Posts Tagged by Menstruation
|November 16, 2010||Posted by Issa under Parenting|
Today is my pregnancy anniversary of sorts. I started my last menstrual period on a Tuesday and I ovulated on a Tuesday, so all of my counting is by Tuesdays. You can expect to see regular pregnancy updates occurring on future Tuesdays. These will likely just be kind of stream-of-consciousness – just me dumping out whatever’s on my mind at the time.
Last week I had another OB appointment and ultrasound. There was nothing too exciting at the OB meeting (the gift bag even sucked!), but the ultrasound was thrilling. I actually heard the heartbeat this week instead of just seeing it. 155 bpm, which is great. The fetus did a little jumping bean maneuver and then flipped over on its side, which was quite entertaining. It was hard for the tech to keep a picture because I kept giggling.
I’m out of the 1st trimester now. I didn’t have many of the 1st trimester physical complaints. I had a tiny bit of nausea, but nothing serious. I wasn’t particularly tired. I was sometimes ravenous, but that’s not much to complain about. Moving into the 2nd trimester, I’d say that I’m a little more tired. I’ve also noticed that I haven’t had a serious depression issue for the last few weeks. If I get out of being depressed for this pregnancy, I will definitely count that as a bonus.
Now that I’ve hit the 2nd trimester, I think I’m done going to the OB. I always knew I would be opting out of OB care well before the end, but I didn’t know when that moment would be. After this last appointment, though, I couldn’t think of anything else specific that I want from the OB.
Since I’m now doing my own prenatal care, I’ve started keeping some records. I’m recording my weight, blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar. I have some test strips to test my urine for glucose, ketones, protein, and some other things, but I’m not going to start that testing just yet. I’ve also been watching my fundal height, but that’s mostly just for my own delight at this point.
The only thing of note health-wise is that my blood sugar is high, both my fasting levels and my post-meal levels. I’m holding off on testing for the moment and have completely reshaped my diet to help out with that. After I’ve been at the new diet for a little bit, I’ll start retesting to see if it’s had an impact.
The only other thing happening is something that’s not happening – I cannot get interested in my pregnancy workbook. I created this workbook for myself based on the pregnancy philosophies that resonate with me. There’s a lot of room in the book to journal, work through the particular things I want to research before the birth, work on pain exercises, artistic suggestions, etc. I put a LOT of effort into creating this thing, but I just can’t get interested in it right now. Part of it is related to how many losses I’ve had. I’ve started that damn book too many times before, and I think I’m just tired of it.
The majority of the birth research I’ve done was 4 years ago, when I first started this process. I usually like to be pretty informed about things, and freebirthing strikes me as one of those things I’d like to be really informed about. I have yet to really get excited about researching, planning, and preparing, though. Maybe I’ll get to it – there are 6 whole months left to go after all. Or maybe I’ve gotten so relaxed about the whole thing that I’ll just be winging it.
Anyway. Those are some of the things about pregnancy on my mind this week. Stay tuned! :-)
|September 23, 2009||Posted by Issa under Simple-Eco-Happy|
I posted here about how I planned to use parsley to induce my menstruation. Here’s the step-by-step information, process, and results.
1) I have PCOS and a very long luteal phase to my menstrual cycle. I typically ovulate around day 14 and then don’t bleed for at least three more weeks, sometimes 4. At the start of this experiment I was at least a week from when I would normally start my period.
2) I put 5 coffee cups of water in a pot and brought it to a boil. Then I added one full bunch of parsley and one bunch with the stems removed and steeped it for 30 minutes. I drank my first cup around noon.
3) The tea tasted like complete ass. If you like root vegetables, maybe you wouldn’t hate it. It kind of reminded me of beets or turnips or something, which I fucking hate. Joshua said it wasn’t too bad, but I couldn’t stand it.
4) I read some recommendations to add honey, which I tried. Ugh! That was worse. The sweet was the complete wrong flavor for this veggie taste. I think you’d have better luck with salt and oregano or something if you really wanted to try flavoring it with something. The burps were extra nasty.
5) I drank a cup at noon, one at 12:30, and one at 1:00. Then I decided to take a break, and I’d drink the remaining two cups later in the day.
6) At 2:00, my stomach started to feel upset. I hoped it could be the beginning of cramps, rather than just an upset tummy. 15 minutes later, I was in the bathroom with awful diarrhea.
7) Around 3:00 I decided to try another cup. When I brought the tea to my mouth, I experienced a full-body NO! Just smelling it made me tense up and want to vomit. I decided I wouldn’t drink any more.
8) Around 4:00, I realized that I really wanted to give this experiment the full possibility of succeeding, but I didn’t want to drink any more. I made a vaginal suppository instead, and figured I could try that, rather than drinking. This means I wrapped parsley in cheese cloth, formed it into a dildo-type shape, and put it in my vagina. It was tricky to get it in, so Joshua assisted.
9) The suppository was very uncomfortable to wear, so I went to bed and figured I’d use the opportunity to take a nap.
10) At around 5:00, an hour after inserting the parsley, I woke up, with a very distinct, “Get this stuff OUT of me feeling.” I took the suppository out, then immediately had to go to the bathroom with more diarrhea. That’s it. No more parsley for me.
11) The next day, I had some very tiny spotting. Barely pink on the toilet paper. Still, spotting is not normal for me, and I was exciting that this might actually have worked. Over the next few days, I continued to have the barest of spotting, but my period did not really start.
12) Finally, on Saturday, 5 days after using the parsley, my period started pretty much right on time. However, usually I have 1-2 days of VERY heavy flow, followed by 5-6 days of medium flow. This time, I had no heavy flow, only a light flow.
13) My typical heavy flow never materialized. Instead, I had a light flow for the next 14 days. Urgh! Talk about worst-case scenario!
Conclusion: I can’t guarantee that it was using the parsley that altered my period so drastically. I did go to Burning Man during this time, which is in a high-stress physical environment. However, I started my period before going, so the lack of early heavy bleeding can’t be blamed on Burning Man.
However, I will not try using this method again. The parsley made me very sick, didn’t start my period early, and may have contributed to the light, very long, very annoying period.
Update May 24, 2012: This post has been getting a lot of comments lately, and many of them are asking for advice on how to terminate a pregnancy, how to tell if they are pregnant, and asking for advice in the case of an unwanted pregnancy. I am not a doctor. I cannot help you. I am not interested in this topic beyond reporting my experience here, which was over two years ago. I am now closing comments on this post. If you have questions about this topic, please talk to your doctor or at least seek out a forum online devoted to this kind of information.
|August 24, 2009||Posted by Issa under Simple-Eco-Happy|
I have some mixed feelings about it, but I’m going to use parsley this week to attempt to bring an early onset to my menstrual cycle. I’m currently on schedule to start bleeding at Burning Man, which wouldn’t be the end of the world, but wouldn’t be perfectly ideal. I’ve got plans to get laid as much as possible at Burning Man this year, and while menstruation rarely causes me any consternation since I use the Diva Cup, it does get in the way of sex, especially with new partners.
From a being-a-hippie perspective, I’m hesitant to mess with my cycle. I know that you can take hormones now to not have periods at all, and that creeps me right the fuck out. Regardless of what the doctors say, I think there’s a reason my body does what it does every month, and I’m not interested in avoiding it.
Then there’s the other side of the being-a-hippie perspective: There are lots of plants that are emmenagogues – herbs that stimulate menstrual blood flow. Knowing what they are and utilizing them to tailor my experience of my body seems very in tune with the possibilities that nature offers me.
Consider the way I use drugs, for instance. I usually avoid drugs that remove an aspect of my self. I rarely take pain medication, for instance, because I want to be alert to my body’s signals. I rarely take cold medication, because I figure my body is doing its thing and will work it all out. I take recreational drugs, however, because I feel they add something to my experience of myself, rather than taking something away.
I’m following a similar logic with my period this month. I wouldn’t take drugs to remove my period entirely. However, taking something to slightly speed up the process, in order to create more joy in my life, for a specific experience, seems in line with my other philosophies.
Looking around online, parsley seems the way to go. The relevant agent in parsely is fairly mild; it’s not considered an abortifacient. Starting today, I will make some parsley tea, and drink 3-4 cups, followed by more the next day if my cycle hasn’t started. Some users of this method report that their period started within the next day.
I’ll keep you updated on how it goes!
|August 9, 2009||Posted by Issa under Uncategorized|
It’s an unfortunate fact that many women are bothered and inconvenienced by their monthly menstruation. It’s no surprise, though. Periods are expensive, require a lot of contraptions, are wasteful, smell bad, and are just generally annoying.
Or are they?
I used to be highly annoyed at the different aspects of menstruation. There’s a high cost associated with buying the needed products, and then you have to make sure to have those products on hand when you need them and in great quantity. I despaired at throwing away so much every month. The smell of menstruation on a tampon or pad was yucky to me. The sticky material of pads and the scraping material of tampons was more annoyance piled on.
Then I found the Diva Cup. Well, technically, I found the Keeper first, but it smelled even worse, and then my dog ate it. When I went to replace it, I found the Diva Cup, and I’m in menstruation heaven with it.
What Is The Diva Cup?
The Diva Cup is a small cup made of non-absorbent health grade silicone that it inserted into the vaginal canal and sits near the bottom to collect menstrual blood. The benefits of the Diva Cup are almost too many to list, but here are a few of my favorites. I feel like an infomercial, but the truth is that I honestly love this product to death.
Comfort: Since the Diva Cup is made of a soft, smooth material, it’s not uncomfortable to insert or wear. Tampons used to scrape up my insides, and the plastic material on the top of pads made my outer labia raw. The Diva Cup is completely unnoticeable when I’m wearing it, and goes in and out easily.
TSS Risk: The Diva Cup doesn’t absorb or block your flow. Rather, it simply collects it in the cup. This means you can wear it for extended periods of time with no risk of TSS.
Environmental Impact: The Diva Cup is reusable and lasts nearly forever. This means that there’s nothing else to buy and no landfill waste is generated month after month.
Financial Cost: You can get a Diva Cup for less than $20. And then that’s it. No more trips to the store at the last minute to stock up. I bought my cup for around $30 about 5 years ago. That means I’ve spent about 50 cents a period since then, and that cost is still going down.
Smell: Blood begins to smell bad when it hits the air. The blood on pads? Ick. Even the blood on tampons can begin to smell. With the cup, though, the blood is not exposed to the air until you take the cup out, meaning it smells like menstrual blood, of course, but not menstrual blood that’s “going bad”.
The Hippie Aspects of the Diva Cup
Some women worry about the mess with using a cup. The Diva Cup website claims you can insert it and remove it with no mess, and I mostly agree. However, it may happen now and then that you get some blood on your fingers This happens for me most when I’m having a heavy flow, usually in the first 2 days of my cycle. I’m a big hippie, and touching my own menstrual flow is hardly a concern, but other women might be more bothered.
The other awesome hippie thing about the Diva Cup is how much you learn about your menstrual flow when using it. You can see how much fluid you’re producing. You can see the changes in the color of the flow over the course of your period. I’ve noticed that sometimes my flow is very thick and dark red and other times it’s almost watery. I find this knowledge fascinating.
For overall menstruation convenience, the Diva Cup can’t be beat. It’s so much cheaper and so much easier on your body. I’ve found it easy to always keep my cup in my purse, so it’s always there when I need it. If you know when you’re about to start, you can even go ahead and put it in, so there’s never a risk of leaking.
The Diva Cup has changed my experience of menstruating in an almost paradoxical way. On one hand, my period is almost an afterthought now. It doesn’t concern me or bother me much. On the other hand, I’m almost more focused on it when it’s happening, because I’m paying more attention to the details of my flow, rather than trying to wish them away. It’s a good paradox, in stark contrast to the experience of so many other women: hating and loathing their periods while spending so much money and effort on them.
Buy a Diva Cup!
Go get your own Diva Cup! You won’t regret it. Here are a couple of links for you:
- Diva Cup, #1 Pre-Childbirth Cup – for women under 30 or women who have NOT given birth vaginally
- Diva Cup, #2 Post Childbirth Cup – for women over 30 or women who have given birth vaginally.