WARNING: THIS COLUMN MAY CONTAIN BIOLOGICAL FACTS THAT COULD GROSS YOU OUT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE CERVIXLESS.
A few weeks ago I started reading "Taking Charge of your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control and Pregnancy Achievement." Why would I do this, you might ask; do I have or desire to have a bun in my oven? Well, that's none of your goddamned business, but I'm sick of answering people one by one so I'll answer anyway: NO. Not yet. I'm reading it because I have some fertility concerns, that when the time comes, it may be difficult to get pregnant. And from what I've read so far, my concerns are justified: it may indeed not happen the very second we stop using our current form of birth control. Also, I think it's important to know what's going on in your body, and for various reasons I think many women are in the dark about what's happening Down There, in that Nasty and Dirty Place with so many crude names.
Every time I read one of these books or articles about women's reproductive health and Western Medicine's approach, I get totally pissed off. Which is somewhat irritating because the authors are writing in an inflammatory way, wanting you to get pissed off, and I hate feeling jerked around by authors. But it's hard not to get your knickers in a knot when they're talking about all the unnecessary procedures being done to women, both in past history and currently. The whole thing, from hysterectomies, to the Pill, to Caesarian sections and induced labors, just really galls me. Like it just never occurred to doctors that maybe things happen in their own time, and for their own reasons, and maybe they ought not to go mucking about with things they don't understand and/or can't experience, with women who aren't informed of the basic facts of what's happening in their own bodies.
So the book has me a bit riled up. But I've also learned some really neato things, things that are just SO COOL. I took Biology and Sex Ed all through pre-university school, of course, and got good grades and even toyed with the idea of a Biology degree in college (until I got to college, anyway), but I'm learning all kinds of truly cool things that just amaze me about the female body, including my very own vagina. New factoids include:
There are a few other things, but you get the idea. It's just mind-bogglingly weird, to think how every damn month since I was 13 my body's been doing this well-orchestrated dance to try and get me pregnant. But I've foiled it every single time! Hahahaha on you, womb. But it may have had the last laugh, as I begin to keep my own charts and see if Mom Nature has decided to fuck me over and make it difficult for me to get pregnant. You may think, well hey, then you can stop using birth control right? Right. But it's also something of a shock to consider that you might not e fertile. Try it. Imagine a doctor saying, "Well, Johnny (or Judy), I'm afraid that despite being under 30, it seems that you are infertile. You cannot have children." We don't usually think of this, those of us with no medical history of reproductive woes (and my heart truly does go out to those of you who have such woes), but it's not that uncommon. According to my book, one in six couples has difficulty achieving pregnancy. But we rarely talk about it, because we perceive ourselves as being "less of a man" or "less of a woman" if we can't reproduce. Maybe I'm projecting, but I don't think I was the first to feel like a failure, in some prehistoric, genetic way.
Anyway, chew on those thoughts for a while. I'm going to go check out my cervix.
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