helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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Family planning clinic in 'failing to understand bisexuals' shocker!

So, I've been wanting to get a Mirena coil fitted for a while. I like the permanence of my copper coil, but I don't like the way it aggravates my periods. I've always been extremely reluctant to use a hormonal method of contraception because I have extremely bad PMS (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) - indeed, whether I am officially bipolar or "just" have violent reactions to fluctuations in my hormone levels is something that neither I nor my medical professionals have ever worked out. But the Mirena delivers the hormones directly into one's uterus, and as a result may be much more suitable for women with severe PMS than the Pill. More importantly, it may also offer protection against endometrial cancer, which runs in my family.

I discussed the Mirena coil with my GP a few months ago, and she went through all the pros and cons with me then. But I have "a thing" about not liking my private parts to be seen by the same doctor who I see for everything else. Y'know? I like one doctor who sees me clothed and a different one who sees me naked. So for years I've been going to the only evening Family Planning Clinic in my local area. I like it because it runs from 6.30-8.30pm, meaning I can usually manage to get there, and the doctors they have there are actual gynaecologists, meaning that all they do is look at women's private parts and mine is therefore not very exciting.

So yesterday I finally acquired enough spoons to call the Clinic and I got asked a number of questions by the nurse. What contraception I was using at the moment, the date of my last period, and when I "last had sex".

I answered these questions and was told that I couldn't get my coil switched out because there might still be sperm inside me.

I said "But we use condoms as well as the coil!" and was told that still wasn't good enough. Fair enough, they don't want women with accidental pregnancies AND a coil fitted, that can be very dangerous.

But THEN I remembered how, exactly, we'd last "had sex". I'm bisexual, Richard & I have been together 17 years, and we're pretty experimental. It was a method with absolutely zero risk of pregnancy. None whatsoever!

Except I was too embarrassed to then say, on the call, what we'd actually done. She'd said "sex" - not "intercourse" or "penis-in-vagina" or "penetrative sex", or any other phrase which specifically referred to sexual activity likely to cause pregnancy! So I went away and felt embarrassed for a while, and talked to Richard, and resolved to try again today.

Today I called back and explained the situation (helps that my period has actually shown up, rather than yesterday when I had all the cramps but no bleeding yet), but there was no doctor available. Since the Clinic only runs on Monday and Tuesday evenings, I'm going to have to wait until next Monday. Which also means no p-i-v until next Monday, which is a bit bloody annoying (pardon the expression) since I have my period and its associated pain, and the one thing that's guaranteed to sort that out (at least for a while) is orgasm.

Am I stupid for not realising that in the context of a Family Planning Clinic, "sex" means p-i-v, or are they stupid for not specifying what they meant by "sex"?

What I do know is that the majority of bi folk define "sex" a lot more broadly than penis-in-vagina, since we may be having sex with every conceivable permutation of genitalia. And if a Clinic is going to serve bisexual women in relationships with men, they need to be aware of this.
Tags: bisexual activism, contraception, icky girlstuff, lived experience

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