How does a placenta previa “move” on ultrasound? (With video!)

Dr. Jen Gunter

Placenta previa is a condition where the placenta grows over the cervix or is too close to the cervix. This can lead to catastrophic bleeding for both mother and fetus and requires a c-section for safe delivery.

Placenta previa is often suspected early on in pregnancy when an ultrasound suggests the placenta is very close to the cervix, however, weeks later when the ultrasound is repeated the placenta has moved. This is obviously good news, but how does that physically happen? After all, the placenta has invaded into the uterine wall so it can’t exactly pick up its things and walk up to another spot in the uterus like you would on the beach when you realize your planted your umbrella and towel below the high water mark and have now noticed the tide is coming it!

The answer is the placenta doesn’t move, the lower uterine segment beneath it…

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Choose an incontinence pad for incontinence, not a menstrual pad

Dr. Jen Gunter

Many women use menstrual pads to manage their urinary incontinence. I understand this line of thinking. First of all, they’re almost always familiar with the product. In addition, if they are not menopausal or are just on the other side of menopause they may have menstrual pads around the house.

However, many women also tell me they are too embarrassed to buy incontinence pads because it makes them think of “diapers” and that is what “old women” need. And there is nothing worse in our patriarchal society than being an “old woman.”

Women get diminished and men, distinguished.

I’m always fascinated by the lack of public discussion about incontinence. I don’t buy “societal squeamishness” about urine as as reason. Women’s magazines produce articles with great regularity on vaginal mayhem (sigh) and there is an increasing number of articles on menstrual products (yeah!).

If we can talk about discharge and blood…

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“Hot pants! DIY Gynecology” is a Hot Mess

Dr. Jen Gunter

A few weeks ago someone suggested I take a look at the book Hot Pants! Do It Yourself Gynecology and Herbal Remedies.

After reading all 95 pages a more apt title would be From Camelot to the Clap, Ancient Gynecology for a Modern Woman. A Herbalist and a Radio Activist turn Fables into Feminism.

Because that, my friends, is what you get.

First of all, you cannot claim to be a DIY gynecology book without providing a step-by-step guide for taking your own Pap smear. Then there is the fact that the book starts with a handy disclaimer that it is “not intended to provide diagnoses or prescriptions.”

Then again, words apparently don’t matter much for a book that reads like a womanly woo word generator with body parts, medical conditions, compounding terms, and plant names.

Ovary…depression…tincture…cloves.

Treat depression of the ovary with a tincture of cloves!

I mean don’t…

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A shift in our thinking

The Wellness Almanac

Permaculture Helps with Starhawk from Permaculture Design on Vimeo.

Last year, I travelled with a car full of green-thumbed Pemberton woman to Squamish for a free all-day workshop on permaculture.

Dawn Johnson later explained the shift in her thinking that the workshop brought about:

When I used to think about permaculture, I thought of it more like the “old way of gardening”. Less intensive, lots of diversity, a closed loop system that tries to reduce our impact on the earth. A systems thinking that uses everything in multiple ways. Gut Gardening. Intuitive.

But, permaculture principles are rooted in science, and way more complex. Doing the right thing for the planet, for the patch of soil you are stewarding, is backed by scientific research. For my rational Western mind that sometimes needs things to be “scientifically proven,” that goes a long way. Science, fused with community. Science, fused with growing…

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Winterfest: a free family New Year’s Eve celebration

The Wellness Almanac

Did you know that Winterfest has evolved into our community’s free family New Year’s Eve celebration, from its roots as a pre-2010-Olympics event?

Once upon a time, the province handed out money to communities to build their Olympic spirit. The money dried up when the Olympics moved on to its next location, but the volunteers at the helm of the Pemberton Winterfest Committee stayed on, and with the support of the Village of Pemberton and SLRD Area C and a handful of local business sponsors, they continued to produce winter gatherings to help us get out of our houses, or come down off the ski hill, and get together to celebrate living in this lovely place we are privileged to call home.

It is conceivable that they are the only remaining Spirit of BC Committee in operation. It is also conceivable that we’re the only community in BC with a…

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