Telling “My Abortion Story”

All too often, stories about engaging with “the other side” of the abortion debate quickly turn ugly and presumptive of others. I hope this story will be different, and am willing to risk ridicule for sharing it because I hope it will encourage others to step out of their comfort zones. This past weekend, I…

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Contraceptive Implants and the Illusion of Control

Nexplanon, an artificial birth control arm implant, launched a recent ad campaign using the slogan “Armor Up.” It shows pictures of attractive young women with battle ready faces, flexing one bicep while pointing to the implant. The ad reads: “Pregnancy protection for up to 3 years. Over 99% effective. Your life. Your way.” This ad…

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“Informed” Consent?

A smart phone app that is garnering more media attention, due to its expanding market, is Nurx. The app allows women to order and obtain contraceptives through the app, which are then delivered right to their door. Women can pick a contraceptive of their choosing (or get a doctor’s recommendation), then answer a “few health…

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Healing Birth: Midwifery and a Rainbow Baby

I chose midwifery for the birth of my son because I believe in the intricate design of the female body and its ability to birth unassisted and in an unaltered physical and mental state. Selecting a care team for labor and delivery is not to be taken lightly—according to the most recent data published by…

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Can you use NFP while breastfeeding?

So you’ve made it through the first few weeks with your new baby at home and now it’s time for your six-week follow-up appointment. You’ll finally be cleared to resume relations with your partner (or maybe the idea of anything going on down there is still terrifying). Regardless of how you’re feeling about resuming your…

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Fertility Awareness as a Path to Health

This week, July 23-27th, we celebrate Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week. As a new face to the Guiding Star Project blogging team, I thought it would be fitting to share how my passion for the work of GSP originated with my own journey to health through learning about my body by studying NFP and…

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The Alternative Care That Women Need

Last year I was treated for endometriosis, which is a disease that affects more than 5.5 million women in North America. However, it took seven years of doctor visits before I was actually diagnosed—which, believe it or not, is shorter than the national average of ten years. Why does it take so many years of…

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Giving Women More Choices: An Introduction to Executive Director Jamie Rathjen and Guiding Star Cedar Valley

photo credit: Waterloo Courier I recently had the privilege to interview Jamie Rathjen, the Executive Director of Guiding Star Cedar Valley. I was so encouraged by her vision, insight, and desire for true societal change. Jamie, who is trained in the Creighton model of fertility charting and holds a Masters degree in Community Health Education, first…

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Is Your Birth Control Sustainable?

Spring is in full swing here in the Midwest. I can hardly believe it’s already April 22nd, Earth Day! First established in 1970, Earth Day was designed to promote awareness of environmental issues and to celebrate our precious natural resources. It is a day that reminds us of the importance of conservation, personal responsibility, and practicing sustainability….

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NFP is Just Too Hard

Sometimes Natural Family Planning (“NFP”) is just too hard. Maybe you’re avoiding pregnancy and your fertile time aligns with your wedding anniversary (or worse, your wedding itself…).  Maybe you’re breastfeeding and your postpartum cycles are so confusing that you have to switch methods when you don’t even have enough energy to take a shower.  Or…

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Pairing Holistic Care with Social Justice: An Introduction to Executive Director Ginny Cronin and Wakota Guiding Star Center

Wakota – a Guiding Star Center, originally known as Wakota Life-Care Center, is situated on a bustling corner of Butler Ave E and S Robert Street in St. Paul Minnesota. Virginia (Ginny) Cronin, the Executive Director, often passed the time in traffic at this intersection wondering about what had filled the space behind the walls…

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Introducing Ana Hidalgo Stooks: The Flagship Leader of Our Flagship Center

This is the first post in a series we will be sharing about the various Guiding Star Centers.  We hope that these pieces will shine a light on the incredible work the Guiding Star Project is doing across our country and illustrate our revolutionary vision for the future of women’s healthcare.   Ana Hidalgo Stooks…

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A Tale of Two Marches

In just a few days thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands!) of women will converge on Washington D.C. to commemorate the Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump with a protest. This “Women’s March” started out sounding like such a great idea! After the election, so many of us wanted a place for women to come together in…

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Health Insurance Nightmares: The Birth Control Edition

It was one of those mornings. I had already been on the phone for about 2 hours, periodically shouting “representative!” at the automated messaging service that couldn’t hear me and being transferred between so many people I couldn’t keep track. There’s nothing like the feeling that wells up inside you as you listen to static…

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How to Make Peace with Change

The end of the summer always makes me sad, but this year, it feels worse for some reason. I was more upset about my younger siblings returning to school than they were, and I’ve long since graduated! Even college football isn’t quite doing the trick (Roll Tide). I’m not ready to welcome autumn, but it’s headed…

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4 Things that happen when men learn fertility awareness

Men, unlike women, do not have ‘fertility cycles’. Their ability to produce offspring is not dependent on a particular physiological and hormonal environment that only occurs for a few days each month. Healthy men are always fertile, always biologically ready to become fathers. Women, on the other hand, have cyclical fertility. Besides meaning that the…

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