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Just Get Tested

If you’re looking for a simple, affordable and timely way to stay up-to-date on your sexual health, I’ve got good news for you!

JustGetTested:  Fast. Reliable. Confidential On-Line Testing at your service.

The pricing of each test varies and includes your lab fees (which often aren’t covered by your doc’s office or insurance provider). Check it out: http://www.justgettested.com/

As a gift from me to you (and also the crew at Just Get Tested), here’s a discount code for 5% off of ANY test: EL05

Love,


Ella

P.S. I’ll be featured on their site twice a month offering tips on sexual health and communication. So feel free to send questions and ideas in that you would like to see addressed by yours truly.




BIG NEWS!!!

I’m beyond thrilled to share to some really BIG and inspiring news with you all.

Drum roll please…………….

Go Ask Ella A.K.A. me, Ella Lauser, is shifting gears to follow my calling to really empower women from the root down, in birth. I’m on my way to becoming a doula!

In order for me to pursue this dream, I need your financial love.  I know a lot of you have expressed your gratitude for my work, support and this site as a whole, here’s your chance to give back.  You get to have that warm and fuzzy feeling with your donations today which help me live this purpose and continue to do this great work.  Think about the good karma on that!

If I’ve ever brought a smile to your face, given you some insight, or I’ve helped you (or someone you know), please make a donation.


Any and all amounts welcome.

Thank you for your love and support!


xoxo

Ella




When Your Box Is Waving The White Flag

Question of the Week…

Dear Ella,

 

 

I’m so sick of having problems down “there.” I just had a lot of sex with my new guy (we’ve both been tested and are clean) and I had to pee all the time, it was the worst. I took your advice on Help Too Much Sex! And I Don’t Wanna Get Antibiotics! but now I’m experiencing itchiness inside and I soooo don’t feel like having sex which my partner ain’t too happy about.

Help my vagina, please!

Thanks,

 

 

S (you can call me “Sally”)

Hi Sally,

Oh woe is your vagina. I feel your pain, as does a good majority of us lady folk out there.

Two things I’m picking up that I want to see before I give you a step by step fix it remedy…

  • First and foremost, I know what a pain in the arse it is to feel like you don’t have control over your body and how unsexy it feels to not be able to do what you want to do with your body. You and your guy are both frustrated, understandably but your body is waving a white flag so honor that.

Sometimes when we respond to our impulses (rabbit humptastic sexathons) we aren’t allowing intimacy to build in other ways and your body is telling you LOUDLY that it needs the gentle hands of time and less boinking. Our culture supports a healthy sexual appetite but it borders on addiction to get a fix, feel connected and get off (instead of in). Try asking your body what it needs since it seems to be so talkative lately (like literally, say “body what do you need?”)- maybe it’ll say blueberries and a trip to a park, I don’t know but ask. Make an agreement to honor it and not just your immediate and often unconscious impulses. Come from a place of love and nurture as opposed to seize and conquer.

 

  • Secondly, when you have a bit less sex with your partner (especially a new one) you get to see and be seen in ways that are often skipped over when you’re in the sheets. I’m not saying go back to the Victorian era here and get a chaperone, sip on tea in parlors and carry a parasol but take it easy and go a tad slower.

So you’ve got chemistry, what else? Invite your guy to read my post and feel free to have him respond.

 

All right, now let’s get down “there” for business to the scratch n’ miff muff vagina of yours.
One word: yeast.

Yeast infections are not sexually transmitted diseases although they can go back and forth between partners because it’s fungus (read: let yourself heal before you get back in action). In a healthy woman’s body, there are certain types of organisms that are found naturally.  A yeast infection is when there is an over-production of these organisms.  When we have new partners, our body is exposed to new bacteria or organisms (not bad or good, just straight up non-recognized you-ness is present and rubbing on your bits).

What causes a yeast infection?
Friction, heat, skin cells, fluids, non-friendly lubricants, latex, non-cotton panties, too much sugar in our diet (hello alcohol and bread), sitting in a bathing suit too long, lazy hygiene, douching with chemicals- all these things can cause a yeast infection. Oh and you know what the # 1 contributing factor is?

STRESS.

Stress often gets a bad wrap and we associate it with “bad things” but good stress is also in existence. Good stress? Yes, what I mean is anything that causes your body to get a little excited (i.e. a new boy who you stay up with all night talking and what-not) gets your balance all out of whack. Nervous energy and change causes stress, for better or worse.

 

The Go Ask Ella Solution for Yeastie Beasties:
(please note, this is a remedy that has worked for me, my clients and a good majority of ladies and is just a suggestion not a fail-safe):

Probiotics
In order to stabilize our natural balance in our stomach and the vagina, in fact the body as a whole, having probiotic supplements or yogurts daily is a ridiculously helpful preventative. For now, pop a few capsules to get the party started (eat with food) and then continue for a few days. The symptoms should dissipate within a few hours of taking probiotics. I recommend Dr. Udo’s Probiotics since I’m vegetarian and also, his stuff is just tip-top. If you want to bust out the big guns on this situation, I’d also suggest buying plain yogurt or original, unflavored, dairy culture Bio-K available at Whole Foods and soaking it up with a tampon and then… yup you guessed, insert! Wear a panty liner and don’t go out dancing, lay down and remain horizontal (best to do before you go to bed).

Conscious Eating
Okay let’s be real, we ARE what we EAT. I think most illnesses are directly related to what we’ve exposed ourselves to (toxic food, water, air, environment and yes, relationships). The best medicine is good nutrition- it directly effects our moody hormones, our overall health and happiness. The less sugar and processed food, the better. The more water, the better. Specifically the foods that your reproductive organs enjoy are: root vegetables (you know the stuff that grown in the dark, remind you of something hmmm like your womb?). Turnips, yams, beets and ohh throw in some fresh garlic (natural antibiotic). Now careful with the sugar starches there because potaters and beets are yummy and sugary but a little bit goes a long way. Also, food is intelligent and it looks like what it effects (thank you Don Tolman). The avocado looks like a womb, the grapefruit looks like mammary glands. Get down on those fruits, they’re the best items a lady can indulge in and they taste soooo good.

Mas Aqua, Hello H20!
Can’t stress this enough people. In fact, just a second I’m going to follow my own advice. Glug, glug, glug and ahhhhh. Just downed a whole glass, how ’bout you? Eight glasses of water a day, keeps the doctor away. Water- not a liquid with other stuff. Juice, coffee, soda- doesn’t count as water! Drink water by itself or steeped with herbal tea, and TONS of it! Our bodies are predominantly made up of water and it needs filtering, flushing and flooding to function properly. When we give our bodies lots of H2O then it get rid of the toxins by peeing it out, so get on it and make it a daily practice.

Movement
Heating up your body with a little shaka-laka booty shaking, a brisk walk, or a few yoga poses for just 30 minutes each day will really get your juices flowing and your body glowing. I know the last thing you want to do sometimes is move (and you’d rather plop on the couch or crawl into a cave) but moving the funk out of your body, mind and heart is a sure fire way to change the state you’re in. Doing something that isn’t mental is so healing. I feel like a different person after just a few minutes of sit ups, vinyasas or jumping jacks. If you’re tender in your lady parts, we’re less likely to go Flashdance or Footloose in our living rooms dancing by ourselves like maniacs on the floor but do a little something, maybe just a stretch and a stroll around the block. Then take a hot bath, sip some tea, read a good (non-drama inducing) book and get some much needed sleepy time.

Stillness and Solitude
You just need to get away sometimes right? From the office, your lover, the world and especially your chit chatter mind. Get a quiet spot, get away from everything (turn off your devices that connect you to the world) and close your eyes. I put my iPhone on airplane setting and set a timer, grab a pillow and sit against the wall with a cozy blanket. Start with ten minutes and work you way up to thirty, then an hour if you can. There are some awesome mediation apps out there for iPhones if you’ve never meditated. Meditation is the new black and you’ll never go back once you’ve gotten hooked on giving yourself you time or as my mom puts it “my time to love me just as I am.” Also, get a journal. I’ve learned all too well recently that we dump a lot on our body, mind, heart and our friends when we could’ve taken a minute to collect our thoughts on a page. You can do anything you want with your you time, just have some. Deal?

 

I feel pretty darn certain that you’ll be feeling better in days if not hours if you heed my advice. The itch and scratch is never fun but it can be a great opportunity to make amends with yourself and start getting your body’s needs met (not to mention the needs of your heart, mind, and soul).

Lots of love to you and your nether regions,

Ella

P.S. I also recommend giving your body a super break and dose of love by going on a cleanse. Juice cleanses are great but kind of hard core, the master cleanse really punches your liver and kidneys in the face so I say eat gentle and start simple. Try the candida cleanse, previously talked about in Help Too Much Sex! And I Don’t Wanna Get Antibiotics! or just eat more vegetables, cut down on the sugar.

P.P.S. I’m thinking of making a simple little meditation video for you all, let me know if you would be interested by commenting below and if I get more than 20 yes’s I’ll get on it this week.

Go Ask Ella Revealed…

If you’ve been wondering what it is exactly that I’m all about it, well here’s your chance to see me in action!
Watch and smile… (you may even have an a-ah of your own)

For a bit more about what, how, when, where and why… check out my first post on Go Ask Ella: Who Did You Talk To About Sex?

P.S. The x-rated tip that I was about to share at the end of my talk will be viewable soon enough! Hold on to your hats! You’ll have to wait until Monday BUT if you write a comment below or here on facebook I’ll send a private link for your viewing pleasure to you via email.
;-) Squeakiest wheel gets oiled first (and for the record, it’s nothing scary or something that will cause you to faint!).

Dark Side of the Moon (and how it wreaks havoc on our hormones)

The new moon is upon us, and no, I’m not talking tween vampires ala Twilight (although shh don’t tell, I am counting down the days to until the next one is in theaters).  Even though we can’t see the moon at all this evening, it’s funny to me that it’s at its peak rising during the day today from 5am until 8pm-ish Pacific Standard Time .  The hidden moon, the unknown, the mysterious, the feminine- the dark side of the moon was a well coined term. Little rascal that it is!

It surprises me that most women are unaware of the moon’s direct relationship to our bodies and emotions. As human beings we are 70% water and the Earth is as well, don’t you see the parallels of tide turnings here? Hello ebb and flow of emotional waves! If a woman is totally in alignment with her natural menstrual cycle (yay I finally fell into this category last month), she will begin her period with the new moon and be ovulating around the time of the full moon.    I never really took any of this moon stuff to heart before I began my yoga training last year.  It’s insane to me that this information isn’t standard knowledge and instead we’re just given prescriptions instead of wisdom as old as the hills.  I was given birth control pills by my gynecologist and my therapist tried to put me on Prozac when I was fourteen at the peak of my puberty.  No one bothered to do a hormone panel, talk to me about hormones and the therapist I was seeing didn’t even ask one question about my period/hormones when prescribing anti-depressants.  Danger, danger Will Robinson!  I never took the Prozac but I was on birth control for ten years and I was all over the map doing my best to find sanity (I tried four different types and was on a rollercoaster ride from hormonal hell, just ask any ex of mine from 1998-2005).  I’m happy to say I’ve been “clean” for five years now, and the world is a better place, lemme tell ya!

So let’s talk about the full moon, the “crazy” time- the howling of wolves, larger incidences of ER visits and ovulation.  Waxing, meaning getting full, represents the time women come into their full power- being able to create (life in your body in the form of a child but also in any other creative endeavors, it’s considered the most fortuitous time to pursue dreams and goals). The full moon is the peak of a woman’s ovulation (when she’s most able to get pregnant).  Speaking of ovulation, do you remember the tv show Coach in the late 80s/90s?  Not the best series ever but one episode caught my attention way back when I was going through puberty.  I remember the lead character, the “coach”, had a girlfriend named Christine and she came out of their bedroom ferociously yelling that he’d better have sex with her since she was ovulating.  I remember thinking, “whoa, what the heck’s wrong with her? I hope I never have ovulate.”  Ha!  Well, little did I know that after putting away my Barbies and leaving the tooth fairy behind, I would be put right in the fast lane to ovulation and would stay there for thirty years.

Clients and askers often talk about how emotional they are and how much they hate being so “crazy.”  The worst thing I can think of hearing when I’m full of hormone grizzlies is “are you hormonal?” but it’s a good thing to check in with never-the-less.

Warning to anyone conversing with a woman full of emotion, in fact anyone full of emotion, be aware that their feelings are real to them and by invalidating them you’ll be in a world of trouble.  Logic and emotions live in separate hemispheres, and it’s really hard to see what’s true when you’re blinding by either.  As for hormones though, keep this in mind- just like most locations on the planet have four seasons in a year, so does a woman in a month.

The ebb and flow of our bodies consist of estrogen (beginning of period being day one and ending day 14) and progesterone (days 14-28). Note that most moon cycles are 28 days, hmmm proof much that we’re loony moonies?

So, ladies and friends of ladies, be kind to yourself and know that:

1) the quickest and most effective way to feel better is to accept that you feel the way you feel

2) you’re not your emotions, you’re a container for them

3) knowing your body (and it’s ebb & flow) will make life more awesome


Two little helpful suggestions to start managing your awareness with your body cycles…

Moonth (moon, month, get it?) experiment.

Ladies, get a calendar with the moon cycles on them (or if you have an iPhone, download the MoonPhase app!). Then, start writing down the day you begin and end your period.  See what foods, activities, drama you crave and write it down in a journal.  Doctors, homeopaths, naturopaths, and all other smarties out there would agree that during the estrogen (day 1-14) timeframe women benefit from more intense physical activity.  Ahhh my mother the nurse, best advice given in regards to this: when having cramps, go get some sex & exercise!  Orgasms cause the cervix to have contractions (along with your entire body, bring on the sweet sweat release!).   During the next phase of progesterone (days 14-28), be more gentle with yourself.  Take baths, drink yummy teas, eat nourishing foods, and take a restorative yoga class or go for a walk.  Your body is gearing up to provide a sustainable environment to house a baby, it’s creating extra lining in the uterus and this process consumes A LOT of energy so take it easy. HOT TIP: Take an kundalini yoga class with heavy emphasis on breathing exercises before you start your period, it’s magical and wiped out my cramping! No joke!





Organic Female Moon Spirit Tea




Herbal teas and tinctures are where it is at for a little extra TLC!  I highly recommend Organic Female Moon Spirit Tea by Herbescent Tea & Botanicals.


Also, Sacred Womb by Forgotten Foods is amazing.  Just take a few drops under the tongue in the morn and at night before bed during days 24-28!


Lots of love from your resident loony moony,


Ella


P.S. I’m also seriously loving on a Dong Quai Wild Yam remedy as well as the Yogi Tea’s “Moon Cycle” and “Women’s Energy” which has lots of dong quai and raspberry leaf (age-old effective herbs for the ladies and their swings).

Think Before Popping Pills or Getting An Injection

As a young girl, I grew up in hospitals, literally. My mom happened to be a nurse, as did my father’s mother, so you can imagine that it was often a hot topic in the household whether or not I would follow in my matriarchs’ footsteps.

When my parents couldn’t find a babysitter on the nights they were both working, I often slept in the ER during my mother’s shift, in room 13 to be exact.

And, around age four, I had a freak accident that left me with a lacerated eyeball.  At first glance, it appeared to be unsalvageable but the doctors put me under and performed a miracle, needless to say, after that experience I was a doctor fan and never questioned their guidance, EVER.

Point blank- I am a product of the western medicine world and like many, found myself bowing to science as opposed to kneeling in church pews.   I still believed in angels, but that’s a whole other story.

So, when doctors told me that I should go on birth control to regulate my periods at thirteen, I started popping hormone-infused pills.  When my gynecologist told me to get the HPV vaccine when it first came out on the market, I signed up that day for my first injection series.

Every year, since I was 10 years old, I had UTIS (urinary tract/bladder infections) and took loads of antibiotics because that’s what I was told to do.  I never thought about it, I knew that doctors knew best.

Today, I really stand on a different bank of the river in regards to medicine.  I’ve grown up a bit in the past few years and I’ve begun to question the authorities that I revered.

Unfortunately, I only began to wake up after experiencing some of the most excruciating physical pain I’ve had in my life.  Funny, that we often start taking better care of ourselves after our body waves a big red flag that slaps us in the face.  It is my hope that the body doesn’t have to send a mac truck of a message in order for us to take better care of it.

Let me give you a little background on the physical pain I was in that changed my life.

In 2008, I had been given countless prescriptions of antibiotics during my time teaching in Seoul, South Korea due to lung infections from the pollution.  My capacity to breathe was improving however I was having burning, cramping and severe inflammation in what felt like my bladder and uterus. I was terrified.  I had gone to my GP doc (general practitioner) and knowing I was a chronic bladder pain gal, he prescribed antibiotics when I got back into the US.  The pain didn’t decrease much though and I wondered if maybe it was because the antibiotics weren’t strong enough in comparison to what I’d been taking in South Korea.

I waited about two weeks and went out of state to visit my newly born goddaughter.  The night I arrived I was just pounding with pain and so I made an emergency appointment with the local town’s clinic.  I had a full gynecological exam where they told me I had a pristine vaginal canal and cervix but that I may have had a STI due to some discharge.  (P.S. discharge is normal for all women, we lubricate naturally to clean out our vagina every day not to mention to help us enjoy sex).  Now, because the nurses at the clinic wanted to help me make the pain go away immediately they treated me with antibiotics orally and an injection (just in case I had gonorrhea and chlamydia).  They informed me that I wouldn’t get my results back from my tests for another two weeks but better to not be in pain while waiting.

Within three days, I was doubled over in pain feeling like my insides were being dug out and couldn’t stop peeing but had nothing to pee out.  By being in the sun for an hour driving (the antibiotics they gave were so strong that I was advised to not be in direct sunlight), I began to feel like my skin was on fire.  Mind you this was early March in Northern California and not Ecuador.  I was just a mess.

After all this, I received a phone call from the clinic saying that I had no STIs and no infections whatsoever, “sorry for the inconvenience.”   I was misdiagnosed and full of antibiotics that were aggravating my already pain riddled body, awesome, thanks!

Finally, I went to my yoga teacher at the time who also happened to be a very educated and wise master healer. He told me to do a cleanse, a candida cleanse, to get rid of all the antibiotics because my system was just depleted of its own natural ability to heal. No sugar, no vinegar, no fruit, no mushrooms, no alcohol, no caffeine, no flour, no dairy, no wheat – and did I mention I was vegetarian?

What was I going to eat?  Ahhhhh! But I was willing to do anything at this point and figured I could forego ice cream for three months although it wouldn’t be easy.

I bought a homeopathic remedy, started eating a natural antibiotic (garlic) and within two days, the pain subsided and within one week, I was pain-free for the first time in months.  In the past year, I’ve only had one incident of feeling a tad ouchy and I just cut back on sugar and took some natural supplements (within hours, my symptoms were gone).  If you’re thinking you have a UTI, read my post about what to do, click here.

During this year of healing, I realized how much diet and exercise contribute to our health.  What we put in our mouths to feed and empower our system does matter.

I began to really look at natural approaches to healing and decided that maybe subscribing to the “pop a pill and fix it” mentality wasn’t in my best interest.  In fact, I don’t believe it’s in anyone’s best interest.

My perspective was shifting and this put me in a bit of a pickle as far as my education in sexual health and also in conversations with my beloved mom/nurse.  It seemed the education I had was fear based and not big on asking questions of doctors, clinics, and medications.

I was extensively trained by a premier sexual health organization and never were we taught about natural health remedies.  For years, I was the ask-able person in an extended circle of people not to mention a teen health educator.  I advised many about methods of birth control but not the long term effects, I taught kids about infections and pregnancy, and I encouraged getting exams as often as possible.  I believed in what I taught and I told hundreds of students to get the new HPV vaccination because I really thought it was in their best interest.  I even went so far as to get the HPV vaccination myself because I was afraid of the alternative.  I knew of quite a few women under thirty that had died of cervical cancer and I had countless women in my life who had been treated and “saved.”

And now, if I could go back in time I would have done more research on natural remedies and offered those choices to the students, friends, family and myself.  By operating from fear of “what could happen,” I thought better to nip in the bud but I never looked at what I could do daily to make my life and body happier.  Luckily, I’m only twenty-seven and I’ve still got plenty of time to keep educating myself and others.

For the record, I’m not hating on doctors or western science- I think some amazing things have been accomplished in the past 100 years (I love you Dr. Gratiot, I can see because of you) but I think we’ve missed the point about healing ourselves and looking to more natural options.  A psychiatrist I once knew told me that the best way to treat depression was a little bit of exercise, sunshine, lots of water and healthy food- but rarely did his patients take that prescription seriously.

The work I do as a coach, speaker and author with Go Ask Ella is all about holistic sexual health and really empowering women to make choices from a place of truth, education, passion and not fear.  A lot of stuff is just basic and were not told for whatever the reason.  I’m really honored to now be a more informed space of wisdom, I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had because they allow me to relate to people and I totally get where they come from.  I do my best to be a bridge between western and traditional methods.

I don’t stand on soapboxes but I ask questions and I implore others to do the same.

My biggest regret is that I got vaccinated for HPV and my greatest relief is I didn’t have complications from it.  So you can imagine I gulped pretty hard recently when I was asked to spread the word about getting vaccinated against HPV.   My friend who sent me the email  is walking in the Revlon Run/Walk for Women after having lost young female friends to cancer.  I get it that they want to fight against cancer but I think there’s a lot of money made around cancer and the fear of it.  Telling people to eat organic doesn’t make for big business.

My vote is to drop the fight and start to love your body and pay attention to what you do to it.  The energy of war on anything feels counterintuitive.  And, isn’t it interesting that a company like Revlon is sponsoring this event? The NY Times just published an article expressing chemicals are the largest contributing factors to cancer.  And what do you think are in the ingredients of Revlon makeup?

Helloo!!  Is anyone else seeing the vicious cycle here? We don’t know what’s in the things we wear on our skin, that we eat, and we certainly don’t know what is in the vaccines nor do we know what the long term effects will be.  In fact, haven’t we just gotten sicker as a society with all the medicine we’re ingesting?  Aren’t there more cases of cancer today than ever before?  Makes you think doesn’t it?  I sure hope so.

Choice is freedom.  Research, talk to people, ask me and if I don’t know I’ll do my best to find more information and be real with you about it.  It’s my hope that more people are making informed choices from a place of love and not fear.  By speaking about sexuality and health in a real way, I feel it reaches more people and pulls down the veil of shame, guilt and fear.

I leave you with this video that was sent my way today.  I didn’t know the HPV vaccine was being mandated, that young girls were being injected by law and I had no idea that so many young women were already experiencing seriously awful side effects from Gardasil (which by the way has the best advertising campaign I’ve ever seen).

Please watch and share:

Loving you,
Ella