June 18th, 2012

VP mod comment

Links Round-Up: Week ending 17 June 2012

Welcome to our weekly links round-up. The LRU is a compilation of items from the past week that may be of interest to VPers and is intended to broaden the kinds of conversations we have here. To submit articles to the round-up, e-mail also_warriors@vaginapagina.com

As a reminder, in lieu of trigger warnings, I use keywords describing the themes of the piece. Please skim these before deciding to read the excerpt or click through for the full article. Outside sources are not safe spaces, and mainstream source's comments should almost always be avoided. The links I highlight don't necessarily reflect VP's views, or even my own, for that matter. 

This week's round-up includes: moobs and the gender police; lawmakers bared from speaking in MI House after asserting their bodies are their own...; Mayor Bloomberg visits Black church to say stop-and-frisk will continue; Greek sex workers arrested and subjected to HIV tests; mental illnesses "shockingly" undertreated in UK

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What have you been reading (or writing!) this week?

sore vagina after sex

Hi, so I had sex on Friday- we didn't use protection or lube. The next day I noticed my vagina, mostly around the opening and on the inner part of my inner labia was really sore and almost swollen seeming. It hurts even more today and I'm wondering what the cause could be. There is no discharge or weird smell but I did notice a bit of blood in my underwear. Should I get some monistat or is it likely just an injury from him being too big for me? Should I be concerned about an STI? Would it show up that quickly with those symptoms? Thanks for your help!

MMMMonday! Guest post: VP's overlord, The Main Tank, cycling, vulvas, and you!

We're excited to have a guest post from our very own beloved overlord of VP, rockstarbob! Bob is into cycling too these days, and she has started a shiny new blog at The Main Tank. This post combines her bike-love and her vulva-love...and the ways in which those two loves can sometimes need a little help to work together. We hope you'll join in the discussion, and remember that this and other MMMMonday posts can always be found under the tag "featured-posts", or in our Featured Posts sidebar (still with a delay, apologies about that).

Your friendly benevolent overlord and VP founder has recently leveled up in her obsession with cycling.  I have a couple of kids now (ages 4 and 2) and we bike everywhere together--in fact, we've all but replaced our car with my newish Surly Big Dummy longtail cargo bike.  

Dummy Don't MindBefore I had the Dummy, I was riding a bike that wasn't really configured well to me.  It had all the stock components and I would end a lot of rides with vulvar pain.  No one really talks about this, and the problem is made worse by the fact that most bike shops seem to be to staffed by people who don't have vulvas.  It is awkward, to say the least, to walk into one's local bike shop and say something like, "Hey, my clitoris and labia minora have been chafing/hurting/going numb when I ride--can you help me adjust my seat, give me some lube, or give me some tips on how to mitigate that?"


Plus, the issue is compounded if you're trans* and maybe don't present as someone who has a vulva, or if you have disabilities that are also at play.  So I think that for plenty of reasons, vulva-owning cyclists tend to stay silent on the matter, which is unfortunate.  

A girl and her bike, old tyme.I write a blog called The Main Tank about being a feminist family cyclist and I'd love to break the silence on this issue and create an informal guide on maximum vulvar comfort/health when riding.  I'd like your help!  

Lovely Bicycle wrote up something pretty great, and the commentversation that followed was also instructive.  That said, I'd love to write up something even more in-depth that is also heavily imbued with the VP spirit.  When I've gotten your feedback, I'll compile everything into a series of posts for my blog.  I can also repost here in VP if there's interest.

Let's talk vulvas and cycling!  When you comment, please let me know:
  1. If you'd like to be credited and how I should refer to you (your LJ name, your real name, etc.--feel free to email responses to bob @ vaginapagina.com if you prefer not to state your real name here in LJ Land).  If you don't mention it, I'll leave it anonymous.  
  2. If you have a related blog you'd like me to link
  3. If you have relevant credentials (you work at a bike shop, or you've been riding for x years, etc.)

Here are some questions about which I'd love your feedback--feel free to add any other questions/comments, too!  Pictures and links are especially welcome.

General:  What types of vulvar comfort/health issues have you experienced while riding bikes?  What kind of biking do you usually do?  Do you have any issues that make achieving maximum comfort/health while riding difficult?

Saddle/Bike:  If you've experienced clitoral or labial numbness/pain, how have you worked with your saddle to improve it? Did you change the angle/height, or perhaps try out different saddles? Did you end up getting a different bike altogether?  Is there anything that you've tried that definitely does not work for you?

Clothes:  If you've experienced clitoral or labial numbness/pain, how have you worked with different clothing arrangements to improve it?  Is there anything that you've tried that definitely does not work for you?

Products:  If you've experienced clitoral or labial numbness/pain, how have you worked with different products (lubricant, anti-chafing powders/creams, etc.) to improve it?  Is there anything that you've tried that definitely does not work for you?

Menstruation:  When you're on your period, what menstrual products or clothing do you use for maximum comfort while riding?  Is there anything special you need to do while riding (stop frequently, etc.)?  Is there anything that you've tried that definitely does not work for you?

Health:  If you've experienced urinary tract infections, yeast infections, or other health issues while riding bikes, what have you done to prevent/remedy them?  Is there anything that you've tried that definitely does not work for you?

Other:  Anything else I forgot to mention that you'd like to share?

Ride on!

AKA The Main Tank
Also on Twitter!

PMDD and Sarafem?

Hello lovelies,
Today i went to my Awesome Doctor to complain about my PMS- last cycle i had nine days of swollen breasts, weight gain, depression, etc etc etc etc...She looked at my cycle charts and diagnosed me with PMDD. She wants me to start taking 10 mg Sarafem for the 14 days before i bleed.

As i'm pretty new to SSRIs (i did take Paxil for about two months, 16 years ago), what should i know? Does this mean i start taking the pills before or after i'm done ovulating? i generally have six to eight days between ovulation and luteal phase, then five to six days of PMS (or, in the last few months, severe PMDD) symptoms before i start bleeding.

Have any of you tried this? Success? Failure? Tips? Obviously everyone's body chemistry is different, but i'd like some reassurance here.

i'm 31, NP, sterilized by Essure, if that's any help.

EDIT: Thanks, everyone.

A further question- my pharmacy was out of stock when i went to fill the Sarafem RX. I got it today (and holy cow is it expensive!) but i'm on my second day of PMS symptoms already. Is it okay to start taking it now or should i wait out this cycle and start next month??
something corporate

Effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide

I've made a post or two over the past month about issues with BV. I've heard that for some women their period causes it every month. I think I have this problem, because I finished my antibiotics like I was supposed to but the BV came right back after I had my period. I used a hydrogen peroxide douche and yogurt, which worked really well for me. I also started taking acidophilus pills. My doctor suggested those methods for recurring BV because he said antibiotics become less effective if you have to use them all the time. Will hydrogen peroxide become less effective over time too? If so, what other options do I have for taking care of the BV?

Lack of energy and IUD

Hi everyone! Lately I've been having much less energy than usually, to the point where I can barely do anything, let sleep. Sometime turning around in bed will be a tough task. This cannot go on forever, I just quit college and my job, and need to go out there and do my stuff.I've always been prone to heavy periods, I could never wear regular pads and had to rely on night pads and super tampons, and it has only become worse with my IUD (a night pad and super plus tampon do the trick for not more than an hour). This is why I thought I may be anemic, but I went to the emergency room last month with horrible headaches and feeling week, with no energy, and after a bunch of tests they concluded everything was fine. Could it not show up? Or could it be something else? What could I take to increase my energy?

Also I've been experiencing the moody part of PMS all month, and it only worsens when it's finally period time. I have basically no sex drive anymore, and my breasts will swell a half a size, or more, when I'm on my period and I'm quite uncomfortable with my whole body.
I've read stories of the copper IUD causing bloating and breast swelling in some women, simply because they cannot tolerate copper as much as other women, however, I was wondering if it was true or just a myth. I am about to get my IUD removed, I'm wondering if it would help my symptoms.

Thanks in advance!
doc 1

Hymens and Virginity - in the UK!

Hi :)
This is my first time posting - and indeed mostly my first time checking out this comm.

I live in the UK - so it would be hugely appreciated if advice as to my situation fit with that!

I am almost 21, and, over the last few months have been a in sort-of-casual-something with a guy. He's a few years older than me, and after, hmm, a few explorations, bascially said he wouldn;t have sex with me because he doesn't want to hurt me. Both my own fingers and his hurt, and after some use of mirrors - and my own attempts over the years - I've come to the conclusion I must have either a cribriform or microperforate hymen - a fairly thick one. I've been getting myself off for years, though only via my clit, so there's been plenty of exploration in that area.

Following some oral off him, I was having itching and discharge (thrush, joy, and it seems to happen every time) and decided, since I was at the doc's anyway for other problems, to bring it up. She said to sort out an appointment for swabs, and a months later I was back for that. This time I brought up the problem of not being able to use tampons etc., and she basically said 'I'll just use a cotton swab for a high vagina exam, anyone can have that' - some discomfort, since I appear to be sensitive down there - and I decided to ask what it would mean re: sex. She basically said it would hurt, nd there would probably be some pleading, but don't let it put me off. I left it that, but tbh, I don't see how it's going to possible - either at all, or at least not with extreme discomfort. Especially since my guy can't stand the thought of hurting me at all ....

A lot of people on here and the rest of the net say 'go to your gyno' but as far as I can tell unless we're private in the UK, we only have GPs. Should I leave it till actually attempt sex at some point, and then if its not possible make an appointment and bring it up then, or what?? I've mentioned it to a couple of friends, but it's not been a real issue for them, and I don't think it's something I could talk about with my mother. Help? Please?