on this special day! In addition to that, the Dora team was welcomed in a radio show. No need to worry if you missed it because in this blog you will discover how it went, as if you were there. 🙂

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