Interesting posts, weekend of 7/5

07/05/2009 at 5:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Posts that I found to be particularly interesting over the course of the last week and my thoughts on them:

On hand-holding as pain relief for the ladies – This one may be of particular interest to those living in the circle of vulvar pain. This is an older post but I just found it, so it’s New To Me. Rugbyfan (I didn’t see her e-mail or blog link,) talks about her experience a gynecologist for a consultation. She tried to talk to the doctor about ways to manage the pain of smear tests and instead of brainstorming some options the doctor said, “Would you like me to ask a nurse to hold your hand while I take the smear?”

FFFFFFFFFFFFFF

Now, I’ve had someone hold my hand for visits with my vulvovaginal specialist, but all that does is provide moral support. Hand-holding just keeps me from getting up off the table and/or kicking the doctor in the face. It doesn’t make the tests & proddings any less painful, which is my goal (except for maybe if the doctor is trying to ascertain your pain thresholds as part of figuring out which treatment would be best.) For routine exams though, my gynecologist would have no reason to test my thresholds, as she is unprepared to treat vulvodynia. So why not try to make things a little easier? Why not offer to use a smaller speculum, try a little lidocaine ahead of time, maybe a muscle relaxant, a painkiller, something that actually might do something?

Rugbyfan says,

I know the medical profession has a very poor track record when it comes to pain management, but it’s hard to think of a situation involving significant pain to any other part of the body being dealt with in this manner (“I’m just going to drill into your tooth – no need for anaesthetic, the nurse will hold your hand.” “I’m just going to pop a few stitches into your split lip without anaesthetic or a numbing spray – now don’t worry, the nurse will hold your hand.”)

Rugbyfan goes on to say that there’s a major difference between “Uncomfortable” and “agonizing.” This much even I know from first hand experience. Pap smear tests should not be agonizing and they should not be followed with post-exam burning for days after. I’m so aggravated that there are still doctors & facilities that do not realize this!

Part of me wonders if they doctors & nurses are still willingly refusing to acknowledge that some of their female patients feel severe pain because that acknowledgment means, they are going to have to acknowledge & confront the fact that for years, they were willfully subjecting their patients to horrible pain and stigma. Having to confront this means enduring a “My god, what have we done” moment.

The comments on this one are good too.

Then we have something that’s been making the rounds on several blogs – Vibrator use common, linked to sexual health. Differnet blogs are linking to alternate sources & commentary.

Now, this is particularly interesting to me because, I grew up always knowing that vibrator use was acceptable. I never questioned this. I have never once experienced any stigma about using a vibrator. How to choose and/or use a vibrator is a common topic on womens’ sexual health forums. Once in awhile vibes & sex toys will sneak into tv shows like Sex & the City – when the movie is a comedy, this is just about the only place where they’re derided at all.

Apparently I’m extremely lucky not to have had to deal with negative views of vibrators. It wasn’t always like that – according to the NYT article, the Journal of Popular Culture in 1974 called vibrators “Masturbatory machines” reserved for “Sexually dysfunctional females.” Well I may be sexually dysfunctional alright, but at least I’m in good company. A great big giant chunk of the rest of the female population uses vibrators too – 53%! That’s an even bigger stat than that commonly cited & questioned 43% number re: sexual dysfunction in general.

One quote from the ScienceDaily site says,

“The study about women’s vibrator use affirms what many doctors and therapists have known for decades — that vibrator use is common, it’s linked to positive sexual function such as desire and ease of orgasm, and it’s rarely associated with any side effects,” said Debby Herbenick, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion.

So, you probably already know this, but just in case you need a reminder: using a vibrator is not something that means there is something wrong with you. It doesn’t have much to do with FSD.

I probably owe a lot of my personal security with vibrators and other sex toys to GoodVibes, Babeland, et al – stores & people who made it okay to experiment with vibrators.

Finally, a short post from the GoodVibes blog – Medical Pornography? Porn has been banned in Ukrane – unless it’s for “Medical purposes.”

Veeery interesting. How does that even work? Welp my vulvovaginal specialist did recommend that I strive to be aroused during the dilator process so … does that count as a prescription for me? Would I be exempt from this law? Can I get a doctor’s note for that? Or would even I, an occassional consumer of (so far) mostly cartoony images, be jailed?

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