Let me start this letter with this: I am so, so sorry to those affected by the abortion bans that have been written into law. As a Canadian, I have the privilege to access an abortion, which I have…twice.
Adolescence, puberty, coming-of-age…whatever you call that time of life between childhood and adulthood, we know two things to be true:
Periods: a topic most people shy away from talking about. But Amanda Laird is not most people. Talking about periods, reproductive health, abortion, miscarriage, infertility, menopause, etc. are her jam.
Sometimes I have long cycles. Like, really long. I’m talking the upwards of *75+ days long. They suck. The build-up of hormones leaves me in a perpetual state of waxing and waning PMS symptoms. It makes me feel helpless, especially when all I want to do is alleviate my discomfort.
Sex positivity and art: What's not to love?! Pleasure Pie - a sex positive zine and publication organization based out of swingin’ Boston, Mass - exists in that sweet spot where sex education meets unbound creativity.
A few weeks ago, my partner and I were up in the north woods of Minnesota enjoying a long weekend away. We spent our days out in nature. Hiking the hillsides, swimming in the lagoons of waterfalls, and enjoy vast views of the coniferous forests that stretched high above our heads. I was also on my period. Why is this relevant?
I am standing in the bathroom of an Airbnb with my skirt around my ankles holding a piece of toilet paper with orangey-peach streaks of blood. I track my cycles; I know I shouldn’t be bleeding yet and I can tell something is different.
Let’s be real - many sex education curriculums leave a lot to be desired. In fact, as of 2017, only 24 states (and the District of Columbia) require sex education in schools, and only 13 of those states require sex education to be medically accurate.
Pelvic Exam. Possibly one of the most anxiety-riddled phrases known to the female-bodied population. It is a phrase that often evokes images of patients lying in a paper gown with their feet in stirrups while a doctor places a spotlight on their genitals and proceeds to poke around, for what seems like an eternity.
Today is Mother’s Day, a day where, those of us who choose to, can revere our mothers and celebrate all of the hard work they put into turning us into well-adjusted people.
Menstruation. It's a word that still makes a lot of people squirm in their seats. Even though it is a physical phenomenon that happens to billions of people around the globe, it is still shrouded in secrecy, riddled with shame, and highly stigmatized.
As a sex educator, I spend a lot of time helping young people avoid pregnancy. Yay! Understanding the basics of birth control, reproductive health and sexual health are all great foundation blocks for helping you navigate your life.
How often should I be tested for STIs? Which ones?
When it comes to protecting yourself from STIs, it is important to understand how they are transmitted. But just as important as preventing the spread of STIs, understanding signs and symptoms, knowing the long-term health implications, how to get tested, and how to treat them if the need should arise are also good things to know. Luckily, I’m going to be going over all of this for you.
When I was in 4th grade, I was handed this little pamphlet called “Your Body and You” – or was it “Your Changing Body and You”? Hmm. Either way, I remember being fascinated about the changes I was going to experience (even though at the time I had no true concept of what it meant).
I grew up with irregular cycles. I would go months without a period. My doctor often reassured me that wild swings in cycle length is “normal” for a newly menstruating girl, which is true. But what I wish she would have told me is that if it continued past the first couple of years there might be something amiss.
When I was 25, I was ready to explore different methods of *birth control. While researching new options, I stumbled across the Fertility Awareness Method (not to be confused with the Rhythm Method). If you are unfamiliar, I won’t go too much into detail here, but one of the signs that can help you predict ovulation is to monitor the changes in your cervix.
Many of us took a class in grade school, or, at least you will, where we learned the correct anatomical names of our reproductive organs, squirmed in our seats as the teacher held up colorful diagrams of a flaccid penis and tried not to laugh when we were lectured to about the changes that occur during the puberty.
Imagine a world in which your period and menstrual cycle were no longer a mystery: in this world you know the exact day your bleeding will begin, you are able to validate your PMS symptoms by understanding the changes your body goes through each cycle, and you know not only when something is “off,” but how to fix it, too.