Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ignorance is 'Not' Bliss

Remember the 1991 movie, Fried Green Tomatoes? Evelyn Couch, played by Kathy Bates, goes to a class where at one point the women are given mirrors and asked to take down their panties and explore their vaginas. Evelyn gets so uncomfortable that she has a break down and leaves class in tears.

Ladies.....ignorance is not bliss.

When I was in 8th grade, two years after starting my menstrual cycle, I was convinced I had a yeast infection and asked my mother to get me an OTC medication for it. Oh. Oh. Oh. Little did I know. It wasn't a yeast infection, it had been normal vaginal cervical fluid! But, it wasn't until 12 years later that I would know what cervical fluid would be all about. I know a lot of young girls and even women see "stuff" coming out down there and probably freak out like I did. This is normal ladies! Most likely you do not have an infection unless it has a bad odor or is discolored. (By the way, I treat my yeast infections with apple cider vinegar, pau d' arco tea, and plain yogurt these days...but that is for another post.)

By now, you know that I chart my cycles. I chart because I want to to know my body. Sure, it may seem overwhelming to get the hang of it at first, but it gets easy and hassle free eventually. I started charting in 2006. I began charting because I did not want to introduce anything "unnatural", such as "the pill", into my body. I wish I had started charting much earlier, but I didn't think to do it for maintenance and detection of infections or abnormal issues during the cycle because I was always normal and regular. I thought fertility charting was just a method of birth control so I studied up on it just before we got married. In actuality, fertility charting can help you understand if there are things going on that just aren't quite right.

I say all of this because I believe it is important to know what is going on "down there". If you are pregnant, plan to get pregnant, or if you are a women from puberty and beyond, I think it is important to look at your anatomy. Terms like vaginal opening, perineum and labia will come up during pregnancy and birth. Do you know where they are? In addition, after birth, you will want to take a look again. If you had a episiotomy or tearing, you may want observe the healing and the ongoing changes that will take place as you body repairs. Ladies, take a mirror and look. Don't be an Evelyn Couch!

1 comment:

Emily said...

So I checked out Taking Charge of Your Fertility from the library and I must say I am overwhelmed. Right now I am breastfeeding 24/7 or least if feels like it, but when that slows down, my plan is to use this method for my BC. And I am with you on grabbing a mirror and taking a look. It's amazing what little women know about their own bodies and I am one of those women. Good thing I love to learn!