This may seem a bit off topic for my blog but it is Whatever Wednesday and this is an important topic. I decided to do this particular post because You are Loved asked me to participate in their blog campaign but also for some personal reasons.
I had started having issues this year and I was guilty of not telling my mom. My mom was guilty of not telling me that she had menopause early. I had suspected that may have been my issue but it would have been nice to know and not have worried so much. This came up in conversation with a friend recently when she disclosed to me that she had an abnormal pap. Her mother had not disclosed some history information and the outcome is yet to be determined. My friend is having surgery today to find out how far her pre-cancer/cancer cells have spread. That is why I wrote this post today. This has been heavy on my mind and I didn’t sleep well, so here I am telling the world how important it is to discuss these things!
A girl/woman needs to know how to care for herself. I found a great website with lots of information for teens about sexual health here. But I have also provided links for specific topics if you would like to read more details about various tests and topics. They should know to have an annual pap smear. Not only should they be told why the pap smear and annual exam is so important but they should be told what to expect. Here is a pretty good link about what to expect at the visit with a video that includes the instruments used. I personally recommend having someone else in the room for the exam, especially if it you are not familiar with what to expect. A female family member or a nurse. This is a good idea for anyone but especially for an autistic with sensory issues. As the video show they do perform a breast exam but it is not through your clothes like the video shows. Here is a link for how to do a self examination. It is also important to have a mammogram to detect any early signs of breast cancer.
A young girl also needs to be told how to care for herself during her period. One of the biggest discussions, is usually pads vs. tampons. Here is a great link describing all of the options. This article also thoroughly discusses the other green and organic options such as menstrual cups. I had never heard of menstrual cups until recently but they seem like a great option. I have never tried them because by the time I heard of them I was already having my issues and I ended up having an ablation so no more visits from Aunt Flo (slang for menstrual period) for me. I can’t say that I miss Aunt Flo. For those of you still having visits there are many options and it is important to consider the options. There are health risks to using tampons and it is important to know about those as well.
The website You are Loved is dedicated to spreading the awareness of tampon related Toxic Shock Syndrome. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is discussed in the insert in the tampon box but I am guessing most people don’t read that information. I honestly did read the information but honestly only because I had a friend in high school that had TSS. I don’t remember the details only that she told me it was serious and she sounded scared and concerned enough that I went home and actually read the insert! This is a very serious syndrome and girls have died from it.
If a girl is going to wear tampons she must know about this syndrome and the symptoms- sore throat, aching muscles, temp over 102, vomiting, headache, watery diarhhea, red rash, confusion, dizziness, low blood pressure. Here are links to some additional stories about this syndrome that You are Loved provided to me. What is Killing Hoosier Women and Toxic Shock, Why are women still dying. You are Loved has done a wonderful job of putting together information on their website and created a very informative brochure. I encourage everyone to read the information and also to consider spreading awareness through their blog in support of this very important cause. If you do participate please let them know through their website or through Twitter, so they can add your link to their website.
This is my 30th and final post of the NoBloPoMo! I did it & now I may take a break for a couple of days!!