Tuesday, 03 May 2011
"The newest development in male contraception was unveiled recently at the American's Women's Surgical Symposium held at Ann Arbor Medical Center. Dr. Sophia Merkin, of the Merkin Clinic, announced the preliminary findings of a study conducted on 763 unsuspecting male grad students at a large Midwestern university. In her report, Dr. Merkin stated that the new contraceptive- the IPD -was a breakthrough in male contraception. It will be marketed under the trade name "Umbrelly."
The IPD (intrapenal device) resembles a tiny folded umbrella that is inserted through the head of the penis and pushed into the scrotum with a plunger-like instrument. Occasionally, there is perforation of the scrotum, but this is disregareded, since it is known that the male has few nerve endings in this area of his body. The underside of the umbrella contains a spermicidal jelly, hence the name "Umbrelly."
Dr. Merkin declared the Umbrelly to be statistically safe for the human male.
She reported that of the 763 grad students tested with the device, only two died of scrotal infection, only twenty experienced swelling of the tissues. Three developed cancer of the testicles, and thirteen were too depressed to have an erection. She states that common complaints ranged from cramping and bleeding to acute abdominal pain. She emphasized that these symptoms were merely indications that the man's body had not yet adjusted to the device. Hopefully the symptoms will disappear within a year.
One complication caused by the IPD and briefly mentioned by Dr. Merkin was the incidence of massive scrotal infection necessitating the surgical removal of the testicles. "But this is a rare case," said Merkin, "too rare to be statistically important." She said the other distinguished members of the Women's College of Surgons agreed that the benefits far outweighed the risk to any individual man."
For those of you with a sense of humor and experience with hormonal birth control, you know the above satire is just that, a joke. The idea is clearly that what is described above is not atypical at all for a woman to endure while taking hormonal birth control, but when you read it in the context of a male patient, it seems horrific, unbearable, unthinkable! Scrotum perforations!? *gasp* So ladies, why have we been enduring hormonal birth control HELL since the 1960's???
Most of us take it like champs. I know I did, for ten years. Weight fluctuations, acne, hair loss, Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde mood swings, insomnia, back pain, sore breasts, fatigue, no sex drive (zero...zilch...zip!), drought (you ladies know what I mean), lack of motivation, bloating...must I go on?
In addition to ALL this, we have to work overtime nurturing (or should I call it "damage control") our relationships that suffer tremendously from the previously described side effects. Then we go to the doctor only to be told "the pill shouldn't cause that, but lets change you to a different one just to see. Give it another three months and if things aren't better, come back". Over and over and over.
DISCLAIMER: I am not in any way bashing doctors, or anyone in the medical profession. There are many wonderful life saving doctors. There is, however, a general lack of understanding and empathy when it comes to women's health issues regarding contraception.
And then if you're even luckier, you'll get talked into an IUD that might perforate (or grow into) your uterus and have to be surgically removed, or a shot that might make you gain 30 lbs and be infertile for 1-3 years after going off of it. After 10 years, I had resolved myself to the fact that being a woman just plain ole sucked
...Until I made the decision to stop taking hormonal birth control. Wow! Within weeks, every symptom that doctors had acted baffled about, was gone. I felt an energy and euphoria I hadn't felt in years. And it was then that I decided, if it comes down to hormonal birth control and sex or no hormonal birth control and no sex, I'd choose no hormonal birth control and no sex in a heartbeat. Yep, hands down. Life is too short to spend it feeling cruddy all the time.
Then, someone recommended I read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler. This, my friends, is a life changing book. All women, and all men who plan to be involved with said women, should read this book. I was ASTONISHED at how much I did not know about how my body works. The astonishment came from my previous belief that I knew it all.
Since reading "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" I chart my cycles every month. However, the book is about MUCH more than just charting. There is no way to describe the empowerment I now have. You must experience it for yourself to truly appreciate it.
Charting is NOT just for women who are trying to get pregnant. It's equally as important for women who are trying NOT to get pregnant without taking hormonal birth control or just want to be in tune with their bodies.
I love the fact that I know exactly how long my cycles are, exactly what day I ovulate, what days I am the most fertile and most infertile, and exactly when to expect my period. The only way to know when your period will come, is to know when you've ovulated.
The only way to know when you've ovulated is either ovulation predictor kits (and who is gonna buy those every month if they're NOT trying to get pregnant???), ultrasound (and those only tell you IF you have ovulated, they can't tell you when), or charting. Charting is free (once you buy a $10 basal body thermometer), easy, extremely empowering. Your doctor will be blown away if you walk into his/her office knowing all the things I mentioned above.
So Ladies, the moral of the story is this: STOP being willing to accept feeling like crap all the time. STOP making your body avoid what nature tells it to do just so you can be an easy access sexual goddess and not inconvenience your partner. STOP expecting your OB to know what happens in YOUR body day to day, that's your job. STOP ignoring what your body is trying to tell you. STOP telling yourself there are no other options.
Pick your bloated, pimply, balding, moody as hell, tired butt up and make a change. Cause I'm here to tell you, being a woman IS pretty darn awesome!!!
Have you taken charge of your birth control? What methods do you use and how do they make you feel?