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Contraception Babble

21 Jun

I’ve been whining about the lack of non-hormonal birth control methods since I turned 18 and my mom took me to my first annual pelvic exam.  Barf inducing cramps and a voracious libido made me a prime candidate for the pill, but my mom wisely didn’t allow me to fill that prescription.  I later found out how much higher my risk of stroke would be if I were taking high doses of estrogen (the pill increases everyone’s risk for stroke, but if you smoke or have migraines with aura, your risk doubles).

Five years later, I’m a proud diaphragm user.  It’s not particularly hip or hands-off, but if it was good enough for Carrie Bradshaw and Betty Dodson, it was good enough for me.  The biggest problem with the diaphragm is that it needs to be used in conjunction with spermicide.  Contrary to what was widely believed in the 80’s, this slimy, sperm killing gel DOES NOT protect against STDs.  In fact, the main ingredient of spermicide, nonoxynol-9, has been shown to cause sores and strip the vaginal lining, increasing the risk of contracting certain STDs. I’m still wading through a few studies about diaphragm use without spermicide, but I don’t have enough to share with you all yet.

So, what about the IUD?  Well, I don’t have one yet partly because I can be a chicken shit and it’s supposed to hurt, but also because the hormonal method (Mirena) is, well, a hormonal method, and the copper IUD (ParaGard) could potentially increase my already mind-numbing cramping during menstrual bleeding (I refer you to the “chicken shit” comment).  The IUD really hasn’t been popular in the U.S. since the infamous “Dalkon Shield”, a dangerously poor design that resulted in a number of fatalities back when the technology for this form of contraception was much  more primitive than it is today.  I, for one, am beginning to think we need to move on from all that and start looking at the IUD as a viable method again. This dense, but fabulous article agrees.

Oh yeah, I haven’t talked about hormonal methods.  I don’t really want to, so you should just go read In Our Control.  Okay, okay, in short the pill just isn’t as good for you as everyone wants to tell you, but it’s a lot more profitable to sell you a pack of pills every month than it is to explore alternative methods of contraception.  That may sound a tad bitter.  Oh well.

Now for the cool stuff.  CONTRACEPTION FOR BOYS! YEEEEES I’m serious.  No, I’m not talking about condoms.  Check. This. Out.  Okay so it’s not approved yet, but it’s an awesome idea.  For more on The Parsemus Foundation, go to their website and poke around.  They are truly fabulous.

And for those of us who like to kick it old school, a condom I will probably never be able to afford.

Morning Sex and the Hormone That Makes It Awesome

19 Apr

Chances are, most of you have experienced the groggy explosion of morning sex at one time or another.  And if you’re like me, a sexy naked person is just about the only thing capable of getting you out of bed in the morning.  So, aside from the obvious, why is morning sex so darn hot?

I’m not actually the first person to ask this (big surprise) and luckily the people who are answering this question are scientists!  According to them, the hormone oxytocin is at higher levels in the brain in the mornings, which makes this the best time for bonding with a partner.  This begs the question, what the deuce is oxytocin and what kind of sexy business is it doing in my brain?

I read a delicious summary of a study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco about oxytocin.  Because this is a blog and you read it so that you don’t have to read what other people have to say in their long winded essays, I’ll give you a mini-summary of their summary.

Basically, oxytocin is already used to induce labor during birth and plays a role in pair bonding in the animal kingdom.  This hormone is produced during massage and sexual orgasm in men and women.  While this study focused only on women between the ages of 23 – 35,  they concluded that oxytocin plays a role in adult bonding.  Women who had higher levels of this hormone when recalling a positive experience in a relationship claimed that they were better at being alone and setting boundaries.  Women who’s oxytocin levels dropped when recalling negative emotional relationships reported having greater difficulties with anxiety in relationships.

To me it seems kind of Pavlovian.  Person has orgasm. Person likes orgasm.  Person likes person who gives them orgasm.  But isn’t it cool that this feeling is heightened in the morning because of our hormone levels?

So that’s why we crave the morning nookie.  Well, that and there’s just no better way to start the day than with a nice juicy orgasm with your honey.