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So, to keep things short, I was put on Generess Fe for about a year and it worked fantastic. However, I am a mere broke twenty year old so, it became too expensive for me. In result of that, my gynecologist put me on Microgestin Fe. It also worked fine, but I made the mistake of letting my mom pick up my prescription when I needed to get it refilled and she got the generic, Junel Fe. She thought she was doing a favor, not knowing that it was only a dollar cheaper. So, what I am asking here is if I am still protected by Junel after being on Microgestin for a full month and starting Junel after my last Microgestin and if anyone can give me any insight on how their experiences with Junel was/is.

I'm very paranoid about starting a new pill and especially a generic. I'm on the brink of stocking up on Plan B here so any personal accounts would be fantastic.

Thanks in advance.
I've just started my first withdrawal bleed with Microgynon (been on it two months now but ran packs together last month and had breakthrough bleed, so had to take Norethisterone). I've read that the pill typically shortens your periods. However, as this is my first proper bleed on it I'm wondering if it'll be shorter? How long do your bleeds on the pill typically last? and was your first as short as the others?
Has anyone had any experience with PEP?

Cut for sensitivityCollapse )
Hello Pagers. (Before we begin; humor is one of my coping mechanisms. I mean no disrespect to anyone else dealing with infertility, the aftermath of miscarriage, etc. with my somewhat casual and irreverent tone. It's just that, at this point, if what I fear is actually reality, I need all the humor I can get.)

So, in the course of the purgatory that has been dealing with my Pandora's Box, I've been changed to Errin (Micronor) from Nuvaring after a miscarriage and then a failed Mirena insertion. (Scary to realize I can sum up the last three years of nightmares with one sentence.) The past two months are the only ones since the miscarriage when I haven't bled in excess of an ounce a day for 4 days every two weeks. IN THEORY (because, with me, there's no telling!) my hormones seem to be leveling out.

But BEFORE all that (two winters ago), I randomly noticed I had a few days where I couldn't squeeze my fists tight enough to open plastic storage containers and just generally lost my grip on things easily. It passed, so I didn't think much of it; I had too much going on working 2 jobs and finishing school. Fast forward to this past summer during the miscarriage fiasco, again, I had a few days of the same pain and some stiffness in the first joints of my hands, but everything else was making me so miserable I didn't really pay attention to it.

And finally a week ago, I noticed it again, radiating up to my elbows, coupled with the same pain in my feet up to my ankles, a low-grade fever, and this time the intensity of it was... I can only sum it up with "it's been interesting" without resorting to profanity.

So, considering my age (32), the stress I've been under with 3 jobs and the search for an upgrade to one of them, my utterly *abysmal* eating habits through the past 6 months, and the 3 generation family history of rheumatoid arthritis, I'm worried.

My question is, now that my hormones are getting leveled out, if this turns out to be RA, what am I looking at in terms of treatment?

Could the HBC be contributing to RA flares, if that's what these are? Am I going to have to try to find *another* form of birth control to keep this pain at bay?

Or, is a diagnosis of RA one more tool in my arsenal in the fight to get myself spayed?

I have an appointment Tuesday afternoon with a GP, and I'm going in prepared to dig in about blood tests including the anti-CCP test that finally diagnosed my father, as well as x-rays and the standard RA panel, mainly because I need to get them done while I still have both symptoms (pain's been about a 4-6 today, no fever, limbs are cold, but I can finally make a fist) and health insurance (which I lose July 1st, hence the job upgrade plans).

Any RA & HBC experienced Pagers with thoughts? Thanks in advance. :)
So. My period is Not My Friend on a regular basis, and it is especially Not My Friend this month.

I am looking for some help on a couple of specific issues:
  1. Which disposable pads -- particularly designed for a moderately heavy to very heavy flow -- have the largest surface area? I keep bleeding around my current ones (some 11-inch, flared-end cloth pads), which is not necessarily helped by just increasing absorbency. (You know, the pad can't absorb the blood that never hits it in the first place.) ;)

  2. Is there a problem with the Thermacare Menstrual Heatwraps? I visited one local store yesterday and two today that usually stock them -- and nothing. They had not switched locations, from menstrual products to pain products or vice versa. There was no space on the shelf suggesting they were temporarily out of stock or had more in back (with respect to the latter, I asked). Am I going to need to order these online? Am I going to need to buy All the Heatwraps because no more will ever be made? Does anyone know if this is a widespread phenomenon?


Each Monday, we bring you special, maintainer-curated content intended to enrich your VP experience. Please note that you can find past MMMMonday posts using the mmmmonday tag.

Also, a quick reminder about the other places you can find VP: vp_bulletins for local announcements; contact_vp for questions and feedback on the way VP is run; the Vulvapedia for basic questions; and don't forget about our sibling community over on Dreamwidth!

Equal Pay Day in the U.S. was last week, on April 8th - the point on the 2014 calendar to which the average American female worker must work to match the average American man's 2013 pay. Today we have some links for you if you want to know more about the pay gap, or get some idea of what to do if you're being paid unfairly.

Pew Research offers some stats on the wage gap, and the US Dept. of Labor does some myth busting. Think Progress explains how the gap is wider for women of color. And here's a list of actions you might take if you think you're being paid less than your co-workers due to discrimination. (Of course, many people won't find a lot to help them in this list - this is a large problem that intersects with all kinds of power imbalances, making action sometimes impossible even if one knows they are being paid unfairly. But the list is there, in case it is helpful to any of you.)

Wage equality is a worldwide issue, but as this map shows, this map gives you a look at where the U.S. stands in relative terms.

Want to talk about your experiences with payment and discrimination? Have any other links you think might be helpful or informative? Let's talk in the comments!
Yesterday, a couple of friends took me to a "clothing optional" resort at which they are members, to try it out. I spent the majority of the day (several hours) nude. I had the interesting observation that, even just normal moving about and walking, my breasts do quite a bit of bouncing about when un-contained. As a 32DDD, I wear very supportive bras most of the time, often even while sleeping.

Today, I have some soreness in my breast area, mostly on the right but a little on the left. It definitely isn't the breast itself, it's more around the armpit area. If I press down lightly where it is tender, it is right over a rib. I do also have chronic inflammatory issues (rheumatoid arthritis) and it is not uncommon for me to experience chostochondritic pain (inflammation of the cartilage connecting the ribs), but this is an unusual area for this kind of pain. Is it possible all that bouncing around strained the breast ligaments a bit? Have other larger-breasted persons of VP gone naked for an extended period of time, and been sore after?

Semi-related question:
I found my nude adventure to be very freeing (pun intended!) and also a fascinating body-positivity experience. I would be happy to write more about it if there is interest? ((Perhaps VP would feature it on a Monday post?))
Hi superstars! I come looking for reassurance and any anecdata/advice y'all might have.

I had my Mirena removed January 14, 2014 (and I had such a great almost-five-year-run with my Mirena). The issue is that I have not ovulated (unless it was super secret ninja ovulation) or had a period since then, and it's making me kind of nervous/anxious. I've been charting my cervical fluid and temps since then, and it seems like my body has *almost* ovulated a few times but hasn't followed through, haha.

I'm getting impatient and nervous that something is wrong? I'm going to make a GYN appointment this week, for sure. I'm guessing the doctor will tell me to give it some more time. Wondering if anyone has been in this situation? What did your doctor say? Did you just wait it out?

I just want to know what my body is doing in there!

(xposted to iud_divas)
4:20 pm - 04/13/2014

hysterectomy stories

I have to get a full hysterectomy, including removal of the ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes, and uterus, due to having uterine cancer that was recently detected and diagnosed. My type of cancer is basically immune to radiation and chemotherapy, so a hysterectomy, is really the only sure-fire way to treat it.

I have been trying to research hysterectomies on the internet to get any information about any part of the surgery, especially the after effects, which make me more nervous than the actual surgery, itself, to be honest, but all I can find are very negative stories about people, who have been in my situation and had the same surgery. This terrifies me.

I realize that somebody, who has had good experiences post hysterectomy are much less likely to have things to say than people, who have had negative experiences, therefore less likely to share their tale on the internet.

So I wondering if anybody here has had a hysterectomy or knows somebody, who has had a hysterectomy, and wouldn't mind sharing stories or experiences with me on here.

Thanks a bunch :)
12:05 am - 04/13/2014

a little freaked out

My co-worker had an active cold sore out outbreak a week and a half ago and took Valtrax. The lesion was gone when I saw her Monday. Both of us sit at the same nurses station and we were each drinking tea. I drink unsweetened tea so when I drank hers accidentally I knew immediately that it wasn't mine. I washed my mouth out with soap and rubbing alcohol (extreme I know) including all over my lips. I wouldn't worry about it normally except I had a tiny cut in my mouth where I had bitten the inside of it a day or two prior. Am I going to catch it? The doctor I work for didn't seem too worried about it but he gave me a prescription for an anti-viral just in case. I also called the STD hotline and they told me that I would be considered low risk. I love giving my husband blow jobs and now I'm afraid to give him head. Am I being ridiculous?

Edit: as of last year neither of us were asymptomatic carriers, we were blood tested and pee tested for everything under the sun, herpes simplex included.
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