Monday, October 17, 2011

Mrs Myrna Monday: Days in a Normal Menstrual Cycle and Causes of an Irregular Menstrual Cycle

Mrs. Myrna Mondays:
Where we answer all of the questions you have about your Lady Parts

Dear Mrs. Myrna, what's the low range when it comes to length of a menstrual cycle: and what can cause an irregular cycle?
Not So Sweet 17

Dear Not So Sweet 17,
An average cycle is 28 days long, but it is normal to have a cycle that is as short as 21 days or as long as 35.

Here are some causes for irregular menstrual cycles:
  • Pregnancy. This is the most common cause of a missed period, so if you might be pregnant treat yourself as if you are until you are able to confirm or deny. Pick up a home pregnancy test, if the test is negative and you are more than two weeks late on your period call up your CNM or ObGYN to set up an appointment.
  • Stress!
  • Fatigue
  • Caffeine
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive weight loss or gain. While many of us know that a low body weight can cause us to miss a period, having a high body weight can have the same effect.
  • Increased exercise.
  • Illness
  • Travel
  • New Medications. If you have started a new medication and are experiencing an irregular period give a call to your CNM or ObGYN's office. Talk to the nurse and she can tell you if its a normal side effect or if you should come in for a visit.
  • Other causes include: breastfeeding, polycystic ovarian syndrome/estrogen dominance, poor nutrition, chemotherapy, hormonal imbalance, recent childbirth, miscarriage or uterine abnormalities (fibroids/cysts/polyps/endometriosis).
All this being said, if you've had an irregular period don't panic: its actually pretty common. One in five women will experience this. If it happens more than once or you go two weeks after the date your period put in a call to the nurse at your woman's health provider.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sexist Retro Ads: (Anti) Feminist Fridays

(Anti) Feminist Fridays
Proof that while women are still far from being treated with respect: we have come a long way, Baby!

This Friday's Ad is- I don't even really know how to describe it.
Horrific maybe? And while I still think the premise is widely believed in the subconscious of our culture, at least we are at the point where it's not spelled out in a shoe advertisement.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mrs Myrna Monday: Why Does it Hurt To Have Sex After My Period In Certain Positions? Let's talk menstruation and retroverted Uterus

Mrs. Myrna Mondays:
Where we answer all of the questions you have about your Lady Parts

Dear Mrs. Myrna, why does it hurt to have sex after my period and only in certain positions?
Sincerely, Flinching Slightly

Dear Flinching Slightly,
Let's see if I can help you out here:

* The first thing to know is that after your period your uterus is still tender: Why?
Because you just shed the old lining and now have new tissue exposed. It works a bit like a wound (follow me on this, and no your period is not an injury, its an awesome time of renewal). When you really do a great job of scraping yourself up you get a scab that not only stops bleeding but protects the growth of new skin. If you were to remove it (I know, its gross, stay with me) and put pressure on the new skin before the scab came off of its own accord its probably going to hurt. Same concept. The new tissue is just that: new.

*Secondly, because this only happens in certain positions:
You may have a retroverted uterus.

What does that even mean?
It means that your uterus is tilted backwards. Because of its positioning your partner can 'knock' into your uterus slightly in certain positions, which can be pretty uncomfortable.

How do you know if you have a retroverted uterus?
Visit your CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) or your ObGyn and ask them to take a look and see if it is retroverted. If they have never mentioned it don't assume its not there, in my case it took them years to mention it to me.

So, what are the implications of a retroverted uterus?
First off, let me say that this is completely normal and often genetic. It wont affect your ability to get pregnant or give birth. In fact, a retroverted uterus will normally right itself in the 10th - 12th week of pregnancy. No, you don't need surgery or any kind of medical intervention to fix this. Again, its not a problem.

There are some symptoms that can point it out to you, though:
Lower back pain, painful intercourse in certain positions and painful periods are some that you can see associated with it.
Again, it is not a medical problem. Its just a thing, like not being born with wisdom teeth. Personally, I think it gives your Uterus a little panache.

Belly Dancing and Belly Love: A Body Positive Blog Post On How Belly Dancing Gets You To Love Your Body

Recently a friend of mine suggested I give Belly Dancing a try. Then, our VLL employee told me she did it and loved it.
Well, of course I said yes. I'll try most anything once.

And let me tell you, I am never giving this up.
I will be the first to admit that while I own a body positive website, blog, and FB community I am also human, and female to boot. The reason I do what I do is because I recognize what societies expectations of women do to our self esteem. I am not excluded from this and while my self esteem and body image have come a long way in creating VLL I still struggle with my feelings about my belly.

So, here I am at my first class with my belly out there for the world to see. I start to follow my teacher and very quickly notice something astounding: I am damn sexy.
Talk about a revelation!
I am watching my belly in the mirror and when you are dancing, feminine and sensual, you find out why your belly is round and not flat. Round bellies are purely feminine. At that moment, staring in to the mirror I actually found myself thanking God, The Universe, my Mother for this round belly of mine.

The roundness, softness and control that I found in my belly while I danced suddenly became a source of confidence and honestly: sheer bliss. I was in heaven and I was belly dancing. I was woman just as woman is meant to be.
I have been 3 times now, set up a belly dancing mirror in my bedroom so that I can practice every day and in just three short weeks I have gone from always hiding my belly to showing it off as often as I can. Right now? Totally wearing a sports bra and shorts. I am a t shirt and jeans girl even in the hot Florida summer. But right now I am not even questioning this soft, round belly that is scrunched up because I am sitting. I look beautiful. I am on the balcony feeling the fall air and I am happy as a clam.

So, really what I want to get across with this experience is this:
If you are a woman and you are shy because you feel like your belly is too round, too jiggly- get your beautiful belly to a belly dancing class! You will quickl;y find yourself falling in love with the soft, round jiggly perfection of your body.
If you are in South Florida here is the info for the class that I attend:
The teacher is phenomenal!

If you are outside of South Florida and would like to share your class location with us and recommend your teacher that would be fantastic!