Do You Know...?

Do You Know...?

Do you know the average length of a woman’s menstrual cycle?

Do you know at what age a woman usually gets her first period?

Can you name the organs that make up the female reproductive system?

Are you able to talk about menses or periods without snickering or relying on phrases such as “that time of the month” or “Aunt Flow”?

Do you know the symptoms of menstruation?

Can you define the following conditions: polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and primary ovarian insufficiency?

Can you list the medical conditions treated using oral contraceptives (“the pill”)?

Can you explain how ovulation works?

Do you know how many hours an egg lives after leaving the ovary?

Do you know how many weeks it takes for a woman to learn she’s pregnant?

Can you define an ectopic pregnancy?

Can you define a blighted ovum?

Do you know how long it takes for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterine lining?

Do you know what implantation bleeding is?

Can you define the following pregnancy complications: plecenta previa, placental abruption, preeclampsia, eclampsia, and preterm labor?

Do you know the typical length (in weeks) of a pregnancy?

Are you familiar with common pregnancy pains?

Do you know what a “spontaneous abortion” is?

Can you list complications that can arise during labor?

Do you know which country (in the developed world) is the most dangerous to give birth?

Do you know the percentage of U.S. abortions that take place after 21 weeks?

Do you know that there is absolutely no such thing as a post-birth abortion?

Are you familiar with common postpartum problems?

Can you name the U.S. states that currently offer paid maternity leave?

Do you know that many U.S. states have no comprehensive sex education?

And some have too few obstetrician-gynecologists to provide health care to all women in the state?

Do you know that each woman’s experience with menstruation, conception, pregnancy, labor, and postpartum health is unique?

And that symptoms, complications, and side effects can change over time, or vary with each pregnancy?

If you answered “No” to a single question above, then you have no fucking right to tell any woman how to manage her reproductive system.

A version of this post first appeared in Indelible Ink

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