**This is going to be a very detailed post on things that for some, could be awkward subjects. (In other words, reproductive organs.) You have been forewarned.**
My friend and I got into a convo the other day about Sex Ed. She said she had a very comprehensive, in depth, and extensive education on anatomy. So I thought I would spell out what I got out of Sex Ed. and more importantly, what I didn’t.
Things Sex Ed. Taught Me:
1. Protection, protection, protection. Wear the rubber, or get pregnant. And die. Or worse. See #2.
2. STDs – probably 99% of men have them. See #1 to grasp how to avoid getting them. Don’t bother communicating with any partners, just always wear a condom.
3. You will get pregnant any time of the month.
4. In fact, you can even get pregnant through clothes. This is why #1 is so important.
5. Pregnancy ruins your life. It’s a terrible, terrible condition that happens to teenagers worldwide, but especially on MTV.
6. Also, pregnancy leads to childbearing. (Wait….what???)
7. ‘The pill’ can prevent #2-6. But it also clears your skin and comes in cute packages. You’re not really a woman until you get the privilege of this prescription.
8. Ladies, men only like you because of sex.
9. Sex is bad. But you will do it, because you are a filthy, raging hormonal teenager. You have no control over your body and impulses. Penises will probably fall into your vagina. So get on tha’ contraception ASAP! And don’t forget #1 because pills don’t prevent STDs.
(Some of these actually have merit, I’m just repeating what my 16 year old self thought and was told.)
What they didn’t teach me in Sex Ed. that Fertility Awareness did some 6-7 years later:
1. You can only get pregnant the 24 hours that your egg is dropped. However, the male juice can stay in your body up 72 hours if you have fertile fluid in you, sometimes longer. (Which you can track :O) A woman is typically only fertile, in this case 5-10 days of her cycle (or 100 hours total).
2. Your vagina is very acidic when there is no cervical fluid. This environment is hostile to sperm, so your body naturally wards off sperm when you are not fertile.
3. After the 24 hour window of the egg being dropped, your body temperature shifts, just in the slightest. A normal thermometer can’t detect this shift, but a Basal Body Thermometer can. This is so, just in case you did conceive, the uterus’s environment is baby-friendly. (Early embryos need slightly warmer temps to progress.) After this temperature shift, if you didn’t conceive in the 24 hour window, then you are considered infertile the rest of your cycle until day 1 (menstruation).
4. Your cervix position changes within your cycle as well. When you are infertile, the cervix sits in a position much more difficult for sperm to enter (because your body knows there’s no point and you are infertile).
5. By observing these changes in your body (cervix position, fluid, and temp) you can accurately track your times of fertility and infertility within your cycle. (FAM – Fertility Awareness Method…totally natural and totally cool!) Modern methods have proven to be 99% effective.
6. A side effect of IUD’s is heavy bleeding in the beginning of use. The reasoning for this is because your uterus recognizes a foreign object in your body – and says “Get it out!” So by shedding mass quantities of blood, your body naturally tries to expel the foreign object.
7. The pill doesn’t regulate periods. In fact, you’re not having a real period on the pill. It is your body flushing out blood because it thought you were pregnant (the hormones trick your body into thinking you’re pregnant). This is why many women who take the pill for PCOS have the same complications years down the road after being on meds for sometimes more than a decade. The symptoms were never treated, just allayed.
8. The female body just does some awesome stuff. And getting to know you’re own anatomy and cycle can be really empowering as a woman.
9. Abstinence is rare. If you wait, great. If you don’t, you deserve no less love than anyone else.
10. I can’t totally dismiss STD’s, they are real for many people. And communication goes hand in hand with relationships, especially sexual ones. If you’re partner cares about your health and even has the slightest worry about being infected, encourage them to get tested. Apart from being responsible, it is simply respectful.
11. Most importantly, sex is not bad. Heartache is bad. And sometimes, the former leads to the latter. Love is good. (And “dayyuum shawty lemme get tha’ thing in ya” isn’t love….well, what do I know? Maybe it is, and I’m just not aware…)
So any of my NFP-savy readers, if you see anything that I have missed or seems mistaken please let me know!
In conclusion, until Sex Ed teaches women what they’re bodies really do (I’m sorry but, ‘cervical mucus’ was not mentioned once to me in high school) I don’t think they can brag about being “comprehensive, in depth, or extensive”.