sHe’s Gotta Have It #NotMeToo

I have at present gotten through one episode of the Netflix, Spike Lee Joint, She’s Gotta Have It. Spike Lee is an interesting man. His delivery of messages and points are very in-your-face. Subtle innuendos are not his strong suit. To each his own, I guess.

To each HIS OWN.

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Hmm, that is an interesting statement in light of the present state of the media with regards to sexual misconduct and assault. #MeToo is a proclamation made by countless women and men that indicates a history of sexual discrimination, assault, and abuse.

Which brings me to my title and my point.

Spike had my mind racing with topics to discuss, just in that first episode. The scene that I woke up thinking about though was the scene where ** SPOILER ALERT ** the main character was leaving her friends house and the man grabbed her. First, he catcalled her in the most disrespectful way, and as she continued to walk away from him, he grabbed her, she fought him off and ran as he yelled obscenities.

So many things arose in me in that moment. For one, I sometimes think that I too am invincible and do a lot of things by myself, including shopping, and, more often, going to the hospital to deliver babies in the middle of the night. My Chicago bad-assness and constant shoulder-look-overness probably wouldn’t protect me if someone with bad intentions really tried to assault me.

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Even MORE, though, was how she fought the man off. She flailed and swung her hands frantically at him until he let her go. I thought two things as I was watching:

  1. She fights the way I would fight- TERRIBLY
  2. That man had at least 40 lbs on her. If he wanted to assault her, that little fight wouldn’t have stopped him.

#NotMeToo #NeverAgain

A while ago (October 17th to be exact) I posted this question on social media:

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The responses were amazing. Check them out if you desire. My point was to see how we can decrease the chances of our children experiencing what some of us experienced in our youth. But what about the adult or almost adult women who are caught off guard during a run, on their way home, or apparently in governmental offices? How do they get to #notmetoo?

I never took a self-defense class.

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If you have, great. Let me know what you think about what I am about to say by leaving a comment here or on Facebook. If you are like me, here are 5 things you can do to try to stop someone bigger than you from touching you inappropriately or assaulting you.

The Five Krav Maga moves that ANY WOMAN can do that are covered in this 5-minute video are:

  1. Open Hand Strike: Lunge with your legs for more power and attack the small bones of the jaw, nose and neck.
  2. Groin Kick: No mercy
  3. Outside defense: Focus forward at the eyes of the attacker, not at the attack. Peripheral vision is key.
  4. Aggressive grab with the counter attack: Go with the pull but attack as you go BECAUSE you can use more power in your strike.
  5. Attack from the ground: Spin kick the mess out of those legs and knees, then RUN

For the full article and larger video, click here.

I always encourage my patients to work out, to be healthy and strong. I like these self-defense tactics to teach us how to keep people who think WE are “HIS OWN” from getting “it”. He thinks He’s gotta have it, but I’m NOT about to have that. I’m going to practice these tactics and try to get into a self-defense class. Holla if you feel me! #NotMeToo #NeverAgain

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All .gifs are from Giphy.com. Please pardon my love for The Last Dragon.

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#NotMeToo #NeverAgain

…and THIS

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Birth control can improve your life! Here are 5 ways

With all the controversy surrounding birth control these days, especially thanks to the extremely old school and right wing leaders in politics, I thought it would be a good idea to review some of the non-contraceptive benefits of birth control, and why it is important to be aware of these benefits when visiting your gynecologist. For a review on the types of birth control, take a peek at You should have a period. Your period shouldn’t have you!

Period issues: One of the most common uses for birth control besides preventing

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Surgery (life) is challenging enough without having to worry about changing your feminine product! Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash

pregnancy is helping to lessen women’s symptoms during her menses. Some women deal with heavy bleeding during their period, which can leave them fatigued and worn out (not to mention it’s so distracting having to worry about changing a pad or tampon every few hours—surgeons, am I right???) and eventually lead to anemia. Independent of bleeding, cramping and pelvic pain can also be debilitating during menses. Birth control is one of the best ways to reduce bleeding and pain. There are so many options out there, and it’s very rare that we can’t find one that doesn’t work.

Headaches: During a normal menstrual cycle, there is a natural rise and fall of estrogen

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Photo by Mickael Gresset on Unsplash

and progesterone. When it’s time to have a period, these hormones drop into their lowest state. This abrupt withdrawal of hormones can lead to menstrual migraines. If you are someone that suffers from migraines, I recommend tracking their timing. If you notice an association with your menses, it may be time to discuss these issues with your gynecologist instead of your neurologist. (Important side note: Women who have migraines with an aura should NOT be on estrogen therapy. It is very important to let your physician know if you have these. Women who use estrogen and have migraines with aura are at an increased risk for stroke.)

Mood changes: In addition to headaches, the withdrawal of estrogen and progesterone especially the week before your menses can lead to some feelings of irritability, anger, overall not feeling like yourself. Birth control can help temper some of these changes because without the fluctuating hormones, our mood tends to stabilize.

Acne: In addition to estrogen and progesterone, we also have testosterone that naturally occurs in our system. Testosterone is what causes acne, male pattern baldness, and forgetting to put the toilet seat down at night (lol jk!). For some women, controlling testosterone levels can help reduce acne. Birth control helps by essentially binding the testosterone so it isn’t free in the blood stream to wreak havoc on our skin.

Ovarian cysts: Every month our ovaries grow a little follicle on them, which fills with fluid and an egg. This cyst then ruptures and releases the fluid and egg (the process known as ovulation) into the abdomen to be picked up into the tube, and then either shed during menses or combined with sperm to make a baby.

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Photo by Michał Grosicki on Unsplash

Review the anatomy of the lady parts here Lady Bits Exposed: Why Knowing Your Anatomy Matters.  Although most of the time these cysts are small and pain free, some women create large cysts, or have cysts that fill with fluid and blood, and upon rupturing can be extremely painful. If you are experiencing lower abdominal pain and cramping two weeks before your cycle that knocks you out and is fairly predictable in timing, birth control can absolutely help prevent ovulation and reduce the pain and discomfort associated with this.

Cancer: Women that experience abnormal menstrual cycles have an increased risk of endometrial cancer because of abnormal and unopposed estrogen exposure. Birth control regulates these hormones, reducing the risk of cancer in high risk women. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, especially in those women that have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. The less ovulatory cycles a woman experiences means the lower her risk of cancer. For an overview on female cancers and their warning signs, Is this normal? Or is WebMD right??

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the benefits of birth control. Besides allowing women to choose when conception happens for them Stop, The Love You Save May Be Your Own: Birth control and other options for preventing pregnancy until you’re ready, the various forms of birth control can really improve your quality of life if you are dealing with issues associated with the fluctuations of hormones. Remember to speak to your physician about any concerns you have, as well as medications you are already taking.