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Dealing With Doctors: Taking Control of Your Health Care Destiny

Taking charge of our own healthcare can be a daunting task, especially if you don't know how to navigate healthcare systems or work with providers. We're demystifying some of that for you, providing a toolbox to help you make sound decisions and get the best care possible.

Quick Hits: Yet More Kinds of No

Sevensinz asks:

I was wondering, can a doctor tell if you've masturbated? And in the case they can, is it possible to mistake it for being sexually active? I'm asking because I have a lot of health problems and I have to see an OB/GYN soon, which means that there's a chance the doctor will check to see if my vagina looks right. And I'm really scared because I don't want them to think that I'm sexually active, which with my health, would probably cause them to talk to my parents. And I'm just to shy to stick up for myself, so I really don't want that to happen. Thanks in advance for your answer.

I think I might be pregnant, and might have to choose an abortion.

MadsHatter asks:

My boyfriend and I have had unprotected sex and my last period was 2 months ago (in 10 more days). I've had a two week delay on my period before, and I'm pretty volatile and feeling cramps every now and then but still....no blood. I'm scared to death I may be pregnant but I absolutely CAN NOT tell my mom. I'd be disowned, without a doubt. So....please help me!! I'm getting desperate enough as to seriously consider an abortion because my body can barely support myself, never mind a baby. I heard Vitamin C helps induce a self-inflicted abortion, too. I'm saving up for a test at Planned Parenthood, but I'm still nervous and scared as all heck. Words of advice??

Unpacking Cultural Myths and Biases About Women's Bodies & Sex

rheashah5 asks:

When a woman has sex for the first time her hymen breaks. How is it possible to differentiate between a virgin female and not a virgin except for the hymen concept? How can one say that the girl is not a virgin on the face of it?

How to (Un)pack for a Real Discussion About Abortion

The murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller on May 31st has resulted in a lot of conversation about abortion. It’s a topic frequently hushed, or spoken about more around its politics than the actual procedure, the experience itself and the real women who have abortions. So this increased discussion is certainly something potentially positive happening because of something horribly tragic. More discussion around anything which is or may be treated as unspeakable is always a good thing.

However, often in these conversations and news stories, language is used that's confusing or inaccurate, and some statements are made about abortion or women who choose abortion which are false, unrepresentative or misleading. And any of this can come from either “side” of abortion debates or discussions, due to political aims or motivations, ideological ideas or agendas or just out of plain old ignorance. Just like a whole lot of people don't know the finer points of open-heart surgery, a lot of p

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Your vagina is NOT a crystal ball. OR: What your doctor really can't tell just by looking.

Anonymous asks:

MMkay, so I'm 21, being doing all the right things with yearly exams, getting the tests I need, etc. I just read an article about how the vagina does not substantially change after intercourse, but the first time I had a pelvic exam my doctor said "you're lucky you're getting this done here, a lot of college clinics don't have virgin equipment." What? If there's no substantial change (which I am FAR more inclined to believe) then this makes absolutely no sense. I would ask what she meant, but her practice has moved and I see a different doctor now.

UNRELATED question that I always wanted to ask her but was too afraid to- I was sexually abused when I was little, and raped when I was 16. That for me also confuses the whole issue of what she said- first of all, I wasn't a virgin, and secondly, (my real question) how was it possible she thought I was a virgin, as my guess would be there would also be some kind of signs of past trauma?

As a note, I'm in counseling and doing pretty well but I'm scared to ask because of the oh-man-if-my-doctor-was-right-then-maybe-I'm-overreacting/wrong problem... I'm usually pretty good at trusting myself on this issue, but this is one place I'm always afraid to go because it would be so concrete. (I also just moved for grad school and am seeing someone new and feel comfortable, but I will make a point to ask her too.)

Did my doctor abuse me?

Anni asks:

I had to go to the doctor for a sports physical for school. While I was there my doctor made me take off my clothes and he looked at my breasts and vagina: was he allowed to do this?

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.

Penis bends to the left.

Anonymous asks:

When my penis gets hard it bends to the left so like my head points left instead of straight: is this normal? If it is not can I fix it? If I can fix it how?

Quiero Saber

From the ASHA, quierosaber offers important sexual health information for Spanish speakers.

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