March 26th, 2012

Monthly cycles + HBC

Hello, all! I have a question concerning cycles and HBC in general.

I'd like to know what exactly happens at each point in a woman's cycle... Which days are our fertile days? I take HBC, and am pretty content with it as it is, but since I don't take it exactly at the same time everyday (maybe 3 hours apart, sometimes I take one in the morning and, in the next day, in the afternoon), I'd like to have extra protection on my fertile days.

I'd really appreciate it if someone could explain this to me, or point me to any reliable reference.

Thank you in advance!
The Shining_JackT

Functional Cyst or an Endometrioma now on my right ovary. :-(

I'm really upset and depressed.

I went back to my gyn to have another ultrasound because of the pain after activity/exercise (mainly running) that I've been having on my right side, near my right ovary.

About two months ago I had an ultrasound just to check on things since August 2011 I had an endometrioma removed on my left ovary (at the time of the surgery I had a large endometrioma on my left ovary which was removed, as well as some endometriosis they found, but they had said that my right ovary was completely clear). The ultrasound two months ago showed a cyst now on my right ovary, but at the time he told me it was a functional cyst and not to worry about it. But since I have been having pain in that area after exercising now, I went back to see if it had grown, or what was going on.

So this time, he told me the cyst is the same size--small--but now he said it's an endometrioma. Before, he said it was a functional cyst. I don't understand how he could change it from being a functional cyst to an endometrioma, especially since he said it stayed the same size. This is very upsetting.

I am very worried it's going to grow. The last time I had a small endometrioma on my left ovary, it grew fast and got large in only six months' time. I tried asking him a couple of questions but he kind of stopped me before I could and told me not to worry about it; that it was small and nothing to worry about. I really like him, but I feel like I didn't get all my questions answered. I am feeling like maybe I need to have an ultrasound by someone else... I want to know EXACTLY what this is. And I still don't understand why it WAS functional and now it's an endometrioma???

If it is an endometrioma, there really isn't much I can do about it. I already had one on my left ovary... now there's one on my right ovary. He said not to worry about it, as if it wasn't a big deal, but I'm scared!!! He said he didn't think it would grow. How can he say that? That is EXACTLY what endometriomas do! He said to come back to see him in 6 months or whenever I feel like I psychologically need to (so as not to worry or whatever). Then I definitely won't be waiting 6 months!!! I feel like that's too long to not know what this thing could be doing. Maybe 3 months...

Now I feel like I should stop exercising/running. What if it is aggrivating it and makes it grow? But when I asked him about this, he told me not to stop exercising. He said... just to keep taking my birth control and it wouldn't grow. How can he be so positive? Maybe because it's not HIS ovary.

That's the only difference between this time and last time. I am NOW taking Camila (a progestin-only BC). The last time I wasn't taking any kind of birth control and never have, actually. This is the first time for me and I've been taking the BC for a couple of months. The cyst was found BEFORE I started taking the birth control, but I started taking the BC the day after the cyst was found, two months ago.

What would you do if you were in the same situation? There's really not much to be done, right?

I just really, really don't want to have another surgery and so soon. Will BC keep it small? Could it disappear altogether? That is what I'm hoping, but I don't think that happens very often.

Thanks, VPers!
mango!

MMMMonday! Guest Poster: Roman Rimer

It's Mega Magical Meta Monday, the day when VP brings you a featured post of awesomeness! You can find other featured posts by checking out the "featured-posts" tag. Our goal here is to diversify our discussions and membership, and to enrich your VP experience.

Today's featured post is a guest post by Roman Rimer of romanrimer.com. Roman is a nomadic storyteller, an activist, and a spoken word performer who has performed across the country and at many colleges and universities. We hope you'll check out Roman's website and this post!

As my friend Tom astutely pointed out after a mutual friend had his wallet stolen, "who would steal the identity of a transsexual?"

The irony is not wasted on how incredibly tragic it is to steal someone’s identity after they have fought their entire lives to claim it as their own.

Tom’s comment has stayed with me as I had been pickpocketed myself just a few days prior at a bar in the east village, the boiler room. I was in the process of initiating a five way kiss between me, two friends of mine, some nice fellows we’d met. What could have lead to an unforgettably freeing night of strangers becoming close friends and close friends becoming lovers was derailed when I noticed my back right jeans pocket feeling empty.

Moments later, after accepting the loss, punching a nearby brick wall outside the entrance to the bar, I was enveloped by my momentary lack of faith in humanity, which I have been continuously fighting to overcome. Earlier at the bar I had stood up for one of the friends after someone questioned his gender identity; I was feeling that night we could now all feel safe and have a good time. I was braver than I thought. Then selfishness sunk in and I was struck by was how difficult it had been to get my New York ID (and other cards including an EBT card) in the first place, as though everything I’d gone through was for nothing.

I imagined the person who took the wallet, holding my “proof of existence,” having no idea... I’d been petsitting for friends, living from one place to the next, having difficulty staying afloat. The security I had hoped to find at a bar that evening with friends quickly evaporated and I felt more invisible than before.

Just three years earlier it was a chore everyday reminding people that I was “male,” which seemed to fit far more than “female” had felt in the prior 27 years. Trying everything under the sun so I could fit in and feel normal. It was beyond sexuality, it was my body itself. And in a different way than the usual peer pressure, everyone feels left out kind of way. This was when I looked in the mirror and quite simply, did not see myself.

I was doing everything right, or so I thought, so why did I feel so bad? Transitioning - which can be a continual, everlasting process for some - was pushed so far down that I only grew strong enough to face it out of pure desperation because I had run out of other ways of staying alive. It was easier lying to myself and not having to investigate what I feared could be real.

As there are more of us than we will ever know, our experiences are completely unique. While being interviewed by CBS News reporter Josh Landis, I clearly stated “gender affects everybody.” A colleague and I were interviewed about being “transmen” as Chaz Bono had just come out. The quote was not included in the segment (the mainstream media has ads to sell, not people to educate), yet if I had heard that when I was younger I wonder how much more secure I would be now.

There is good news - folks who have questioned their gender and actively follow what they know is right about themselves are 2000% more badass than those who haven’t. It’s true - I did a study. This is where those depressing stats about transpeople come in handy. I read somewhere that the combination of suicidal ideation and transphobia is so common that the average lifespan for trans-identified people is 23. 23!! Instead of feeling sad about this - think of how awesome it is for those who have made it past 23 (and there is a lot of us!!) Time spent thinking we don’t have a place in the world is time not spent making a place for ourselves and our sisters, brothers, and non-gender specific comrades. So let’s start celebrating that we are alive.

We had to put up with violence, denials, anger from others, ourselves, people who identified as friends and family, though showed no sign of either because somehow the idea of someone “changing their gender” is unusual, yet marriage and procreation are not only considered “normal” but encouraged. If people are battling to stay alive, there will definitely be no marriage and no children.

There are different priorities. As an activist and friend, Kim once said a a Trans Rally, “Marriage would be nice, but can I get some life first?”

This is how it is. Now that I find I am more comfortable with my body (though I could use a haircut and could stand to be in better shape), my goal is more to pull those up from where I have been, because I know how difficult it can be. I was fortunate enough to have many supportive friends and family members. Yet even words with kind intentions can still come across as hurtful.

The idea of being born in the “wrong body” is an insult to everyone. No one’s body is “wrong” It’s just what my friend Sean calls his “skin bag.” we travel through the world in this costume of sorts. My body is the same body I was born in. I didn’t go anywhere.

For a culture that continually warns us against identity theft, there is little that is said about the identity that’s been stripped from us since birth by the world we’ve had to conform to in order to survive.

Growing up people are still assumed to be heterosexual, cisgender, able to see and hear and move around perfectly, and if not, it is assumed that everyone is able to access ways to “fix” what’s not considered “normal.” People who are read as “different” in whatever way that is, are forced to spend time defending themselves and caring for others undergoing the same harsh treatment.

Transitioning for most people is not just one step. It’s not that easy, if anything, I discovered more of how we’re tied into our identities according to the state. Emotions don’t go well with bureaucracy. Changing my name and gender (though I think in one state the ID says male and in another I’m female. Ha! Gotcha!) like that of anything else, is a pain more than anything, using time and money under the illusion of security. While many aspects of the name change (made much easier thanks to the kind folks at tldef), helped in myriad ways, it was mostly in reassuring myself and others I am who I say I am, IDs are one more thing to have to buy, to lose, to carry around, to worry about someone stealing. This piece of plastic holding more power over us than our own will. As though people are trained to trust documents more than other people, “Well it says here you’re ____”

The idea of being told who we are what we are comes as soon as we enter the world. Lives are spent either trying to conform to this image or overcoming what we've been told about ourselves. The gender binary serves to divide us further, based on what our bodies have become and how we should behave, who we should be attracted to.

People don’t question their own gender or sexuality and then assume those of us who have done the work are wrong. There is some security in it, I suppose. But only if you’re asleep.
VP

New Layout in VP!

Hello, Superstars!

Thanks to the amazing folks in the San Francisco LJ office, VP now has a shiny new layout. We hope you'll enjoy the new features and that it will be more accessible, too.

As with all new things, there will be some bumps along the way. If you spot anything wonky--or if you want to express your amazement at the awesomeness that is the new layout--please drop us a line in this CVP post.

One of the cool new things is the "Featured Posts" section in the upper right there. We wanted to assure you that our plan is to highlight things like the MMMMonday guest posts or Sunday's weekly links round-up posts; you never need to worry that your yeast infection post will show up there. We control that section ourselves and promise to keep it legit like that. That said, if you ever make a post that you actually want to see highlighted there, please do let us know! We're happy to give it a bump. :)

Happy VPing! As you were. :)

--Bob
For the VP Team
contact_vp

I think I might have BV again. Any home remedies?

Hi All,

I never had BV before I got my Paragard IUD three months ago, but almost as soon as it was inserted (10 days later), I was diagnosed with BV.  At the time, my symptoms were a really thick, snot-like, yellow discharge that did not smell foul to me or my partner.  I also felt sore and chaffed down there.

I have read that the normal symptoms of BV are a thin, watery discharge, and a fishy odor, but that many women don't have symptoms.  I thought that maybe my BV diagnosis was coincidence.  I couldn't get to the Planned Parenthood where I had it inserted, so I went to urgent care instead.  She thought that my issues were probably normal for a new IUD, but swabbed just to be sure, and that's when the BV was discovered.  I have also read that many other people with IUDs do have thick, snot-like, and often yellow discharge, so I'm still not convinced that type of discharge isn't normal for me now.

I went back last month for an IUD checkup, and asked for another swab, just to be sure.  To my surprise, I then had a yeast infection.  I had a slight itching and thought it might be BV or just nothing at all, but apparently it was yeast.  I really shouldn't be surprised, since I've had a handful of yeast infections before,  Anyway, t took the one 150 mg fluconazole pill that was prescribed, but the slight itching didn't really go away.

Not long after, I was given an antibiotic by my dermatologist for this weird acne-like rash on my chest and back that I've had on and off for years.  I finally got disgusted with it and went to the dermatologist to get rid of it, but of course, the antibiotic made it worse.  I saw him again last week, and he now thinks that my acne rash might be fungal folliculitis (I should have my biopsy results to know for sure within a week).  I also mentioned my possible vaginal yeast infection (due to the continuous intermittent itch), so he prescribed 5 days of 200 mg of fluconazole, and will probably follow that up with lots more antifungals if this does turn out to be fungal folliculitis.

I've taken three of the days of fluconazole so far, and I started noticing yesterday that I'm feeling sore and chaffed down there again.  It feels uncomfortable, and I feel like I have air or something up me, and like I have to push it out, but obviously that's not the case.  I now remember feeling this way when I first got the IUD (when I was first diagnosed with BV), but I thought that it was just my imagination, since I had a new IUD in place and the concept seemed weird - at the time I thought that I was imagining the sensation, if that makes sense.  I did reach up to my cervix a little while ago and I can feel my strings, but it doesn't seem like there's much else going on up there.

Oh, and I also have a lot of discharge.  I don't think that it smells bad, but its just a lot, and it seems pretty thin and watery on my underwear.  It's white and pale yellow, but I think that's normal for me.  I am supposed to ovulate within the next few days to a week, so I expect to be 'wetter' at this point in my cycle, but I have had times over the past couple of days when I've felt a little bit of liquid actually leak out of my vagina.

I think I'm going to run out and get one of those kits that test the pH of vaginal discharge.  The thing is, if I DO have BV, I really don't want to take Flagyl.  That medication made me incredibly sick last time, and I don't care to repeat that experience.  On top of that, it seems like my acne rash is fungal, and I seem to be very prone to fungus.  I don't want to take any type of antibiotics to worsen that if I can help it, especially since it got so bad on the last antibiotics that I was on.

Since this seems to most likely be BV, are there any home remedies that could fix this for me?  Also, would using those vaginal suppository-type medications have any negative effects on my IUD, or would it be ok?  If I had to, I would much rather try one of those this time, as opposed to taking something orally.

I know this post makes me sound so sickly, but I honestly don't usually have this many problems.

Oh, and my fiancé and I are monogamous, and we have both tested negative for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes 1 and 2, and HIV.

Thanks so much!
say what

Intense headache/vomiting after S.O. ejaculate inside of me.

Hi, I am worried. I am seeing this guy who I used to see before.

He was the only person I have ever had finish inside of me. When we used condoms it was fine but when we stopped the next morning I would wake up with a terrible headache and eventually vomit multiple times. (I seem to vomit after walking/driving/moving...its almost a dizzy feeling followed by vomit along with the headache.) This headache usually lasts MOST of the next day and I can't do anything.

The rest of my body feels completely normal. There is no change with my vagina what-so-ever. 

I am seeing him again and the exact same thing happened again.

I looked into semen allergies and it seems to say that the vagina is red or swollen. but i have NO changes at all. I don't even have cramping or anything in my stomach.

And oddly enough if I swallow his cum I do not get sick the next day.

I am on birth control and have been on the same kind for years.
Any idea what this is? Ever heard of anything like this before?
I just want to fix it and not have to worry about it anymore.

Thanks everyone for any help/info you may have!
xoxo
condoms condoms condoms

Yeast infections and tampons?

I looked through the YI tag and didn't see this, so apologies if it's been posted before. The last six months or so, I get a yeast infection following my period. I never had this problem until I switched to tampons. I didn't use tampons for a long time because I found them uncomfortable, but finally found a brand I like (OB because they aren't as long) and it feels so much cleaner to me than a pad. However, I'm worried that maybe it's this brand that's doing it, or some other issue. I change them frequently (never leave them in longer than 8 hours, always use the lowest absorbancy, and usually switch to pads the last day or two of my period). I treat the infection with Miconozole and it always goes away in 3 days, but it is pretty irritating! Any ideas why this is happening or suggestions for ways to make it stop? Thanks!