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LoveMyPugs
QUOTE(culturehandy @ Apr 3 2007, 09:31 AM) *
saber toothed, crotch crickets


I have been there honey! blink.gif sad.gif ohmy.gif
chachaheels
LoveMyPugs, i'm the first person to recommend supplements to address PMS, but I'd be the last one to recommend that GNC product.

First of all, if you're going to supplement with essential fatty acids, they must be the absolute best quality, organic source or purified source fats available. Anything else--chemically processed, grown with fertilizers/insecticides/whatever else they use which directly impacts your health in a profound way should never, ever be used. Rancid, chemically bleached/deodorized or otherwise stabilized fats not only don't make a difference in your ailment, they actually do harm. The supplement maker should always cite the source of the fats they use as well as detailed information about the way in which those fats are processed.



So, I definitely think evening primrose oil is fantastic for helping to rebalance hormones (not just prostaglandins, but also all the hormones dependent on which prostaglandins are produced). But, you need to take the equivalent of 1 to 2 tbsp. of pure, organic or safely wildcrafted evening primrose oil that has been cold pressed (by expeller only) per day, and that oil should never be processed further than that first cold pressing. If it's part of a "blend" of stuff, leave it on the shelf. Even if it is the highest quality (and I doubt it) you can't control how much you need for your own individual treatment. One size does not fit all.

Okay: that's your omega 6 oil, which works best with the female reproductive system; now you need to have the appropriate omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis in order for the evening primrose oil to be effective. Again: source and purity of the fat is crucial. The very best choice you can make for omega 3 fatty acids come from fish--cold water, deep water fish oils that have been purified to remove all heavy metals. The purification process has to involve distillation; oil extraction must be done without chemical means. So you can look for sources like herring, mediteranean sardine, salmon,
char, etc; but I think the very best source is cod liver oil because of its concentration of vitamins D and A. A vitamin deficiencies are hugely responsible for many of the pathologies we commonly see in uterine complaints, including things like crampiness. In fact, new research and clinical trials indicate that uterine fibroids and illnesses like endometriosis are very quickly reversed with simple high vitamin A supplementation and a regime which establishes and maintains fatty acid balance. You get a nice supply of really good vitamin A and D with cod liver oil. Take that on a daily basis with your evening primrose oil (you can get both in capsules, so it's really easy) and you'll see a big difference just doing that alone.
A daily dose of cod liver oil would be 1000 to 2000 mg per day; I like the Carlson brand because the distillation process they use is really thorough and no dangerous chemicals are ever used to produce the oil. Plus, the source is cod from Norwegian waters; also, each capsule contains 2000 IUs of vitamin A and 250 IUs of vitamin D. If you take 2 of those per day and 4 to 6 capsules of the Evening Primrose oil (a brand I recommend because it's very good quality well formulated for your purposes is "Efamol").

Finally: I'm particularly revolted by the ingredient "CocoLean". Here's my educated question about that ingredient: What the FUCK is that?

If its supposed to be a variant of coconut oil, why are you paying for a variant, when you should be getting extra virgin, organically grown and first cold pressed coconut oil? And if it's been "defatted", it has no health benefit whatsoever (coconut oil's fats are what do the healing). Why is it there? Is it some GMO additive GNC has invested bucks in, which it needs to unload on the public? Best. Left. On. The. Shelf.

If you want to use B vitamins, again: the chemical form in which they are found makes a big difference in whether or not your body will actually be able to use the nutrient at all. B12 is very, very important; as is B6 and folic acid; you can get B12 supplements in the methylcobalamin form (don't settle for the cyanocobalamin form or the hydroxycobalamin form--they all have to be converted before your body can use them). If your supplement brand doesn't specify which form of the chemical you have in your supplement, leave the supplement on the shelf because it is useless.
You can get these B vitamins combined (Jarrow formulas make a combination called "B rite" which has them all; but even better, you can get sublingual lozenges of B12 usually combined with folic acid or just take 1000micrograms of the B12 sublingually each day and take a B combination supplement for all the other B's--not just the B6--on a daily basis as well.

Avoid any "combination" formulation which includes herbs of any nature. No one should ever use any herb without first consulting and committing to working with a qualified herbalist who can take a full case and manage a full case as well. I just heard a horror story about a health food store which sold a friend of mine some Black Cohosh to treat "menstrual" trouble, and of course, the idiot in the health food store was not an herbalist (an herbalist wouldn't just pull a medicine off the shelf and sell it to just anyone anyway) and didn't have any knowledge of herbal medicine whatsoever--it was just a product to her. Well, the black cohosh caused what my friend terms "a massive allergic reaction", complete with painful joint swelling and inflammation. I don't call it an allergic reaction, because swelling in the joints and inflammation is what the Actea family of plants do--and an herbalist would know how to use this fact curatively. It took my friend two weeks to get past that reaction, which was needless suffering: if she had been under the care of an herbalist, she could easily have been given an antidote, reversing the painful symptoms and restoring her health.

Agnus Castus is an herb that, in an individualized herbal treatment, can be effective for restoring full function to both male and female sex organs--however, used incorrectly or in the wrong patient, in the wrong amounts, and in a way which does not correspond to the individual's needs as a patient, results in sterility (not to mention lack of sex drive). It also has many effects on all parts of the body, including the kidneys and the heart. Unless someone who knows what the hell they are doing with a medicine like this is actively involved in treating you, leave the stuff on the shelf.

Oh, if you're suffering from cramps which feel better if you lie down and double over and then apply warmth to the abdomen, I think you will find Magnesium Phosphorica tissue salts in a 6X or 12X potency work like nothing else to stop the cramps immediately, and quite possibly forever. A bottle of these biochemical tissue salts are far more bioavailable than any magnesium supplement on the market, it contains about 100 little pills that dissolve very quickly under the tongue, and they can be used whenever necessary for spasmodic cramping of any kind.

I think you'll do much better taking this approach (this is as individualized as I can make it for you without actually seeing you in person) than you would by buying the GNC product, mainly because there's no way that supplement includes the amounts of the nutrients you need in your case (you'd have to take a lot, and god knows how much of the questionable quality herb you'd be getting if you did that, too). It may cost a bit more, and you need to commit yourself to using this routine every day for 3 months; but most women find they get results very, very quickly.

Good luck!
emzee
Thanks for the info girls.

I am very sure I can rule out STDs. I've only been with one guy and he is super honest and open. He would for sure let me know if something was up with him before making something be up with me. In addition, we've been having sex for almost 5 months now and this problem has only come up in the last 2 weeks.

I have always had a weird uneasiness with doctors so I figured I'd ask around first. Thanks for being awesome girls. I'm going to make an appt with a campus doc that alot of my friend have been going to lately. Supposedly she is very good, informative and accomodating. Unfortunately I am currently living too far away to make a trip to mu usual doctor, so campus clinic it is. = S

Re: detergents. I haven't changed anything up lately, although I have a serious feeling that this is a skin irritation sort of problem of that sort.

Once again,
THANKS!!!
-M.
kittenb
Keep us posted emzee. rolleyes.gif
_octinoxate
emzee, i've had good experiences with (most) campus docs.


oh, it could be "contact dermatitis" too! That's just simple skin irritation from rubbing up against your panties and so forth.
emzee
That could be it too.. I'm a dancer so I spend alot of time in tightish, rubbing-upish tights and body suits. Let's hope fr the best?

I'm not so much concerned about the campus doc as I am about docs in general. I have a vasal vagal condition which causes me to faint when my body put "under shock". This "shock" comes in the form of needles for me, and has somehow developed to the point of wooziness and sickness whenever I have to be in a doctor's office/hospital. It's pretty irrational, but it's me... and it causes me to pretty much loathe appointments. I almost fainted at just the TALK of the HPV vaccine. I don't know how I'm going to make it through that. *sigh*

I'll keep you guys updated for sure. = )
-M.
candycane_girl
Hey everyone. I wasn't sure if I should post this in here or in the Bloody Grrrls thread but I was just wondering if there's some kind of...standard for periods and their heaviness. I'm on day 7 and I've been using the "super plus" tampons and having to change them after only two hours! They are full on soaked through and starting to leak after only two hours. I mean, really, this is a lot of blood. I'm getting fed up, especially since tomorrow will be day 8 and I just want it to go away!
juls
Hey Candycane,

I used to get the same kinda thing; it would go 8 to 9 days and super heavy flow. It was a real pain; if I was sitting for a couple of hours and then had to get up, I'd have to run to the washroom, even if I already had a tampon in... junior high was basically a nightmare.

Since I've been on the pill, the flow has significantly decreased, and it goes for 7 days max, and the frequency is much better (I used to get it every 2 weeks). Did you ever try the pill?
doodlebug
Hey candycane...I am under treatment right now for heavy periods. My gyn says most women who have heavy periods don't realize they ARE heavy, because it's so hard to estimate. Anyway, my periods were always 8 days, and with heavy flow for the first 3 days and clots on day 2. I never thought the heavy flow or the clots were abnormal - I'd always believed (from what I'd read) that REAL heavy flow was soaking your pad/tampon every hour or two, and I never had that problem. So I always thought I was normal, but apparently it's made me anemic. So the gyn has me on progesterone, and I can't BELIEVE the difference in my periods! It's a really light flow now. (Although the progesterone happens to make my nose run...)

Anyway, it does seem strange that your flow would still be so heavy so far into your period, since there shouldn't be that much blood to shed. I think it's fairly normal to have a heavy period occasionally, but if it lasts much longer, or becomes a regular issue, I'd get it checked out. It's not the kind of thing you'd want to let go, because it can have unexpected consequences. Recently (before seeing the gyn for the issue - and the reason WHY I'm seeing him now), I had to have a pre-surgery blood transfusion because of the issue - because the surgeon was afraid I would go into cardiac arrest on the operating table, due to my hemoglobin being so low!
candycane_girl
I'm on Alesse right now. I've been on Yasmin, Tricyclen and Diane-35. Today, even with it being day 7 there were a lot of clots and I seriously changed my tampon almost every two hours. And it was the stupid super plus tampons. I don't know if I should wait till my next period and see how that goes or just visit my doctor on Monday. It's not always this heavy but there have been times where even after two hours I've managed to leak straight through my tampon and all over my undies unsure.gif
juls
Even though my period used to be bad, I never got clots around day 7... it was always the first 3-4 days. I'd go see a doctor if I were you, just to be on the safe side. Good luck!
candycane_girl
I never thought that clots were a bad thing. They've always just kind of been there throughout most of my period. It's been exactly one week since the day I started and it seems like it's finally dying down a bit but I'm not getting my hopes up.
chachaheels
Are you still on a birth control pill now, Candycane girl?

Of course the hormones in the pill dictate what takes place in terms of your cycle.

It may be nothing more serious than a vitamin A deficiency, a lot of women who suffer from heavy menses with lots of clots, fibroids, and sustained periods can fix that problem with high doses of vitamin A from a natural source. But it's always really important to go and arrange for an examination and any tests to make sure there is nothing else going on.
candycane_girl
Yep, I'm on Alesse right now. I've been trying to eat more balanced meals and I take a multi vitamin everyday so I don't know what's going on. I'm now on day 9. It's getting lighter (finally!) but there are still clots. Is that abnormal?
lapis
Candycane, girl
Have you tried Demulen 1-35 or Loestrin? It may be that this pill does not have enough progesterone for you. They will tell you to wait three cycles, but you might also ask about other pills.

Good luck
culturehandy
I'm on Demulen, and my period usually only lasts two or three days. Sometimes only one. I'd definately be seeing the doc about this one candy.
candycane_girl
I've been on Alesse since about September. My period is almost gone, it's just at the part where there's dark discharge. I'm going to go to the doctor on Monday because I don't think it's normal to use up a super plus tampon in only two hours and have a 9 day period.
doodlebug
Respectfully submitted, new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that high doses of vitamin A supplements may actually be deathly toxic, and that it's better to look to food sources to meet your vitamin and other nutritional needs...

It's probably too soon to know for sure, but forewarned is forearmed.

candycane, I think you are wise to see your doctor. Your situation really does sound unusual enough to take seriously.
chachaheels
Oh, I absolutely agree, Doodle--high amounts of SYNTHETIC vitamin A, lab synthesized or even isolated from natural sources, IS toxic. This is the stuff used in acne treatments all the time (Retin-A), by conventional medical "scientists". That medication has been on the market since I was a child and even then the inserts warned that the product must not be used by women who were planning on becoming pregnant or were already pregnant. So this "information" is actually old news.

High vitamin natural sources of vitamin A, such as the kind found in specific organ meats, fish oils, and the like, have been eaten by human beings for millennia, and have been included in all kinds of traditional diets purposely, as a means of maintaining health (especially with regards to eyesight and reproductive health). The difference: components such as the fats in which the high vitamin contents are reserved must also be present, and the vitamin A has to be, again, accumulated from the ingestion of colloidal forms of the nutrient (in other words, a diet which includes a lot of vitamin A-rich plankton, or grasses, or vegetables which take their high nutrient content from sun and soil).

This information is much, much older news. To cite just one example, the Inuit were aware of this about 10,000 years ago. The Swiss were also aware of this, but only for about 800 years; same goes for Italians who make cheese and butter from milk taken from cows who've been pasture fed at specific times in the year (early spring, and late summer--when vitamin A concentrations in meadow grasses are at their highest).

The vitamin A sources make all the difference. Conventional medicine doesn't understand this or downplays the significance of sources, and isolates and/or synthesizes the components of medicine they deem "active", often without understanding that those "medicinal" components are only beneficial when the synergy of their original states are maintained...this is what makes the vast majority of pharmaceutical drugs (as well as the application of those synthesized, isolated components in general) toxic.

It's important to know that there is a precedent (a tremendously longstanding one), a lot of empirical data, plus a lot of OTHER valid science which contravenes or expands on or overturns a great deal of the corporately funded "science" data that gets media attention; and that often the media will neglect to mention the key components of the studies they're popularizing.

As for relying on food sources for your nutrients--all for it, actually: as long as you are getting a lot of organically raised foods (since the stuff most of us have available to us is so nutrient depleted its impossible to get what you need physically from food alone). I don't supplement my own diet with pills if I can help it, but I'm lucky enough to have access to nutrient rich organic foods including free range meats and eggs. In optimum health, you CAN, if you're in a position where you can afford and reach nutrient rich foods, you'll be fine.

When you are addressing the treatment of pathologies, however, and the pathological symptoms arise from nutrient deficiencies, you CANNOT simply reverse the symptoms by diet alone (especially not in a diet like the kind we can have). A child with autism will not get sufficient variety and quantity of amino acids no matter how much protein rich foods he or she eats--but supplement the diet with glutathione, specific B vitamins, and essential fatty acids and you will see a life-changing improvement in that child's overall health and in the severity of the autism. A person who suffers from night blindness will not regain eyesight by eating a lot of carrots and bilberries; but if you supplement his or her diet with high-dose vitamin A cod liver oil for even a short time, their eyesight can be restored dramatically, if not completely, with no threat to health (unlike the usual, temporary solution employed by conventional medicine--which is to give limited doses, by injection, of synthetic and isolated vitamin A to help the restoration of cones and rods in the eye). A woman who suffers from heavy bleeding, periods which last several days longer than one normally expects in a cycle, and fibroid tumours will often find permanent and quick relief from supplementing the diet with high dose vitamin A cod liver oil as well--there is no way that woman would be able to eat enough vitamin A rich vegetables to achieve this end.

In any case, Candy Cane Girl, the biggest influence on what's happening in your body right now, in terms of menses, is the birth control pill prescription. It's the "maintaining" (if not instigating!) cause of your extended and heavy periods, just because it's the one variable in your life that directly effects your reproductive cycle (maybe all you need is a prescription that's a little more suited to you). So good for you for making arrangements to visit--hope it turns out to be nothing serious.
candycane_girl
Okay, so I finally went to my doctor and told him the situation. He didn't even examine me he just gave me a prescription for a different pill, it's called Marvelon. Supposedly it might help to make my period lighter.

This is my regular family doctor but I'll probably be moving to Toronto and I don't even know where to start looking for a new one.
Marinegal
So has anyone had problems with really bad foot and leg cramps? For about a week now I have had the worse leg and foot cramps. Every night I get into bed they start in both feet and in my right leg. It's so painful and it takes me extra long to massage and stretch the cramp out.

I'm not sure what's causing them. Usually I get them after really intense workouts that I didn't stretch enough afterwards or I don't get enough water in my system; but I have not done either of those things. I am starting to get a little nervous about it. The doctors say I'm fine but I don't feel fine and I can't sleep because of them. Does anyone know what it might be?
pollystyrene
I'm not sure what could be causing them, marinegal, but getting some potassium could help; bananas are an excellent source.
erinjane
Has anyone ever had an inner ear infection? My mom suspects I might have one. Usually I don't put much thought into her 'diagnoses', but this time I'm not so sure she's wrong. For the past four or five days I've been a little dizzy, but today it was really bad. I was at work all day, but by mid-afternoon I was getting confused at some points if there was a lot going on. And tonight I feel horribly nauseous, just like I'm going to throw up any minute. My head is pounding and the dizzyness is worse. I can't get an appointment with my GP till Thursday, so i'm going to try and go to the walk-in tomorrow. Anyone have any idea what's going on with me?

(Possibly related...I've been doing the same job at work for almost two years, which involves taking phone messages, but for the first time in the past two weeks I keep copying down phone numbers wrong, like 8-10 times already, and I keep saying words in the wrong order.)
emzee
UPDATE!

So I saw the Campus Doc on Monday (She was sort of grumpy and unfriendly, but did her job.) and she said it was most definitely a yeast infection. Curiously, I started my period only a few days before I saw her and the itching had stopped. She said that yeast infections do sometimes go away with periods (our bodies RULE) So she said I should wait before picking up the prescription she gave me, until it comes back (if it does at all). Woo. That didn't stop her from pap smearing me. *squirms* I was very brave during the visit and only felt a LITTLE dizzy. A lie down for a couple minutes fixed that quickly.

So yay. I've stopped being stressed. My boyfriend was also very nice about it all and even offered to come to the doctor with me. Cutie.
-M.
tyger
marinegal, it could be you need more calcium. i get super-bad leg cramps if i'm not getting enough
Marinegal
Umm, well I'm taking extra calcium chews so I'm not sure if it's that. Even sitting here it hurts a bit. Maybe I'll up my potassium intake. Man, this really is frustrating. Thank you for the advice!
doodlebug
marinegal, kidney problems and diabetes can also be a factor in leg cramps, so if your doctors haven't checked those things out, you might want to look into it. Also, my mom (who has kidney disease) found that her very bad leg cramps went away when she got rid of her aging soft mattress and bought a new, firm mattress.
annelise
Has anyone ever had an inner ear infection? My mom suspects I might have one. Usually I don't put much thought into her 'diagnoses', but this time I'm not so sure she's wrong. For the past four or five days I've been a little dizzy, but today it was really bad. I was at work all day, but by mid-afternoon I was getting confused at some points if there was a lot going on. And tonight I feel horribly nauseous, just like I'm going to throw up any minute. My head is pounding and the dizzyness is worse. I can't get an appointment with my GP till Thursday, so i'm going to try and go to the walk-in tomorrow. Anyone have any idea what's going on with me?

(Possibly related...I've been doing the same job at work for almost two years, which involves taking phone messages, but for the first time in the past two weeks I keep copying down phone numbers wrong, like 8-10 times already, and I keep saying words in the wrong order.)


i had an inner ear infection once, they're called labyrinthitis. they're no fun, and lots of dizziness/feeling confused. you'd have to be tested for it--i was tested by a doc specializing in ear/nose/throat. i've found it helpful sometimes to make a list of possible symptoms so i don't forget them when i'm going into the doc--that's especially a problem when you have a health concern that includes confusion. it's important to include things like what you mentioned as possibly related--that could give a doc valuable info.

of course, your doc will have plenty of ideas to look into for diagnoses/treatments. i hope you can get into the doc soon--your symptoms sound reallly frustrating. meanwhile, take it easy on yourself and don't push yourself if you're really feeling rough.
juls
I've recently moved to a new Province and found a new doctor. I got an appointment for a pap test and went to it. I got in that gawd-awful pap test position, and almost had a heart attack when my doctor took out a metal speculum!

I think that I've had about a dozen pap tests in my life. The doctors that I've been to have ALWAYS used a plastic speculum. I didn't even know that metal speculums were still being used! I mean, I kept telling myself that it was obviously sterilized and all, but it still bothered me... I couldn't relax at all, so that made the whole process that much worse. She must have thought that it was my first pap test. I regret not telling her how freaked out I was because maybe I could have asked that she use a plastic one.

It just seems like a really outdated practice... does anyone else have a doctor who uses a metal speculum? Just to give me peace of mind...
LoveMyPugs
QUOTE(juls @ Apr 15 2007, 08:22 PM) *
I've recently moved to a new Province and found a new doctor. I got an appointment for a pap test and went to it. I got in that gawd-awful pap test position, and almost had a heart attack when my doctor took out a metal speculum!

I think that I've had about a dozen pap tests in my life. The doctors that I've been to have ALWAYS used a plastic speculum. I didn't even know that metal speculums were still being used! I mean, I kept telling myself that it was obviously sterilized and all, but it still bothered me... I couldn't relax at all, so that made the whole process that much worse. She must have thought that it was my first pap test. I regret not telling her how freaked out I was because maybe I could have asked that she use a plastic one.

It just seems like a really outdated practice... does anyone else have a doctor who uses a metal speculum? Just to give me peace of mind...


Mine does. I've never had a doctor use a plastic one. Umm...probably wouldn't be so cold. My Doctor is so wonderful. He is gental and quick. The whole thing is over in just a few minutes. He asks about me and my family when he comes in the room. He does a quick breast exam. Tells me to get comfortable (yeah right). Does his thing. Helps me sit up. Asks me about my period, birth control methods, any possible babies for him to deliver in the future (he's anxious to see Mr. Pug and I have a baby) if I have anything I want to talk to talk about and then leaves so I can get dressed. He has my prescriptions (if I need any) read at the front desk and I'm out the door. It's a necessary evil but at least he makes it quick and painless.
erinjane
I've never had a plastic one. I always go to a local women's clinic, and don't have my GP do it, but I don't recall ever having seen a plastic one in the rooms.
culturehandy
I had a metal one. It was wrapped in sterilized plastic that had to be unwrapped. My regular doc uses plastic one's though.
pepper
i guess i've never really thought about it, i've seen many of both kinds. personally though i would MUCH rather have metal that i know has been autoclaved in my cootch than any kind of plastic. plastic is disgusting, i don't want it anywhere in my bod. i mean, can you imagine a plastic needle? no thanks.
i don't even like plastic toothbrushes, i dislike plastic that much. how exactly do they "sterilize" it anyhow? it's not like it can withstand high temperatures and factories aren't anywhere near sterile.
pollystyrene
As fas as I know, my doctor has always used plastic. I guess I never really thought about it; no matter what it's made of that "click-click-click" that echoes in the exam room bothers the hell out of me. I've been having pap smears for 10 years and no matter what, I always envision my flesh getting caught as it expands.

A few years ago, I read about a patent beeing given for a new design for speculums- it was like a hollow sleeve made out of inflatable soft plastic and it would expand evenly around all sides. It looked so much more comfortable, but I haven't heard or seen anything about it since.
mornington
i've had metal too.

you can autoclave/sterilize certain plastics, pepper - certainly surgical-grade plastic and the plastics they use in laboratories.
pepper
ah polly, thanks for the laugh. the clicking (even though it's kinda Scary-funny) and the inflatable sleeve. that is funny.

mornington, that's good news that plastic can be sterilized but i still gotta wonder about off-gassing when plastic is heated, especially that high. wish i knew where to go for a real answer about that stuff...
doodlebug
I never saw a plastic speculum in my life, till one of the local clinics donated a bunch to our production of the Vagina Monologues.

Warm the duck lips!

I kept a set as a souvenir.
pollystyrene
you're welcome, pepp- I always think to search for it at the wrong time (never when I'm at home on my computer) and I'm afraid of what kinky fetish site i'd get if I googled "speculum"....people enjoy them? huh.gif

ETA: I sucked it up and googled it...very disturbing to see that the term for the duck lips part is actually "blades"...what man came up with that? mad.gif Still didn't find them, though!
_octinoxate
The soft inflatable one that polly mentioned actually sounds kinda... well.... pleasurable! I very well might get a speculum fetish if they were like these glorified sex toys! ;P
pollystyrene
Found it! I don't know if it's the same one I remember seeing, but it's basically the same idea.

Why does Amazon sell speculums? ((Shudder))
lapis
I quit my job at a doctor's office about the time they had me cleaning a bucket of specula (would that be the right plural, Latin lovers)? I have nothing against the tools, but something about all of them, each one telling its own story of where it's been, commingling in a bucket, weirded me out. And the pressure of feeling like if I didn't sponge them down properly before they went to the autoclave, it would be my fault that someone would get a dirty one. So, I look upon the plastic one with a measure of comfort. Speaking of these tools, have other people heard that the speculum as we know it was developed from experimentation of US slaves? Here's a narrative about it, but I have heard this before. Maybe people know this, but historians argued that slavery is what enabled the development of gynaecology.
http://www.nathanielturner.com/anarchas_story.htm
chachaheels
I've always thought that misogyny is responsible for the development of gynecology, and slavery just gives misogyny another embodiment. You can see a connection back to racism in a lot of medical specialties: epidemiology and psychology are just a couple of others. A lot of the notions and conclusions considered "gospel" in these specialties come from some wildly unethical "research", and it's all documented.
chachaheels
This is a while back, but, Marinegal's question about leg cramps--if they're the kind of spasmodic "muscle lock" kind of leg cramps that happen in the calves, especially at night, then they result from taking too much calcium. They are usually a sign that your body is unable to assimilate the calcium.

If you're taking extra "chews", stop. You're short on magnesium: which is why the cramps are coming spasmodically and at night.

You can buy magnesium citrate in a powdered form to take with a small amount of hot water at night (the balance of magnesium and calcium has to be strictly maintained, and the ratio is 3:1 magnesium to calcium) which is quite pricey; you can take magnesium in a gluconate form in capsules (also quite pricey) or you can take Magnesium Phosphorica tissue salts in a 6X potency (4 tablets, four times a day for a month or so--and keep them by your bed so you can take them if and when you get the cramps, they'll stop immediately). The tissue salts will fix you up so you have the proper ratio of mag to calc and it will also fix the nutrient assimilation problem.
crinoline
Sorry to jump in, but ya'll were talking about specula (hah! love latin).

My best friend refuses to get a pap smear. She is 22 and needs birth control pills, but of course she can't get a doctor to prescribe them without an exam. Her mother, who I do not get along with, has instructed her to do whatever it takes to avoid being "violated". She even suggested that J (my friend) pretend to be some religion that prohibits exposure. Both J and her mother have a love of prescription pills, but a general distrust of doctors. Anyway... I've been wracking my brain trying to think of a way to convince her that a pelvic exam can only help her. She doesn't believe that any good can come out of it, and cites the fact that none of her female relations have ever had gynecological problems. I just don't know what else to tell her.
pollystyrene
Crinoline, humanist is going through the same thing over in the General Sex Question thread (don't know if your friend's sexually active or not)-- you may want to read some of that.
crinoline
Thanks! I'll post over there
juls
It's sort of a relief to see that the metal speculum is still being used; at least I know that I'm not alone. I'll try not to be as freaked out the next time I have to go see her.

That inflatable one sounds like a dream!!!
chachaheels
Crinoline, everyone knows someone like your friend. To me, it seems that she's only seeing the need for some kind of birth control, without taking into consideration its risks; like she's just focused on getting the pill so she can have her sex life (or please or boyfriend or whatever) but she's not willing to find one she's completely comfortable with. That's a bigger problem than just not wanting to take a pelvic exam. In any case, I'd worry about her self esteem and why she's so willing to ignore the real risks to her health to please someone else, whether they be her uninformed family or a boyfriend who doesn't seem to care about the risks she's taking on to be with him.

If she's not going to go for regular pelvic exams, or even a pap smear, the pill's just plain unsuitable for her. Perhaps if she knew about alternative methods, like natural fertility charting, or using barriers; or using barriers and spermicides...she might consider using them and at least cut her changes of serious pathology which can only be diagnosed via pap smear and other internal tests. If NFP's done right, it's just as effective as the pill and it won't create the dire need for the regular exams (she can go for check ups with a doctor on a regular basis and, as she becomes older, open up to the idea of a pelvic exam and pap smear as it won't be connected so much with "violation"--sheesh). If it doesn't address the self-esteem problem at this point, at least it won't put her at risk for diseases associated with the pill. It's a way of just limiting the amount of harm.

pepper
thanks for your post chacha, i was having a serious struggle thinking of anything to say to that. the idea of one of my close friends or sisters being so stubborn and (sorry) STUPID about her own sexual health is just horrifying to me. very, very scary. exactly how do you detach yourself from that enough to let someone make their own dumb mistakes when a dumb mistake like that can cost their life or at least their ability to have a baby later on if they want one?
i really hope your friend will listen to you crinoline. i don't envy you having to figure out how to best present this and get through to your friend without getting her back up. best of luck, i hope you find a way to convince her.

ok lapis, eww. scrubbing a bucket of dirty specula? what a fantastic job that must have been. no wonder you prefer plastic!
laurenann
for the past three weeks i have been very sleepy and getting a lot of headaches. i usually get a lot of head aches, but they have been more frequent and more intense. this week i have off of work and i have been sleeping 12-13 hours a day. and yesterday i woke up with a sore throat and swollen glands. i am convinced i have mono. any ideas?

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