Community Resource of the Month: Health Care for All

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Hello and welcome to the first edition of our Community Resource of the Month, where Health Quarters will feature an organization that we think will be helpful to our patients.

This month: Health Care for All.

Why do we like them?

  1. They are committed to getting a quality, afford health care system for all of Massachusetts.
  2. Their Helpline answers calls from people who need help navigating the (complicated) healthcare system.
  3. They take action: their broad-based health care access and reform coalition, the ACT!! Coalition, helped pass the historic health reform law. They are still working with the state to continue advocating for consumers.
  4. Since 2010 they have provided technical assistance, training and networking opportunities to try to strengthen patient and family engagement through hospital Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs).

Check out Health Care For All on:

Twitter

Facebook

And their blog

You must be my horcrux, because you complete me (and other pick up lines to try)

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Struggling with what to say when you match with someone on a dating app? Trying to spice up your relationship with some sexy talk? Don’t know what to say to that cutie at the bar? We got you. Everyone knows that pick-up lines can go a little too far, but we have gathered some non-creepy, gender neutral pick-up lines that we hope will help you take the next step, whatever it may be.

Since everyone is different and has different tastes, we have tried to gather put together lists from different genres (sports, nerdy, etc) to help everyone out. Remember: be polite, kind and if the person isn’t interested, back off. See other tips for flirting with strangers here. And be sure to let us know what your favorite line is!

Nerdy Pick Up Lines

Harry Potter

  1. I know we’re not in Professor Flitwick’s class, but you still are charming.
  2. If I were to look into the Mirror of Erised, I’d see the two of us together.
  3. Your smile is like Expelliarmus. Simple but disarming.
  4. You must be my horcrux, because you complete me.
  5. Wanna go manage some mischief together? I solemnly swear I’m up to no good.
  6. Are you sure you’re not a Dementor? Because I’m sure I’d die if you kissed me.
  7. I need to learn Occlumency, because I can’t get you out of my thoughts.
  8. Are you a basilisk? Because when I caught sight of you, I froze.
  9. “Harry Potter may be the Boy Who Lived, but you’re my Chosen One.”

 

Game of Thrones

  1. Are Hodor’s legs tired? Because he’s been carrying you through my mind all day.
  2. Is it hot in here because of the long summer, or is it just you?
  3. I would conquer the seven kingdoms for you!
  4. I may be king in the north, but I want to be the king of your heart.
  5. I’d climb the entire wall just to get your digits.

 

Lord of the Rings

  1. You’ve got beautiful eyes, they sparkle like the Mirrormere.
  2. I’ll put a ring on it.
  3. I am no man which is why I’m bicurious and checking you out.
  4. Beard can be red; A blade can glow blue; There is only one precious, and that must be you.
  5. Excuse me, but are you Arwen? You are so beautiful that I think I have entered a dream.
  6. There are no words in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of men to express how much I love you.

 

Sports Pick Up Lines

  1. If I buy a soccer ball, will you kick it with me?
  2. Can I get your jersey? (What?) You know your name and number.
  3. Can I swim in your eyes on a hot summer day?
  4. Are you an eligible receiver… of my phone number?
  5. I hope you’re good at catching cause I’m starting to fall for you.

 

Literary Pick Up Lines

  1. Geez, you must be a library book, because I can’t stop checking you out.
  2. It would be both a Crime and Punishment if you don’t let me take you out.
  3. I want to sit across the room from you reading quietly so hard right now.
  4. You had me at Preface
  5. If you give me your number, I’ll live up to all your Great Expectations.
  6. Hey, can you say that one more time? I can’t hear you over the Sound and the Fury of my beating heart.

 

Feminist Pick Pick Up Lines

  1. Roses are red, violets are blue, smashing the patriarchy makes me super attracted to you!
  2. My feminism is inclusive, especially of you.
  3. I fell for you, bell hooks, line and sinker.
  4. You must be tired because you’ve been marching for equality through my head all day.
  5. Girl—sorry, girl is belittling. Woman—too patriarchal. And sorry I assumed you identify as female. I’ll just go.

 

Activist Pick Up Lines

  1. You’re hotter than global warming.
  2. I don’t know about you, but all my feelings have reached consensus.
  3. You had me at “F@#k the System.”
  4. You had me at “H@*l no, we won’t go.”
  5. I hadn’t experienced real privilege until I met you.
  6. Hey I just met you, but calling something “crazy” stigmatizes mental health, so check your privilege and call me maybe?

 

Good luck! Be safe, and have fun!

11 Tips to Get Your Flirt On

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Have you ever been in the grocery store and seen a cute person picking up the same exact peanut butter as you? Or you keep making eyes with someone across the bar? What about that person who you see on the bus every day? Crushes happen quickly and easily, and while it’s scary to act on them, flirting with new people when you’re single or in an open relationship can be really fun!

However, it can also come off a little creepy. Here are some tips to make sure that you are not coming off in a way you don’t mean to when making that first move.

  • Be yourself. Don’t put on an act or say things you don’t believe. This isn’t fair to either of you.
  • Don’t touch the person without their consent. This means do not walk up to the stranger and put your arm around them or grab their arm or waist. They did not consent to this, and consent is always necessary.
  • Don’t trap the person, which means don’t block their path or block them in their seat on the train or bus. This is very threatening and can be a scary trigger.
  • Don’t make sexual comments or innuendo in the conversation.
  • Do compliment the person on something other than their body.
  • Do be honest and polite.
  • Do use a polite introduction. Straightforward and simple is often the way to go.
  • Do be careful when hitting on someone who is getting paid to be nice to you, like a waiter or a bartender. They often deal with a lot of aggressive attention and flirtation, and you want to make sure you are not adding to this.
  • Do pay attention when you start a conversation. Show that you are engaged, ask them follow up questions, keep engaging them, don’t look around the room or pull out your phone.
  • Make eye contact. But don’t stare at people, that starts to get creepy.
  • Use humor but don’t force anything!

Be safe, have fun and get your flirt on! And if you have other tips, let us know!

How Birth Control Came to Be

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People have been having sex since the dawn of time — and not just to get pregnant. Prior to modern medicine, women relied on withdrawal or periodic abstinence to avoid pregnancy, but oftentimes these methods failed.

Now, about 62 percent of women of reproductive age are currently using some form of birth control. The pill and female sterilization have been the two most commonly used birth control methods since 1982. But unlike 1982, women now have a lot more options: the IUD, the patch, the pill, the implant, the female condom. Let’s take a look back at the progression of birth control in the United States and see how we got here.

(All birth control methods sold in the United States must be approved by the FDA. They have a chart of approved methods that you can check out.)

Condoms made of fish bladders or animal intestines were used around 3000 B.C and around 1500, the first spermicides were introduced. Condoms were made from linen cloth sheaths and then “soaked in a chemical solution and dried before using.”

Rubber condoms — made from vulcanized rubber — were first made in 1838. Latex was invented in the 1920s, which transformed condoms into what they are today. They can be stretched up to eight times before they fail. The discovery of AIDS as a sexually transmitted disease in the 1980s increased the popularity of the condom. Male condoms are now available in different sizes, colors, flavors and textures. There are also female condoms, which are worn internally by the female partner. First invented by a Danish doctor in the twentieth century, female condoms were originally made from polyurethane then synthetic nitrile and now some are latex. They protect against pregnancy and STIs when used correctly. Now, it is estimated 450 million condoms are sold per year.

The diaphragm was also invented in the 1880s, 1882 to be exact, which contributed to the emancipation of women in Victorian England, since it was the first time they were allowed to control their own fertility. Then in 2004, the first silicone diaphragm (Milex) became available. When used with spermicide, the diaphragm can be more effective barrier than the male condom. There are now multiple types: the latex arcing spring, coil spring, flat spring and the silicone wide seal rim.

But back in 1873, the Comstock Act passed in the United States made it illegal to distribute birth control or any sort of ads or information about birth control. The act also allowed postal workers to take any birth control sold through the mail.

This didn’t stop Margaret Sanger from fighting back though. In 1938, a judge lifted the federal ban on birth control due to Sanger’s court case. Diaphragms became popular after this, though then they were known as “womb veils.” Sanger kept up the fight and while in her 80s she wrote the research necessary to create the first human birth control pill. She raised about $150,000 for it as well. The first oral contraceptive, Enovid, was then approved by the FDA in 1960. However it was still illegal in some states to use birth control.

This changed in 1965, when the Supreme Court ruled that a state’s ban on the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy. Griswold v. Connecticut was brought forth by Estelle Griswold, the executive director of Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, because she and Dr. C. Lee Buxton, were arrested and found guilty as accessories to providing illegal contraception.

Three years later, the FDA approved intrauterine devices (IUDs), but in 1974 the FDA suspended the sale of the Dalkon Sheild IUD due to infections and seven documented deaths among users. But in the 2000s Mirena, a new levonorgestrel-releasing IUD, was introduced. Paraguard, Skyla and Liletta are other IUD options. In general, the IUD has been gaining popularity in the U.S. because of its effectiveness and simplicity once placed.

In 1970, the safety of oral contraceptives was the subject of congressional hearings. These talks brought around the creation of a lower-dose birth control pill.

Eisenstadt v. Baird, decided in 1972, established the right for anyone to use birth control, regardless of marital status, heralding a wave of contraceptive research and invention. In 1992, the FDA approved Depo-Provera, the first hormone shot used to prevent pregnancy. The shot is given once every 12 weeks. You should get the shot within five days of beginning your period.

From 2000-2006, many new methods were introduced, such as the patch, a vaginally-inserted ring, the five-year IUD and an implant.

The ring, invented in 2001, is inserted into your vagina and left in place for up to four weeks. The ring gives off hormones, like the patch or the pill. The patch was invented in 2002 and sticks to your skin for one week at a time. You change the patch every week for three weeks. Time called it one of the best inventions of 2002, because it is waterproof, almost invisible and won’t fall off. The patch releases hormones into your body, the same hormones the pill has. And the Implant was invented in 2006. It is a small rod that is inserted in the upper arm and prevent pregnancy for up to four years. And 2013, Plan B One-Step, an emergency contraceptive, became available without a prescription. Other forms of emergency contraception include Take Action, Next Choice One-Dose or My Way. These are all progestin-only and are available on the shelf. You can also use a different dose of a number of brands of regular birth control pills, which contain both progestin and estrogen. You would take the first dose as soon as possible (up to 120 hours) after you have sex with birth control or your birth control fails, or any other reason, and then you take the second dose 12 hours later. It is safe for all women to take emergency contraceptives, but make sure you don’t take more than one kind of emergency contraception at once.

Today, there is research being done for male birth control pills and methods for women-controlled methods that would prevent STIs.

There are so many methods out there, be sure to talk to a doctor about what works best for you! And don’t be shy about discussing birth control options with your friends, partners or family members. Maybe ask an older person what they used and why!

Here is what contraceptives HQ has to offer:

IUD

— The implant

Diaphragm

— The pill

Natural family planning  

— The ring

Condoms

— The patch

Emergency contraception

— The shot

Anticipating Your First Period?

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Getting your period for the first time is a big deal, with a whole range of feelings that can come with it. These feelings can include excitement, dread, nervousness, triumph — there is no right or wrong way to feel! Knowing what to expect and being prepared can help ease any potential nervousness. While each body is different and no one can predict exactly how you will feel during that first flow, here are some tips for you or anyone who you care about and is anticipating getting their period.

  1. Most people get their period between ages 10-15. Some signs that it might be coming soon are developing pubic and underarm hair, noticing clear/white vaginal discharge on your underwear, and developing breasts.
  2. Do not worry if your friends are getting your period and you haven’t. Everyone’s body is different and it does not mean anything is wrong.
  3. If you haven’t gotten your period by age 15, talk to an adult you trust.
  4. The number of days for your first period can vary.  The typical period lasts 2-10 days.  
  5. Most menstrual cycles vary between 21 and 45 days, with 28 being the average.
  6. You can check out this guide to see what happens each day of your cycle.
  7. Your periods may not be regular or predictable at first — that’s OK!  It is perfectly normal to have longer or shorter cycles at first as your body adjusts to all the new changes going on.  It may take several months (or even years!) for your cycles to regulate.  
  8. It is a good idea to keep track of your periods on a calendar or with a period tracking app (like this or this) so that you can:
    1. Get a sense of when to expect your next period (so you have tampons and pads ready at school and home!
    2. Know if you missed a period (once it starts coming on a regular schedule)
    3. Have a record of your period schedule and when your last one came to share with your doctor.
  1.     What personal care products can you use?
    1. Pads: They are worn inside your underwear to collect the flow. They come in different sizes, styles and thicknesses. Some have “wings” on the sides that fold over the edges of your underwear to help keep the pad in place. You should change your pad every 4-8 hours or whenever it seems full, wet or uncomfortable. There are also very thin “panty-liners” which are good when your period is lighter on the last few days of your flow.
    2. Tampons: They are inserted in your vagina to gather the flow. Some has a plastic or cardboard applicator to make it easy to slide into place, or some you just use your fingers. They all have a string attached to the bottom to help you remove later (the string hangs out of your vagina).
      1. They come in different sizes for heavier or lighter flows. A “super” tampon is thicker and for heavier flows. A “slim” or “junior” is for lighter flows. The box will tell you what size the tampon is.
      2. Change your tampon every 4-8 hours, unless your flow is heavier. Leaving a tampon in for too long has been linked to toxic shock syndrome.
    3. Menstrual cups: They are made of plastic or rubber and are inserted in the vagina to collect the flow. You remove and empty the cup every 8-12 hours. Some are reusable, others you throw away.
    4. Thinx panties: period-proof underwear that keeps you feeling dry and protects you from leaks. You can wear them all day and they’re reusable.
    5. Your body may feel differently during your period. Some people experience mood changes and have cramping pain in the lower abdomen or back. Some have breast tenderness just before or during your periods. Some people get dizzy or have headaches, some get nausea or diarrhea.
    6.  To help with cramps: take pain medicine, exercise or place a heating pad or heat wrap on your abs or lower back.
      1. Track these symptoms and let your doctor know if they are extreme.
    7. You can still do everything you normally do (swim, run, jump, go to class). Be aware that wearing a pad in the water will cause it to absorb the water and need to be changed right away if you choose to go swimming with one.
    8. If you bleed through your pants (we promise, it has happened to everyone), don’t freak out! Just try to laugh it off and visit the bathroom as soon as you can to clean up. Having an extra pair of pants and underwear in your locker might not be a bad idea as you learn to manage your period.
    9. Getting your first period means that you can now get pregnant, and if you think you’re ready to start having sex, you also need to start thinking about contraception and STI prevention.
    10. While it may feel weird to talk about at first, getting your period is a normal and healthy thing. Don’t be afraid to talk it about it with friends and family! Compare your favorite period products or buy each other period snacks.

If you have any questions about your or someone else’s period, HealthQuarters is always here to help.