IUD: the life saver

Disclaimer: Just like our birth control blog post, I am talking about my own experience and feedback in this post. I am not a doctor and this should not be considered as legal advice. You should seek appropriate counsel for your own situation.

I asked to have an IUD inserted when I was 18. I am now 27 and on my second one. Over the years, I have seen many women that were never offered that option and barely know what it was. If you are looking for a hormone-free alternative for your birth control, I gotcha.

 
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Ok, what’s the IUD in the first place?

First of all, IUD stands for Intrauterine Device. It is a birth control system, and just like its name says, it is a little device inserted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy to prevent pregnancy. You have two options available for you: one is made of copper and hormone-free, the other one sends progesterone hormones. I personally have the hormone-free one.

How the copper IUD (hormone free) works:
The IUD releases copper ions into your cervix. Copper makes your uterus a pretty hostile environment for sperm. Your cervix begins to produce a thick mucus that sperm can't navigate navigate through to get to your egg.

Now that you know, you and I are about to become very close….

When the pill drives you crazy.

I was on the pill for a little bit over 2 years and after a while, I noticed some side effects: my mood was changing drastically, I was crying for no reason and just wanted to lie down on train tracks. My libido had decided to run away to Mexico, having sex was painful (#litteraldryspell).

Long story short, I realized it wasn’t normal and it sucked balls.

I knew a bit about the IUD from sex-ed in school, and when I did my research, I found out there was a hormone-free version that lasted for 5 freaking years, so my mind went “BINGPOT!” (Brooklyn 99 fans will know). I booked an appointment with my gynecologist at the time, and off I went.

 
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“But you’re so young/haven’t had children yet!”

Not gonna lie, in order to get this IUD, I had to go through small obstacles with my doc. The first myth was that you need to have had children in order to get an IUD inserted. I heard it was because it could make you sterile. WRONG. It was maybe true 45 years ago, but definitely not nowadays, and absolutely not with the copper one.

The second obstacle was concerning my age, which honestly has nothing to do with it. As long as you are sexually active, you can definitely have an IUD.

My doctor insisted that I try the micro pill, which has fewer hormones and is to be taken exactly at the same time everyday (#superconvenient). I tried it, didn’t do anything, I went back to the office and said “that’s it”. And hallelujah, we did it.

Let’s do it!

First of, you will have to be off the pill (slowly and with your doctor’s recommendations! You don’t stop the pill one day to the other like Fanny said here) . Since I had tried another pill variation with less hormones, I transitioned slowly into no birth control at all.

Then, you will get a blood test done. It is to see if everything is fine with you, if there is a chance for your body to reject the IUD, because yes, it is rare but it can happen.

Once you are in the clear, you will have to wait for your period to get the IUD inserted.

The insertion

The good news? It lasts for 2 minutes. The bad news? It sucks.

 
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I am sorry to be blunt, but it is painful (and I like to think I have a fairly good pain tolerence), especially when you are on your period, it’s already not a fun time. If you have had a pap test done before, it starts like this and the boom sharp pain and it’s over. You are left with a device in your body and very likely some cramps for the rest of the day.

I am going to be real with you, in my opinion, the pain is worth it. A few minutes of pain for more than 5 years of peace? Sign me up. Actually I already did, I am on my second IUD.

The Pros and some advice for you, my fellow uterus owners

PROS:

  • You will be good for between 5 to 10 years depending on the brand you use for your IUD. FREEDOM.

  • You won’t have nasty hormones injected in your body and we all know that hormones from birth control are not your friends, girlfriend.

  • Once it is inserted, you don’t have to worry about a thing. I personaly have mine checked every year to make sure it hasn’t moved and in 8 years, it never did.

  • No need to have an alarm on your phone to remind you to take a pill, no freak out when you are not home and forgot your birth control, no fear of running out and not being able to get a prescription.

  • Its efficiency rate is 99%, woot woot!

  • Way cheaper alternative than the pill too. I paid my IUD around $145 for 10 years. Boom.

Besides the short pain, I really don’t have cons. Yep.

Advice:

  • Don’t go alone to your insertion appointment. It ain’t a day in the park, you may feel a bit dizzy and it is definitely not recommended to drive afterwards and also….

  • Take a day off so you can chill afterwards. I spent my afternoon in a hot bath after my insertion.

  • You will go back on your real period. While you are on the pill, you don’t have real period per se and having your “real ones” can be painful. I always had cramps even while on the pill and a mild endometriosis, so I was already on the sucker team so it didn’t change much.

  • It doesn’t protect you against the STDs. If you are having multiple partners, you still have to wear condoms until you all get tested.


Hope this helps ladies. Remember, you are the only one that can choose your birth control plan. And you are allowed to try different options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Sexy Christmas Cookies

Ohohoh Scandaleuse family, we hope you all have been naughty this year. For sure we have been, especially on social media: posted several times women nipples on Instagram and Facebook, got posts deleted, banned 24 hours from Facebook which black listed us and does not want our “dirty money” (sadly we cannot advertise and boost posts there anymore). But we are badass & rebellious boudoir photographers and will always find a way to help desexualized the woman breast.

To annoy social media a little bit more, we made those Christmas special cookies. They are crispy, tasty and super sexy

 
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The recipe

For 6 people / 15 cookies

 

Ingredients:

• 250g of Flour

• 100g of Sugar

• 65g of Apple Sauce

• 65g of Melted Butter

• 1 Egg

• Orange Blossom or Rose Water

• Decorating gels

 
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First you will need some heart-shaped cookie cutter for a neat shape. If you don't have any, this is not a problem: grab a piece of thick paper and fold it in two. Draw half of your shape on one side of the crease line and cut it from both sides. When you unfold your shape, you should get a symmetry.

• In a mixing bowl, add all of your ingredients (make sure the butter is cold before to add it otherwise it is going to cook the egg) and mix well with either a fork or your hands (it tastes better with fingers). The texture of the dough should be thick, a little bit sticky and scrambled. If your dough is too liquid, add more flour. Sprinkle a bit of flour on a kitchen plan and your hands, make a ball out of the dough and put it on the floured surface.

 
 

• Preheat the oven at 180°C/360°F.

• Flatten the dough with a rolling pin but do not make it thinner than 5mm. Use your paper shape or cookie cutter to create the cookies. Once you don't have room on your dough, mix it again and repeat the process until you finish completely the all dough (no food waste guys!).

• Put the cookies on a baking tray slightly buttered and stick it in the oven for 15min at 360°F. Once they are baked, take them out and let them cool off before decorating.

For the decor, feel free to be as creative as you want… with the rest of the dough we made some delicious vulva and penis (hey don't judge us we are french!).

Now it is time to enjoy those big ass cookies with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Take a selfie with your cookies, tag us and #scandaleusecooking. Let's free the boobies and have a wonderful Christmas…

JOYEUX NOËL!

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Birth Control Pill: A little devil

Disclaimer: In this post I am talking about my own experience and feedback about the birth control pill. I am not a doctor and this should not be considered as legal advice. You should seek appropriate counsel for your own situation.

Ladies and gents (I do have some hope that men can also be interested by that topic!), today's blog post is about my experience with the birth control pill, why I decided to stop it and it's impact on my body 11 years later…

When I Sold My Soul For Beauty Purpose

2007 was a great year: first boyfriend and sexual blooming, beginning of adulthood… This was the reason I started taking the birth control pill, “Jasmin” if I remember correctly. Unfortunately when I was 17, I had a lot of migraines and also a strong acne, “Jasmin” wasn't strong enough for my body. So I decided to follow my gynecologist advice which was to go for one of the strongest hormonal pill, perfect against acne and migraines: Ladies and gentlemen, the famous “Diane 35", let's sadly acclaim it.

Big mistake! But I was young and looking for an easy way to feel prettier. I was really ashamed of my acne, all I wanted was to get rid of it. I just wished my doctors would have told me about the risks and side effects of those pills…

 
Before taking the pill

Before taking the pill

5 months after taking the pill

5 months after taking the pill

 

The Results Were Beyond Expectations

If there is something I cannot complain about, it is the result and efficacy: my acne was gone few months after I started taking it and the migraines were less intense, it was honestly a relief. On top of that, they helped regulate your menstrual cycle and the main purpose of that pill was also a success, I never got pregnant. You got it, I am not complaining about their efficacy against pregnancy. The birth control pill is a great contraceptive as long as you don’t forget to take it. Unfortunately the side effects and risks on the woman body are pretty scary.

But for 11 years I was never aware of those side effects. This is why the "pill” is sneaky: you usually do not feel how unhealthy it is, at least I never felt it.

So why did I stop?

As you may know, two years ago I became vegetarian and it is now important for me to take care of my body and be careful with what goes in and out. It is my way to feel confident and respectful of it! Stopping the pill was obviously another step towards taking less chemical, since I did not want extra hormones in my body anymore (If you wanna learn more about this topic, I found this very interesting article).

To make it short, the birth control pills is a combinaison of two hormones: estrogen and progestogen, that eliminate ovulation and prevent pregnancy. It changes your natural hormone balance, tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month.

I also never like having to take a pill every day because I have sometimes forgotten to take them (oh and I guess reading about those women who died from blood clotting in their legs, sudden blockages in their lungs, bleeding in their brains and chest pain before death, did help me with that decision…) Anyway, in January 2018, I took the decision to change contraception and go for a non-hormonal copper IUD. I went to my family doctor to talk with her about that decision, her advice was to stop the pill and wait until my next period to have the IUD inserted. Which I did…

Another big mistake, I should have never ever stoped the pill right away! In one month, I went from 11 years of intense synthetic hormones to natural ones. Of course it was a shock for my body, my doctor should have told me about it. The consequences? I developed a strong acne in a couple of months and my menstrual cycle was all over the place. I feel like a teenager again and I now have a lack of confidence because of that acne. It has been less than a year I changed contraceptive and my body is slowly getting use to it, but it will take few years before the level of acne decrease.

 
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Why I like non-hormonal contraception

First of all, big shout out for the Copper IUD, it is so convenient. I am not gonna lie, the insertion was painful but it lasted only a couple of minutes and I do not have to worry of getting pregnant for the next five years. What if I want a baby in two years? The doctor will just take it out!

My body has changed a lot since I switched birth control method and I have now “real” and natural cycles, which includes unfortunately: cramps and irregular, heavier and longer periods. But it also had 3 positive impacts that are really worth it: I am feeling less emotional, my sex drive increased a lot and I am more lubricated (don't laugh, it was pretty frustrating in the past!).

I have no regrets of that change and do not plan to go back to birth control pills. There are so many contraceptives on the market, you should not have any problem to find the perfect one for you. Talk with your doctor or gynecologist about it and most important: do your own research.

Now go make love and viva la sexualidad!!

 
 

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Coffee Talk - My childhood in a psychiatric clinic

I have lived in a psychiatric clinic for 10 years and I had a wonderful childhood... I know what you are asking yourself: WHY. HOW. I can feel your curiosity growing. I am very tempted to keep the mystery and not giving you any details but if so, it would not be a blog article.

Let me put your confusion away... Hi, Fanny writing here and this is my story!

 
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How it began?

My mom was working in this clinic in France for over 20 years. Her job was to help patients with their creativity, through arts and relaxation. She was working with people suffering of alcoholism, anorexia / bulimia, schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder and other mental illnesses. The clinic was a big property with a park, a little forest, two manors, few houses for employees and other structures.

A benefit from her job was to be able to rent, for a very small amount, one of those houses and live on site. I was 5 when we moved in. The house was very small, I had my own little bedroom but my mom was living in the living room, not the best but we were happy.

The mystery is over, as you can read I wasn't there because of mental issues. My only problem was to be an heavy sleepwalker when I was young (which made me several times getting ready for school at midnight and even made my mom running after me at night in the street).

I was never bored

Even if we were living in the city, the clinic had a lot of greenery and I spent my time outside as much as I could. From climbing trees and building shacks, to rescuing little animals such as birds, mice, cats and even a dog once (you could have called me Snow White without the great voice), I could not get bored. I remember exploring the clinic like if I was adventurer or hiding from people I was on a mission. I build slides from wooden boards, which wasn't a success: my friend ended up with a 1 cm splinter in his bum.  And when I needed some quite time to relax or sulk, I was always going to the same tree. That was my spot, my peaceful location and it broke my heart when I heard they destroyed it few years ago.

Even if the patients there had severe mental illnesses, everybody knew me and I never felt any insecurity, never got into trouble even though I was creating them sometimes. As an only child, it was pretty easy for me to find creative ways to spend my free times when I didn't have my friends to play with me. My favourite activity was to block the paths people where walking on, hide in trees and scare them when they were close enough. Did people kept calling me a sweet angel after that? Actually yes they did!

Colourful personalties

 
 
  • The other galaxy: One of the patient believed my mom was the queen of an alien tribe from an unknown planet, far away from our galaxy. But she sweared to never revealed my mom's secret!

  • Power rangers: Another person believed he was one of the Power Rangers. I remember hearing that guy every morning in the park, screaming one of their famous lines and fighting against the air. This guy always made my mornings brighter!

  • The one with the big heart: My mom had the authorization to bring a small group to the farmers market every Wednesday. One day on the way to the location, one of the patient fell in love with a big red strawberry stuffed toy and decided to love it for the rest of his life!

I remember people being happy but unfortunately I also heard and saw some dramatic moments, things such has death and violence I was too young to fully understand.

Acceptance you will learn

The great part of growing up in this type of environment, surrendered by psychological illnesses was I had to learn and understand that sometimes the brain does not work properly and people are suffering from it. I learnt to smile at instead of making fun of people who are different. It taught me acceptance, kindness and opened my mind on topics that can be quit taboo. 

I am so grateful to have had the chance to experiment it and build all of those beautiful memories of my childhood!

 

My favourite song about mental disorders: Olivia Ruiz - Le Tango Du Qui

 

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What to do when your life is falling apart.

Do you feel like nothing you knew makes sense anymore? Your left is right, your black is white? This is kind of what happened with us over the past few weeks: our lives changed drastically.  If you feel like yours is too, maybe we can help.

The good news: your life may be falling apart/changing in unexpected ways but it is very likely for the best.

We do believe in the saying "everything happens for a reason". Whether you made a chains of decisions to get there or someone did it for you, you have two options: you sink and spiral or you do the best you can not to.

It's okay to wallow

Hey. Sh*t just hit the fan. If you think it is not going to impact you and you will keep doing cartwheels, you are very likely wrong. A good cry is a good way to relieve some stress. When Fanny and I moved in together a few weeks ago, we bought a bottle of wine, determined to laugh it up, and we ended up crying for 4 hours. But guess what? We felt much better after. So put on your ugly cry face, build a fort if you need to and go at it!

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Asking for help doesn't make you weak.

I am guilty of the "I don't need anyone" syndrome - I am a strong woman right? Haha. I am so glad that a few people stuck out for me during the dark times to take me out and distract me. And let me ramble for hours. The lesson I learned? You can reach out to people and they will likely be here you. Just make sure you return the favor when it's their turn (manners!).

Rebuild your routine

Since your life just went upside down like a neglected canoe, so is your routine. You're sad, you eat like crap, you sleep poorly, you can't focus... But routines are so important for our sanity, they bring a feeling of familiarity, which we lack desperately when our lives change so much at once. Slowly but surely, get back to your former routine if it made you happy or start a fresh one.

Try new experiences

Usually, we make tough decisions why family, lovers or friends because we don't feel like we can be ourselves truly. Are you starting to feel slightly more stable on your feet? Order your legs to move around and try new things! On top of being a great distraction, it will lift up your heart, help you find out who you really are and get closer to who you want to be.

 
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There are NO freaking rules.

Related to our current cases: we are conditioned to think we have to believe a certain way after any life events. Truth is, you have to do what makes you happy. And if it doesn't feel right to others, well that's toobad for them. Don't let a chance of happiness run away from you if it's knocking at your door.

roll up your sleeves and Take the time you need to rebuild yourself. you will be happier for it in the long run. We are sending you love, are willing to share our icecream and you can call us anytime if you feel like dancing on Britney Spears from 2008.

 

Coffee talk - Love and cultural differences

Ahhh l'amour, between the rendez-vous and the je-ne-sais-quoi floating in the air. What more can you ask for?! Being in love is wonderful. Being in love with someone who comes from a different country is even better!

Different countries or not: relationships are work.

Yes, being in love and living with someone is a great life experience but it can also be very difficult. You have to swallow your pride here and there, (I have to work on that one!), make some compromises, put your boundaries down... In a nutshell, you have to let go.

 

It was too tempting! - evil laugh

 

Two different cultures living together

Now that we set the vibe, try to picture your relationship with someone with whom you don't share the same language. Personally, I think that's the biggest obstacle, which is pretty ironic for someone who thinks communication is the key for a successful relationship! I have been with my partner Ivan for the past 3 years and I have to say that sometimes our communication is not the best.

Well nothing to be surprised about... I am French, he is Colombian and at home we speak English, which is not our first language. So you can imagine this creates misunderstandings, frustrations and fights. And the more we argue, the worse our English gets and the less we can express ourselves correctly. Which creates?... Frustration. It is a vicious circle!

Sometimes I wish we could just yell at each other in French and Spanish, like in those romantic comedies, with a dramatic music in the background. But that's not how it works and honestly, it would be way too chaotic. 

Bad words can get worse.

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The solution is quite simple: we have to be careful with the words we use (easy to say but not to apply!). I had never had to be on fleek with my vocabulary - not that I was using "paraglider" instead of "tomato" or "carpet" instead of "toilets" - but I never really cared to choose the exact words until I realized it can slightly change the meaning of your sentences.

Trust me when I say I learnt the lesson the hard way. When you speak in another language, you have a tendency to translate expressions from your mother-tongue without realizing the meaning can be quite different in another language. Believe it or not, some words can sound awful in English, but not so much in French, and vice versa.

Finding balance

(Juliette stole the keyboard)
There isn't only language difference. Habits & lifestyles are also big ones, especially when you live in your loved one's country. The good news? Getting accustomed to a different culture can actually bring out a better You.

If you know me, you likely see me as a hardass. And you're right. Well guess what? I was 10 times worse back in France. If I hadn't move to Canada, chances are I would have become a French version of The Devil Wears Prada. Dating a Canadian and living with him has taught me to chill the hell out (don't you dare laughing!). On the other end, I taught my partner to shake things up here and there in his everyday life. That's just one of many examples.
(keyboard is back with Fanny)

The double-culture treat

Leaving with someone from another country is a great way to open your mind to the world and change your way of seing things. You get VIP access to a new culture, which includes: food, music, history, fashion and a way to be even more sarcastic and joke about national clichés:

- Ivan: "French people are so weird, you guys shower with perfume. French shower is gross !"
- Me: "First, not true! Second, at least we don't sell drugs. Go ask Pablo Escobar if he had time to shower!"

Speaking of... food, this is also a big avantage (food aficionados: put your hands up!). Every time Ivan goes to Colombia or his family comes here, I always get some traditional delicacies. And that, my friends, is gold.

 
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Long term relationships are already pretty hard and while having your partner in crime from another country could be challenging, it also comes with rewards. Such as getting the opportunity to say that yes, blue cheese and wine together as a match made in heaven.

Scandaleuse gave up on meat

Bonjour bonjour our vegetarian, vegan and meat lover scandals.

For those who eat meat, have you ever asked yourself what life is like for people who gave it up? Have you ever been curious about how they can still be healthy? Have you ever heard this little voice in your head saying: “come one…Try it, you might love it!”? I'm sure you know what I am talking about…

 
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Well ladies & gentlemen get ready, Scandaleuse will demystify all of the meatless urban legends!

Why and when?

About a year ago, Juliette and I decided to stop eating meat. But we didn’t do it at the same time (believe it or not, sometimes we do take our decisions separately, we are not always Thomson & Thompson).

 
 

Juliette was first. She started decreasing the amount of meat in her diet, after reading a few blog posts about how it is not necessary. She tried it for a couple of weeks and now and she doesn’t want to go back!

Concerning my experience, it was an article on a french online magazine called “Mademoizelle” that was the trigger. It was about the founder who stopped eating meat right away after watching Cowspiracy.

Two days later, here I was, in front of my computer, with my pasta dish and my boyfriend Ivan, watching this famous documentary. Let me tell you, we both got slapped in the face big time! We looked at each other and knew we had to stop eating meat. All we cared about (sustainability, deforestation & global warming) was right in front of us and we were able to change things starting with our plates.

The decision was easy to make but educating our brain wasn't…

How?

While it is not complicated to give meat up, it is not easy either. It takes time, knowledge and willpower. Our brain is a little evil, it can make you crave something you don’t need and this is the toughest part!

I never really ate a lot of meat except things that people don't enjoy such as liver, veal tongue, duck gizzards and of course chicken, ham, prosciutto... (well I am gonna stop here cause now I am craving Italian ham!). But truly, when you are strong enough to fight for what you care about and you can see your actions lead to results, this is a damn good reward!

Take your time, you don’t need to stop meat or animal proteins in one day. Start with beef because it is the worst for our planet, then remove the chicken. And please don’t listen to those people who try to rush you. Like in politics, they can be too extreme.

If you are thinking of becoming vegetarian, pescetarian or vegan, you need to know why. You need to have a solid reason to be able to go through it. Is it because you want to be healthier? Do you care about animal cruelty? Do you want to change the way we act on our beautiful planet? Finding your own purpose will make it much easier.

If you feel ready or want to satisfy your curiosity, check the Cowspiracy website (they have lots of great articles, videos and tips) and of course watch it. For those who are worried about seeing blood and disgusting slaughterhouse scenes, don’t worry you won't. This documentary is full of datas, interviews & facts but no awful footage.

 
 

 Meatless urban LEGENDs:

-Did you force your partner to give up on meat? Yes totally. Every night I handcuff Ivan at the bed, feed him with broccoli and order him to call me his Green Mama!

 -You don’t eat meat! How can you be so healthy? I grow this magical plant on my balcony which is perfect for baking little muffins. It gives me wings and makes me indestructible! No let’s be serious, I just make sure to replace all of the animal proteins I don’t eat by a plant-based diet. And I still eat a bit of fish, eggs and cheese.

-Ok you eat fish but don’t you know it is also animal cruelty, fish have feelings! Yes you are right but my first reason in this choice was not animal cruelty, it was sustainability. I never wanted to think about animals suffering in slaughterhouses when I was eating meat. But since I stopped, I now care about it.

I am not against hunters, farmers or meat itself. I am against industrialization, big factories and against all of this waste of energy we consume to produce meat. Oh and also palm oil, but this will be an other topic.

-No meat? Cooking must be sooo boring!!! I am actually having more fun than before. I love transforming regular meal into vegetarian/vegan ones. You have so many way to be creative while cooking. And I feel lucky to live in Toronto because Canada has lot of options for non-meat eaters.

 -I am a man, a real one, I will never stop meat! Good for you my friend… but you’re right we never know... A vagina could grow between your legs if you become vegetarian! Starting a plant-based diet or just being careful with your consumption is not gonna make you less of a man. Lots of male athletes for example don’t eat animal products, does it mean they lost their testicles on the road? Of course not!

I have a friend who told me once “Fanny I will never ever give up on meat, I love it so much!!”, then guess what: he doesn’t eat meat anymore. Please gentlemen, don’t let your fears stopping you from trying. I promise you will still look handsome.

-I truly don’t give a damn of our planet! Well no comment but one day you will change your mind…

Voilà folks, it was just an introduction. We promise to write an other article with more details, tips, advice and recipes (but only if you have been good followers, Green Mama is watching you!)

 With love.

Fanny