May 1st, 2013

silver vertebra

Menarche Narratives Update #2

Greetings, all!  This post is an update to this one: Menarche Narratives Research Update, which was an update to this one: Menarche/Menstruation Survey.  Due to a high percentage of participants identifying as LGBTQ, and an overwhelming amount of discussion of menstruation as related to gender and sexual identity, I decided to focus my research and analysis on LGBTQ menstrual narratives.

The conference went very well and I got some great feedback from the audience.  In fact, it went so well that I've decided to edit and refine this paper and submit it to a scholarly journal.  Unfortunately, journals require that you don't publish your work elsewhere, which means I can't share the paper here.  But I can briefly mention some themes that emerged through interview transcripts and surveys.  When reminiscing about their menarche experience, participants tended to feel excitement, dread, or dysphoria; and many experienced gender policing and received medical misinformation from parents, peer groups, and healthcare professionals.  Furthermore, both menstrual instruction and popular media dealing with menstruation push social and cultural messages about gender and sexual identity which can be especially harmful for newly menstruating people who don’t fit that mold.

As I refine this paper and continue to analyze the interview and survey transcripts, I find that I have more questions.  Among them: What kind of educational approach would be most helpful for young people entering menarche?  Are there generational differences in how menarche is experienced?  And perhaps most pressing, did my informants identify as LGBTQ at the time of menarche, or did this identity realization come later- and how did that affect the menarche experience, if at all?  I’d like to invite past LGBTQ participants, as well as new LGBTQ participants, to explore these questions with me via email.  If you are interested, please email me at and I will send you a consent form and more information about the project.

If the paper gets published, I will update with a link-- and if it doesn't, then I will self-publish and update with that link.

I received permission from mods some months ago to update on this project.  Thanks to all the participants that made this research happen, and thanks to VaginaPagina for agreeing to allow me to call for participants and update on this forum.  What a terrific community!

Gardasil Question

25, NP, cis-female, Mirena IUD inserted 2.5 months ago. I got the first two Gardasil shots when I was in my early 20s. I never went back to get the last one due to conflicts with my college schedule. Is it too late for me to get the last one now, or do I have to go through the whole process again? I haven't been sexually active in the last 4.5 years, if that matters.

Reading Outdoors

Anorgasmia caused by antidepressants

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I was really hoping for some advice and I feel like this is a great place to ask for it.

My fiance and I have been together for over six years and, in the beginning, or sexual relationship was beyond amazing. I've always had a really high sex drive and I was happy to learn that he did, too. Unfortunately, he had some anxiety issues that caused him to become easily aggravated about the smallest things. A few years into our relationship, we found out we were going to have a baby and we decided it was time for him to find some help for his anxiety. His doctor put him on a low dose of Prozac. It helped with his anxiety, but very little, so she ended up increasing the dose a few times over the next two years.

After our son was born, we began to notice that he had less interest in sex and he was frequently unable to orgasm. It took a while before we realized that it was his medication causing the problem and by this point, we'd already been trying (and, of course, failing) to conceive our second child for several months. We talked to his doctor and she decided to put him on Paxil instead. She said there was still a chance that the problems would recur with this new medication, which it did.

We talked to his doctor again today and she gave us a few options. He could either stay on the Paxil for another two months and see if anything changes, at which point she'll add Wellbutrin if it's still an issue, or we can call his PCP and discuss Viagra. I'm a little uncomfortable with this last option because I feel like it's kind of extreme. I mean, he doesn't have ED and if he weren't on the Paxil, he'd have no problem at all. But I still wonder if it would even help, because at this point, we don't want to try anything new, especially since Paxil works so much better than Prozac.

So, has anyone else ever had this problem or do you have any advice on what we should do next? We really would like to have another child and, besides that, this is really affecting our relationship in a big way. Thanks for listening!

tea tree oil many/how long?

Hi all,

I have been trying to beat off a case of BV for some time now. I tried H202 douches for 10 days, which did not work (doctor confirmed it didn't). Then I tried these fancy vaginal probiotics which also did nothing. The only thing that seemed to help was the one time I used Tea Tree Oil in a douche. But I only used it once, got my period 3 days later and it was back. Obviously the one time wasn't enough and the other stuff didn't work.

What I'm doing now is Tea Tree Oil soak tampons (in an olive oil base). I did it once and it seemed to help and now I'm on my second. I leave it in for like 2 hours. How many times a day should I do this and for how long (how many days)? I can't seem to find the answer online.