Sunday, May 08, 2005

What's Going On Uptown

A big glass container of lotion just toppled from the top of the medicine cabinet and descended through the porcelein sink - yes, through the sink, bashing out a big chunk where the soap is supposed to be.

Oh, I can't wait to tell my landlady about that. I can't wait till Jenn reads this. Look, more money I get to owe to people!

That aside, things on the health front are much, much better. My body seems to have totally gotten used to the IUD, and it's painless and discomfortless at this point. About the time that was clearing up, I got attacked by more yeast (yep - as promised, getting on/off the pill and high stress are great triggers) and started popping acidophilis like candy, which proved a good move - that cleared up quick. I'll be taking it all week as a precautionary.

I've been doing a lot of reading relating to the book I'm working on. I'm concurrently working on getting through Pamela Barmash's Homicide in the Biblical World and Jan Goodwin's absolutely wonderful Price of Honor, which is a great overview of the status of women in Islamic countries. I also picked up a copy of the Koran, which is a lot more woman-friendly than most Islamic fundamentalists would have anybody believe. Like the Bible, it's another one of those "holy" books that people use for their own ends, selectively quoting and interpreting it to back their own beliefs. Bah.

Anyhow, good stuff.

The goal is to get back to MA class this week (ah, yes, my goal *every* week), but it's also the first week I've felt 90% of normal, healthwise, for the last couple of months.

We'll see how things work out.

8 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

i've been following your IUD adventures for the past while, and in all the weighing of issues i haven't heard you mention sexually transmitted infections. you have discussed the weighing of options with respect to the choice you ultimately made and about control over your reproductive functions. i'm all for control over our bodies, don't get me wrong, but i'm just curious to know what your take is on protecting our bodies as well and how you see safer sex practices now that you no longer have to worry about unplanned pregnancy. :) 

Posted by lindsay

Anonymous said...

Lindsay - well, see, the deal with me is, despite the fiction I write, I'm a boringly monogamous, mostly straight person. It's terribly uninteresting, I'm afraid.

What that means is that the IUD works for me because I'm in a committed, monogamous relationship (blah blah blah, how boring is that?). We both had the sex talk beforehand and figured out what we both wanted - and we both wanted monogamy, and were both disease free. I explained to my partner that if I got an STDwhile using an IUD, I could have all of my internal organs removed, and/or die, which was my way of reiterating that we both needed to be clear that we were monogamous, if we were going to have a sexual relationship that did not include condoms.

I trust my partner, and he trusts me in this regard, and for us, mutual monogamy works. That doesn't work with everybody, which is why you've gotta weigh the pros and cons within each relationship individually in order to make the right decision for you.

I've never been terribly good at jumping into bed with strangers (at least insofar as engaging in actual hetero penetrative sex goes - other stuff was certainly OK), and I've always been picky with my sexual partners. I've never had unsafe sex. It's just not how I was raised, and it's not how I view sex. If I'm worried the whole time about disease/pregnancy, it's not worth it.

So, for me, the IUD is something I'm doing inside of a mutually monogamous relationship in which my partner and I trust each other. Others' mileage may vary, but that's the only way I'm comfortable: emotionally and physically.

Other people work out other arrangements via open marriages, open relationships and the like, and I'm terribly impressed with people who are wired that way, and can make that work for them physically and emotionally, and in an ideal world, it would be cool if I functioned that way too. But after a lot of thought, a great deal of years of celibacy, and lots of weighing of options, I realized I was pretty well wired for monogamy.

It's why the issue of STDs just doesn't come up much for me. Never had one. Never been with partners who exposed me to one. Before getting into relationships, we went through detailed sexual histories. It's just what I do, how I work.

So, that's likely why you don't hear me speak about it much. It's something I take into account before I even get to the bc phase with a partner, something we've already discussed.

Again: for others, works differently, but for the most part, safe sex means using condoms if there's any distrust or chance of infection among partners. That's what they're for. They aren't 100% effective, but then, nothing is. You weigh your chances.


Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

Are you using the copper T IUD or the hormone release one? Also, do you have any idea what the mechanism by which IUDs work is?

And I just want to throw out something to think about with STDs: you can get some of them (specifically the less-serious viral ones) in some crazy-ass ways, even if you're in your first ever relationship and it's totally, completely monogamous with someone who's never had one and you haven't actually gotten around to intercourse. For real. I have no idea what this should mean for your or anyone's behavior, except that I wish everyone on earth would do some major re-thinking about how people get STDs and what it means to have one.  

Posted by N

Anonymous said...

you can get some of them (specifically the less-serious viral ones) in some crazy-ass ways, even if you're in your first ever relationship and it's totally, completely monogamous with someone who's never had one and you haven't actually gotten around to intercourse. 

Uh. Hm. Then it's probably not an STD. STDs are, by definition, predominately passed through genital contact/oral/anal/vaginal sex.

Sure, you can get herpes from oral sex, and (possibly) chlamydia and gonorrhea. And scabies from no sex at all, but then, scabies isn't a virus... There are certainly some obscure ones - stuff that you can get through contact with an open sore on any part of the body, but that isn't exactly something I'd think of as an STD.

As for the IUD, it's another one of those birth control methods that nobody's "quite" sure how it works, which baffles me.

I'm using the copper IUD as opposed to Mirena, because Mirena emits a hormone. The whole idea of getting an IUD, for me, was to get off hormones.

The running theory is that the copper IUD works in three different ways 1) having something else in the uterus prevents implantation of the egg. This has been well-known, for, probably thousands of years. IUDs have been around for a while, and before that, there were small stones and etc. pushed up there to prevent pregnancy. Not the most sanitary thing to do, but desperate people do desperate things. 2) the copper on the IUD interferes with the sperm's mobility and its ability to merge with an egg, which is why copper has been the most popular metal to wrap around the arms and stem of the IUD, or to make an entire IUD out of. Makes me wonder why nobody's thought of that infamous "male pill" yet 3) the strings of the IUD will eventually curl up around your cervix once they soften, and mucus will collect around the strings and act as a sort of pessiary that will also help prevent sperm from entering up through the cervix.

Those are the most popular "theories" at present. Hilarious that all we've got are "theories"... after who knows how many years women have been using an IUD of one form or another.

Rah rah funding for women's health!

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

The main one is herpes, which you can get orally as cold sores from sharing glasses with people and then pass to your partner even if you're not having intercourse (i.e. through oral sex, or even, hypothetically, by licking your fingers and then touching your partner's genitals).

The thing about HPV and herpes is that people can have them and never know. Men often have no symptoms of either, and yet can pass them to other people, so you can have a partner with no history of STDs and yet find yourself with herpes or HPV, especially since they're so common. Especially if you have oral sex.

I dunno. I say this stuff not to try to get you (or anyone) to be celibate but because 1) I think people have a false sense of security that if they're monogamous and do the sexual history talk or use condoms or whatever they will never have to worry about STDs, which is not true and 2) I wish STDs has less of a stigma, and I think recognizing the many ways people can get some of them would help with that. That's all.

Hurray for non-hormonal birth control, by the way.  

Posted by N

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