By Maryam

Do you work late nights or overnight shifts? I hate to break it to you, but this may be affecting your cycle… Researchers in Britain recently did a study on work shift and how it affects people. One part of the study was specifically to see how it affects women and their menstrual cycles. Out of over 100,000 women studied, it was found that work shift (like working overnight or alternating shifts) made women have a 40% higher chance of menstrual problems. What Causes This? One of the main reasons for this is that shift work can mess up…Read More

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By Maryam

PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome. Millions of women are affected by PMS each month. According to one study, it was estimated that almost 90% of women experience at least one symptom during their menstrual cycle each month. Although, most of these symptoms are mild enough that doctors wouldn’t consider you to have PMS. What Exactly Is PMS? It is often easy to blame mood swings, or feeling unusually down in the dumps with simply having PMS. While a lot of women experience symptoms of PMS, they don’t necessarily have PMS. PMS is typically described as a distinct change in…Read More

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By Maryam

Meet Merissa Hawkins, our PrEP and Nonprofit Lead! She joined our team in July 2017 from Columbus, Ohio. She is passionate about finding creative ways to make healthcare more engaging and accessible, particularly in the world of HIV prevention and women’s health. So of course, Nurx’s use of telemedicine to reduce barriers to quality healthcare was a perfect fit. Merissa will now be focused on all things PrEP here at Nurx and working with our partner nonprofits and researchers. How did you get into this field of work? My journey to the world of HIV prevention was never necessarily…Read More

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By Maryam

Now, users in North Carolina will be able to use our birth control app to get a prescription for their birth control and have it sent right to their door! As a special welcoming gift to all new North Carolinian users, we are offering FREE BIRTH CONTROL to new users! To get the deal, users must visit Nurx.com, create a Nurx account, pick their brand of choice, and enter promo code ‘NORTHCAROLINA’ at checkout. Users will receive $30 off their order, which equates to up to two months of free birth control. Discount does not apply to emergency contraception…Read More

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By Maryam

Lanai Daniels, an NYC based sex educator and one of our contributors, dives into sexual healing as an empowering form of self-care.   On Saturday, August 12, I traveled to New Women Space to attend an event called “Sex as Healing: Better Sex & Self Care Workshop". Facilitated by Charlie Trotman, the purpose of this workshop was to encourage participants into using self-care techniques to make sex more of an experience than an act. As a sexually active woman, I was excited to attend this workshop and get a better understanding of my own sexual values and practices. During…Read More

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By Maryam

One of the main barriers in HIV protection is knowing that PrEP exists in the first place. If you haven’t heard of PrEP before, it is a once daily pill that is up to 99% effective preventing HIV. But the issue is, most people do not even know it exists. When we break down the demographics, we see a huge gap in awareness among women. This is due to a number of reasons. One being that PrEP awareness campaigns have been towards gay cis gendered men, especially in the urban areas of San Francisco, New York and Chicago. As…Read More

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By Maryam

As President & CEO, Chitra Panjabi advances SIECUS’ efforts to reshape cultural and societal narratives around sexuality. Leading with an intersectional vision, she is spearheading SIECUS’ work of addressing the impact of sexual stigma and shame on individuals across age, race, gender, gender identity and expression, class, sexual orientation, and ability. How has being the daughter of two Indian immigrants shaped your perspective on sexuality and sexual health? My family did not talk about sex growing up—it was a completely taboo topic in our household. While I was lucky to have some sexual health education (namely, learning that condoms…Read More

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By Maryam

In a recent case that has gained a lot of exposure, a gay man was denied coverage for PrEP in a pre authorization denial letter from UnitedHealthcare. After James Krellenstein from ACT UP NYC, posted the letter on Facebook (patient is anonymous), HIV activists set off the alarm and accusations have run rampant towards UHC for blatant discrimination and institutionalized homophobic practices. The letter stated that  “High-risk homosexual behavior” is not under the health plan criteria for covering PrEP. Instead, it specifically states that it is covered “to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection in adults at…Read More

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By Maryam

We know PrEP works. When taken as prescribed, it is proven to be up to 99% effective at preventing HIV. So, we wanted to outline four big clinical trials that prove PrEP is scientifically supported and generally awesome. Study 1: iPrEX (men and transwomen who have sex with men) In 2010, the iPrEX study was the first to definitely prove that PrEP works. It involved about about 2,500 sexually active people from six countries that were at higher risk for HIV. The results showed that the efficacy of PrEP largely correlated with adherence, or how regularly the participants took…Read More

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By Maryam

Finding the right contraceptive may seem overwhelming. After all, there are over 100 different brands of oral contraceptives, which come in two forms. These are the combination pill and the mini-pill. So, what are the differences between the combination pill and the mini-pill, anyway? Many people do not know the difference between these pills, or that two types even exist. So, we figured we'd make it as easy as possible to understand. Combination Pill More commonly known as 'the Pill', combination pills are the most popular type of birth control pill. Combination pills use both estrogen and progestin to…Read More

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By Maryam

Strategies to Curb PrEP-related Stigmas In addition to the lack of awareness,  PrEP-related stigmas around also prove to be a huge barrier for people to freely explore their options to prevent HIV. Below, Shannon Weber who is the Director of HIVEonline, discusses strategies to curb HIV-related stigmas. What needs to happen to remove the stigma around being HIV+? HIV-related stigma is widespread and pervasive among HIV community stakeholders as well as the general population. This stigma is evident in the language we use. Clinicians, educators, and writers can commit to using words that accurately reflect the current science of…Read More

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By Maryam

As part of our Changemaker's series, we are interviewing passionate advocates that are diligently working to ensure our reproductive rights are realized.   Emily Kadar from the National Institute of Reproductive Health talks about the societal barriers preventing reproductive justice and access to birth control. What do you think is missing in our system in terms of reproductive health care access that most people are unaware of? EK: We need to tackle systemic racism, which affects all corners of our society, including reproductive health. Black mothers who fear for the safety of their children are being denied full reproductive freedom.…Read More

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By Maryam

We are dedicated to increasing access to PrEP. Interestingly, one of the major barriers to access is, well, awareness about PrEP in the first place. There are those that are dedicating their lives to spreading awareness about PrEP and the tools that exist to prevent HIV. Shannon Weber is one of those people. She is the Director of HIVEonline, founder of PleasePrEPMe.org and Loveyou2.org and coordinator of GettingtoZeroSF.org. Here, she dives into the strategic mechanisms behind increasing awareness to PrEP.  "PrEP awareness is rapidly evolving. In communities where early PrEP rollout occurred (such as San Francisco), awareness among gay…Read More

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By Maryam

Some women feel that their sex drive has decreased after being on birth control for some time. This theory has been around for awhile and supported by the fact that hormonal birth control decreases testosterone production in the ovaries, which is instrumental in sex drive. Although, according to a 2013 review, only about 15% of women noticed a dip in libido, while 85% noticed an increase or no change. This is still significant to conclude correlation, but there may be other factors that suggest the difference in sex drive. In the most recent research, Dr. Kristen Mark, the lead…Read More

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By Maryam

The strategic efforts dedicated to ripping away our reproductive rights are fully fledged and relentless. When we filter out the anger, confusion and helplessness, the only thing that remains is the pressing question: What can we do? Well, we chatted with Emily Kadar from the National Institute for Reproductive Health who gave us strategies for plugging into the reproductive justice movement. During a time with major impending threats to our reproductive rights, how can we get involved? EK: "I would urge everyone to get involved in the fight for reproductive rights, health, and justice at the local and state level.…Read More

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By Maryam

We chatted with Jenelle Marie Peirce, who is the Founder & Executive Director of TheSTDProject.com and Spokesperson for PositiveSingles.com. Her site focuses on eradicating STD stigma by facilitating and encouraging awareness, education, and acceptance through story-telling and resource recommendations. Jenelle’s work has been featured in popular outlets such as: The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Jezebel, Forbes, HuffPost Live, NPR, Mother Jones, Refinery 29, The Daily Mail, Bustle, and many more.  Here, she discusses what's missing in our sex education and why she started her own independent website. Why are so many people misinformed about sexual health? JP: I believe this all…Read More

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By Maryam

Below is an interview with Rebecca Willman from Abortion Care Network (ACN), the only nonprofit dedicated to supporting independent abortion providers and their allies. Here, she discusses what "indies" are and the constant challenges they face trying to provide much needed services to millions of women. What are Indies? RW: Independent abortion care providers (“indies”) include small practice owners, non-profit clinics, local women’s health centers, and others providing abortion care in their communities. Because indies are locally based providers, they lack the support or resources that come with affiliation with a national healthcare system, so ACN fills this gap. Our…Read More

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By Maryam

At Nurx, we’re interviewing inspiring Changemakers who are making a difference in the health field and reproductive justice. Caitlin Gaffin is the Director of Operations for WV FREE, the leading reproductive health, rights, and justice organization in the state of West Virginia. WV FREE is a reproductive health, rights, and justice organization that works to improve education on reproductive options, increase access to affordable birth control, reduce teen pregnancy, improve adolescent health, and protect personal decision-making, including the decision of whether or when to have a child. What is the most urgent need in West Virginia in the context…Read More

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