Dear Lucy: How will I know when I’m in perimenopause? Will I still ovulate even if I am not menstruating? What’s a good resource for information about symptoms or changes to look out for regarding this time period? —I’m Peri Curious
Dear Lucy: I have a boyfriend (finally!), which means that I’m sexually active now. Our method of contraception (no babies plz!) has been just using a condom. However, me and my partner would like to try to have sex without it to experience a different sensation. The problem is that I don’t trust myself in taking oral contraceptives, because I fear that I will forget. I have been exploring other options, and I found the IUD and that MIT is able to give me one for free!
But I have three main concerns:
Who should I contact? Can I do this during IAP?
What type will be the best for me?
I suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome); can I still get an IUD? What are the pros and cons?
Thank you so much! —Soon-NOT-To-Be Mom
Dear Lucy: If a woman is on oral contraceptive pills for a year, does this mean that no eggs are released for that year? Could this hurt her chances of conceiving later, in her late 20s, 30s, or 40s? —All In One Basket
Dear Lucy: How can I tell if I am losing more hair than normal? What amount of hair loss is normal, anyway? The hair above my forehead is so much finer than the rest of my hair, and it's getting split ends, even though it's very short. What is a sensible way to take care of hair like that? Are there remedies for women with thinning hair? Hair transplants? Something else? —Bad Hair Day
Dear Lucy: I assume I am in perimenopause. I just got my period after 10 months. Does that mean I am ovulating again? My energy level is very low, so I assume my iron is low. I take iron supplements plus a multivitamin, but this period has drained me. Is there anything I can take to feel energized? —Too Tired
Dear Lucy: Because I am an adventurous individual, I recently purchased a menstrual cup with the unfortunate name of the “Diva Cup”.
The online reviews were overwhelmingly positive! I was excited. Well, as excited as one can get about a silicone cup that’s shoved up one’s privates for hours at a time.
Unfortunately, when it’s time to change the cup, I’ve noticed a terrible issue: awful, horrible, unceasing... suction. Am I doing something wrong? Am I anatomically unable to use the Diva Cup? Am I just not a diva? —Diva Or Not?
Dear Lucy: My partner and I are monogamous, have an honest and trusting relationship, and neither of us has ever done anything sexual with anyone else. However, I am haunted by the feeling that we should have gotten STI tests before hooking up. But since we were both virgins... do we really need to? I mean, how would either of us have gotten anything to expose each other to? At what point should we get tested? —Monogamous Ex-virgin
Dear Lucy: I want to know more about effective, non-hormonal birth control methods. I’m concerned about my partner and having additional protection besides condoms—in case there is ever a mistake or breakage—and I would strongly prefer a non-hormonal method. I’ve heard that copper IUDs are 99 percent effective; is this true? Are there other effective, non-hormonal methods out there? —Better Safe Than Sorry
Dear Lucy: I am a 56-year-old woman who has noticed in the last couple of years that I cry at the drop of a hat. It often feels uncontrollable and can be somewhat embarrassing. So, I have a few questions:
Is this a common occurrence for older women, and
If so, might it be related to hormonal changes?
Is there anything I can do to have a little more control over it?
Thanks for any insight you can provide me with. —Argentina