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The Other F Word (Fertility)

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The Other F Word (Fertility)

From the time I was young, I cursed my uterus.

Cramps plagued me when I was trying to do rounds at the hospital, and blood would leak out of my tampons and onto my scrubs in the middle of a surgery. Seeking a way to escape my own womanhood, I discovered that I could take birth control pills daily and never get a period. Why hadn’t anyone ever told me this? After I uncovered this secret, I sent my uterus to a dark recess of some basement closet and didn’t bleed again for a decade. Every now and then, my uterus (I affectionately call it Yoni) would cry out for me, but I pretty much ignored her. I wasn’t a very good friend.

Around the time I turned thirty-four, I heard Yoni calling more consistently, beckoning like a siren bellowing out to sea.

She’d cry, “Lissa! Lissa! Don’t forget about me.”

And I’d shrug her off. “No, Yoni. I’m busy.”

She kept asking, “Aren’t we ever going to have a baby?”

I responded with my standard brush-off answer. “Not now, maybe tomorrow.”

So I’ve been chatting with my uterus lately …

As my thirty-fifth birthday loomed, I decided to bring it up with Matt, the commitment-phobic perpetual bachelor I had been dating for almost two years. But I wasn’t quite sure how to broach the topic. Do you say, “So I’ve been chatting with my uterus lately…”  Or do you couch it in the awkward terms of biological clocks and such?

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Read more: Babies, Family, General Health, Gynecology, Health, Love, Obstetrics, Pregnancy, Sex, Women's Health, , , , , , , ,

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at and also created two online communities - and She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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9:59AM PDT on Apr 16, 2011

Interesting article- thanks!

5:44PM PST on Dec 3, 2010

I hear you, thanks

4:47AM PST on Nov 11, 2010

FANTASTIC! Loved reading this article, you sounded just like me at times...I am 42! was diagnosed with un-explained infertility YEARS ago...what the hell does that mean anyway???Now i am going to get in touch with the inner me... spend some time and talk with that inner self i have and neglected...i have always wanted a baby..i am a young 42, my partner is fingers crossed for me all for the hope that my inner guru is willing to listen! x

12:00PM PST on Nov 7, 2010

Wow! Thanks Lissa for this very personal and enlightening article. Yet one thing is left out. Are you pregnant? I mean I love the story but its just like one of those movies. You know the ones that you're so wrapped up in that it ends & leaves you hanging. The ones you have to wait a year or more to find out what happens next. (^.^)

5:27PM PDT on Oct 24, 2010

I am sorry, but I didn't understand it.
I can't find on the internet what a 'uterus' means.

1:22PM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

There was a great article in Mothering Magazine about Menarche ceremonies for girls getting their first period. It's a rite of passage. Such a great idea for young girls to not be ashamed of their fertility, but to embrace it. Here's the article:

Looking back I am so glad I had the bad cramps and never took any pain meds for them. That pain is preparing us for childbirth! To deny them and quiet them does us an injustice. I could have never had a drug-free homebirth if I had extinguished the period pain I endured for 24 years.

There was a great article in Mothering Magazine about Menarche ceremonies for girls getting their first period. It's a rite of passage. Such a great idea for young girls to not be ashamed of their fertility, but to embrace it. Here's the article:

10:25AM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

nice article

7:42AM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

Nice article Lisa, very well put .

7:06AM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

Good article.

11:31PM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

Thanx for this post. Very good!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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