General Post

Ovulation test strips + reproductive health talks

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You know what’s exciting? Throwing out the box of ovulation strips and not caring about wasting the money you spent on them.

I’ve gotten a few questions and I think this is a good time to say that sexual and reproduction health education is seriously lacking in the US (and probably abroad). While I don’t get always get into reproduction health conversations with clients, I have definitely had a number of them, and I’ve also referred them back to their providers – whether that was their primary care or their OB/GYN. A few notes that I think are important to highlight if we’re going to talk about this.

First, it’s ok if there’s a lot you don’t know. It’s ok if there’s misinformation you’ve believed – we’ve all been there.

Currently, there is no federal policy mandating a specific sex education outline, meaning sex and health education are decided at the state or local level and will look different in every school even within the same county.

In 2021, federal legislation was introduced that would provide funding to improve access to comprehensive sex education and sexual health services for young people throughout the U.S. The Real Education and Access for Healthy Youth Act (REAHYA) would offer the first-ever federal grants for comprehensive, honest and inclusive sex education programs and eliminate federal funding for the harmful Title V “abstinence-only-until-marriage” state grant program. It doesn’t appear that there has really been any movement after this had been introduced.

Currently, just 29 U.S. states and Washington D.C. mandate sex education in schools, and only 11 states and D.C. require LGBTQ-inclusive sex education. Of the states that mandate sex education, 15 states do not require the content to be evidence-informed, medically accurate, and complete. That’s mind blowing.

So here’s the list of things to address questions I’ve gotten:

  • Your Fallopian tubes aren’t connected to your ovaries. The egg transports from the ovary to the Fallopian tube when the fimbriated, or finger-like, end of the fallopian tube sweeps over the ovary. The cilia on the fimbriae pick up the egg and move it down the tube.
  • Removing the Fallopian tube(s) doesn’t impact your hormone production because your ovaries are key for female reproductive hormones.
  • Removing the Fallopian tube(s) decreases risk for ovarian, Fallopian and uterine cancers. Ovarian cancer actually starts in the Fallopian tube.
  • You still get a period even if you’re not ovulating, this is called anovulation and this can happen to anyone without surgery for a variety reasons like stress, hormone imbalance, high or low body fat, extreme exercising, etc.
  • You also are still producing an egg when the Fallopian tubes are removed – it just doesn’t have anywhere to go.

I was on birth control for about 13 years, primarily using the injection Depo Provera as my main method. As you can imagine there’s a lot of different ways our bodies can react to being on synthetic hormones for that long as well as transitioning off of them.

This post isn’t to bash people who use birth control. It’s an amazing tool and with ACA, it’s widely affordable and access has increased (while still not perfect). For some, birth control helps manage symptoms of different conditions – let those people use the tools they need.

It took me 18 months to have a regular menstrual cycle after I got off of birth control and I start to feel good, like really good. I knew hormonal birth control wasn’t going to be an option I’d choose easily again. I started tracking my cycle, but also my ovulation with test strips so I could prevent pregnancy. However, I noticed that I wasn’t always ovulating or ovulating on time and that was frustrating and scary. There were no clear signs to suggest why sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t, especially since my period are 26-28 days apart every time since I was 29.

Throwing out the ovulation test strips the other day was relieving. It was a wave of excitement I didn’t know I had in me. I think it’s because I don’t have to be scared about getting pregnant. It feels like I’m taking control of my life of good.

So tonight, the jewelry has been changed out for glass or acrylic, fasting starts at midnight and I’ll probably be in bed before then. I’ve got all the feels going on and I can’t wait to be done.