Imagine waking up, preparing to delightfully jump out of bed to pursue the black girl sorcery that the day has set forth for you, but you are paralyzed because there are 100 knives stabbing you in your uterus and blood from your sacred space seems to leave you in quarts.
This traumatic reality is one that women with endometriosis struggle with for 7-9 days each and every month.
According to BlackDoctor.Org, about 10% of women in the U.S. are affected by endometriosis, so that means that about 5 million women consider physically cutting their own uteruses out of their bodies at least once a month. Endometriosis is a painful reproductive condition where the tissue that normally grows on the inside of the uterus abnormally grows on the outside, which results in painful scarring and inflammation that can yield permanent side-effects.
It's estimated that 30-40 percent of women that are diagnosed with endometriosis may become infertile, one reason why many women are taking advantage of procedures like egg-freezing. This list of women includes pop singer, Halsey, who recently opened up on The Doctors about her personal experience with the painful condition. She mentioned that it is one that her mother, and her mother's mother also endured.
"My whole life, my mother had always told me, 'Women in our family just have really bad periods.' It was just something she thought she was cursed to deal with and I was cursed to deal with, and that was just a part of my life."
Halsey said that the added stress from her chaotic professional life only intensified her symptoms. She was misdiagnosed a number of times before she discovered that the root of her problems were endometriosis. The singer went on to describe the time when her condition escalated and she wound up bleeding and passed out in the middle of the road, which led to her being hospitalized.
"The thing with endometriosis is a lot of it comes down to... I think doctors can tend to minimize the female experience when it comes to dealing with it."
"My tour manager had to take me to a hospital. And the whole time I was there, no one knew what to tell me. Dehydration, stress, anxiety. And I'm saying, what about my pain?"
While there are some holistic treatment options, there are no preventive measures or cures for the condition, which leaves many women playing catch-up for a week every month due to the diabolical and debilitating disease that is endometriosis.
When I was 16, I went to the doctor about my extremely painful periods and overwhelming blood flow, and he prescribed a birth control that led me to develop gallbladder stones and I had to have an organ removed before I was 18. Here I am, 25 years old and doctors still have the same solution, and I ain't going for it. Halsey said that she was finally diagnosed and had surgery in 2017 and I can only imagine her relief.
"It was the relief of knowing that I wasn't making it up, and I wasn't being sensitive, and it wasn't all in my head, but it also kind of sucked to know that I was going to be living with this forever."
The "Bad At Love" singer said that she made the decision to put her foot down and become more aggressive about her treatment after a traumatic experience on stage.
"I was on tour, and I found out I was pregnant. Before I could really figure out what that meant to me and what that meant for my future... the next thing I knew, I was on stage miscarrying in the middle of my concert. The sensation of looking a couple hundred teenagers in the face while you're bleeding through your clothes and still having to do the show, and realizing in that moment... I never want to make that choice ever again of doing what I love or not being able to because of this disease."
"The sensation of looking a couple hundred teenagers in the face while you're bleeding through your clothes and still having to do the show, and realizing in that moment... I never want to make that choice ever again."
Halsey is among the women that are becoming more proactive about her condition, by considering options like egg freezing and laparoscopic surgery. She reminds us that although endometriosis can be a real bitch, we're the ones in charge of both our bodies and our quality of life.
"I'm 23 years old, and I'm going to freeze my eggs. And when I tell people that, they're like, 'You're 23, why do you need to do that? Why do you need to freeze your eggs?' Doing an ovarian reserve is important to me because I'm fortunate enough to have that as an option, but I need to be aggressive about protecting my fertility, about protecting myself."
To watch the full interview, watch below:
Featured image by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for LARAS
- Tips For Women Struggling With Endometriosis - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 5 Things To Never Say To Women Without Children - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Halsey Is Freezing Her Eggs at Age 23 Due to Her Endometriosis ... ›
- Halsey Felt 'Inadequate' After Suffering 'Demoralising' Miscarriage ›
- Halsey opens up about her on-stage miscarriage and endometriosis ... ›
- Halsey Opens Up About Her Endometriosis Struggle Following ... ›
- Halsey Reflects on Endometriosis Struggles, Shows Off Baby Bump ... ›
- Halsey Opens Up About Her Endometriosis Surgery | Teen Vogue ›
- Halsey Is Done with Hiding Her Endometriosis Pain | PEOPLE.com ›
- Halsey Got Real About Her Battle With Endometriosis in a Powerful ... ›
- Halsey Is Freezing Her Eggs Because of Endometriosis | PEOPLE.com ›
- Halsey Opened Up About What It's Like Living With Endometriosis ›
- Halsey Says She's Freezing Her Eggs Due to Endometriosis | E! News ›
- At 23, Halsey is freezing her eggs amid endometriosis battle ›
- Halsey Opens Up About Living With Endometriosis ›
- Halsey Speaks Out About Her Years-Long Battle With Endometriosis ... ›
- Halsey gives emotional speech about the pain of endometriosis ... ›
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
I didn’t think much could get better about the blissful high that comes with oral. That was until I came across the Kivin Method.
As someone who was never a huge fan of oral sex and could largely take it or leave it, I must admit that I have started to come around in recent years. With my head thrown back, hands gripping sheets and hair, and toes curling from the intense sensations of the work my partner is putting in at my center, I now give myself over to the pleasurable act wholly and unapologetically.
When I came across a way to maximize the pleasure I receive from cunnilingus (already), I had no choice but to tap in. Who knew the key to taking oral sex to new heights was giving it a sideways twist? For those of you who might also be interested in ways to spice up the way you do oral, experience faster and stronger orgasms, or simply want to indulge in something new with your partner, the Kivin Method could definitely be the oral sex technique for you, too.
Keep reading to learn about the method that is sure to have you writhing in ecstasy in no time at all.
What Is The Kivin Method?
For the uninitiated, the Kivin Method is an oral sex technique that focuses on stimulating the clitoris from a different angle. Dubbed “sideways oral” by some, this method involves the action of giving head from a side-to-side movement as opposed to the up-and-down motion that people typically perform when giving head. (If you need a visual, this illustration is helpful.)
The difference in approach as you’re receiving head can be a game-changer in how you receive pleasure. Not only does the giving partner have access to the clitoris, but they can also access more easily the vulva and the labia, which are objectively a bigger focus in this version of cunnilingus. More access means wider coverage, and that, plus the new sensation of oral from a different angle, can heighten the way you experience oral sex that much more.
Where more pleasure flows, intense orgasms are sure to follow.
How To Do The Kivin Method
If you want to know how to do the Kivin Method, it’s actually pretty straightforward. The receiver lays on their back while the giver positions themselves perpendicular to the receiver. Their head will be facing the vulva, but instead of vertical, their face will be horizontal to the vulva.
From there, the giver can get to business, ensuring that they keep their head perpendicular to the receiver’s vulva while working on their craft. Because this technique can be more intense for some receivers, start slowly by stroking the vulva and clitoris sideways with the tongue, and allow sensations and communication from the receiver to be a guide of what you need more or less of with the Kivin Method.
Ultimately, the Kivin Method allows experimentation and unlocking what pressure, rhythm, and tricks work best for the giver and the receiver. Try implementing a finger or two, or adding a sex toy to the mix to intensify the act even further.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Delmaine Donson/Getty Images