Here's How Birth Control *Really* Works

In August, a Cosmopolitan article came across my newsfeed several times, titled “Here’s *Exactly* How Birth Control Works.” In it, readers are greeted by an ad for a new birth-control pill. Readers are then offered a breakdown of eight different birth control methods explaining how they work⁠—except, not really. Sure, at a rudimentary level, yes, the description of each method has some accurate information. But early on it becomes clear Cosmo is promoting these methods by focusing only on effec

What’s the Status on Male Birth Control?

For the past several years, many of us have seen headlines referencing the development of birth control drugs for men. It does seem like for too long women alone have borne the burden of pregnancy prevention, despite how baby-making requires two parties to take place. Further, since men are fertile 100% of the time, while women are only fertile about a quarter of the time in their menstrual cycles, it seems a little heavy-handed to put the responsibility solely on women, for couples hoping to po

Sleeping in the Rub' al-Khali Desert | Saatva

Growing up in Michigan, it was beyond my very active imagination that at 20, I would find myself halfway across the world, sleeping out in the open in the Rub’ al-Khali desert. My freshman year of college led me down a different path than I had envisioned after I found myself in an honors seminar course on the Islamic Middle East. It wasn’t my first choice—that was a seminar on national security—and little did I know at the time, but the experience would steer me toward a deep love affair with

The Therapeutic Power of Laughing at Yourself

Because we can't control what happens to us—but we can control our reactions. I was what can only be described as a spaz during an interview. (I somehow got a second chance.) I broke up with my boyfriend and accidentally pooped my pants all in one week (I was 21). I tried to demonstrate a high kick, only to go flying backwards. I took a bite of wasabi thinking it was guacamole, only to black out for an unknown period of time. An elephant, and a hyper-sensitive anxious female, never forgets,

What My Mentors Taught Me About God

I never thought I would need any hand-holding as an adult. I naively believed that one day I would wake up and find myself graduated to adulthood, and that going it alone was one of the true signs that I had reached this milestone. The truth of the matter is that now, as an adult, I need guidance and mentorship more than ever. I can think of three people whom I consider mentors. They have all come into my adult life at different times, usually when I needed them the most, and they have all s

The Problem with "Whoops Proof" Birth Control Advertising

According to the CDC, the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCS) increased fivefold between 2002 and 2013. Despite this, 45 percent of pregnancies nationally were unintended. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies along with Bedsider, “an online birth control support network,” have created a campaign to change this and encourage women to use IUDs and implant forms of birth control. The campaign, “Whoops Proof” was developed to “raises awareness about IUDs a

Entertaining on a Budget: 5 Best Trader Joe’s Wine & Snack Pairings

Who says a quality wine night needs to break the bank? Growing up in an Italian family with a penchant for the Italian tradition of amazing late-night meals, I was used to always seeing a bottle of wine at the table. My parents carefully chose which wine to serve with their meals, and my mom made wine an art—it was meant to be savored, appreciated, and food pairings were essential. When I turned twenty-one, I found out that this was not genetic. I couldn’t tell a merlot from pinot grigio (one’

How I Find God in Everyday Life

At Mass one Sunday morning, as I was kneeling after receiving Communion, I glanced up to see a man pushing his wife’s wheelchair over to the Eucharistic minister. I watched the husband patiently stand by his wife and coax her to open her mouth to receive the host. I found out later that the woman had early onset Alzheimer’s. The tragedy of this disease was eclipsed by the unconditional love I saw in this husband living out his marriage vows. It was an example of pure and beautiful love, a tr

5 Hashtags to Cultivate Beauty in Your Feed

The day Instagram made it possible for us to follow hashtags may have marked one of their smartest business decisions to date. More than anything else, hashtags are meant to bring together the community of Instagrammers. Many people use hashtags to simply bring attention to their accounts or gain followers, but they also can create a community of like-minded individuals who see the world similarly. Here are five hashtags to follow (and use) to make your feed a celebration of beauty. The “be

How Lack of Fertility Awareness Relates To Infertility Rates

A recent study conducted by the Morning Consult for the New York Times shows that the U.S. birthrate has declined significantly due to various economic and social factors. The study focused on young adults and indicates that younger generations are having fewer children for reasons ranging from a lack of economic stability to a desire for independence. The United States has gradually slowed to the rest of the world’s declining birthrate, but the reasoning behind our concerning, but predictable

5 Instas Every Booklover Should Be Following

Cicero has been attributed as saying, “A room without books is like a body without a soul,” and I think the same could be said about our Instagram feeds. It seems like an odd paradox; books are old media and Instagram is the epitome of the new. New media can help bolster the old, however, especially as reading becomes a more virtual experience and the leather-bound tombs of yesterday become less desirable to some. Instagram photos featuring books can remind us of beauty and richness found in

5 Lifestyle Instas that Will Inspire (Not Depress) You

It’s hard to remember a time before we had Instagram. Once upon a time, we didn’t feel the pressure to share our vacation or food pictures for everyone to see, and when we were bored in a waiting room, we didn’t have the option to scroll mindlessly through our feed. It seems as if we are always being told that this pre-Insta era was better. It’s easy to reflect on how much simpler life was before Instagram and its social media counterparts, but barring the introduction of a time machine, tha

5 Architecture & Travel Instas to Beautify Your Feed

It seems we are always hearing about the downside of social media, but the truth is, it’s not all bad. Social platforms are woven into the fabric of our society, so why not use them for good? Instagram is one of my favorite places to peruse, and it’s the app I am most likely to be scrolling through when I need to pass the time. While the app has its fair share of badly lit food photos, FOMO-inducing party and vacation pictures, and fake lifestyles, I believe Instagram can help us see the wor

My Doctor's Push for Birth Control Ignored My Unique Health Needs

Today, numerous young women are put on birth control at early ages for all range of issues. For me, it was a doctor’s push of hormonal contraception that actually led me to the natural methods of fertility awareness. When I was 15 years old, I asked my mom to switch my care to a female doctor. My body was changing rapidly, and not only was I self-conscious about returning to a male pediatrician to discuss menstrual cycles and boys, but I also believed that a female doctor would be more attuned

These Four Tendencies Reveal Exactly How to Motivate Yourself (and Everyone Else)

Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, Rebel—what drives you belongs in one of these categories. But which one? Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, is a master of healthy habits—she has written numerous self-help books with the aim of achieving true happiness and self-awareness. In her research to find out what motivates us to be our best selves, she discovered that most people fall into one of four categories: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or Rebel. With that, her framework for the Four

Women Share 4 Times Rejection Was the Greatest Thing That Happened to Their Careers

Take notes from these female powerhouses on how to move on when you didn’t get the job. The road to success is not always paved with glory but rather with blood, sweat, tears, and, well, rejection. Though no one wants to be rejected—as it is often (wrongly) equated with failure—when one door closes, another opens and we end up right where we need to be. So if you think you’re the only one who has had proverbial doors slammed in your face, here are four leading ladies in their fields sharing how

10 Secluded Shores to Explore Instead of Hanging Out at a Crowded Beach

Wouldn’t you rather hear the ocean than someone else’s music? Summer’s end is near, and many of us are trying to squeeze every last minute out of sunny days before school or a busy work season kicks back in. But if you’re worn out from crowded beaches and listening to other people’s music, why not skip the beach and try a quiet cove or secluded seashore? Rent a cute coastal cottage or take a day trip to get away one last time at one of these picturesque and private beaches around the U.S. This

Period Tracking Apps Are Unreliable, But Here’s Why We Should Still Use Them

Ask not what your fertility app can do for you—ask what you can do with your fertility app. Clue. Life. Cycles. These aren’t board games. They are just a few of the dozens of period tracker online apps that have been gaining popularity in recent years—and science has had its eye on them. Recent studies from The University of Washington and the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Weill Cornell Medical College indicate that period tracking apps provide inaccurate information. Dr. Robert Se

10 Waterfall Hikes in the U.S. You Need to See Up Close in Your Lifetime

The best part about hiking trails with beautiful waterfalls is knowing you’re in for a scenic treat. There is much to be said about the healing power of water—both for relaxing our bodies and calming our minds. So what’s a better summer excursion than packing your sensible hiking boots (and swimsuit) to visit some of the States’ most uniquely captivating cascades? This waterfall located in Michigan's upper peninsula will be a pleasant surprise to all who think the of it as a largely empty land

5 Tips We Can Learn from the French Way of Grocery Shopping

A few tweaks can transform this tiresome task into a pleasurable ritual. Raise your hand if you've ever imagined yourself strolling down a cobbled street with a baguette under your arm and not a care in the world. It sounds like a dream, but there is practicality in the details of day-to-day French living—especially the way they shop for food. The French method is built around principles mostly uncommon to the American way of grocery shopping and pantry keeping. French citizens typically have
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