The Edition: No. 108

Jun 20, 2019

Nothing is work unless you’d rather be doing something else. — George Halas

Politicos. What will it take for women to win?

Fri-Yay. This affordable dotted dress is great for casual Friday.

Coupled. How to have more effective one-on-one meetings.

Sold. Do not miss this Rack sale filled with basic (but stylish) heels, sandals, and flats.  I grabbed these Franco Sarto wedges, also in wide-sizes.

Popped. Why women are going off birth control pills. (Of course I read this article two days after starting the pill.)

Primed. Trying this Peter Thomas Roth darkness-reducing under-eye primer. Will report back.

Heard. Public speaking tips to crush your next presentation.

Factored. J.Crew Factory has this perfect chambray faux-wrap dress and Dalmatian-print button-up are fabulous (and under-$30).

Joined. Helpful advice for making friends as an adult.

Topped. This IRO jacket is the most beautiful thing ever.  But the price ????!

Have you shopped Amazon’s The Drop?  Influencers (I know, that word.) create clothing collections based on their personal style exclusively for Amazon.  You order pieces, they make them, and ship them out to you about one month later.

The collections have a limited run, so you have to buy within 30-hours.  I ordered a cute top from the last collection, and I’ll share it when it arrives.

The Drop also has a collection of stylish essentials that you can shop at anytime.  I especially like this square-neck tank dress, which can be dressed up or down.  This high-waisted slit skirt it also nice.

{image here; this post contains affiliate links that generate commission for the author}

Workday Reading

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  1. pompom says:

    That BCP article hit home. After 15 straight years of taking the BCP–continuously to avoid having a period, under a doc’s care–I stopped 2.5 years ago. Cold turkey. Well, before the turkey went cold, my DH happily and very willingly got a vasectomy. We don’t want kids ever. It was an easy choice for us; I recognize it is not that easy for everyone. But the change was immediate: we went from a very sad, tepid, unsatisfying s3xlife…to, well, the opposite of that. The change was within a month of stopping.

  2. Carolyn says:

    I, like many women, was prescribed the pill around the age of 15 for acne, with zero mention of considering things like diet or product use instead of medicating myself. I didn’t know any better – if a doctor said it was a great way to get rid of acne, sign me up.

    I was on it until my early 20s, when I just stopped – my skin was clearer anyway (…eating healthier foods), and it was a pain to take a pill every day. Went on again for a bit, because I liked knowing when I’d get my period, then stopped for about 6 years. Finally ended up with an IUD, then ditched that to purposefully get pregnant.

    In the past 5 or so years, I’ve spent a lot of time educating myself on my body – what’s good for it and what’s not. I’ve come to the conclusion that my body knows what to do! I’ve tried to only put in the stuff I need (except I love ice cream). I try to use good skincare/makeup, I stopped using anything with added fragrance or home cleaners with chemicals, and I will never go back on birth control.

    While it may be incredibly useful to some, I know that the right choice for me is to let my body do what it’s supposed to do. I’m not a doctor, and I haven’t done any in depth research beyond reading books like WomanCode, but I can’t help but wonder where so many of our health problems come from – infertility, PCOS, cancer, insomnia, depression, etc. I just wish I had been presented with options at 15, instead of a prescription.

  3. J says:

    After having an abnormal pap smear last year I asked my doctor if I should consider getting off birth control since it is KNOWN risk factor for cervical cancer. My PCP and the gyno basically laughed at me and told me that it is completely safe and that it only increases the risk for cervical cancer because women on BC have to get screened more often. (that makes no sense to me). The abnormal pap turned out to be much more serious and I’ll spare all the medical jargon and details but now I’m under the care of a gyno-oncologist and have to get a hysterectomy as soon as I’m done having kids.

    The oncologist advised that getting pregnant right now would have a very high probability of ending in miscarriage and recommends staying on BC until I’m cleared to start trying. Everyday I question whether I’m taking a pill that is actually doing more harm than good. I can’t wait to stop the pill as soon as I’m able.

    • Anna says:

      This is very similar to issues that have been brought up recently regarding mammogram screening guidelines. A certain percentage of cancerous growths go away by themselves, so increased screening rates means these growths are identified and treated when they otherwise would simply disappear on their own, thereby increasing cancer rates in women who get screened more often than in those who don’t.

    • Jules says:

      In a similar situation where I took the pill for ~10 years and then got an abnormal pap smear result with pretty significant pre-cancerous cervical cells and visits to the onco-gynocologist too. I asked her about the impact of the pill on cervical cancer and she also blew it off as confounding effects in these studies (women who are on the pill longer tend to have been sexually active longer and therefore more likely to have early exposure to HPV).

      This seems totally legitimate reasoning to me, but that said I am off the pill now and don’t plan to go back on. I do think as teens / young 20s we are given the pill without much discussion of options or side effects, but there definitely should be more consideration of individual circumstances and preferences. I consider myself very lucky to have been on the pill in my 20s while I had some truly terrible boyfriends and an unplanned pregnancy could have been devastating. Now that I’m married with a child and have a stable living situation, an unplanned pregnancy would be ok. Circumstances change and costs/benefits of birth control options change.

  4. Mary says:

    I have been on the Nuvaring for 3 years and while it is easy to use, I know that it is directly connected to the anxiety and hairloss that I have experience. I would love to try an alternative, but honestly I am afraid since this has been so effective. Not sure if I am ready for an IUD.

    • Crystal says:

      Without going into TMI details, getting a Mirena IUD was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was SO painful to get and I’m not looking forward to getting it replaced/removed, but the improvement on my categorically awful periods and their related issues (including cycle-related migraines, weakness, vomiting, etc.) has been immense. I wish I’d gotten one years ago.

      • Diane says:

        After never using any type of HBC I got a Kyleena IUD at 36 after my daughter was born (so insertion wasn’t bad at all) and it has delivered the promised lighter periods, which has been a very welcome change. I had minimal daily spotting for about 3 months after insertion, which is apparently normal, but other than that I haven’t noticed any negative changes. When I was researching IUD options, I thought the information was hard to weigh. It seemed like everything was extreme one way or the other. The research seems to be overwhelmingly positive, but I had friends with unpleasant experiences. I thought it was hard to get straightforward information.

    • Ellen says:

      I also went the IUD route (mirena) and my only regret is that I did not get it sooner. Yes, insertion hurts, but it I didnt have lingering pain. My ob-gyn said it is what the majority of obgyns use.

      • Anna says:

        In my completely anecdotal experience, every woman I know who’s gotten an IUD loves it. Literally not a single one of my friends who has one regrets it or has had major issues. Only one said it was really painful to insert. I’m pretty happy with my HBC, and the thought of checking the strings and such weirds me out, so I’ve never seen a reason to change.

    • Denise says:

      +1 for Mirena

      I was not on the BCP because as a cradle catholic, the church frowns upon that. For years after having my first son I had major issues controlling bleeding. It got to the point where I was scheduling my life (work, etc.) around ‘when I would get my period’. After my second son it go tcompletely out of control, and after a terrible business trip I decided to get Mirena.

      It was essentially a miracle for me. No regrets.

      I did not find insertion painful but then, I’ve had 2 babies. I hear it is less painful if you’ve had children.

  5. Sherry says:

    I have the J Crew Factory dalmatian print button-up and love it! It’s great material, silky and forgiving. I washed on delicate in the washing machine and hang dried. Turned out great.

  6. Lucy says:

    Jezebel has a good critique of that piece from The Cut, as well as the growing anti-HBC and “wellness” movements in general. The tone of The Cut’s piece and others like it is veering a little too close to anti-vaxxer territory for me. I’m also not convinced the anti-choice agenda simmering imperceptibly underneath this conversation doesn’t have anything to do with these new “trends” and think pieces.

    • Jules says:

      Yes – like you commented, I thought the article had twinges of anti-vaxx. So many of the ‘feelilngs’ and ‘thoughts’ are based on anecdotal “evindence”. And most anecdotal stories are of when people noticed a big change – good or bad.

      The millions of women who never had adverse effects on the pill, and then off the pill, don’t make it into the media. I mean, if anecdotal stories and our own emotions are the only evidence we need, then MY experience of absolutely no side effects when I went on the pill, and absolutely 0 change after stopping the pill after 16 years means that HBC is 100% absolutely awesome for e veryone!

      I suppose what I am trying to say is – I hope women continue to have the choice what to do with their bodies, regardless of the millions of opinions.

      • Kathleen says:

        I thought the article was all over the place. There was that tone you’re complaining about, but in the other direction there was a distinct message of “the pill is the only reliable method of contraception and no-one ever had an unwanted pregnancy while using it”. She vaguely categorises IUDs with the “pull-out method” in a list of unreliable methods, whereas IUDs are extremely reliable because they’re not susceptible to user error/carelessness, which is the main threat to the reliability of many other methods, *including* the pill.

        Generally I think women should ask questions, do some research, don’t just blindly go with the first thing suggested (or stay with it when it doesn’t work well for them). And as for side effects, most options have some, for some people, even the non-hormonal options. You’re messing around with the way your body is meant to work, so it’s hardly surprising that sometimes the user might notice a change. You just have to find the option that works best for you.

  7. Linda says:

    The link to “the drop” didn’t work.

  8. On the birth control article. I’m 46, and took the pill continuously from ages 18-35. I had no noticeable side effects, but did hear anecdotally from other women and health care providers about all kind of awful side effects. Health care providers would mostly shrug and suggest some other pill or other method, because they didn’t know. For me, the pill was life changing in terms of the reduction of my very heavy, long periods (7 solid days of bleeding) and debilitating menstrual cramps, not to mention horrific PMS. Once I stopped the pill to get pregnant, I did notice a slight weight drop and possibly a slight mental lift. It’s hard to say, with so many other factors in play. But for me, I would have taken some side effects because the benefit of significantly less painful, less heavy periods was so huge, and that was a mental health benefit too. I am glad to see the mental/brain chemistry effects of the pill talked about, because I feel like so many women know it’s there, of course it’s there, but it gets shrugged off, like so many other womens’ health and mental health issues. We have to do better by women in all ways.

    • Anna says:

      My periods have always been pretty normal, four to six days, cramping the first two or so, enough to be obnoxious but not debilitating, and my HBC has practically eliminated them. It’s friggin amazing. I use it more for that than for pregnancy prevention. It’s pretty empowering.

    • Abbie says:

      My periods, while not heavy, lasted ten to fifteen days, often with extreme pain. BCP made life liveable.

  9. SC says:

    I am 39 and do not want children, and I’m looking into a tubal ligation either this year or next. My partner is older and he REFUSES to get a snip, for reasons I will never understand. It’s becoming a pretty contentious issue in our relationship, honestly. 🙁

  10. E says:

    For some women (emphasis on SOME), hormonal BC has been linked to pelvic pain. I had pelvic pain for a long time that I just thought was “normal.” Like, searing, fiery pain during intercourse. I was finally referred to an RN who specializes in pelvic pain in women, which is very understudied because women were just told the pain was in their heads and they should just drink a glass of wine and “relax.”

    If this is you, I highly recommend checking out materials on the National Vulvodynia Association website, there is also a subreddit devoted to the topic. It is worth raising to your doctor, and if they don’t know anything about it seeking out someone who does. But yes, as other commenters have suggested, don’t just go off the Pill without direction from a health care provider.

    At the suggestion of my pelvic pain specialist RN, I recently went off hormonal birth control to a copper IUD. In conjunction with other treatments (physical therapy, topical treatments), my pain has reduced SO much. And not having to take a pill every day is just a wonderful bonus,

  11. T says:

    Hormonal birth control makes me depressed, and of course my gyn doesn’t believe me that it’s the BCP causing it, so I insisted on a copper iud – life changing. I haven’t had any of the negative side effects, my period is lighter and more predictable, and I have a great sex drive (BCPs kill that too).

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