5 Things You Need To Know About Chlamydia

Chlamydia landed a role on this season of HBO’s Insecure and I was happy. Why? Well, because Lawrence was living that free, unprotected, and frankly reckless life, but not even TV Land could save him from the consequences. Props, Issa Rae (she’s the show’s creator.)

There are a lot of misconceptions about this infection out there. Who would we be here at The Gyneco-bLogic if we didn’t tackle myths, and reveal truths? Let’s get to it. This game is called…

Chlamydia True or False

You’ll know if you have Chlamydia.

False. For women, up to 85% of infections are asymptomatic. In men, up to 40% are without symptoms. How do most people find out? By getting periodic screening. The CDC recommends screening at regular intervals and especially if becoming intimate with a new partner.

If you treat Chlamydia, you are cured of any and all consequences.

False. While antibiotics will often eradicate the infection itself, the residual effects can still persist, like pelvic pain or fertility issues, especially in the setting of pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID.

A partner who has Chlamydia will absolutely pass the infection on to you.

False. However, if you find out that a partner has the infection, while it is important to get tested right away, we do treat women presumptively for the infection in hopes of shortening it’s duration and minimizing the risk of PID or fertility issues later on. Also if you are diagnosed with Gonorrhea, we treat presumptively for Chlamydia.

It takes up to 3 weeks for a repeat Chlamydia test to be negative AND a person can retest to make sure it is gone.

True. While treatment should be effective by 7 days from initiation (which is the minimum duration one should obstain from intercourse,) the bacteria can linger in the vagina/cervix for up to 3 weeks. Since many Chlamydia tests are DNA tests these days rather than cultures, that means that the repeat test would still be positive.

Also, a person CAN request a test-of-cure a week after about 3 weeks to make sure the infection is gone, however since the antibiotic treatment for chlamydia is 97% effective, a test of cure is not necessary. A RETEST IS generally performed 2-3 months after treatment to make sure the person was not re-infected. All partners should be informed and treated before resuming any sexual relationship. Don’t forget, a person can get chlamydia in their throat.

A nickname for Chlamydia is The Clap.

False. A common misconception, but The Clap is a reference to Gonorrhea rather than Chlamydia, though as I mentioned, the two can often go hand in hand. I propose the following nicknames for Chlamydia.

  1. The Wind- Because you can’t always feel it, even though it is there.
  2. The News- Because getting that diagnosis is news you can use.
  3. The Smackdown- Enough said.

I want to applaud Issa Rae and character Lawrence of Insecure on HBO for not only including the diagnosis in the storyline, but showing the uncomfortable, yet necessary process of informing his previous partners. Big Ups to owning up to THE SMACKDOWN.

Wear a condom next time, Lawrence.

via GIPHY

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Hold up, Molly! 5 Things you need to know before trying Molly (at Coachella or anywhere…)

#InsecureHBO lovers, listen up!

Episode 5 of Insecure Season 3 on HBO made waves. I’m going to limit the spoilers for those of you who still need to catch up #dobetter, but I’m still stuck on the part when Molly, Issa, Tiffany and Kelly were offered Molly before the concert.

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#ThisIsHappening

The fastest-emerging drug problem in the United States is the synthetic drug market, which now includes Molly.

1. What is Molly?

According to the DEA:

Molly is the powder or crystal form of MDMA — or 3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a chemical drug most commonly known for its use in the pressed pill Ecstasy…

The DEA labels it a Schedule 1 controlled substance, considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted use in medical treatment, which means it’s illegal.

It is a drug that is used frequently at concerts and is growing rapidly in its availability and users. It’s also considered to be one of the safer drugs to cause euphoric highs because it is considered more “pure” and less strong than Ecstacy.

First-time users are often between the ages of 14 and 24. Some users are as young as 12.

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2. What symptoms does Molly cause?

It makes you feel good. Check out these personal accounts (Not from me):

“It felt like everything was amplified. It felt euphoric — almost like a crazy adrenaline rush for a long time,”

“You feel a lot more loose and comfortable in your environment,” said recent Georgia high school graduate Jessica, who’d never used Molly until the concert in July — a friend’s recommendation convinced her to give Molly a try.

And then, usually after a few hours — depending on the dose that is taken — of dancing and moving and talking, the trip comes to an end.

“(After it was over), it wasn’t like a depression, but it was like, ‘Aw man, I wish I felt that way again,’ ” Jessica said.

“Honestly, if I were to pick a drug out of anything else to do, I would pick Molly. Molly has a lot to do with loud music and seeing lights — getting excited about seeing something that’s already cool and making it cooler.”

It sounds cool. So why not give it whirl the next time you hit up the next dope concert?

3. Why is Molly so dangerous?

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For one, you have no idea what you are actually taking. While Molly is supposed to be MDMA, a hallucinogenic drug slightly weaker than Ecstacy, 1 gram of pure MDMA retails for over $100. Shady Joe, your Molly pusher, cuts it with whatever he can find that will still make you high for cheaper than that. One reporter wrote a story about the contents of 3 different Molly pills purchased for $10-20 each.

So, what was in the “Molly” they bought?

The first capsule, puchased in South Beach for $10, was tested by Gavins and gave a false postive as being MDMA, when it fact it was cathinone, i.e: bath salts.

The second capsule was also purchased and Miami, and cost $20. Howards tested this capsule and concluded it was mostly meth, with some MDMA.

The third capsule is purchased for an unspecified amount of money in New York, just after a Molly overdose claimed two young lives at Electric Zoo. This capsule has coke, meth, some MDMA and an opiate, which they believe to be an “oxycodone chaser.” An intrepid researcher (not the writers) consumes the Molly, and says it “felt like tripping on heroin.”

Okay, so the ish isn’t pure. Why do I care?

4. No really, why do I need to worry about taking Molly?

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I’ll give you 3 GOOD reasons:

(1) It can lead to serious health complications like overheating (hyperthermia), seizures, heart abnormalities and extreme cases, death.

(2) Depending on the contents in your particular version of Molly, the risks of complications when mixing with alcohol or other drugs could be devastating.

(3) The low that comes immediately after the drug wears off is one thing, but an even greater low comes days after use that can lead to long-term depression.

From one drug enforcement agent:

The amount of active ingredients can be dangerously different, because “the dosing for these sorts of drugs are in the micrograms.”

“The room for error is tremendous, and we’ve seen a lot of deaths with some of these compounds.”

Also, Molly is on the spectrum of Crystal Meth, for those who will respond more to the judgment of being associated with such a rachet drug rather than just an unsafe one. According to one source, the strength of the drugs from weakest to strongest is as follows:

The chain from weakest to strongest methamphetamine is Adderall.. Crystal Meth.. Molly(MDMA).. Ecstasy. It really does blow my mind that so many people admit openly about doing Molly and ecstasy but are disgusted at the thought of doing meth when in fact it is a weaker version of what there doing.

Molly, your girls should have stopped you, rather than joining in on the okey-doke.

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5. One more thing. Put on a condom, Issa!

I know this is unrelated to Molly and Molly, but as much as I love Insecure, if I see one more spontaneous sex scene without any reference or illusion to the use of a condom, I am going to scream!

I just care about your safety, and your lady parts, Issa.

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Don’t you know the STD rates in this country are rising out of control? Oh, you don’t? Here, let me tell you a little bit about it.

I will leave you with these final thoughts:

Is seeing Beyonce not enough? What more do you need?

If the headliner at your concert isn’t dope enough to experience without a drug that could, at it’s best, cause you to hallucinate and pee on yourself, and at it’s worst send you to the Emergency Room with hyperthermia and heart problems and lead to a prolonged depression or DEATH, stay T. F. AT HOME! Don’t even go to the concert. If you need Molly, you don’t like the artist enough.

I just don’t need that kind of drama in my life. I’ll stay with my booze in moderation. Nothing more! Tell a friend and check out the post I wrote at the start of Insecure Season 2, last year. It got “Hella” love.

Now, are you gonna try Molly?

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RIP Mac Miller.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The Gyneco-blogic.

Why Am I Growing Hair On My Chin?

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Okay, so this lady has a problem. Does she have what you have, though? Will your chin turn into this if you don’t break out your tweezers? Dr. Google strikes again. I typed in the following words:

Hair On Chin

And this is the first article that my search engine optimized…

6 things that hair on your chin could mean - Google Chrome 9_3_2018 9_20_21 AM (2)

My problem is this: It sounds so scary! “And why you should never ignore it” seems like my little whiskers are going to take me out. My tweezers are in my bathroom drawer for a reason. That reason is not to mask some unforeseen force that is trying to compromise my health.

Is chin hair ever a sign of something harmful?

Possibly. But in most cases, it isn’t. So how do you know if you are experiencing hair growth that is concerning for your health? Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the hair located in places that it has never been before? Are you newly growing chin hair? Chest hair? Hair around your navel where it has never been before?
  2. Is the hair course? Fine hair that you can only feel or see in the sunlight is a different type of hair caused by a different health state than the dark, thick hair that is noticeable without squinting and turning your head to the side.

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3. Have you also been experiencing irregular periods and unexplained weight gain in addition to increased course hair growth? This combination can signify a hormonal imbalance.

What are the worrisome diagnoses?

Well, the ones that you can sometimes have an effect on are PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, and medication side effects. I’m not talking about birth control either. Birth control can sometimes improve hair growth and acne by regulating hormones. Adrenal tumors and other hormonal tumors can also change the hair growth pattern, but these diagnoses are rare.

Genetics often plays a big role. Your mama might have tweezers that she has been using for years and just never volunteered the information to you. Also, weight gain can change your hormones and increase hair growth without you having PCOS. Either way, seeing your doctor can help shed light on the situation.

adult bricks face fashion
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I hope this post helped bring understanding to why your faithful few chin hairs keep coming back. If you have more than a faithful few or suspect other causes, it is never wrong to see your doc.

My hope is that Dr. Google doesn’t give you more anxiety than understanding. Make sure you subscribe to The Gyneco-blogic today. We’re trying to replace the scary with the probable, while still leaving room for you to investigate your particular situation. Tell us how we’re doing in the comments and on social!

Oh, and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more of these shenanigans…

Be……Happy? What my gym experience taught me about self-care and self-love.

Happy!…..??

There I was. At a new gym for the first time. It didn’t seem like a very intimidating place (ideal for a person like me, who doesn’t thrive in anything athletic and was once described as “risk averse” by a very good friend). It was a bit of a confusing first class

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I do not look like this during a pull up, or a modified pull up…..  Photo by Charlotte Karlsen on Unsplash

because there were groups and stations, and it was all very new to me. So one of the exercises was a pull up. I looked at the instructor when it was my turn and said “any modifications?” and BeckyLindsayHeather enthusiastically said “for sure! Just jump into this (flimsy af rubber band looking) strap and I’ll help support you!” Now BLH looked to be very fit, but she was also about 4 inches shorter and about 40 pounds lighter than me, basically if I go down, I’m taking BLH with me. I looked at her with a kind of half smile half fear and replied, “yeah I’m not doing that.” Friends, the look of judgment that passed through her eyes was palpable. It wasn’t malicious, but she definitely threw a little shade in my direction. Flashback to the Presidential Fitness Challenge and the look on Coach Pariso’s face when she finally realized I’m not going to be one of her star athletes and let’s just all accept it and move on with our lives.

Now, why am I sharing this story with you? To get sympathy? Obviously. To discuss something important I learned that day? Yes, that’s probably more accurate. For those of you that read the blog, you know Dr Wendy and I focus on self-care quite a bit. It’s important to be your own advocate for not only health care, but also in your relationships, with your career, and definitely when you’re trying something new at the gym. We live in a time when self-care is shouted from the rooftops, but setting your own boundaries can be seen aggressive or almost like a lack of trying. I can understand why people feel so much pressure all the time. We should accept who we are and be happy with ourselves, but at the same time push ourselves “out of the comfort zone! Try harder! Be skinnier, richer, happier!” It’s almost like we are getting told to be better at being our best.

At the end of the day, it’s all about finding balance. Striving to be the best version of ourselves,

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Snapped on a Chicago street. @wrdsmth

best version of ourselves, but remembering we are being the best version OF OURSELVES. Not the person running the gym next to us, not the neighbor whose flowers are growing better than ours (RIP Succulent Susan, you had a good run), not someone whose timeline is clearly different than ours. I did end up doing this modified pull up with Coach BLH’s help, but only because I asked her for it and stood up for myself and my boundaries. With that, I’ll sign off. Be happy, be well, and do your best.

I would like to thank Dr Wendy for holding down the fort, and letting me disappear from the blog for a few months. XO.

Are My Labia Too Long? Let’s Compare

I’ll bet you’ve never uttered those words out loud at a party. As a gynecologist though, it is a question that I hear frequently.
Doc, do they look normal down there?
Of all of the body parts that people can be self-conscious about, the vaginal labia are definitely one. Patients ask me if they are even on both sides, if they are too bumpy, too wide, and especially if they are too long.
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This is a painted land mass, an aerial view, and I love it.
Well, I want to give you some references to compare. I also want you to know when there may be a problem from an infection standpoint, and when labia could benefit from surgical revision or labioplasty. Let’s begin with anatomy.

Vaginal/Vulvar Anatomy Explained

Labia
The outer thicker lips are pictured above as the “labium majus,” also known as the labia majora. The inner, thinner lips that are closer to the opening of the vagina are the “labium minus”, also known as the labia minora. The ones that women often ask me about are the labia minora, or the thin inner lips. Sometimes the concern is their appearance, and sometimes the concern is how they feel, either to touch or while sitting.

Let’s compare labia length

I first saw this article from the Huffington Post in 2014. I was so happy to see women’s differences on display, that I think I tweeted this picture. Needless to say, it got NO love. And not that I am racking up the twitter impressions now, but at least I know my audience when it comes to displaying a large wall of vulva.
Great Wall Of Vagina
The Great Wall Of Vagina, by UK-based sculptor Jamie McCartney
As you can see, the differences in just this sample of the hundreds of vulva (which is the best way to characterize the external genital region) are clear.

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What are signs of labial problems?

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Size/Length Problems

Now that we all know that appearances can differ substantially, there are times when the labia can be “too long.” One key sign that your labia may benefit from evaluation is if you have pain or discomfort. Some women have difficulty wearing form-fitting jeans. Some can’t ride bikes or take spin classes. Others have challenges with tucking into swimsuits. We call this labial hypertrophy.

Why does labial hypertrophy happen?

The length of the labia can grow with age. There isn’t always rhyme or reason as to why the labia grow and to what degree they grow. It’s not like certain activities or types of foods will make your labia longer.
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Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com
This lipstick shade is everything. Anyway, if your labia are bothering you, I think you should, you guessed it, see your gynecologist. I don’t have a natural remedy for decreasing labia size. That would be like making your actual lips on your face smaller with something topical. Skin and tissues don’t just shrink.

When is surgery an option?

Surgical options may be available if they are bothering you. Labioplasty is a procedure that is done under light anesthesia. The labia are trimmed and stitches are placed to close the skin where the length was removed. It is one of the few plastic surgery-like procedures that I do as a gynecologist. My take-home in this post, though, is that I think the procedure is best performed on women who are physically bothered by how their labia feel or fit into clothing. I don’t think that a person should have to conform solely to an aesthetic norm. As we learned from The Great Wall Of Vagina, lots of vulvar appearances are normal.
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Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

Suspected Infection

If you touch the labia and you feel a new bump that doesn’t hurt but is hard, you should look and see if it is an ingown hair vs a blocked oil gland vs a genital wart. Warts can sometimes come in clusters or as single lesions. Usually, the tell-tale sign that you may be dealing with a wart is that it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t go away and it is hard. If you have a lesion on the labia that does hurt but resolves itself, you may be dealing with a boil, ingrown hair or possibly a herpes outbreak. If you know it isn’t an ingrown hair but it is painful and resolves within some days, I wrote a whole post about Lumps and Bumps and what you can do about them. Click here to check it out.

The Take Home

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Your labia are your labia. If they bother you, come to get checked out. If they don’t bother you, leave them alone. They can look however they want. Your vulva-print is just like your fingerprint: Unique. Own them. I don’t think I’ll have mine cast for sculpture any time soon, though. Bucket list?

Please subscribe and follow The Gyneco-blogic or follow us on Instagram Your labia will thank you!

The Chicago Lighthouse: Helping the Visually Impaired through Art

Lighthouses on Michigan Avenue?

Consider this Reason 1,452 that I am proud to be a Chicagoan. #MagMileLighthouses are an immense display of 51 six-foot lighthouse sculptures, created by national and local Chicago artists, many with disabilities. From lighthousesonmagmile.com:

[This is a] free public art display celebrating the call to action of access and inclusion for people with disabilities.  This will take place along Chicago’s famed North Michigan Avenue from June 19 through August 11. Sponsored by The Chicago Lighthouse in partnership with Huber Financial Advisors, LLC, and other visionary businesses and individuals, including The Magnificent Mile® Association.

What Is The Chicago Lighthouse?

sign mag mile.jpgThe Chicago Lighthouse serves the blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veteran communities with comprehensive vision care and support services. The Lighthouse offers 39 unique programs and services that help clients optimize remaining vision, meet developmental and educational milestones, find employment and lead more independent lives.

What is the purpose of the Lighthouse art on the Magnificant Mile?

The purpose of the Mag Mile Lighthouses is to remind us all that people with disabilities can do just about anything if given a chance and they make some of the most productive and competent employees around. People with disabilities are a talented, reliable and productive component of the workforce who way too often are untapped.

Do you want to see more of the art? Click here.

media copyright of Othervertical, Inc. http://www.Othervertical.com
EYE GROW 
Lauren Feece www.laurenfeece.com

What will happen to the Lighthouses when the exhibit ends?

The sculptures were created by talented national and local artists, many with disabilities. After the display ends on August 11, sponsors will have an opportunity to purchase the lighthouses.  They will also be bid on an online auction.  Proceeds from the sales will support the 39 Lighthouse programs serving people who are blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veterans.

mag mile.jpgThe Magnificent Mile encompasses the 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue that runs from the banks of the Chicago River to the south, to Oak Street to the north. The Magnificent Mile district extends a full square mile from North Michigan Avenue, including east to the scenic lakefront.

How can I support?

Consider supporting these programs and feast your eyes on the amazing art in the heart of downtown Chicago. I know I will.

To learn more and to show support, click the image below.

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Don’t forget to like and follow The Gyneco-blogic. We’ll light up your life! #punlife