Friday, May 28, 2010

Fingers, not legs, crossed.

I have been to a number of places in Tokyo for, as someone once eloquently put it, female problems. Some have been better than others but in general it all feels very sixties housewife visiting the ladies doctor only to be told she has caught "hysteria." One clinic I went to even offered a "bridal check," which name alone makes me shudder. Apart from the white-glove lady attitude and hoist-me-up-and-spread-em torture chairs, one thing I have received at all of them is praise for my vigilance in receiving annual check-ups. This despite the general feeling I get that annual checks are not highly encouraged (apart from ward offices) outside of these clinics and once you visit one, well, you hardly need encouragement then, do you?

I don't think doctors here enjoy visits with patients unless there are cold, hard symptoms. Case in point: I visited a doctor last month about a persistent sore throat and when he couldn't figure out what to do upon noting that my throat was not inflamed, he immediately suggested shoving a camera up (down?) my nose. More recently, I visited the lady doctor about something that, while not an imminent threat, had been bothering me for almost a year. There was also the small matter of when I put it into google, it popped up alongside words like cancer, HIV, menopause - none of which I hope apply to me. Don't be alarmed dear readers, I probably just have an imbalance (haha), but it's driving me to distraction.

When I explained it to the lady doctor she gave me a look that I have interpreted as and you are coming to me, why? She hemmed, hawed and sucked some air through her teeth (ostensibly to kill time and make me think she was concerned) and eventually suggested I go off the pill. Which I have been on for eight years. Which if combined with another form of birth control makes me feel invincible, or at least immune to a baby. The lady doctor wasn't very encouraging and I felt like she was just giving me some homework to do so she wouldn't have to see me for a few months. We sat there blinking at each other for a few minutes while I waited and hoped she would come up with some more suggestions but she wasn't going to throw me a crumb. Fuck, I got more information off google than her.

In conclusion, I am going off the pill for a few months to see what happens, and by that I do not mean see if I get pregnant. I'm not thrilled to have to go off it and am more than a little paranoid about landing pregnant, especially in light of recent situations that include potent sperm that is related to the beau's. So dear readers, keep your fingers crossed for me - I have too much to do before I even think about sex as a procreational activity.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I used to take the pill when I was in college, but the side effects made me feel ill, and besides, it increases your risk for heart attack and stroke, so... yeah. I think if you're careful with condoms, you should be totally fine. It's better than messing with your hormonal balance, I think.

kathrynoh said...

I was on the pill when I got pregnant with my son so I have little faith in that form of birth control!

On an unrelated note - I'm curious, are doctors in Japan punctual? Here you have a minimum 30 minute wait at the doctors and I was wondering if that was a global thing.

Apryl in Wonderland said...

Do they offer the Mirena IUD here in Japan - it is great!

That said, I noticed you said "sperm RELATED to the beau's..." Is there another brother somewhere?!

Perhaps you can convince the beau that the "sexless marriage" needs practice...so have "sexless cohabitation."

Although, that is not so much fun...

Lisa said...

Oh, yikes! Have you read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility"? It's about how to chart your temperature and other physical signs to know when you might be fertile. Then you could avoid those times of the month. In addition to using a barrier, method, of course!

Foggia said...

I probably have less of a say considering my maleness and all, Lisa, but I think checking temperature, time of the month, etc. has been used for ages as a totally not reliable way to get/avoid getting pregnant.

This article rates is between 1% and 25% (depending on studies) of failure as a form of contraception. Which sound to me as "quite dubious a claim" for 1% and "not very effective" for 25%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertility_awareness#Effectiveness

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Anon: I'm hoping to go back on, maybe a different kind, after my little trial. The side effects don't outweigh the peace of mind for me at this point...

kathrynoh: That's not very reassuring! Many many places here are drop in so the wait time can be anything from nothing to hours (from what I've heard at some clinics). I've rarely made an appointment here but when I have, I seem to recall being seen promptly.

Apryl: That kind of practice will definitely not be happening on my watch - no fun! Not sure about the IUD...as for the related sperm, yes, see: the debacle of Baby Daddy (beau's bro) and Baby Mama.

Lisa: I haven't but maybe I should! I can see charting if I was wanting to get pregnant but I am lazy and thankful for my pills. :)

Foggia: I always love a male opinion around here! I think though, that Lisa was suggesting that method in addition to a barrier method (like condoms). I would never try rhythm method on it's own - to me that is basically the same as the pull-out method, which is not a method in my humble opinion.

Lisa said...

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cervical-mucus-method/MY01004/DSECTION=how-you-prepare

Cervical mucus is a good indicator of ovulation.

Male condoms have a failure rate of 15% (http://www.contraceptivetechnology.org/table.html).

I did, in fact, suggest using both together, so that one will know when that 15% failure rate is likely to be more of a concern!

Apryl in Wonderland said...

I just wanted to make sure that said sperm was "direct" de la beau - not just "related" (from a relative of beau) 'cause then you have entered a whole new topic area we will NEED to know about!

I am glad you are not practicing the "sexless marriage." What the heck is up with that anyway?! Articles say that the spouse is too tired...I have NEVER been too tired for said activity...

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Apryl: Yeah, none of that going on! And yes to the other thing, I don't know what is up with that but it's depressing. I don't think I've ever had a "headache" in my life!

Rydangel said...

Have you tried a diaphram? and do they still make contraceptive sponges? i'm one of the unlucky women who can't use oral contraceptives, so i'm all about the condoms myself.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Rydangel: I haven't actually. I am all about the condom too - especially since you can visually confirm that it has..uh, worked. Also not sure about the sponges but that did remind me of a brilliant Seinfeld episode!