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bodies

Get With the Flow: All About FAM

The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a means for women to observe the three primary fertility signals: cervical fluid, waking body temperature and cervix changes so that you can be as in-the-know as possible when it comes to your own fertility and menstrual cycle. Find out the basic how-to so you can make the mystery of your own fertility cycle become a lot less mysterious.

Hair, There and Everywhere

My body hair first became a problem for me when I was 10. One summer day at the pool, I looked down -- there was pubic hair showing out of the bottom of my bathing suit. I was absolutely horrified. I had never heard of anyone having such a problem. I knew that it was normal to have pubic hair, but surely this was abnormal. I felt like such a freak.

Vagzilla! (Or, All Genitals Great and Small)

If we're going to think of our genitals as big, any one of us, given the small range between them, we should think everyone's genitals are big. We also need to accept that it's ignorant or misinformed to think, presume or suggest that penises are big but vaginas are small, because we really are all about the same size. If thinking big is better for one sex, it's also got to be better for the other. So, if you or someone else is going to go on about some big penis, you'd best get just as excited about the idea of a big vagina, and make having a big ol'Vagowski just as cool. And if you're all hung up on the idea that the vagina be as small as it can possibly be, or is such a small thing, then you've got to accept that penises are small, too.

All About Abortion

If you're considering or planning an abortion, you need to know what your options are, what's involved before, during and afterwards, and how to consider or make this reproductive choice as best you can. We unload abortion for you so that you can inform yourself to be sure it's the right choice for you, and if you choose it, find out what you need to know to best take care of yourself throughout.

Positively Informed: An HIV/AIDS Roundup

What do you really know about HIV and AIDS? How sure are you that what you know is correct or complete, and how much do you think it matters that you know about HIV and AIDS at all?

10 common Myths, Misunderstandings and Big Ol' Lies About Emergency Contraception

It's amazing that with something as safe, simple, affordable and revolutionary as emergency contraception that it STILL isn't being used by millions of women who could use it, and who would prefer to avoid an abortion or an unwanted pregnancy. In part, that's because so many doctors and clinics still do not inform and educate women about EC. Here's some EC clarity, on the house. Pass it on!

Seven Ways to Love Your Body

This is not another diet guide. It will not show you how to lose ten pounds by Thanksgiving. It will not introduce you to a new set of "miracle ab crunches" or rave about the latest liposuction advances. And there will be no butt pads, silicone, or fat-free recipes to share.

Frankenboobs

I was about 14 I started to realize that only one of my breasts was developing. That's weird, I thought. Oh well, puberty is weird, bodies are weird, it will all work out eventually. I was about 17 when I realized it probably wouldn't. Damn. Somehow I had ended up with one D cup breast and one A cup breast. Imagine, if you will: at this point I am a dancer. I am a teenage girl. I am sexually active. I am utterly mortified. Sort of.

Emergency Contraception

We get a lot of questions from teens who are wondering if they can prevent pregnancy after intercourse, whether the concern is due to a broken condom or from not using any method of contraception in the first place. Regardless of how it happened, there is something that can reduce the risk of pregnancy if used within 120 hours (or with an IUD, eight days) of your risk. That something is Emergency Contraception.

FBI Files: Vasocongestion, AKA: Blue Balls

Am I blue? Find out what "blue balls" are really all about: the facts may surprise you.

20 Questions About Virginity: Scarleteen Interviews Hanne Blank

Hanne Blank is not a virgin. (She's almost 37 and she's been living with her life partner for nine years -- we just thought we'd get that out of the way.) But she is a historian, a writer, and an expert on virginity, having written the first-ever history of the subject, "Virgin: The Untouched History."

Not Everything You Wanted To Know About Puberty (But Pretty Darn Close)

Puberty is the process of physical changes and sexual maturation leading to sexual maturation as well as complete body growth. During puberty, your whole body goes through growth spurts until it has become physically mature in terms of bone mass and size, and the sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics develop and mature. Chances are, if you're at this website, you have likely already started puberty.

M.I.A or, Dude, Where's My Period?

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.

10 of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self (at Any Age)

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.

Eight Myths About Washable Menstrual Pads Dispelled

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.

Honorably Discharged: A Guide to Vaginal Secretions

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.

No Big Deal: Sex & Disability

There is really only one thing that you need to know about sex and disability: Disabled people have sex, too.

A Body Modification Primer

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.

Life Lessons from the Third Stall on the Left

Everything I needed to know about body image I learned in a bathroom in the seventh grade. Well, almost everything.

It's More Than Just a Pound of Flesh

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.

Safe, Sound & Sexy: A Safer Sex How-To

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.

On the Rag: A Guide to Menstruation

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?

Your First Gynecologist Visit

Want to know what to expect at your first gynecologists' or reproductive health exam? We've got the lowdown for you here.

The FBI Files: Vaginismus

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.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.