Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The many shapes and sizes of lady parts

Our lady parts come in a variety of flavors. After reading an interesting blog post on Our Bodies Our Blog, and a recent labia post-a-thon on Scarleteen, I realized that many ladies are simply uncomfortable with their lovely lady lips. They think they are weird, or ugly, or abnormal. Since much of what we learn about how lady parts look are distorted by the media and pornography, few women have a realistic view as to the wide range of healthy female genitalia.

Start by taking a look here at Scarleteen, with their I'll Show You Mine series (warning folk, this link is NOT safe for work. Unless you work in the health or porn industries). Take a gander at some of the variety of experiences women have had with their lady parts, and all the different ways they look. There is even a book now called I'll Show You Mine that shows stories and  pictures of unairbrushed, unfiltered women's genitalia.

As Lissa Rankin pointed out in her Love Your Labia post, "Let me just say once and for all that if you’re one of those women (or men) who are wondering why some women have short lips tucked up inside and some women have long lips that hang out, EITHER WAY, YOU’RE NORMAL AND YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL!"

And, unlike the penis, the appearance of our lady parts changes. Sexual arousal, hormones, and bodily changes can affect how your labia looks, causing swelling and color changes. Some labias are smooth, some are frilly (like ruffles). Some are short, some are long. Some are pink, purple, tan, brown, and blue. Some are the same length throughout, and some are short in some places and longer in others.

Bottom line, whatever you got going on down there, embrace it! Accept your lady parts as they are, and learn about how they work, and how they should be treated (with love and respect)!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hand washing: How to NOT get ickers sickers this season

Having a cold is just no fun (trust me, I've been fighting one on and off for the past three weeks). And while this isn't directly related to lady parts, heck, we are ladies, and ladies don't like to get sick. So, today I am blogging about the easy peasiest way to avoid getting sick this winter: washing your hands. Not just rinsing your hands, but properly washing them.

While most people know to washing hands after using the bathroom (yes, even when you pee!!), before eating and after touching raw meat or eggs, you should also wash hands after doing the following:
- before and after cooking or handling food
- before holding a baby
- before and after treating a cut
- after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- after touching animals, their toys, leashes, poo, etc.
- after touching garbage or trash cans
- after having contact with ANY kind of bodily fluid (including saliva).

There are countless others. Always err on the side of washing. You can never wash too much!!

You don't need to use antibacterial soap (they actually contribute to drug-resistant bacteria), any soap will do, as will any temperature water. Wet your hands, lather then up, and was them for 20 seconds. Yes my friends, 20 whole seconds. Sing yourself a little tune (Happy Birthday song twice does the trick) to keep yourself on track. Rinse, dry on a clean towel, air dryer, or paper towel and you are good to go. Hand sanitizers are fine, but aren't as good as soap and water, and should only be used if you aren't near a sink.

Happy hand washing!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The uterus, also known as the oven to bake the bun.

We often hear the phrase, "bun in the oven," but what exactly is the oven?? The oven, my friends, is the uterus. And this uterus of ours is pretty nifty.  It is where we bake the babies. It supports other organs like the bladder and the bowel. It has lots of arteries veins and ligament and is muscular.

So remember that cervix that you now know all about? Well that cervix is at the base of the uterus, kind of like a head is attached to the neck and is pear shaped. When you aren't preggers, the uterus is itty bitty, just a few centimeters in diameter. And when you are baking the bun, well, you see how big bellies get - that is all uterus!

The uterus is made up of several layers, the endometrium being in innermost lining. It is the layer that builds up throughout your cycle, and sheds itself if you do

n't get knocked up (aka, having your period). That endometrium provides a nice cozy spot for a little embryo to settle and all the nourishment it gets comes from the blood vessels that are made just for this purpose.

And, your uterus can orgasm too. Yup. Usually from that elusive g-spot, but can also from vaginal, this shaky shaky contractions are a deeper, longer, and more emotional climax. Yes, now you are all going to try to have one tonight :).

Like I said, the uterus is a pretty nifty organ. Sure, they cause super fun menstrual cramps, but hey, they bake babies and awesome orgasms in there too!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Your Cervix: A wealth of information right at your fingertips

I have so many things to share with you all since my last post! But before I share all the juicy bits I learned at the American Public Health Association conference, I realized I may need to go back to basics and do a little Lady Parts biology 101. Today we will learn all about the cervix!

Your cervix is that thing you hit at the end of your vagina. And no, your vagina isn't endless and doesn't link up to your belly button. The cervix separates your vagina from your uterus. It is in the shape of a cylinder or a cone, and moves around during your cycle depending on your body's needs. Ladies, if you want to know a thing or two about your lady parts, it is time you make friends with your cervix.

For the most part, your cervix hangs out kinda low, and is firm, like the tip of your nose. But right around the time that you are going to ovulate, it becomes a little smushier and higher to allow those spermy swimmies to get to where they need to go.

Also, your cervical mucus can tell you oodles too. Sounds gross, right? Your discharge (that stuff you find in your undies or when you wipe after you pee), is really your cervical mucus, and that too changes throughout the month. When you aren't ovulating it should be kinda thick, whitish in color. Or you can be not really having any discharge at all. Right around when you are about to ovulate, it becomes gooey, almost like an egg white. If you put some on your fingers and try to separate it, it just keeps on stretches. This is when you are uber fertile! That slimy stuff is a perfect sperm taxi to your eggs.

If you are either trying to get preggers or avoiding it all together - get to know your cervix and start paying attention to how it is throughout the month. It truly is a wealth of information right at your finger tips!

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