Going off Birth Control

I’ve been off birth control for about two months now. I had been on some form of birth control for the past ten years–primarily the pill. I made the decision to go off birth control because I was really getting tired of all the side effects. I felt it was seriously affecting my sex drive and contributing to my vaginal dryness, plus the headaches. During the first month of going off birth control my sex drive increased like crazy. I was pretty much horny every waking moment. Of course this made my husband very happy. He wasn’t too keen on the idea of me going off the pill in the first place, but once he realized my sex drive was going through the roof he started to love the idea of no birth control pills. My vagina was much much wetter. I couldn’t believe the difference.

My first period came right on schedule. It was pretty normal compared to what I was used to while on the pill. It was a day or two shorter. My PMS cravings were worse, but I didn’t have super sore breasts like I did on the pill. After my period, my sex drive seemed to have tapered off some and I wasn’t quite as wet (still wetter than when I was on the pill).  Since I stopped taking the pill, I also don’t have those horrible headaches I once had. This month’s period came on schedule, but was not a normal period. I still had strong PMS cravings. Once my period started, the first and second day were heavy. Then I was spotting for a day or two and then it disappeared.  Once it disappeared, my sex drive seemed to perk up. We’ll see how this month goes. So far it looks like the pill was making me dryer as well as affecting my sex drive. I read that it can take up to a year for your periods to become normal. So far my experience hasn’t been bad. I’ve read horror stories of people going off the pill and having irregular periods or bleeding for long periods of time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Yet Another UTI

I’ve been doing the low carb low sugar thing for so long, I thought it would be ok for me to be a little more lenient on my diet. One of the things I miss having in large amounts are the sweeter fruits–watermelon, apples, pears, and especially grapes. I can eat a whole bag of grapes in one sitting. I love to freeze them too and eat them frozen. Since I can never seem to have these types of fruits in moderation (I always over indulge), I thought I might go on a little fruit fast for a few days.  In my mind I was saying to myself, “I’ll be peeing so much, there’s no way I could get a UTI.” I think I knew deep down that I was probably wrong. I lasted about two days with my fruit fast. I ate apples, pears, and grapes. I think the grapes are what really killed me. After day one I felt some stress on my bladder, and I had eaten a lot of grapes that day. I kept on though, thinking maybe it was just my imagination. By day two I was not feeling too hot down there. I had sex with my husband in the evening. I knew before I did it that the grapes combined with a sex session, would probably give me a full blown UTI. To be honest, I got so wrapped up in the mood, I didn’t care.

The next day, it was starting to really hurt when I peed and not much was coming out. I took a few days worth of the antibiotics that my doctor gave me for flare ups, and it took care of the problem. I didn’t detect any yeast problems as a result of taking the antibiotics. Thank God! I’ve been off of them for several days now, I’ve been sticking to my diet, and I even had sex. Everything down there feels great. I guess there is no chance I’m ever going to go back on a high carb high sugar diet. It’s just not worth it. This is the second UTI I’ve had in two months. I went a whole year without having one, and the second I slack off on my routine of preventing them, I get one. It takes a great deal of will power to do low carb for life, but preventing UTIs is a great motivator.

I think one of the reasons I strayed from my diet was because I didn’t have anything I could eat in the house. I was hungry when I went to the grocery store and that made my cravings even worse. Lately I’ve been keeping the fridge stocked full of eggs, chicken, pork chops, and steaks. I also keep cheese and macadamia nuts handy. The macadamia nuts really seem to help when I get a craving for something I’m not supposed to have. They are so satisfying. It’s getting close to my period, and I always have strong cravings the week before I start. Last night I indulged in several handfuls of macadamia nuts. The best advice I can give to anyone who falls off the wagon and flat on their face, is get back on quickly!!

Is Stevia Safe?

Stevia plant leaves have been used for centuries by native people in Brazil and Paraguay to sweeten beverages. It has also been used in Japan to sweeten since 1970.  Stevia contains no sugar; the main ingredient is called Stevioside. Many people choose to use Stevia in the place of artificial sweeteners. It is calorie-free and has no impact on blood sugar. It is also much sweeter than table sugar–hundreds of times sweeter. The main reason I haven’t tried Stevia is because you can’t buy it in any of the local grocery stores in my area.

Through doing some research, surprisingly I’ve come across claims which say Stevia may not be safe. It’s natural, so one would assume it is safe. Then again, tobacco is natural and it isn’t safe. I stumbled across one site that said a group of European scientists in early 2006 conducted a study that showed when male rats were given high doses of Stevia for 22 months, their production of sperm was reduced severely. It also showed a decline in the weight of the seminal vesicles and an increase of cell proliferation in their testicles. It was stated that over time, this could likely cause infertility or other reproductive problems. Another study in female hamsters showed they had fewer and smaller offspring.

This information is enough to convince some people to either stop using Stevia or to never start using it. For me, it’s not quite enough. I find it hard to believe Stevia is really this harmful, if the Japanese have been using it since the 70s with no report of problems. Also, these studies don’t specify exactly how much Stevia was given in relation to the body weight of the subject. No specific details of the study were given, so I can’t help but doubt its credibility. In addition, I also came across references to studies claiming Stevia is completely safe and even offers health benefits such as regulating blood sugar levels, lowering high blood pressure, improving digestion, and also calming an upset stomach. These studies showed Stevia has absolutely no effect the reproductive system, even when given in large doses (2,500 mg or 2.5 grams per kilogram of body weight).

Stevia is not approved by the FDA as a food additive, which is why I wasn’t able to find any prepackaged products with Stevia. The reason it isn’t approved is not because tests show it’s unsafe but because the toxicological information on Stevia is too inadequate to determine its safety. Basically, no one has done enough extensive research to prove one way or another. Part of this may be because no one wants to spend the big bucks to get it tested. Since Stevia is a natural product, it requires no patent to produce, and that gives less of a motive for companies to take Stevia under their wing because anyone could take a piece of the market. However, the FDA did approve Stevia to be marketed as a dietary supplement.

My take on it is that Stevia is probably safe in moderation–just like the artificial sweeteners. I’m sure the same people who think Stevia isn’t safe, also feel artificial sweeteners aren’t safe. I’m going to give Stevia a try. There are a couple of reasons why I would like to try Stevia. One being, I would like to have an alternative to artificial sweetener because artificial sweeteners cause me to experience  gas, bloating, and headaches, when used regularly. Also, I have read that Stevia is a much better option for those prone to yeast infections because supposedly the yeast do feed off of the artificial sweeteners. I have severely cut back on my intake of artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols since I did my 2 weeks without them. Some weeks I don’t even have any, and when I do it’s only once during the week. Overall, my vagina feels healthier. Last week I had my period. The little irritation I feel after my period was still there for a day or two but didn’t last nearly as long as it had in the past when I was using artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols daily. In the past, it would last an entire week after my period. I’m curious to see how things down there react to Stevia.

Naturalamb Condom Review

Naturalamb condoms are non-latex condoms, made by Trojan, designed to prevent pregnancy. They are great for those in a committed relationship who are not concerned about STDs. They are made from the intestinal membrane of a lamb and have been around for ages. These condoms are not an effective preventative measure against STDs. Studies have proven that the tinny pores in lambskin condoms are not large enough for sperm to pass through, but are large enough for HIV and possibly other STDs to pass through. If you are in a committed relationship and are not a vegetarian, you may want to give Naturalamb condoms a try.

My husband seemed to like the fit and feel of the Naturalamb condoms much better than the polyurethane condoms. For me, it’s as close to not using a condom as you can get. It feels very natural and does not cause any irritation whatsoever. I also like the lubricant on the condom. It isn’t sticky and the condom doesn’t dry out quickly. If you like additional lubrication, both oil based and water based work with Naturalamb condoms (I prefer water based). Some people complain about the smell of the condom. They do have  a somewhat odd smell, but it isn’t nearly as strong or unpleasant as latex. Most of the time I don’t smell it. The only time I get a whiff of the smell is if my face is for some reason particularly close to the condom. I don’t smell it at all during sex. So far we haven’t experienced any problems with the condom breaking or sliding off, even after lengthy or rough sex sessions.

Naturalamb condoms are much pricier in comparison to latex or even polyurethane condoms (you’ll pay at least $20 for a box of 12). They are more expensive to make due to the fact that they are made from lamb intestine membranes. Depending on how often you have sex, the price of these condoms can really put a dent in your wallet. Some couples alternate between lambskin condoms and a cheaper condom to save money. We use Naturalamb all the time because it’s hard to go back once you get used to the barely there feeling.

StarStarStarStar(Rated 4/5 Stars)


Trojan Supra Condom Review

Trojan Supra condoms are non latex condoms made from a material called polyurethane. Many people choose to use polyurethane condoms if they have a latex allergy. They are super thin and because of this, they transmit natural body heat much better than latex condoms. Although thin, they are also strong. Some people without a latex allergy choose to use polyurethane condoms because they feel more natural than latex condoms. Polyurethane condoms are compatible with water-based lubricants and oil based lubricants. This is an added benefit because latex condoms are not compatible with oil based lubricants.

Latex condoms were never really much of an option for me because I am allergic. Although, it did take me a little while to figure out I was allergic. Since I’ve been married, I haven’t used condoms–until recently. I decided to go off birth control and we’re not ready for babies yet, so we decided to give condoms a whirl. I will first mention that it is not clear whether or not polyurethane condoms are effective against preventing STDs. On the Supra package it states that testing is still being done to determine how effective they are against preventing STDs. Some websites say they are effective at protecting against STDs but not as effective as latex condoms. Although my husband and I don’t have to worry about STDs, I thought it might be worth mentioning. Maybe someone out there knows for sure whether or not they effectively prevent STDs. They do effectively prevent pregnancy, when used correctly.

I liked the polyurethane condoms ok. They weren’t great, but they weren’t horrible. They didn’t smell like anything, which was nice. They also didn’t cause any type of allergic reaction. It used to be difficult to find polyurethane condoms without the spermicidal lubricant nonoxynol-9, but now they’re pretty easy to find. The Trojan Supras I bought didn’t have it. I specifically looked for ones without it because I’m allergic to nonoxynol-9.  My biggest complaint with these condoms is they dry out too fast even when using lube. Once they get dried out it feels like rubber inside me. The Trojan Supras feel better than latex (from what I remember), but you can still tell they are there. I could really tell the condom was there when I was on top. I just couldn’t seem to reach orgasm while being on top and using this condom. The only way I can explain it is, it just didn’t feel right.

My husband complained that they were too tight. He is well endowed but not to the point where I would say he is huge. The condom literally looked like it was cutting off the circulation on his penis. I know condoms are supposed to fit very snug but this was just ridiculous. I’ve read other reviews and many complained about the Trojan Supra condoms being too tight. We didn’t finish the box because our lambskin condoms came in. My lambskin review should be coming soon. Trojan Supra condoms are more expensive than latex but not as expensive as lambskin condoms. I bought online because I prefer a little privacy. They were about $23 for an 18 pack.

StarStar1/2 (Rated 2.5/5 stars)