How exactly did I come to find myself on a dermatologist's table while he uses a laser to remove hair from my bikini line?Read More
Pssst! Looking for something?
Some women might fear that self-stimulation could replicate the pain they've so frequently experienced with sex. While sex shops are filled with cylindrical vibrators and toys, there aren't many options for female shoppers seeking a decidedly non-penis-evoking experience.
Enter: Dame Products' Fin vibrator.Read More
A Women’s Health Tech Innovator Shares Her Personal Story & What Drives Her to Improve Conversations about Women’s Sexual Health
Hi readers — Erin Jackson here! I’m so thrilled to share this guest blog post from Estrella. She’s been a friend for the past couple years, and we’ve bonded over our shared passion for improving women’s pelvic health. I’m honored that she’s shared her story with us here. Please give it a read, and then head over to B-wom’s website to learn more about her app.
My mother and I have been estranged for more than five years. While I was at my lowest point -- wheelchair bound, in excruciating pain, and suffering immensely -- she was critical and skeptical of my pain. That became intolerable, and my recovery ultimately required that I sever ties with her and work on rebuilding my emotional health and my strength. She's missed so much these past several years.Read More
In the spirit of Thanksgiving today, I'm sharing my gratitude journey.... My yoga mat reminds me that I’m safe here, and that I’ve done this many times before. My mat has become a symbol of my strength and my ability to feel good. As I lug it around the city, it tells others “I’m a healthy woman!” But more importantly, it reminds me: “You’re a healthy woman. You did it. You made it. You survived.”Read More
I know that the way I’ve changed has been hard for some of my friends. Not everyone who befriended my overachieving, high-charging self in our twenties had bargained for a kale-growing, vaginal-health-preaching, yogi friend in our thirties. I get it. I changed a lot, and so have my friends.Read More
“Being sick is your entire identity right now – by necessity. You go to the doctor, to physical therapy, to Walgreens. You spend your ‘free time’ doing your physical therapy exercises or intentionally trying to relax. The people in your life relate to you as a sick person – the way they interact with you is reflective of their awareness of your disability. When you no longer have that disability, it will change the way people see and treat you. It will change how you spend your time. It’ll change the entire focus of your day and life.”Read More
People who live in pain spend a lot of time smiling. But those smiles are different – they’re directed at others, they’re forced, and they’re intended to make other people feel more comfortable.Read More
I never wanted children until I decided I did. As I emerge a healthy, functioning human after being disabled by pelvic pain for years, my biological clock has begun blaring at me. It's an obnoxious take-no-prisoners alarm. There doesn’t seem to be an “off” switch, so I've been hitting "snooze" for the past two years.Read More
For those who don't know, THINX are a period underwear that can substitute for (or give back-up to) tampons or pads. They're reusable (so they scratched my environmentalist itch), they're made by a woman-owned company (scratching my feminist itch), and they're utterly natural (scratching my itch to have transparency for those things I put in or on my body).Read More
I’ve connected with many women around Chicago, holding hands across the table with them at Starbucks while we shed tears of sheer gratitude for the unique empathy and understanding we can offer to each other. I’ve giggled with them through mascara-stained cheeks as we wonder what nearby customers think of all this emotional vulva talk.Read More
Exercise feels good, it’s empowering, and it’s taught me to be in-tune with my strengths in a way I didn’t realize possible. I’ve formed friendships, gained confidence, and found community. And, had I listened to those providers who long ago told me I should live more gently, I would’ve missed out on the entire experience.Read More
My months at the dog daycare were some of the most powerful in my recovery. When I started work, I struggled with the basics – keeping a routine, maintaining enough energy to get to work, and learning new tasks. The job was fun and challenging; it was manual labor, and it gave me confidence in my strength – and, importantly, in my ability to integrate my strength into my responsibilities. Previously, I’d kept the two separate: my responsibilities lived in my laptop, which I used from the security of the sofa; meanwhile, my strength lived at the yoga studio, but I didn’t push its limits outside those walls. This job, though, combined the two, and it taught me how to harness my energy and [literally] play well with others again.Read More
For years, my pelvic pain prevented me from having the fun, spontaneous, gloriously cliché 20-something sex that my friends were enjoying. You know – the kind of sex that they gushed about at brunch. Sex that was breaking their hearts and exhilarating their sense of liberated womanhood and adulthood. Sex that their doctors were lecturing them about. I couldn’t have that kind of sex because my vagina (and vulva and back and thighs) were excruciatingly painful. That was my dirty little secret.Read More
I walked out the door of the clinic that day proud and nervous. Was I really better? She assured me that I was. My doctor and husband and family and girlfriends assured me that I was. So, I figured I’d take this “healthy” thing for a spin.
If health is a state of existing in perfect comfort and contentment, it was short lived.Read More
When I stopped seeing my PT regularly, I tried to avoid coming back in for visits. I wanted to feel like I was actually healthy, and not relying so heavily on her help. This sounds silly now, but at the time, I hadn’t gone more than a couple of weeks without PT for years. But after seeing my health through this goofy construct for a few months, I began to understand that a much better goal is a state of “supported independence.”Read More
Others’ judgment and treatment of me transformed my own beliefs about the legitimacy of my illness. I unintentionally invalidated my own body’s experience of pain, and I’d allowed those who chastised me for “taking advantage” to usurp my right to be treated decently outside the confines of my own home. In letting people like this dictate how I would care for myself while enduring unspeakable pain, I somehow lost ownership of my experience.Read More
So you have pain with sex, or you leak urine when you sneeze, or you feel a bulge in your vagina, or you have chronic constipation or any other “down there” health concern. Where do you begin? Having suffered from pelvic pain and an assortment of related health issues for years, these are my suggestions for finding the right provider, getting the help you need, and speaking candidly about tough issues.Read More
I opened the driver door and was confronted with a wave of judgment and anger. The man yelled at me: “can’t you see we are still getting into our car? You’re not even disabled! You shouldn’t even be parking there!” I flushed with embarrassment and became shaky. And for the first time in my life, I yelled at someone in public. “You have no idea what you’re talking about. You know nothing about me!”Read More