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reproductive health

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.

The Testing Diaries: Joey

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're starting this new series at Scarleteen's blog. In it, some of Scarleteen's volunteers will share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

I was tested for the first time seven years ago, shortly after I had my first sexual experiences. Things did not go according to plan: though I'd insisted on condom use, the person I

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Got an Infection? Some Take-Care Basics.

Over the last few weeks, I have been sicker than sicker than sick. I managed to pick up whooping cough, which, combined with other health issues I already have, made my blood pressure dip to a very scary place, to boot. I had already been having some flare-ups from those other issues, so they made the whooping cough worse, it made them worse. Like plenty of uninsured people do, I tried to hold off on healthcare for as long as I could, but eventually had to cave and suck up the big bill so I could get the big meds and also be sure I wasn't, you know, dying or anything.

This combo of illnesses made it impossible for me to do nearly anything, including most work. When you mostly work from home, you can usually work through almost anything, so when you can't even do that, you know it's bad. They've also put some big cramps in my life. For a week or so, the deepest conversations I had with anyone were something to the effect of "More. Tea. Blanket. Ugh," and the most passionate embrace I

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Why I hate the abortion debate

Abort​ion:​​ for or again​st it? My response to a question on a myspace survey.

What's an ectopic pregnancy?

Anna asks:

What is ectopic pregnancy? I saw it listed as one of the possible risks with Plan B.

I, Being Born Woman and Suppressed

Menstrual suppression is becoming increasingly popular, and has been widely promoted for women. For some, especially women with reproductive health issues which are helped by suppressing periods, it's an obvious boon, and some using it electively also report it to be a blessing. But what about the health risks? What about the attitudes informing that choice which cheerlead suppression by maligning menstruation? What about the benefits, emotional and physical, our periods can offer us? An opinionated, no-holds-barred look at the whole works and a paean to the period, no matter what a woman chooses to do with it.

Am I infertile because my mother was?

Anonymous asks:

I'm 15 years old, going on 16 and I've been told my whole life by my Mom that I'm not supposed to have kids. I mean, in terms that I'm not able to. She was supposed to infertile (they were married for two years before me and there hasn't been anything since) and she's only had me. She told me that because I'm so much like her that I'm probably infertile too. I've never had the tests done. Gynecologists creep me out. For some reason, I've always wanted to be a mom. I'm really great with kids and I love them to death. I feel awkward feeling this way! Is this normal? I'm I wrong to feel this way? When I get older, is there any way that, supposing I am infertile, I could have a baby? Is it wrong that I want to be a mother so much? I've told one of my ex boyfriends (when we were still dating) about it and he just called me a whore for it. Is this natural? Is there any way to fix infertility?

Do I really need a pelvic exam?

Tori asks:

Why is a pelvic exam really necessary? I am sexually active, but my boyfriend and I have only ever done anything sexual with each other, and neither of us have anything. I've asked this question to other people and they always say that "You don't KNOW," or that I shouldn't just take my boyfriend's word for it. I trust him, so I'm not considering that part, so ignoring a possibility of disease (which I doubt there is any), why is it so important that I have a pelvic exam?

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