Period Regulation After the Pill

Back in August, I wrote about my difficult transition going off birth control pills (BCPs). Many readers responded and shared their own experiences of leaving the Pill behind. There were stories of acne, weight gain, resurgence of libidos (yaaaaay!), and emotional rollercoaster rides. But the most shared experience by commenters focused on menstrual cycle regulation. Given the overwhelming number of responses to this effect, we thought it would be a good idea to tackle this issue in more depth.

First and foremost, I want to emphasize that every single woman is different. Some women will have zero problems coming off BCPs, while others, like myself, have a rougher road. So while this post addresses post-BCP menstrual regulation, it does so in terms of “typical” cases (as defined by the medical community). But please keep in mind that menstruation and hormones don’t always fit into nice, neat categories, so if your story fits outside the “typical” parameters, don’t freak out. (Although, if you do have cause for concern, please seek out the advice and expertise of your health care provider, as we are not doctors).

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Abortion Clinic Arsonist Arrested

I like to celebrate New Year’s day with family, reflecting over the past year and imagining what the coming year will bring. It is a time of peace and tranquility and excitement. Apparently, anti-choice extremist Bobby Joe Rogers and I don’t share this tradition.

Rogers celebrated 2012 by setting fire to an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida. Luckily, no one was hurt in the fire, but it gutted the clinic and caused roughly $300,000 worth of damage.

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FDA Must Lift Restrictions on Emergency Contraception

Since 2001, the FDA has dicked around with Emergency Contraception (EC), placing baseless restrictions on who can obtain it. But it looks like the walls are closing in on the FDA.

Although EC has been available — behind pharmacy counters with proof of ID — to those 18+ since 2006 and to those 17+ since 2009, it remains inaccessible for many. For example, women must approach the pharmacist and request EC; should the pharmacist’s religious beliefs conflict with providing Plan B, s/he may refuse to hand it over, under the protection of conscience clauses. And let’s not forget those under 17 who will be flat-out denied, and those (of any age) who simply can’t afford its high cost.

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Graditude for My Mother

In light of our recent focus on gratitude, I’ve given a lot of thought to the people and things I’m most grateful for. I’m very blessed to have my health, a loving family, my husband, and friends who would do anything for me.  But when I really sit and think about gratitude, my mom floats to the top of the pile.

My mother has done so much for — and with — me these past 30 years. She mastered the art of parenting while remaining one of my closest confidants, even during those rocky adolescent years, which is a skill I still admire to this day. From indulging my teenaged obsession with Kurt Cobain (dyed pink hair included), to comforting me during my first heartbreak and nurturing my inner feminist, my mom was, and still is, my biggest cheerleader.

She also taught me a crap load, whether I realized it at the time or not. While it would be impossible to catalog everything she has taught me, I’ve jotted down the top 10 lessons she imparted to her youngest child (me!). In no particular order (well, except for #1):
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“Let Women Die Act” Advances to Senate

Last week, Sarah wrote about the passage of the “Protect Life Act” in the House– or the “Let Women Die Act,” as it’s known among pro-woman advocates.  Sadly, I don’t think any of us were surprised by this news; the House has proven time and again that it is more concerned with what’s happening in my uterus than creating jobs. But, the Senate has been a different animal. As Sarah pointed out, cooler heads typically prevail there.

That may change.

Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has introduced a nearly identical bill (S.877) in the Senate and to date, 33 senators have already co-sponsored it.  There are 46 anti-choice senators currently in office, which gives us pro-choicers a slim margin of hope. But we can’t risk being content. If any Democrats cross the aisle, as they did in the House, we’re screwed. [Read more...]

More Teen Boys are Wrapping It Up

The Associated Press reported some encouraging news this week: according to a recent study, a whopping 80 percent of teenage boys are using condoms the first time they have sex.  This is up from 71 percent in 2002, and 55 percent in 1988.

So what gives? Are teen boys proactively wrapping it up or are girls drawing a line in the sand and insisting on condoms?

It’s hard to say. My guess is a little bit of Column A, a little bit of Column B. But others are more skeptical. One young man interviewed said he would “be hesitant to give guys credit for coming up with this on their own.” Ha! [Read more...]

HPV, Throat Cancer and Boys

I recently wrote about the importance of the HPV vaccine, given its ability to help prevent cervical cancer. But, as it happens, the vaccine isn’t just for cervical cancer and genital warts. Now it seems that the vaccine could also prevent certain types of throat cancers.

That’s right, throat cancer. New research from The Journal of Clinical Oncology shows that throat cancer caused by HPV – usually contracted by oral sex – is on the rise.

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Setting the record straight on HPV

By now, Michele Bachmann’s remarks about the HPV vaccination may be old news. But they still infuriate me, so I’m going to set the record straight on HPV and the corresponding vaccine.

Let me rewind to last week’s Republican debate. The hilariously off-center (and I refer to her sanity here, not political leanings) Michele Bachmann attacked Rick Perry for his 2007 executive order mandating young girls in Texas to be vaccinated against HPV, a common STI and leading cause of cervical cancer in women.

I realize that vaccinating children is controversial. But, for me, this specific one is a no brainer: vaccinate against cervical cancer.

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Going Off Birth Control Pills: My Story

We all know the benefits of birth control pills: they’re safe, effective, regulate your period (hello, cramps and flow!), help fight acne, and when taken properly, prevent pregnancy. Your hormones are under control, the sun is shining and birds are chirping your favorite song.

But what happens when you go OFF hormonal birth control pills (BCPs)? This is something rarely discussed – or at least, discussed much less than what to expect when you go ON BCPs. So, let me share my story with you.

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Judge Throws Out Bloomberg Pregnancy Discrimination Case

A large pregnancy discrimination case with national implications was just decided in Manhattan federal court. And the outcome is not good.

A bit of background: in 2007, 79 women joined a class-action law suit against Bloomberg L.P., the financial services and media company founded by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The suit, originally filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, argued that that the company engaged in a pattern of discrimination, including demotions and pay cuts, against pregnant women who took maternity leave. The lawsuit also alleged that pregnant women and new mothers were excluded from management meetings and subjected to stereotyping about their abilities to do their jobs because of their family and caregiver responsibilities.

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