Roe v Wade

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    Deleting Your Menstrual Cycle Tracking App? Try These Printables

    When I was younger, I used my wall calendar to track my menstrual cycles. And then my planner. Then eventually, I moved into a digital calendar, and so I also moved into a cycle-tracking app. On the long list of health diagnoses that impact my daily life, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) ranks pretty high. Among other things, this means my cycles can be extremely irregular. Sometimes I’ll bleed for weeks, and other times I won’t see a cycle for months. Using a digital tracker felt like a weight off of my shoulders. It handled the math for me, calculating and recalculating my cycles, letting me know when a cycle might be coming, tracking how “overdue” I was (helpful for showing doctors), and was a light in the dark moments when my premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) kicked in and my brain told me awful things. I could open the app and say, “oh, I’m probably two days out.” But given the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the new six-week “heartbeat” law in my state (with a statewide ban being debated), and the writing that’s been on the wall – it’s time for me to delete the apps. Past time, really. When the draft leaked, I looked for alternatives. I tried a few, including one that marketed itself really well ahead of the Roe ruling. T he idea of losing all of this historic data from the app I’ve been using for the last (almost) decade infuriates me, and the idea of transferring it to paper feels overwhelming. Ultimately, the best choice for me at this moment is to go back to pen and paper, but the idea of losing all of this historic data from the app I’ve been using for the last (almost) decade infuriates me, and the idea of transferring it to paper feels overwhelming. So, I made a list of what I needed to track, how I wanted to track it, and my process for making this data transfer happen. I know I’m not the only person feeling this way, which is why I’m sharing. Worth noting: cycle-tracking apps are not the only way your data can be tracked and used against you. Taking the step to delete cycle-tracking apps is only one step , and does not fully protect your information from hostile state governments. I made a printable menstrual cycle tracker – it’s minimal but functional – and you can download it below. You don’t have to give us your email or tell us any information about yourself, and we won’t track who clicks into or downloads it. Just click the link below and download. Share it with your friends if you want. It’s a PDF so you can use it in GoodNotes, or print it off and tuck it away. DOWNLOAD THE FREE MIGHTY CYCLE-TRACKING PRINTABLE How to Transfer and Delete Your Cycle-Tracking Data Print off (or duplicate in GoodNotes) one page for every year of historic data you want to save. Record the data from your app(s) to the printable. Probably double-check your work. Tuck the pages away somewhere. Delete your data from the app. Delete any backups in the app. Depending on the app you’ve been using and its terms, email and ask for all your data to be deleted from their servers, mailing lists, sales lists, etc. Delete the app itself. Other Options for Purchase From Small Businesses There are also lots of beautiful cycle trackers available for purchase on Etsy. There are single page trackers, packets, and even some full books. Some have gendered language, but many are neutral. Here are just a handful of options: Menstrual Period Tracker — 3.75” x 6.75” Personal Planner inserts by SimpleandTrendyCo Single-Page Annual Tracker by LiveMinimalPlanners Monthly Single-Page Tracker by WriteIdeaDesign Monthly & Yearly Pages by RunawayShea Menstrual Calendar Journal by TheKapuShop ‘Moonblood’ Tracker: Track With the Lunar Cycles by TheWanderingMoonCo And if you’re into stickers and other journaling supplies, you might like these mini blood drop stickers, these stickers to indicate flow, or maybe these stickers that have symptoms too. You can also use one of those pretty notebooks you’ve saved for the “perfect” time. Oh, just me?

    Community Voices

    PMDD and why we need to talk about it

    I have PMDD. I have been suffering with this since I was a young teenager and I believe even before that. PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and it is considered a mood disorder that is caused by hormones and the neurotransmitters not taking these hormones well during your luteal phase. Basically my brain freaks out when certain hormones are going through my body during this time of my menstrual cycle. Most people experience symptoms such as anxiety, depression, rage, bloating or inflammation, muscle pain, intense food cravings, increased sensitivity to rejection, self-critical thoughts, and sometimes suicidal ideation.

    I got my menstrual cycle when I was 10 years old and I remember being really scared. I was told that they were so painful but I was not sure what that would look like. My mom did her best to make sure I understood the foundation of menstrual cycles and what I would need each month but nothing could have prepared her for the years to come where each month I would be filled with rage, depression, suicidal ideation, and all of the other challenges that came with it and no clear diagnosis.

    I did not get a clear diagnosis until about a year ago when I started to do research on menstrual cycles and found out about PMDD. My mom told me how she mentioned it to my pediatrician because she could see that I had issues when I was about to start menstruating but nothing ever came of it and he said to take Advil 3 days before I started to menstruate. She thought back to when she was in her early 20’s and would always be filled with rage and anger before getting her period but didn’t realize this was not a normal reaction. Even before I got a clear diagnosis she was always able to help me realize that it was my ‘PMS’ that was causing me to feel this way. We did not realize this was something other women experienced and that it was in no way PMS and it was a completely different issue causing me to feel this way. It was isolating, lonely, and frustrating not knowing exactly what was going on with my body and mind. I would go to therapy for anxiety and depression and try to track everything but we weren’t solely focusing on one mental health condition because we did not know that’s what it was. I went to the doctor multiple times to get my hormones and thyroid checked and everything always came back normal. It wasn’t until I did research on PMDD and found that no blood test will be able to tell you if you have PMDD because it is not a hormone imbalance it is a mental health condition caused by hormones.

    When I found out about PMDD it only brought a small amount of relief for me because I started to think about the journey that would be ahead trying to learn how to manage it. I was in undergrad, living on my own, and working full time on top of having these symptoms. I was stuck in survival mode until I graduated recently and now I have been left with no choice but to face this. I started to experience more intense suicidal thoughts during my luteal phase and would have intense emotions where I would tell myself I was not good enough. All of the stress I had experienced throughout school and life in general finally caught up and making itself known it was there and it needed to be dealt with. PMDD causes so much emotional and physical turmoil each month that I had to accept I needed to heal from all of the trauma my body had been going through. I have been dealing with anxiety and depression since I was 14 years old and suicidal thoughts were not a new occurrence for me but this level of mental imbalance was new and I needed to learn how to manage it.

    I currently am going back to therapy and I have found a lot of support through the IAPMD (International Association for PMDD and PME) Facebook page and support groups. They offer a wide range or resources and information if you are needing help with guidance. 1 in 20 people are impacted by PMDD and it is not just cis-gendered women. It’s important to stay aware that there are non-binary, gender fluid, trans, and others who don’t always identify as a cis woman but they still get a menstrual cycle. This inclusivity is important to stay aware of because it can help researchers find how this can impact specific populations too. There is help and support out there and talking more about your experience is the first step to educating not just other peers but professionals who may not be aware of this condition.

    #PMDD #Anxiety #Depression #BansOffOurBodies #RoeVWade #Period #MenstrualCycle #MentalHealth

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    Monika Sudakov

    My Experience With Having My Bodily Autonomy Questioned

    I have stopped and started this article more times than I can count. The recent leak of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has gotten me completely wrung into a knot and so despairing that my mind just keeps swirling, unable to fully grasp the myriad implications of what erasing 50 years of precedence will mean for future generations of women. While I have never had to make the heart wrenching decision to abort, several people I love dearly have, and I can assure you that their decisions were not made lightly. They were some of the most devastating but necessary choices of their lives and having the option of obtaining a safe, legal abortion was their only saving grace. I’m a doer. I see injustice and immediately want to do something to help. I was feeling immobilized as to what that something could be, until I realized that the best way I know how to advocate for the reproductive rights of women is to write my own truth. Something I do understand intimately is the demoralizing feeling of being completely disregarded as a human being where matters of the womb are concerned.  In the 30+ years that I have lived with endometriosis I have endured my fair share of that. Not just in the blatant disregard of my symptoms and the complete ignorance on the part of countless medical professionals who failed to recognize what my combination of symptoms meant, but more deleteriously in the period post-diagnosis when after years of attempting to manage my symptoms unsuccessfully I kept begging for a hysterectomy. For nine years my repeated pleas were either met with silence or comments like “what does your husband think?” and “what if you change your mind about not wanting children?” as if I was too stupid, incompetent or reckless to thoroughly comprehend the implications of my decision-making. Even more infuriatingly, when my husband was present in the office to offer his vehement support for my decision to not procreate and obtain a hysterectomy, they’d discuss my care with him like I was completely invisible. At every turn I was abjectly ignored, silenced and rendered powerless by white, male, heterosexual doctors who insisted that they knew what was best. Having grown up in an environment where I was taught that my needs and feelings needed to be silenced to placate others, I just sat there and took it like a “good girl.” My womb was treated like an independent piece of real estate that existed within me, but over which I had zero jurisdiction. My doctors assumed management over who they deemed it appropriate to inhabit that property with utter disregard for how I felt about the arrangement. It was like having an abusive landlord who refused to actually do any maintenance of the property, but insisted that I continue to put said property up for lease for free without any financial, emotional, or physical assistance and zero consequences when any inhabitant, be it endometrial lesions or a fetus, were causing damage to said property. It’s humiliating, dehumanizing and infuriating to constantly feel as though your worth as a human being is less than that of anyone else. Your pain is irrelevant, your feelings unimportant, your quality of life an afterthought. Your husband, your doctor and even a hypothetical fetus that you have already stated you don’t want and are actively trying to not allow to move in have more rights than you do over your bodily autonomy. And because we, meaning women, have been socialized to listen to authority, we don’t dare question it, no matter how painful it is to just sit there and take it. Make no mistake, women’s reproductive care is under attack. For any advances we may be making in comprehending etiology, symptoms, and treatment of diseases affecting women’s reproductive organs, like endometriosis, the policing of how, when and what care we can receive is an affront to our individual rights. We are descending into the dark ages where safe and reliable medical care for women was non-existent. Medical justice is being fundamentally erased for half of the population because a few individuals are allowing their religious beliefs to infiltrate their political agenda, completely disregarding not just the tenet of separation of church and state, but decades of scientific evidence indicating that access to safe legal abortions doesn’t lead to more abortions, it simply leads to fewer women dying horrendous deaths due to obtaining illegal ones, particularly women in marginalized communities. We can’t just let that happen without putting up a fight.