The Condom is the glass slipper of our generation. You slip one on when you meet a stranger. You dance all night… then you throw it away. The condom, I mean, not the stranger”. – Quote: Helen Bonham Carter as Marla Singer in Fight Club.

Our feisty heroin Jane explores her contraceptive options further this month. What about condoms? They are one of the world’s oldest forms of birth control, although weren’t widely used – much less accepted – until the 1940s, when the demand for fighting fit, syphilis-free soldiers around the world changed the face of contraception forever. From early prototypes of linen and sheepskin to thick rubber sheaths that stank of sulphur, condoms haven’t always been the most comfortable form of contraception. The World Health Organisation still advises that “condoms are the only contraceptive method proven to reduce the risk of all STI’s, including HIV, as well as prevention of pregnancy.

Our heroin Jane is choosing when she wants to fall pregnant through accessing contraception. Jane is standing on the shoulders of giants – powerful contraceptive innovators that significantly improved various aspects of life, including women’s health, family roles, feminism, and gender relations.

“No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.” – quote: Margaret Sanger, American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse 1879-1966. Thanks to activists like Margaret, there are a whole arsenal of different reversable contraceptive methods available to young Jane – long-acting contraceptives, short-acting contraceptives, and barrier methods – ensuring young women can choose the type of contraceptive that suit them physiologically and socially.

“Some called it Eve’s curse but she thought that was stupid, and the real curse of Eve was having to put up with the nonsense of Adam, who as soon as there was any trouble, blamed it all on her.” Quote: Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace Central to reproductive health is the cycle of female hormones that regulate fertility. Love them or hate them, estrogen and progesterone highs and lows control reproductive cycles. Through our amazing heroin – Jane – proudly shares her experience about her amazing menstrual cycle, from the view point of her formidable uterus –  https://mg.co.za/article/2017-05-10-culture-of-shame-contributes-to-coded-language-around-menstruation/

JULY 2021
Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common conditions in women, which happens when the balance of bacteria inside the vagina becomes disrupted and can cause unusual vaginal discharge. It also causes the an increase in vaginal pH (to become less acidic). Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection but rather an imbalance in healthy (Lactobacillus) versus unhealthy vaginal bacteria. Around half of women with bacterial vaginosis have no symptoms so they do not know they have the condition. Some women with bacterial vaginosis develop a strong fishy smell in vaginal discharge, particularly after sexual intercourse, and become a white or grey colour become thin and watery.