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Female Friday

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August 17, 2018

Yes, I’m still coming at you with vacation photos, because I’ve been catching up with real life for the last few weeks. This particular photo is of the MAAT in Lisbon. It wasn’t my favourite museum, but I did love the structure! 

Be sure to check these articles out:

Women with PCOS are often unhappy with their doctors

“”Patients with PCOS felt that the PCP spent less effort and were less qualified to treat PCOS health concerns than general health,” write the study authors.”

Note: PCP refers to primary care providers. 

When you go to the doctor, it’s important that you feel heard, and your experience validated. It’s also one of the reasons why I’ve tailored my practice to mostly women’s health, specifically around transitions between the menstrual cycle and post-pregnancy. I have knowledge in areas like cancer and sports medicine, but don’t see clients with those concerns as most of my continuing education is in the realm of women’s health. All that preamble is to say, that if you feel that your doctor isn’t well-versed in the condition you may have – it’s okay to get a second opinion, and find someone who is comfortable treating the condition you have. 

Is your fertility data for sale?

“The risks of using these apps go far beyond their efficacy as contraceptives. In sharing data about their fertility and sexual histories, users are surrendering information about reproductive freedoms — having sex outside of marriage, choosing when to use contraceptives, having access to safe and legal abortions — that are denied to women in many countries, and under threat in others”

This is a pretty interesting read about your data and what it can potentially be used for. I’ve been tracking my period and some of my other data since 2014 because I find it easy to do so on an app. And like many others, I scroll through the TOS and always click ‘accept.’ It may be worthwhile to reconsider which apps you’re using and why, and return to doing most of your tracking on paper (which, personally, I find makes me slightly more accountable to myself anyway). 

What you need to know about the pill

One of my Naturopathic Heroes, Dr. Lara Briden ND, spills some truths about the pill and periods. 

An app gets FDA approval as a contraceptive device

(This app is one of the apps mentioned int the fertility data article above)

“FDA issued its first-ever approval to one of these apps for use as contraception, called Natural Cycles. Because a woman’s body temperature increases slightly during ovulation, the app works by asking women to use a basal thermometer (which is more sensitive than a regular thermometer) to keep a daily log of their temperature, and then uses that information to flag fertile days and days when users could have sex without worrying about getting pregnant” 

But…

“other research suggests that using it as a sole method of contraception may be a risky choice: A 2016 study in the journalObstetrics and Gynecology found that out of 53 common fertility-tracking apps and online tools, only four could actually predict a woman’s fertile period with a high degree of accuracy, and fertility experts have argued that relying on basal body temperature is too simple a measure to track ovulation. Real-life experience, meanwhile, suggests the same thing: Earlier this year, 37 women in Sweden who used Natural Cycles reported that they’d gotten pregnant while using the app to prevent exactly that.”

So what does this mean? I believe that it’s important for us to pay attention to all fertility signs – including basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and cervical position if we choose not to use a hormonal non-hormonal form of birth control (ie. copper IUD). Relying on an app, instead of cues from our body doesn’t provide us with enough information to make a choice if we want to have a pregnancy or not. 

Train in tune with your cycle

Since there’s a lot of news from the app world this week – what about an app that will help you choose which exercise you so do while you’re on your period? I just downloaded FITR and am going to give it a go for the next couple of weeks to determine how it works with my personal physiology.   

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