Archive for the 'menstruation' Category

I think I have a yeast infection.

LOL. Is this a lovely blog topic or what? I am envisioning several of you groaning at this very moment, squirming in your seat. Too bad. Look away now if you’re going to be a pussy about it. (Pun intended.)

I’ve only had one yeast infection in my life, during my first pregnancy. From what I hear, yeast during gestation is common. But outside of that one incident…nada. I’m just not a yeasty person. I firmly believe that I managed to avoid subsequent infections by faithfully eating a carton of yogurt every day during the following pregnancies. By the way, I also had ZERO incidents of super-painful-middle-of-the-night-leg-cramps by eating a banana a day and taking a calcium/magnesium supplement. I also had NO heartburn by taking digestive enzymes regularly.

Anyway, this whole thing started after the motherfucking (excuse my French, but this is exactly how I feel about it) IUD caused my last period to drag on for NINE DAYS. Nine days! And because I am strongly opposed to the feeling of a sanitary napkin in my underpants, I wore a tampon inserted into my vaginal canal 24/9. I’m pretty sure that was enough to kickstart a nasty yeast infection. To solve this problem in the future, I have already decided on using a Diva Cup next month. For those of you who don’t know, the Diva Cup is a little silicone “cup” you insert into your vagina, where it collects menstrual blood and only needs to be emptied 2 or 3 times per 24 hour period.

But for now, I need to deal with the yeast issue. Because I’m too cheap to see a doctor, and because I’m anti-antibiotic (haha) anyway, I’ve decided to call upon some natural remedies. I’m really hoping the first one works. I’ve got to be at the in-laws on Saturday for a long Christmas holiday, and I’d rather not be seen with my hand continually down my pants a la Al Bundy.

So today, I am embarking on the yogurt-on-tampon remedy. In order to attempt this, you must first purchase a carton of PLAIN yogurt with active cultures. (NO ADDED SUGAR!) You then dip a tampon into the yogurt, and insert into vagina. One hour in the morning, one at night. I’m a little sketchy about tampon use again, but the thought of cool yogurt to calm the nether-regions has won me over.

I’ll let you all know how it goes. And please, let me know–has anyone tried this before? Thoughts?


The Cycle of Red

When I was 12 years old, my menstrual cycle began. My family was aboard a flight from Seattle to Orlando. I clearly remember stepping into that tiny lavatory, the sounds of the engines roaring and vibrating all around me. I can still see the dark red stains on my underwear, the expression on my face as I caught my reflection in the small, warped mirror. I was still unsure, so I exited the lavatory cautiously. I walked down the narrow aisle, feeling unsteady as I tapped my mother’s shoulder and asked her if she could come “look at something for me in the bathroom.” Puzzled, she followed me to the back of the plane and together, we crowded into the lavatory. “Yes!” she exclaimed “That’s it, alright!” She opened the door and called the flight attendant, who directed us to a stash of maxi pads underneath the sink. The bulk of it was uncomfortable and foreign. I felt it between my legs as I walked and I fidgeted in my seat at the new sensation there. I wondered if anyone could tell that there was something womanly in my cotton briefs. Maybe they could tell just from looking at me. I snuck glances at the other passengers out of the corner of my eye. My mother lowered my tray table and set her pocket calendar down, opened to the month. She drew a red pen from her purse and spoke. “You will need to keep track of your periods, to make sure that they are normal and regular. You will be able to anticipate when the next one will begin.” In bold red strokes, she wrote the letters “MP” inside the box indicating the current date. I stared at the ink, red like the blood that would flow for me each month, the blood that would never fail to appear. Blood like clockwork every 28 days. For the next six years I would ignore my mother’s advice about the calendar, the charts, the red pen. The blood would always surprise me, just as it had that first time, in the skies somewhere above the Midwest. I would curse it as it ran down my legs, diluted from the water of my shower. I would curl up in a ball in my mother’s bed as my uterus tightened and cramped. I would beg and pray and wish for the ending, the absence of color on the tissue paper.
And then, in my eighteenth year, I fell in love and the color of red took on a whole new meaning for me. It was the color of his hungry lips as he took me and consumed me. It was the flush of my cheeks afterwards, aglow with satisfied passion. I almost didn’t notice when the blood did not come. It was the first time I had ever willed it to arrive. I would cross my fingers every time I walked into the restroom. Days turned into weeks and still, it remained absent. And yet, for the next nine months, that deep dark crimson red formed an escape route and began to seep through the surface of my skin. The flow of blood was replaced by glistening streaks that appeared on my breasts and my abdomen. My body was stretching, making room for him, for the unborn child that turned my hatred of menstruation into gratitude and love.
His entrance into the world marked the return of blood. It flowed as furious as a river. There was too much, they said. It was everywhere, pooled beneath the birthing bed in an enormous puddle of scarlet. It had poured from within me, draining my skin of it’s color and rendering me weak and lifeless. None of that mattered to me, I was oblivious to it all. My eyelids fluttered and fought to remain open, as I intently focused my gaze on the only thing in that hospital room that mattered. His tiny face, new and red and his mouth open wide, screaming. He was bathed in my blood, still attached to my body. The cord was severed and the blood was wiped clean. I brought him to my breast, where he would suckle me raw, the red now blossoming from my nipples where he found nourishment and comfort. We would always be connected. He was mine and I was his and I would forever remember his beginning, in the cycle of red that made me a mother.

The Never Ending Period

Six days ago I started my period.

Four days ago I had a Paraguard Intra Uterine Device inserted into my uterus. This little booger is supposed to prevent pregnancy for the next TEN years of my fertile existence. I guess I can honestly say that this was the leading factor in my birth control decision. However, as we all know, every form of birth control comes with side effects. Here is my ongoing list of shitty IUD side effects:

1. The fact that you have to actually get the thing inserted when you’re ON YOUR PERIOD. As if going to the gyno, stripping from the waist down, putting your legs in the stirrups and trying to keep yourself semi covered with the paper drape isn’t awkward enough. Now you get a Chux pad placed underneath your ass, and have bloody images of what is going on “down there” running through your head.

2. The doctor will tell you that you will feel a slight “pinching.” A slight pinch MY ASS. In all actuality, it pretty much feels like someone is prying open your cervix with a pair of pliers, grabbing a nice big chunk of uterus, and twisting with all their might.

3. Longer periods, heavier periods, and painful cramping. Day Four since insertion, my friends, and my uterus feels like it’s been put through a taffy pulling machine. Not only that, but there is no end in sight to the large volume of blood I am losing. Today I actually read that this bleeding could go on for weeks. After that, I might have intermittent spotting between periods. Well great! THAT’S actually the REAL reason I won’t get pregnant. Who wants to screw the chick who’s bleeding like a stuck pig 25 days out of the month?

4. Every time you pee, you need to check the toilet to make sure the IUD didn’t fall out. Also, after every period, you need to feel up there and see if you can feel the little strings still dangling about in their proper place. Tell me again why I didn’t just choose to swallow the pill every morning?

5. The copper issue. Here’s the freaky part. Nobody knows why the copper IUD works. I’d really like to know how somebody thought this up in the first place. (Let’s cram some copper up her vagina and see if it prevents pregnancy?) Brent told me that if you put copper nails in a fresh cut tree trunk, it’ll completely kill the stump. Maybe that’s where it originated. I love being compared to a stump.