Better Late Than Never: World Contraception Day!

So, I’m three days late…in writing this post, since World Contraception Day occurs on September 26th. I promise I wasn’t delayed with this post just to include that terrible pun, since scares of unwanted pregnancies are nothing to joke about. If you are having a type of sex that could lead to pregnancy but do not currently want to become pregnant, it’s important to know your contraceptive options!

Check out the World Contraception Day’s Guide to Contraception. If you are a Barnard student, make an appointment with Health Services (there are several awesome contraception experts). There are also several books in the office to get acquainted with your options, but the nurse practitioners are really friendly and great resources, not to mention the ones who will be prescribing you pills or referring you to other forms of birth control. If you are not at BC and do not have much insurance coverage, try to find a local Planned Parenthood. They will help you find low- or no-cost contraception that works for you.

Remember too that condoms are considered a form of contraception, but that safer sex practices must be maintained even when a person is on hormonal birth control or in sex acts where pregnancy is not a risk, such as anal or oral sex. Did you know there are flavored condoms [available in the WW office!] specifically for mouth-to-penis contact? Don’t forget about dental dams [also available at WW] for mouth-to-vagina or mouth-to-anus contact. Anal sex carries high STI risks, so always use condoms with lots of lubricant!

A very important caveat that’s worth restating: hormonal birth control does NOT protect against STIs–only condoms and other latex barriers, used correctly, will protect you from STIs.

I noticed that the vision of World Contraception Day is “a world where every pregnancy is wanted.” For some interesting discussion of the implications of a world with only wanted pregnancies vs. a world with no unwanted pregnancies, check out this blog at RH Reality Check.

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Apparently Yale doesn’t have a rape culture…they just have a “PC one”

The Yale Daily News is at it again.

At least this time it is the opinion of one student, instead of the whole staff at the Yale Daily News.

I really just don’t understand how a student at Yale–where acts of sexual harassment have made nation news multiple times and led students to file a Title IX complaint–can state, “Let’s make this perfectly clear: there is no rape culture at Yale.”

I think is writer needs a brush up on what the term rape culture means. And sexism.  The author actually wrote “On rare occasions, real sexism is still alive.”  Seriously?  I don’t even know where to start with that one.

Taking control of your genetic destiny

When I was 18 years old, I tested positive for the BRCA 1 mutation for breast and ovarian cancer. Testing positive for the BRCA 1 gene means that an individual has an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime, and a 60 percent chance of ovarian.

I was tested for the gene because my mother tested positive. She decided to take the test because her mother had been through breast cancer twice. However, my grandmother ended up testing negative for the gene; it turns out that my grandfather passed down the BRCA gene to us. We are also Ashkenazi Jews, which is another common characteristic of carriers of BRCA.

It’s not common for a college student, who her whole future to look forward to, to worry about things like cancer. But I’m glad I know. My knowledge of this gene makes me realize how precious my life is, and how I have to take care of myself. It also empowers me to keep on top of mammograms and monthly check-ups, and basically guarantees that if I do get cancer, I will catch it early. I encourage anyone who has a history of breast cancer on either side of the family to meet with a genetic counselor and discuss the possibility of getting tested.

Fighting Rape Culture

I know I can fight rape culture by…

I absolutely love this.  We all can play a role in fighting rape culture and here is a great starting list to think about what we can do to be a part of the anti-violence movement.

I will help fight rape culture by calling people out when they use the term “non-consensual sex.”  There is no such thing as non-consensual sex.  Sex without consent is rape, and rape isn’t sex–it is an act of violence and a crime.  Let’s call it what it is.

What can you do to help fight rape culture?

FOOD BLOG

As a sophomore I have officially let go of my unlimited meal plan and have been feeding myself. Luckily, I live with some amazing girls who love to cook and cook well (and let me eat their creations). One of these amazing suitemates is Gabrielle Siegel, and she has an amazing food blog that she and her mom share. Her mom runs a cooking school, which is pretty cool. They take all the pictures themselves, also, very cool. The blog has been featured on Mario Batali’s facebook page! I hope you enjoy the blog as much as I enjoy her cooking 🙂

figtestkitchen.com is the website!

wish you well!

Guide to Lube

Check out this helpful graphic about lube.

It’s worth reiterating that oil based lube DESTROYS LATEX! Please do not use oil based lubricants for safer sex. If you are not currently practicing safer sex, either enjoy being abstinent, which remains the safest situation, or please start to take precautions to minimize your risk of contracting STIs or becoming pregnant (reducing it to well under 1% with proper items such as contraception and barriers like condoms)–use latex-based condoms, dental dams, and even gloves to practice safer sex! Please stop by the Well Woman office for free condoms and lube (occasionally some dental dams & flavored condoms as well) in addition to more information about proper use of these items.