Women’s Sexual Health

Recent posts

Accessible Gynecologists

I recently came across a post on the Gimp Girl Community about Accessible Gynecologists, and (sadly) wasn’t all that shocked that it contained a rather short list of gynecologists who members have found to have accessible facilities and doctors they’d use. I expected a smaller list, but alas, there are only a few states represented. I have a friend who uses a cane (and occasionally a wheelchair) and her doctor was stunned when (please take a minute to make sure you’re seated as this is truly shocking!) my friend wanted to go off of the birth control pill so that she could get pregnant. Turns out, people of all types of abilities can be pregnant and/or be parents. That gynecologist was fired by my friend, in case you’re curious. Continue Reading →

Women Face Greater Health Care Costs In Most Of U.S.

According to a new study, women pay more for health care access than men do in many states in the U.S. Insurance companies “price” women differently than men – even charging non-smoking women more than male smokers for the same access, in some cases – although this policy is supposed to stop by 2014. I can’t help but sadly agree with the article’s author: “It’s akin to charging women extra for having lady parts.” Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Why Women’s Sexual Health In The News Is Good… And Bad

There is a ton of news coverage of laws pertaining to women’s sexual health right now, and it’s not looking too good for women who want not only access to contraception and basic health rights, but also to accurate information about their bodies. Feministe gives a good run-down of the various states that have passed, or are trying to pass, laws that would make it illegal for women to get abortions after 20 weeks (even if the fetus is dead), or that would list all doctors in the state who perform abortions (despite the fact that such doctors are often targeted by violent protesters and sometimes killed), and so on. Women are compared to livestock that sometimes have to carry non-viable fetuses to term, or they are called sluts for wanting access to birth control. Politicians in Kansas and Arizona are trying to pass bills that would allow doctors to withhold medical information from pregnant women that might affect their decisions on whether to bring a fetus to term. How a doctor might reconcile this with the Hippocratic Oath boggles my mind, as it certainly harms pregnant women to not know the full extent of what is happening with their bodies. Continue Reading →

Rachel Maddow Explains Human Biology, Birth Control, Sex

Rachel Maddow shows 3 days worth of clips during which Rush Limbaugh calls Sandra Fluke a slut and prostitute and asks her to post images of her having sex online. She also teaches people how birth control and sex actually work (move forward to around 13:00 for her very valuable lesson). I like when she gets flustered about how ignorant Limbaugh is about how  birth control works. I also like when she says “You being a dummy is a way bigger problem than you being a jerk.” In the bigger picture, Mr. Limbaugh was reacting to Fluke’s commentary in support of contraception coverage (by the way: birth control is free or highly affordable in many, many developed and developing countries). Continue Reading →

Breastfeed In An Ice Cream Truck

People seem to be fairly passionate on the issue of public breastfeeding. More and more workplaces are now offering breastfeeding rooms so if employees need to pump their breast milk they are not stuck sitting on a toilet seat in the restroom. In Pittsburgh there is now the Milk Truck, which bills itself as a “Mobile Breastfeeding Unit.” Artist Jill Miller created the Milk Truck from an ice cream truck, and is considered to be “a combination of guerilla theater, activism and a little slapstick humor” – it’s a truck with a giant breast on it, so it can’t take itself too seriously. Ms Miller wanted to created a positive and supportive environment for women to breastfeed in, which I think is wonderful and would love for more of these to be in other cities. Continue Reading →

Abortion Laws In Africa

The HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa receives much media attention, but there is another problem: the illegal status of abortions in many countries, which makes them that much more dangerous for women. This article gives a thorough overview of the issues at play, including how outdated colonial laws interact with local norms about sex and birth control. As in many cases, greater access to and education about sex, contraception, and abortion appear to be the best options for maximizing women’s health. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

The O Shot and O Spot: Where’s the Science?

Because I write sex columns and articles for various magazines and newspapers, I end up receiving press releases for various sex books, products and services that, as a research scientist and sex educator at Indiana University, I would normally not receive. Occasionally the press releases are for products that I can appreciate and feel will benefit people, such as a recent release I received for Hanne Blank’s updated book “Big, Big Love”. More often, these releases are for products and services that I don’t feel will be helpful to people and, occasionally, may even be harmful to people or – at the very least – include factually inaccurate or suspicious information. I’m not always sure how to respond. I often wonder, for example, if it’s better to ignore the “not so great” (or potentially dangerous) products/services in hopes that – if ignored long enough and by most people – they will simply go away? Continue Reading →

15 Things You (Maybe) Didn’t Know About Vaginas

I recently read Dr Lissa Rankin’s book (What’s Up Down There: Questions  You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend) and really enjoyed it – it’s written exactly how I tend to talk to a friend, so it felt like less of a book and more of reading emails from my best friend. Enough about that book – I’m working on a review of it anyway. So, with that book still hot on my mind, I was pleasantly surprised when a few friends posted a link to a list from Dr Rankin on 15 Crazy Things About Vaginas. I hesitate to call these facts “crazy things” – I would probably describe them as more interesting or cool. Some of them I knew before I read the book (and I would certainly hope I knew some of them since I do teach about sex!), some more after reading the book, and I was still happily surprised by a few more – I always love learning new things. Continue Reading →

Let Pregnant Women Be

It’s common knowledge now that what a pregnant woman ingests is passed along to her fetus, but it wasn’t that long ago that no one even batted an eye if a pregnant woman was smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer. A recent study shows that women’s psychological states can be felt by the fetus. This isn’t that far of a stretch from ingesting a teratogen, at least in my opinion. However, I can see how someone telling you not to stress because your baby can tell might only make you stress out more. The most interesting thing to me about this study wasn’t that a woman’s psychological state (good or bad) can be felt, but that if a woman is depressed to just let her be – it’s more important that the psychological state be constant than more positive. 

I’ve had several friends with depression become pregnant in the past few years. As around 50% of the pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, several of my friends’ pregnancies have also been unplanned. Continue Reading →

Best Sex Resources for College Students

When people come into my dorm room and check out my bookshelf, they’re usually shocked by how many sex-related books I’ve got. They take up entire shelf, and I’m quite proud of that! But my friends often ask me which ones are the best. So, I thought I’d share my opinions with you all. Here are my top sex resources for college students (other than MSP, of course)! Continue Reading →