Author Archives: SuzyKnew!

About SuzyKnew!

SuzyKnew! is dedicated to improving the sexual and reproductive health and sexual pleasure of women of color.

Fertility Friday: Surrogacy And Egg Donation

Today, we share Fertility Friday’s podcast on surrogacy and egg donation. Hostess Lisa Hendrickson-Jack talks to Eloise Drane. Ms. Drane is the founder of Family Inceptions — a “boutique style” family planning agency specializing in surrogacy and egg donation. She developed the Surrogacy Roadmap, a digital online platform teaching potential parents how to complete a successful surrogacy journey without paying agency cost— she considers it more than a business, but rather, a calling..

Click here to go to the page and access this unique podcast developed by a Sista’ addressing infertility issues.

 

What Is Pride Month? By ARHSG

Picture courtesy of IN Magazine

Since I was a kid, the rainbow-colored flags flowing in the streets during the month of June in New York City and other major cities always made me curious.  Gradually, I learned that all these marches, parades and picnics are hosted for a single reason: Pride.

Picture courtesy of Miami New Times

Pride commemorates the June 1969 Stonewall Raids and is a celebration of the global Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and related communities (LGBT+) by the global LGBT+ community and its allies.

While the LGBT+ community is not visibly present in some countries, it is becoming more and more visible in the United States, and other countries hosting pride events, from Norway to Japan. From the national level to the local level, Pride is doing what it was intended to do: to paint a different picture of the LGBT+ community and to increase the community’s visibility as its own distinct social group.

Image result for california pride state capitol
Picture courtesy of CBS News

In fact, this year, in commemoration of Pride, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, announced that California would fly the famous rainbow-colored flag, a symbol of LGBT+ pride, over the State Capitol of California. According to Newsom, “By flying the pride flag over the State Capitol, we send a clear message that California is welcoming and inclusive to all, regardless of how you identify or who you love.”

However, despite Newsom’s message of inclusion, some members of the Black LGBT+ community feel that Pride events can be, as the headline of a Guardian article says, “Too straight, white and corporate.” In the Guardian article, journalist Sam Levin follows self-identified queer (queer meaning people who identify with a sexual identity outside the societal norm) people of color at a San Francisco Pride Parade after the Orlando Nightclub Shooting in June 2016. For many of his interviewees, who are racial minorities and low-income queer people, the events at Pride seem to be dominated by corporations and white people. According to David J. Johns, Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, in a CNN article, “Pride month, to be clear, is an extension of Black History Month.”

Image result for black pride
Picture courtesy of San Diego Pride

This perception that Pride events do not always include the black LGBT+ community has not only been a problem in San Francisco. In 2017, NBC News similarly covered developments at the Atlanta Pride in Georgia, in which LGBT+ people of color described feeling that Pride events focused more so on the white community, spurring Jamie Green-Ferguson, the executive director of Atlanta Pride, to say in a published message that “Atlanta Pride, contrary to popular belief, is not a white LGBTQ organization.”

Image result for black pride
Picture courtesy of UK Black Pride

Still, Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of the Human Rights Watch, says, “There’s been enormous progress globally and locally.”

So, if you were curious about Pride Month and its significance, here’s your debrief. Still interested? More resources are available online, and many Pride events have advertisements on Facebook. And if you are particularly interested in learning more about the black queer movement, CNN posted an interesting article on seven important black LGBT+ leaders in honor of Juneteenth, the day slavery was abolished, and Pride Month.

ARHSG (A Recent High School Graduate), as the name suggests, just recently graduated from high school in New Jersey, and is currently interning at SuzyKnew! ARHSG will give you opinions on life and relationships, especially as it pertains to youth.

For Heavy Women, The Copper IUD Is More Effective Than “The Morning After Pill” To Avoid Pregnancy

Ladies- we know that a toss in the hay without a condom or other protection doesn’t mean a lady has to end up pregnant.   And many of us know that Ella, the emergency contraceptive pill effective for up to 5 days, is better for us curvy women than the regular ‘Morning After Pill.”  Pills like Norlevo, Plan B, PostinorTake Action, etc are levonorgestrel-based  and most effective only during the first 72 hours after unprotected sex.  They have also been proven less effective among women with a high body mass index (BMI).

The first dedicated “Morning After Pill” or emergency contraceptive was based on the hormone levenorgestrel.  Then a new pill made with ulipristal acetate, 30 mg or UPA named Ella came out with two key benefits: it was effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex,  and it was also thought to be more effective for women with a higher BMI.

For more SuzyKnew! articles on emergency contraception click here and here.

Now UK government guidelines state that both levonorgestrel and UPA-based emergency contraceptive pills are not good choices for overweight women to avoid pregnancy.  The guidelines state the copper IUD is the method that is the most effective option for overweight and obese women who want to avoid pregnancy after unprotected sex.  Although many healthcare providers and women remain unfamiliar with the copper IUD, it has long been documented as the best option for emergency contraception. But, until now, it was not clear that even the new Morning After Pill or Ella is not as effective as once believed for women with high BMI.

Ladies, let’s make sure we chose the options that are made for us and best us.

Fertility Friday: 5 Way Fertility Awareness Will Help Get You Pregnant

Today’s Fertility Friday article highlights the top 5 ways Fertility Awareness will help you get pregnant! Whether you’re actively trying to conceive or planning to conceive in the near (or distant) future, you’ll want to tune in!

Topics covered in the podcast include:

  • What does it mean to preserve your fertility?
  • How long should you be off of hormonal birth control before trying to get pregnant?
  • How Fertility Awareness helps you time sex accurately
  • The 3 signs that determine your fertile days
  • When do you produce cervical mucus?
  • The role cervical mucus plays in sperm fertilization
  • How your menstrual cycle is the fifth vital sign
  • Why eating healthier or consuming more unhealthy items than normal may affect your menstrual cycle
  • The benefits of tracking your cycle for your own health benefits

For more about Fertility Friday and the founder Lisa Hendricks-Jack, click here.

Unsafe Abortion: Tell The World “NEVER AGAIN”

Ladies, in these challenging times, have you wondered how you can tell the world: “Never again will women die from unsafe abortions!” without getting too up close and personal?

Well – you can sport a coat hanger pendant or t-shirt to let the world know you’re not down with women dying or being mutilated.  Although these items have been around for several years, the new political landscape demands immediate action to show the world where you stand.

See SuzyKnew!’s article on Supreme Court Justice Candidate Kavanaugh

Last Wednesday, Louisiana became the 9th state to ban abortions at an early stage – around six weeks – when many woman will not realize they are pregnant. The goal of anti-abortion activists getting these state-level bills passed is to provoke the Supreme Court into taking take up one of these unconstitutional laws, hoping the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling will be overturned..

See SuzyKnew! Will Abortion Rights Be Overturned in the U.S.?

The coat hanger is how many back-alley or DIY abortions were performed back in the day. And in fact, although abortion is still legal in the U.S., desperate women still do use coat hangers to self abort.

Perhaps because half of the U.S. population was born after 1973 or because the number of abortions in the U.S. has been on the decline since the late 1970’s, many people may not be familiar with the coat hanger symbol. But, over the last 5 or so years when anti-abortionists picked up their steam, these little symbols have been popping up everywhere to remind people that the past could reappear.

Really the clothes hanger is the symbol of horror and trauma. Along with the humiliation and demeaning of women.

You can find your coat hanger pendant on Amazon. But, the selection is a little sparse, and there isn’t much explanation for what the hanger symbolizes or why someone would wear a coat hanger pendant.

You’re better off going to Etsy  or Café Press where the craftsmen and craftsladies reign.  There are sterling silver and 14k gold pendants along with inexpensive $4 gold and silver color pendants similar to the ones that Planned Parenthood and other organizations give out in exchange for a donation. In fact, you can make a donation for safe abortion access when purchasing many of these pendants.   Etsy also has many t-shirts and sweatshirts to chose from.

Never again, Ladies!

What Do You If Your Man Forgets You On Mother’s Day?

Happy Mother’s Day, Ladies!

SuzyKnew! hopes you spent this day giving love to your family and friends.  We also hope you were surrounded in love.

But, what do you do if the man in your life forgets you on Mother’s Day, like Trump forgot Melania in his Mother’s Day Tweet?

Y-e-s! The Donald spent the morning ranting against his critics and when he finally got around to mentioning Mother’s Day he said nothing about his wife, Melania. Ouch! What a slap in the face.

Ladies – we know this could be you. Today, you may have been dissed by your husband, lover, boyfriend, paramour, whatever… it doesn’t matter. It hurts. You’re in pain.

What to do?

Treat yourself to ice cream: Tonight, go all out. You deserve it: Haagen Daz, Ben and Jerry’s, Talenti (and we don’t mean the reduced calorie kind), Breyer’s you name it. Don’t hold back. One pint may not be enough. Mother’s Day is your day to feel good. (Even if you’re not a mother, mind you…) Don’t go to bed without comforting yourself.

Plan a yoga or spin class after work tomorrow:  Of course, SuzyKnew! doesn’t want you to put on weight because the man in your life was disrespectful on Mother’s Day.   There’s a good chance he was disrespectful on Valentine’s Day and he’s been doing this for a while. You’re probably used to it. Numb.

So – work it out. Don’t eat you’re pain away.  You don’t see Melania putting on the pounds while she’s enduring The Donald’s insults, do you? Plan to block out and work out the pain tomorrow after work at your favorite yoga, spin or dance class.

Therapy on line: If you’re ready, take the next step: Therapy. Sometimes, your girlfriends aren’t enough. Talking through your issues with the Sistas’ doesn’t always lead to change or growth. Why are you still with this man? Are you Melania Door Mat Trump? No. You’re not.  And you don’t have the type of money she has either.  Therapy on line is becoming a fast, affordable approach to dealing with your issues.  Why not try it now?

Whatever you do, Ladies, we hope you remember you’re special and loved.  And, if your man forgot you today, SuzyKnew! has not: Happy Mother’s Day!

Will Abortion Rights Be Overturned In The U.S.?

Since the 1973 landmark Roe v  Wade supreme court case, U.S. women have enjoyed the legal right to an abortion across the country.   States, however, have the right to regulate abortion services provided in their state, and in recent years, many state legislatures have moved to reduce access to abortion by placing restrictions and limitations on access and services.

For many who oppose a woman’s right to have an abortion, the ultimate goal is to overtun Roe v Wade by trying to get a restrictive abortion law case before the supreme court.  Now that Brett Kavanaugh, the newly appointed – and highly partisan – Supreme Court justice, is on the court, there is a good chance for this to happen.

See More SuzyKnew! articles on Brett Kavanaugh

The Governor of Georgia just signed a controversial, anti-abortion law called the  “fetal heartbeat law.”  This new law makes having abortion after 5- 6 weeks of pregnancy illegal.  Abortion rights supporters say this is an effective ban on abortion because few women realize they’re pregnant at 5 or 6 weeks, when a heartbeat can be detected.  Georgia is not the only state to pass such a ruling or a restrictive law.  In fact, there many states that have passed restrictive laws with the hope of getting a case before the Supreme Court.

Georgia’s “fetal heartbeat law” will be undoubtedly challenged in court and could be appealed up to the Supreme Court. In fact, there are already 12 laws that could be brought before the Supreme Court to challenge Roe v Wade.  (For more, see Politico) The types of cases include:

Who can get an abortion -1 case

Who can perform an abortion -5 cases

When a woman can get an abortion -1 case

Why a woman can choose an abortion – 2 cases

How a pregnancy is terminated – 3 cases

Ladies, it’s only a matter of time before we know whether Roe v Wade will continue to be the law of the land or overturned. If this happens, abortion rights as we currently know, and perhaps take for granted, will end. What have you done lately to protect women’s reproductive health?

Photo courtesies: The Bustle.com and Salon.com

Fertility Friday: Managing Intense Period Pain

Today,  we share a Reality Series episode from Fertility Friday.  Founder Lisa Hendrickson-Jack interviews Maria, who shares her experience managing painful periods while trying to conceive. Click here for the full episode and here for other episodes in the Fertility Awareness Reality Series.

This episode is sponsored by Fertility Friday’s 10 Week Fertility Awareness Mastery Group Program. You are invited to join the Fertility Awareness Mastery program!

Malaria And Sex

Did you celebrate World Malaria Day yesterday?

No worries if you missed it.  SuzyKnew! is here to share with you the basics on how this nasty disease can affect you and your love life.

First, when it comes to “sex,” both genders can get malaria equally.   Neither sex is shielded from its horrible effects.  Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease – a potentially fatal blood disease – but you can’t get it through any type of sexual contact. No. You can’t get this nasty disease doing “the nasty.”

However, when it comes to our sex lives – and reproductive health – malaria affects the gentlemen differently than it affects the ladies.  In some instances, malaria can cause men to have low sperm count. And, for the ladies, especially pregnant women, malaria is very harmful. It can cause stillbirth or cause a woman to miscarry or deliver pre-term or have a baby with a low birth weight.  Also, anti-malaria drugs containing doxycycline can decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. So, ladies, take care.

The World Health Organization estimates that each year there are 300-500 million cases of malaria, mainly in developing countries, and more than 1 million people die of malaria. The disease is present in over 100 countries in world, or a little more than half the world’s countries. How do you know if you have malaria? Symptoms include fever, flu-like illness including shaking and chills. Vomiting and muscle aches are also symptoms. Get tested right away if you think you have malaria so you can start treatment and reduce the risk of death.

Fumigation

A lot of progress has been made in preventing malaria including spraying and the development of improved anti-malarial drugs.  A lot of progress has also been made in the treatment of malaria and now there is even a vaccine. Nonetheless, take this disease seriously whether you live in a malaria-prone area or travel to one. Keep your sex life sexy and healthy.

This Good Friday Remember Black Women Who Are Victims Of Trafficking

This Good Friday the Pope has asked for meditations to be dedicated to victims of human trafficking. He asked Sister Eugenia (pictured above) who works with migrant women forced to work as sex workers to compose the meditations.

Remember Black women today.

In Italy, where the Vatican is located,  thousands of African women are trafficked for sex work each year.  In the U.S., Black women are more likely to be victims of sexual trafficking than women of other races.  Slightly more than 40% of sex trafficking victims are Black, according to the Justice Department, and women are more than twice as likely (68%) than men to be trafficked for sex.

As for human trafficking globally, the majority of the top 10 countries that have the worst records for human trafficking are African countries. They include Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Mauritania, the DR Congo and Guinea Bissau.

Christ died for the sins of humankind on Good Friday.  Remember this, and pray for our healing from the sins committed against us.