Can You Design a Better Condom?

Ladies (and gents),

Time to bring your heads together and spark up those smarts of yours.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering 100K to the winner.  As you already know, condoms are the #1 protection against STIs and also protect against pregnancy so let’s make this happen!

Check out the link below for more info.

http://mashable.com/2013/03/23/bill-gates-condom/

 

What YOU Want To Know Wednesday’s

Q: What is a Yeast Infection? How do I know if I have one, and how do I make it go away?

            I’m going to be honest here – yeast infections are not fun. But they are quite common and manageable. About 3 in 4 women will experience a yeast infection at some point in their lives. So what is it? Well, yeast is a type of fungus that all women have in their vaginas in small amounts. When too much yeast grows in the vagina, it results in a yeast infection.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Extreme itchiness in and around the vagina
  • Burning, redness, and swelling of the vagina
  • Painful urination
  • Pain during sex
  • Soreness
  • A thick, white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese

Keep in mind that you may only experience a few of these symptoms during a yeast infection, and that they can be mild or severe. So, what causes a yeast infection? Well, there are a variety of factors that can contribute to someone developing a yeast infection. These include:

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Illness
  • Poor eating habits, including eating a lot of sugary foods
  • Pregnancy
  • Having your period
  • Taking certain medications such as birth control and antibiotics
  • Hormonal changes during your period

If you think you may have a yeast infection, make an appointment with your doctor or go to a walk-in clinic. They are common, but you want to get it checked out by a doctor. Yeast infections are treated with creams, tablets, or ointments or suppositories (big pills) that are inserted into the vagina. Some common medications include Canesten, Monistat, both of which are available without a prescription. You can buy these products at a pharmacy; they are usually located near or around the tampon aisle. Even though you can buy medication for a yeast infection without a prescription, you should still contact your doctor if you think you may have a yeast infection, especially if you’ve never had one before.

If you have any more questions, send us an email, or contact your doctor.

The Average Human Vagina

The Average Human Vagina

 “In general, there are surprisingly few descriptions of normal female genitalia in the medical literature. In contrast, measurements for male genitals are widely available and were published as early as 1899.” And perhaps most shocking: “…even some recent text books of anatomy do not include the clitoris on diagrams of female pelvis. ”

Negotiation and Communication

Welcome to our second podcast where we talk about (awkward) scenarios that most of us have or will face at some point.

We hope you have a great long weekend!

Keep on Pillow Talking!

 

What YOU Want To Know Wednesday’s

Q: If a man gets a boner, what do women get?

A man gets a boner when he is sexually excited.  This can be brought on my touching, observing, and sometimes even just thinking sexy thoughts.  When a man gets a boner he, and whoever is watching, can usually tell that he is aroused.  Once a man sees that he has a boner, the sight of it then makes him more turned on, causing him to become even more sexually aroused.  This is what is called the reinforcement theory: guy gets excited, he gets a boner, because he has a boner, he gets more excited and his boner gets “harder”.  

Women are different.  We do not get “boners”.  What happens to women is a little different.  When women become turned on, a number of things happen:

  1. Her vuvla (the inside of your vagina) starts to moisten, preparing you for sex;
  2. Her clitoris starts to swell (this is the most erotically sensitive part of your body- get to know it!);
  3. The inside of her vulva also starts to lengthen, preparing her body for the possible entry of a penis (toy/object/finger);
  4. Lastly, her labia (the lips of the vaginal opening) also start to swell.

Because we cannot physically see that our body is getting excited, sometimes it’s harder to realize that you are aroused.  Exploring yourself and trying out what feels good to you will help you begin to realize when you are turned on.  It can be a skill, one that does not come without practice.  Go explore! Be attentative, patient, forgiving and have fun!

What you see isn’t always what you get

It seems to me that every time I turn on the television or watch a movie these days I am instantly bombarded with images of sex scenes, sex-crazed teens, and the constant reminder just how un-sexy real life actually is. The representation of sex in media such as songs, music videos, television shows and movies is just insane. It doesn’t accurately depict what sex is like in real life and it creates unattainable expectations about sex in general.

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Think about it. When was the last time you tuned into your favourite show or movie to see two people being completely honest about their feelings during sex? That maybe they don’t really feel confident about how their body looks, or how they don’t feel secure being naked and exposed in front of their partner. Have you ever seen a sex scene that exposed all of the awkward silences (or noises) that can happen during sex? No of course not. Instead we see perfect lighting, no unwanted body hair, and tight, tanned bodies moving in perfect harmony. This isn’t what happens in real life. In real life there aren’t scripts, make-up artists, lighting techs, or directors hanging about to make sure everything goes perfectly. Sex in real life can be great, sure, but it can also be painful, embarrassing, thrilling, and a million other things that aren’t represented in most media. Don’t base your expectations or knowledge of sex on what you see on TV shows or movies because it is all smoke and mirrors; it’s not what sex is actually like. Sex is different for each person, each time it happens. It may not appear to be as magical or perfect as it is in the movies and there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t base your expectations about sex on what you see in TV shows and movies; this will only lead to disappointment. Instead, appreciate the moment you are experiencing, because unlike what you’re watching on a screen, it is actually happening to you.

Another thing about the way sex is represented in the media that doesn’t quite sit well with me is the way most girls and women are portrayed. When I was in high school, I would watch various CW shows and wish so much that I could look and act like the beautiful girls on the shows. Sure they had some problems- it was a CW show after all, but everything worked out for them. They had boyfriends, or at least some hot pool guy that they could hook up with, and they always seemed so confident. When they had sex, it always looked perfect. They never worried about looking stupid or fat, or being bad in bed. This set up a completely unrealistic standard for anyone to live up to and definitely only made me feel bad about myself. I couldn’t live up to those girls I saw on TV because those girls weren’t real. It is important to know yourself enough to know the things about you that make you special and unique. You may never be as tall or as blonde or as self-assured as the girls you see on television, but that’s okay. You are going to be yourself, which is something no one else can be.

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 Let’s look at another common trend we see in many popular television shows. The girls in these shows are all hyper-sexualized to the point where they have sex practically every episode. However, if their characters have too much sex with too many partners, they are labeled sluts or whores, and everyone just accepts that. The shows never look at guys as being promiscuous, but instead glorify them for having as many sexual conquests as possible. This has become such a common theme in television shows and movies for so long that it has extended to a common social norm where guys can have as much sex with as many people as they please, but if a girl acts the same way then she is a whore.

This double standard has been around for such a long time that people think that it is okay to have this opinion. Well, it’s not. Both guys and girls should be accountable for their actions. The focus should be on creating safe and healthy sexual relationships, not labeling people for how many (or how few) sexual partners they have had. It is so important to remember that these shows and movies aren’t real. Not even so-called “reality shows” are real. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the standards these shows and movies create. Even if you can’t control what goes on in them, you can control how you think about them, feel about them, and react to them. 

 

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There’s no such thing as Normal!

Here’s to our first Podcast ladies, where we’ll be discussing sex and firsts; what to expect, what to consider and what to watch out for.  If you like the podcast stay tuned for next week’s podcast and do spread the word.

Keep on Pillow Talking!

Vancouver Youth Clinics

Family doctors are great.  They know your medical history, which can make a huge difference in the quality of care you recieve during a visit.  But sometimes talking to a doctor who delivered you (has known you for a long time) about starting birth control or having sex for the first time isn’t all that appealing.  That is why there are FREE youth clinics located around Vancouver, just for you!  If you want more information Vancouver Coastal Health has a great website that we suggest you check out.  

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If you’d like to learn more please visit the link below, this is where we found our information.  Vancouver Coastal Health is a great resource!

http://www.vch.ca/your_health/youth/youth_clinics/youth_clinics_-_vancouver/

To Smear or not to Smear: Exploring the myths and truths of a Pap Smear

A lot of women spend too much time worrying about Pap Smears (also called a Pap test). They imagine lying on a cold exam table with a doctor up to his elbows in your lady bits, examining you with some sort of medieval-like tool. Well, that’s just not the case. The truth is that a Pap test is a routine test that takes no time at all and can actually save your life. So what is this dreaded test? Who does it? What happens, and when do you have to get it? Don’t worry, we will let you know everything there is to know about this test and, hopefully, take some of the fear and anxiety out of it.

A Pap test is a medical test that checks for changes in the cells of your cervix (the entrance to your uterus). The test is performed by a doctor or a nurse practitioner. You can always request a female nurse perform the exam if you are uncomfortable with a male doctor or nurse performing the Pap test. So what happens during the test? You remove your undies, lie on examination table, placing your feet in stirrups. The doctor or nurse will then carefully insert an instrument called a speculum into your vagina. The doctor or nurse will then gently open the speculum so she can see your cervix. Next, a cotton swab or small brush is used to collect some cells form your cervix. Then you get to put your underwear back on, exchange awkward pleasantries with the doctor, and go on with your day.

Pap exams can be uncomfortable or unpleasant, but should not be painful. If it is your first exam, let the doctor or nurse know, and they will try to be even gentler with you during the exam.

The test looks for any changes in the cells of your cervix which could indicate the presence of cervical cancer. If caught early, cervical cancer can be treated and even cured, this is why Pap tests are so important in treating and preventing cervical cancer. Pap tests do not test for STIs, but they can detect changes to the cells of the cervix that indicate the presence of HPV- human papillomavirus, that can cause Genital Warts.

Once the exam is over, the doctor will send the sample to a laboratory to be examined. If the results are normal, you will not be contacted. If any abnormalities are detected, the nurse of doctor will let you know and will explain the results to you and what you will need to do next.

So when should you get a Pap test? According to the Women’s Health website, women should start getting regular Pap tests done at 21 or when you become sexually active. The test should be done every year, or every other year if your initial three tests have come back normal.

So there you go. The infamous Pap test is really not that bad. It takes roughly fifteen minutes and could save your life. Hopefully this helped answer some of the questions or fears you had about Pap tests. If you need more information, send us an email, visit some of the links posted below, or talk to your doctor.

 

Some useful websites:

http://canadiantaskforce.ca/guidelines/screening-for-cervical-cancer/

http://www.cwhn.ca/en/node/44806

http://www.paptestinfo.ca/index_e.html

http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/pap-test.cfm#c

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