Friday, January 27, 2012

Menstrual Migraines

Was trying to think of a catchy title to this blog posts, but who am I kidding, migraines suck, and migraines + periods suck worse. So no catchy title ladies, just the facts.

The majority of migraine sufferers are female - around 70% according to some estimates. And the majority of those females report that their migraines are related to their menstrual cycle. You can blame the wonderful hormones estrogen and progesterone - they are the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle and as they fluctuate they also can trigger migraines.

Now what exactly are migraines? Are they just headaches? I kind of like to explain them as "I know it when I feel it." But they are pretty much a headache on 'roids. According to the Mayo clinic, "A migraine headache can cause intense throbbing or pulsing in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound." Migraines can also come with a weird precursor, like visual disturbances and tingling sensations. For me, I get blurred vision out of one eye, or part of one eye.

What many people don't know though is there is no reason to suffer! The most important thing about migraines is that you need to start treating them right away. Don't wait for them to get bad, because trust me, these headaches don't get magically better. Start out with some over the counter pain killers (Advil, Motrin, Exedrine, or Tyelnol). See if that helps. Ask someone to give you a neck and shoulder massage (my husband is now an expert masseuse). Dark rooms, cold compresses, and quiet are very helpful.

But if you have these migraines on a monthly basis, talk to your lady parts doctor or make an appointment with a neurologist. There are SO many great migraine medications out there that really are amazing. And there are a bunch of options to PREVENT the migraines in the first place. These include blood pressure medication and what I call PMS Prozac(aka, Prozac you take before your period). Also, if you are on birth control, talk to your doctor about whether your specific hormone combo could be contributing to the migraines, since you may want to try something else and see if that helps.

Happy heads equals happy ladies.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The mysterious hymen

Happy new year my lovely readers!! Sorry for my absence, but I have been traveling here and there, seeing family and friends. Not to worry though, Lady Parts: The Manual is back and ready to go strong in 2012, providing you with fascinating information and latest news about your lady parts.

Thought I would start off the new year by dispelling an age old myth that has plagued women for centuries. I'm talking about the hymen, that cherry that supposedly pops during vaginal sex, leading to bleeding.

The hymen is a membrane, a really thin layer of tissue,  that partially covers your external vaginal opening, and forms part of the vulva. It is formed in the early stages of fetal development when there is no opening to the vagina at all, and usually divides incompletely 
before birth. In fact, some women are born without a hymen, as theirs has already totally divided.

And much like the rest of our lady parts, the hymen is completely different from one lady to the other. It may be thicker our thinner, pinkish or whitish, looking like rose petals, a carnation, a crescent, or a jigsaw puzzle. For most it is really elastic and stretchy.

About that age old test for virginity: you CANNOT determine whether someone is a virgin based on their hymen. Yup, total falseness.  The hymen can be separated for a variety of random reasons, like stretching during athletics (like if you were in gymnastics or the dance team), putting in a tampon, masturbating, or for no reason whatsoever. In fact, the vast majority of women DON'T bleed the first time they had sex. Some women have such stretchy hymens that they never break!

So there you have it, the low down on your hymen. Happy 2012!

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