Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Beautiful Cervix Project

As part of my evening reading and reviewing, I happened upon a guest post on the Feminist Breeder blog of Gina Crosley-Corcoran.  The post was about taking control of fertility and knowing about one's own body. The blogger, Kim Buettner-Garrett said:
"... the idea of taking hormones to prevent pregnancy really made me uneasy. And the mere thought of inserting a hunk of metal into my uterus to create a “hostile” environment for a fertilized egg (leading to possibly heavier and more painful periods) also made my stomach turn — I don’t want to make any part of my body “hostile”, thank you very much"
 Kim recommended a book  Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler and you can read what she said on the site here.  I haven't read the book, but by the sounds of it, I need to get it and read it soon.

Kim's concerns  reminded me of the way that Gail J Dahl referred to hormonal contraception as 'chemical castration' - a term I hadn't associated with the 'pill' (and other forms of hormonal contraception) until I read those words of Gail's. Kim's comments and others who responded reminded me how few of us women know much about the inner workings of our marvellous bodies.  I remembered a wonderful site I came across some time ago "The Beautiful Cervix Project"

A student midwife decided to photograph her cervix through the menstrual cycle as a project for her course. Out of that project grew this amazing webiste and the project has expanded to include photos of the cervix across the reproductive cycle.  Her site has had over two million hits.  All different people with different reasons for exploring the wonder of the cervix visit her site.  Take time to explore and get to know the cervix. You'll be glad you did!

Oh, please explore at your discretion. If you are likely to be offended, please don't go there, avoid it.  The curator of the art has had trouble with people reporting her site for inappropriate content.  As it is a blog about the cervix, photos of the cervix in all its phases and roles is highly appropriate.

So be warned.

Come back and share what you've learned and your reaction to the project. I'd love to read what you think about it.


Michawn said...

just happened upon your blog today as i googled cord-clamping. love the blog. and you soooo need to read 'taking charge of your fertility.' i read it about 10 years ago or so and have since been recommending it left and right. it will definitely be required reading for my daughters...sons too maybe. ;) get it and enjoy. it's a wondefully informative yet fun read. why don't we know this stuff? :) why isn't someone teaching us from an early age? seriously.

Carolyn Hastie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I really appreciate your feedback. Yes, that book is a must read and you are right about the need for young people to be taught how our bodies work. I used to do school screening as part of a community health nurse role and I was surprised by the lack of basic knowledge about the body by many of the students. The key is parents' knowledge and unfortunately, a lot of parents don't know much either. Books like that are one way to transmit this information. How would you suggest is a good way to get the information out there?

Anonymous said...

Hi Carolyn, just happened to come across your blog today & was reading about your involvement with Belmont. I had a little chuckle when I read about Belmont's first homebirth being xmas day 2007. I remember being in labour that day & calling my midwife who was actually at that birth. You took the call because she was busy attending to the lady in birth! I didn't realise until now it was the first! By the way my labour was a false alarm. I rememeber your kindness & dedication in doing a home visit with me the next day, giving me some techniques for coping with labour. This birth went on to be my most fantastic birth & I've since had another bub at Belmont (#7!). Love the service & I have magical fond memories of being there. No more babies for me though :)


Carolyn Hastie said...

What a lovely suprise hearing from you Kim. I remember the phone call :) how funny that you find out now that homebirth was the first for the service! Highly symbolic don't you think? I'm so grateful that I was able to help, thank you for saying that. I'm also thrilled that you were happy with the service, that's made my week/year!

Your words are my dream come true!

Anonymous said...

LOL, chemical castration! But that's what it really is! Almost all forms of hormonal birth control cite low sex drive as a side effect. Especially Depo.

Depo-Provera is also used with male sex offenders as a form of chemical castration as it has the effect of drastically reducing sex drive in males.

If it has this effect in men, it's not that hard to extrapolate how it would effect women. Oh and I was one of those women that had their sex drive flattened by Depo, worst yr of my life and marriage.

Ps - The Beautiful Cervix Project is an awesome cite!

Carolyn Hastie said...

Sorry about the way that Depo affected you -that effect of Depo is glossed over with predictable results. I've always found it interesting that drug effects other than the desired one are labelled 'side effects'. They are not 'side effects' at all, they are 'effects' - a great way of minimising and discounting real issues people have with many pharmaceuticals. Jocelyn Lawler, I think it was, labelled that technique of seeking to diminish significance as a 'minifism'. Thanks for contributing your insights :)