We’re taught that withdrawal won’t work, that it’s a sketchy contraceptive method, if one at all, and that its failure rate is high.
That said, 60% of sexually experienced women rely on withdrawal at some point in life! And on our fertility app Glow, we’ve also seen that a disproportionate portion of our population — 18% of our birth control users — list withdrawal as their primary birth control method.
These stats imply that withdrawal isn’t going anywhere. And if that’s the case, we need better education about withdrawal, good information about how to make the method as smart and safe as possible, and how technology can help.
We’re on it. Glow authored our first Medium article about this very topic. Check it out! This is data you certainly won’t want to pull out on ;)
From dodging your nosy relatives to stuffing gifts in weird places, it can be hard to hide anything during the holidays. And that’s how it felt before you were pregnant. Check out these tips for keeping your biggest secret of the season under wraps :)
1. Opt for that ugly holiday sweater instead of the tight dress. Everybody loves the ugly sweater.
2. Ask for a soda water + lime or cranberry spritzer at the bar. Alternatively, never leave your S.O.’s side and make your partner drink for two!
3. Claim you’re on a cleanse (or preparing for one), trying to keep the holiday LBs off this year. Yep, be that girl.
4. Splurge on a beach vacation to avoid the holiday scene completely. No who/what/when/where/why blitz from Aunt Sue this year! Mwahaha.
5. Stay trendy with a belly-covering midi skirt or grecian wrap dress.
6. Claim designated driver status - someone’s got to put safety first!
7. An oldie but a goodie: Say you’re sick, finishing up antibiotics from an infection or a severe cold.
It’s October and the pink ribbons have descended: Breast Cancer Awareness month is upon us!
When dealing with the threat of breast cancer, it’s important to know what you personally can and cannot control. Glow’s here to help with two lists. 5 breast cancer lifestyle choices well within your control. And 5 breast cancer risk factors out of your control. Get ready to turbo-charge your breast cancer savvy :)
5 Breast Cancer Awareness Tactics Well Within Your Control
#YOLO - You only live once, so take care of that body. Stay in control when it comes to alcohol (no more than one drink per day is best advised), stay away from those cigs and all smokey smoke. Remaining physically active and in a healthy weight range will also help!
Breast-feed - If you’re a baby momma, know that breast-feeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breastfeed, the greater the protective effect.
Genetic testing - Genetic testing can identify mutations in genes that increase breast and ovarian cancer risk (like BRCA1, BRCA2, and 19 others). If the test shows that a mutation is present, that does not mean that you will definitely contract breast cancer! Instead, it is a sign that you should talk to your doctor about getting screened for breast cancer more frequently. Genetic testing can be expensive, but this October, Glow partnered with Color Genomics to offer free genetic testing for breast & ovarian cancer to all employees. Thanks, Glow! <3
Mammograms - The American Cancer Society just changed its recommendations, and now advises that women should start getting annual mammograms at age 45.
Limit hormone therapy - Hormone therapy was once routinely used to treat menopausal symptoms and protect long-term health. Then large clinical trials showed health risks. And one of the health risks is that undergoing hormone therapy for more than 3-5 years increases the risk of breast cancer. Avoid hormone therapy if you can.
5 Breast Cancer Risk Factors Outside Of Your Control
Your vagina - Kind of, not really. But simply being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast cancer! It is possible for men to develop breast cancer. That said, breast cancer is ~100x more common among women.
Genetics & Family History - About 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, the result of gene defects (called mutations) that are passed down from a parent. Having a mother, sister, or daughter suffer from breast cancer almost doubles a woman’s risk :(
Breast density - Yes this is a thing. So breasts are made up of fatty tissue, fibrous tissue, and glandular tissue. The less fatty tissue, the more dense the breasts are. Dense breast tissue makes mammograms less accurate and increases risk of breast cancer. Boo.
P-p-p-periods galore - Women who have had more menstrual cycles because they started menstruating early (before age 12) and/or went through menopause later (after age 55) have a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Bring it on, pink ribbons. The more we discuss and share, the more we become aware.
You’re finally in bed with him. The moment is perfect. He’s is so obviously ready and you are, too. You want it, you crave him. But your body has other ideas: Your vagina is a steel door, shut tight. Any pressure leads to pain. No matter what you try, everything hurts…
It’s common to hear men say they couldn’t get it “up.” But how often do you hear a woman bemoan that she couldn’t get it “in”? Women who have had sex so painful that they needed to stop could be experiencing a condition called vaginismus.
Pain during sex is more common than an erotic novel lets on. We asked our community via a Glow poll, and over 5500 women responded. 43% of respondents reported that penetration during sex hurts at least some of the time; 3.5% of respondents said that sex hurts every single time.
Because pain during sex is so common, it’s pretty much impossible to tell who suffers from vaginismus specifically. Many women are shy to bring up painful sex with their partner or with medical professionals. Sex is supposed to be fun, exciting, a way to express love and connection—and admitting that it is not delivering in these ways can be difficult in today’s world. As such, many cases of vaginismus likely go unreported. Research suggests that anywhere between 2 to 70 out of every 1000 women could be affected by vaginismus, which is quite a wide range.
Wanna know the good news? Vaginismus is actually quite treatable! No magic pill, unfortunately—it takes time and effort—but a regimen of floor exercises, insertion or dilation training, and pain elimination techniques can help alleviate sexual pain overtime. Much of this work can even be done at home.
Sex doesn’t need to be painful forever. If pain during sex is frequent enough that you think you may have vaginismus, start speaking up about it. Chances are, it’s possible to transform your sex life into a happily ever after—an erotic novel with the ending you deserve :)
Our wild child, Ruby, is already rebelling. <sigh> From this day forward, she wants to be known only as Eve by Glow.
That’s right—we’ve changed the name of our app. Ruby is now Eve by Glow.
Eve has everything you <3ed about Ruby: sex tracking, cycle trends, the scoop on all things birth control. In fact, Eve is even more of a catch! Think 29 INPUTS, including the ability to log sex with non-male partners, the ability to rate the sex you have… and yes, you can now log sex the morning after. No need to do it the night of, because that’s awkward.
Let’s be honest—there is nothing terribly subtle about the male orgasm. But for us girls, it’s more sophisticated (no surprise there).
Women report all sorts of orgasms: orgasms from clitoral stimulation, orgasms during vaginal stimulation, “birthgasms,” orgasms from kissing, from nipple-touching, fake orgasms, you name it. What’s going on here?!?
The answer hinges on a solid understanding of female reproductive anatomy. The clitoris is not just a “pea-shaped bobble ” under the surface of the skin. No, no—that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The full clitoris is actually quite large (9 cm in length!) and loops all around the inside of the vagina, alongside the urinary tube, the urethra. The clitoris is made of tissue similar to the erectile tissue in the penis, but different in that female clitoral tissue can respond directly to hormones like estrogen. Yet another instance of the female body displaying its superior qualities :)
Why do some women orgasm during vaginal penetration while others do not? Because #anatomy. Clitoral tissue extends internally for all women. Some women have more of these internal portions of the clitoris exposed to the vagina—these women are much more likely to orgasm during vaginal penetration. Alternatively, other women have thicker tissue in the space between the vagina and urethra, which makes the clitoral tissue less prone to stimulation via vaginal penetration alone. So it goes.
If you have yet to hit the big “O” from vaginal stimulation, do not despair. There is nothing “wrong” with not being able to orgasm this way—in fact, a Glow poll revealed that only ~6% of women climax from vaginal penetration alone, compared to ~51% who orgasm from clitoral stimulation alone.
Consider these numbers an invitation to take matters into your own hands (so to speak) to learn what you like best. Consider checking out the “How To Make Me Come” blog which describes women’s individual experiences with orgasms, or Sophia Wallace’s “Cliteracy” movement which aims to challenges the lies, question the myths, and rewrite the rules around sex and the female body.
Also, know that the Glow community willNEVERstoptalking about sexual preferences and orgasms. Take a gander in Community, and you’ll get a better sense of where your Glow sisters are #coming from ;)