Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Naught Nurse Kimpy 12-8-11

Ask Naughty Nurse Kimpy is an advice column that addresses reader’s most burning questions on sexual health/relationships. STIs, birth control, is it real or is it fic, sexual positions--you name it. There are no stupid questions, only ones that are too embarrassing to ask someone you know. If Naughty Nurse Kimpy doesn’t know the answer, she’ll find an expert who does!

The information and advice from Ask Naughty Nurse Kimpy is for entertainment/educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as expert medical advice. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician. All medical advice and information should be considered to be incomplete without a physical exam, which is not possible without a visit to your doctor.

Naughty Nurse Kimpy got a great recommendation from a reader after last week’s post:

NNK: I don't know how many of your readers (if any) live in the Louisville, KY or surrounding areas but they have a fantastic group of women doctors that practice gynecology. The group is called Women's First of Louisville.

I travel over an hour to see my doctor there. I love her to death. She never makes the situation seem awkward and is in and out usually before I can blink.
Thank you so much for sharing! NNK readers in the Louisville environs, you now have a great resource to check out! As you’re probably aware by now, Naughty Nurse Kimpy feels very strongly about embracing all types of sexual identities. Gay youth have the highest suicide rate among adolescents and young adults. If people believe for one second that people actively choose to be gay, or bi, or transgendered, perhaps this video will make them think twice about their convictions. I know it broke my heart. Jonah’s Rap Song (What’s Going On)
I want to start by saying that you are awesome. So many of the questions that I have seen on here are things that I have often wondered, but have been to embarrassed to ask myself. So thank you! Now to my question. I am the mother of a 3 year old girl and 14 month old boy. Both of my children are birth control babies. With my daughter I had been taking ortho tri cyclen Lo and I barely (maybe once every 3 months) missed a pill. With my son I was on the nuvaring. I now have the mirena iud, because my husband and I are unsure if we will have any more children. I've had no problems so far. My question is, is it possible that something in my body makes birth control not work? Is that even possible?
Naughty Nurse Kimpy is delighted to know that you have benefited from other reader’s questions. That’s why we’re here, after all. *grin*

Now, about your body and whether or not it makes hormonally-based contraceptives null and void... that’s unlikely. Notice I didn’t say impossible, just unlikely. I suspect that perhaps you might be a woman who is naturally highly fertile. As such, it doesn’t take much for you to conceive (clearly). Hormonally-based contraceptives have been designed to use the lowest effective dose of hormones--that is, enough to avoid pregnancy, but not so much that it causes other health problems. Your body might need a higher level of hormones in your contraceptives in order to avoid pregnancy.

The good news for you is that the Mirena IUD works in two separate ways to provide birth control. First, it is infused with a hormone to control your cycle so that you don’t ovulate. But the really nifty thing about IUDs is that their shape and placement in the uterus ensures that any fertilized eggs won’t implant on the uterine wall. So, even if for some reason the hormone aspect of the IUD would fail you, the IUD itself should not.

There is one other possibility to consider--you may have been taking other medications that can interfere with the pill’s effectiveness. Here is a list of medications that might cause problems.
Hello, first off, let me just say, I love this blog. This resource is so candid and refreshing. I can't thank you enough. I just found out that my husband (of 3 years) has recently discovered he's transgender. He loves me and wants to be with me, yet he says he feels the need to possibly explore this side of him a little, even if it has to be in private. We've had a few discussions that were very difficult, but have found some common ground and limits so at the moment we're both compromising. I'm working on being as supportive as I can at the moment (little things like painting his toe nails or going panty shopping). However, there are outside factors that have added on a lot of stress recently (he's stressed over this too but it's most my responsibility) where I think I can only take so much stress right now. I feel very guilty because I have thoughts of just running away from this situation or fantasizing what it was like only 4 weeks ago. We've been together since we were in high school so this is just hard to comprehend.

We're in the process of making an appointment to speak with a therapist who specialized in transgender/marital issues. I was just wondering if you had an additional advice. I promised I wouldn't talk about this to anyone yet (not even my mother unfortunately) so I feel very lost with no one to talk to. I appreciate any words of advice - thank you.

With his recent minor changes like removing his chest hair (through epillating actually - ouch) and underarm hair and he's discussing the laser hair removal of his face and legs. I'm a little overwhelmed with some of these changes. I like his hairy legs and his 5 o'clock shadow - the things that are familiar and that made him, him. I'm worried that with all these changes I'll start treating him as a friend and looking at him like a woman rather than the man I married. I'm trying very hard to stop these thoughts and feelings, but I don't know what to do.

Thank you so much for trusting me to help you address what is a very stressful, scary, difficult issue. Being transgendered has to be one of the most challenging things a person will ever face. To discover that you feel trapped in the wrong gender is just devastating. It takes so much courage to admit that to oneself, and even more to admit that to your spouse. My heart truly goes out to these individuals, your husband included.

There are a lot of different issues at play here that need to be addressed--I’m relieved that you’re going to see a counselor who can help you with transgender issues and how it relates to your relationship. There are a lot of hurdles the two of you are going to face, and a good therapist will definitely help you navigate some of the more challenging ones.

Clearly, you’re going through a phase where you’re trying to adapt to a changed reality, and that’s incredibly scary. Your life as you knew it has been forever changed by this new truth. So while you’re being a supportive spouse and doing the best you can, your husband’s life isn’t the only one that’s changed. I understand his request to keep this quiet for now, but that’s also incredibly difficult for you, because you need to process this with someone else besides him. You’re right; that’s incredibly stressful. Please absolve yourself of any guilt you feel, because it’s an expected reaction to dramatic news. Who wouldn’t want to flee and pretend everything is just as it was?

While you’re waiting to see the therapist and have no other outlet for processing all this information, I’m going to recommend some movies for you to watch. They’re all very well done, and address numerous issues about being transgendered, both for the individuals themselves and the people who love them. My hope is that it will help you better understand the situation and to stimulate some good conversation between you and your spouse.

Normal stars Tom Wilkinson and Jessica Lange. After being married to Irma for 25 years, Roy decides the stress of being a woman in a man's body has grown intolerable. He unburdens himself to Irma and their pastor, shocking them both. Roy's decision to pursue a sex-change operation is greeted with intolerance and disgust by some of his co-workers and members of his church. Irma eventually comes to some understanding, and supports Roy through his journey to becoming "Ruth."

Prodigal Sons Filmmaker Kimberly Reed returns home for her high school reunion, ready to reintroduce herself to the small town as a transgender woman and hoping for reconciliation with her long estranged adopted brother Marc. Things are complicated by the shocking revelation that Marc may be the grandson of Orson Wells and Rita Hayworth, forcing Kim and her family to explore questions of sexual orientation, identity, severe trauma and love.

Transamerica A pre-operative male-to-female transsexual takes an unexpected journey when she learns that she fathered a son, now a teenage runaway hustling on the streets of New York.

It’s understandable that you’re tempted to run away from it all, but that isn’t going to really solve any problems; part of your new reality is that the man you married is transgendered. You’re starting to grieve the losses of the man he once was--five o’clock shadow, hairy chest--as he becomes the person he feels he is inside. With every change, there’s a little more grieving. The bottom line is that he isn’t the man you married anymore, and the nature of your relationship will likely change because of this. It’s hard to know now if the two of you will still be together when you get to the end of his journey toward self-actualization. You simply have to move forward and see where things take you.

It means a great deal that your husband was able to be honest with you about his identity crisis; it’s a testament to how much he loves and values you. I’m impressed that you’ve both been able to try to make your way through a confusing maze without any instructions. As you move through this discovery process, it’s important to recognize that you need to do your own work here, to make sure that it isn’t just about your husband’s journey. You need to figure out what you can and cannot deal with in a relationship. As much as you love your husband, you fell in love with the man who he was. That’s not to say you can’t love the woman he is, but perhaps the best you’ll be able to manage is friendship. There’s nothing wrong with that. What’s paramount is that you’re both being open and honest about what you can live with.

I do want to encourage you to listen to your heart, first and foremost. You’re going to get a lot of pressure from other people to behave in a certain way, but the only two people in this marriage are you and your husband. If you love him and are able to stay married, remember that no one else gets to decide what works for you. If you’re happy together and you can make it work, that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

I feel for you and your husband, and I wish you courage and strength as you try to figure your lives out. If there’s anything I can do, or more information that I can provide, please let me know.

Here are some helpful links and articles:

  • Can a marriage survive transition? An interesting article written by a woman whose spouse is transgender. 
  • For Wives and Significant Others of Transsexuals The other side of the issues. A transgender woman talks about her failed marriages and how her gender issues may have contributed. 
  • PFLAG is a support group for families and friends of Lesbians and Gays AND Transgender. You can find a link to their transgender specific information in the upper right corner of the home page. 
  • Straight Spouse Network (SSN) is an international organization that provides personal, confidential support and information to heterosexual spouses/partners, current or former, of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender mates and mixed-orientation couples for constructively resolving coming-out problems. 
  • Susan’s Place is a great site with tons of links to Transgender sites.

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Anonymous said...

love the song

Anonymous said...