We get a lot of questions at Scarleteen from folks who are worried about periods that are MIA (missing in action, for us civilians). Sometimes there's a pregnancy concern, and sometimes not; but even if you're not sexually active, a missing period can be worrying.
If we look at our sexuality one way, it looks a million times simpler than it actually is. If we look at it another way, it appears a million times more complicated. While it's important that we bear everything in mind we need to in terms of infection and disease, birth control, our relationships, our bodies and the whole works, now and then we need to remember the bare bones and the human element of the thing, and keep the essentials in the forefront of our minds.
After a few years of being the postergirl for alternative approaches to menstruation – writing articles, being interviewed, doing workshops, selling washable pads to women and getting involved in too many party conversations on the topic to possibly count – something is starting to give. The truth is, I’m starting to get a little bit tired of being nice. I’ve lost my patience with trying to pussyfoot around the issue until women are willing to talk about their own blood. And so, as a form of cleansing for me and education for you – should you choose to engage in it – I have penned the following set of arguments dispelling the myths about washable menstrual pads and your period. So there.
Vaginal discharge and secretions are normal and usually healthy. The vagina is a passageway between the outside of the body and the internal reproductive system. Vaginal secretions are how the vagina cleanses and regulates itself -- how amazing is that? -- in the same sort of way that saliva helps keep your mouth clean and healthy and part of the fertility cycle.
There is really only one thing that you need to know about sex and disability: Disabled people have sex, too.
But before you run out and get a lovely bit of metal in your eyebrow, or a gorgeous portrait of Bugs Bunny indelibly inked onto your shoulder, take a moment to read up on body modification, and make sure you know what it's all about. Tattoos and body piercings can be a great way to express your individuality, but they're permanent, after all, and not without health risks.
Everything I needed to know about body image I learned in a bathroom in the seventh grade. Well, almost everything.
I remember when I was seventeen, I tried on some new ideas. One of my ideas was that notions of "right" and "wrong" were false creations of society, and did not actually exist. Yeah, it didn't make much sense back then, either.
What's safer sex? Find out how you can best reduce your risks of STIs and protect your health and how to do it and be supported in it without feeling like the Sex Decency Brigade or bringing on the buzzkill.
What's the menstrual cycle? How does it all work? What are periods and options for managing them, and when's it time to check in with a healthcare provider?
Want to know what to expect at your first gynecologists' or reproductive health exam? We've got the lowdown for you here.
Some people experience great pain or discomfort with vaginal sex or other kinds of vaginal entry that's not about hymens, lack of arousal or lubrication, or rough partners, but about a health condition known as vaginismus.
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