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Ask the Experts: 4th Edition

Dr. Stephanie Colantonio is back to answer even more of your burning questions this month. One of Looni's medical advisors, Dr. Colantonio is a board-certified physician who specializes in integrative reproductive health. This includes menstrual health, hormone balance, and mental health. She combines her training in both conventional medicine and herbalism with mindfulness when caring for patients at her private practice in Los Angeles.

If you have any questions you want answered by one of Looni’s experts, just email us or ask away in our Burning Questions room here in Geneva.

❔ Can I have more than 2 abortions?

👩‍⚕️ You can absolutely have more than two abortions. Something to keep in mind is that about a quarter of people in the United States who are able to get pregnant, will have an abortion at some point in their life, and 50% of those will have more than one abortion. So it's not uncommon to need at least more than one.

Something else that's interesting is that most of the people who do have more than one abortion are over the age of 30 and often already have a child. These are data points from the Guttmacher Institute, which is a great resource to turn to if you're interested in learning more.

In terms of safety, any medical procedure or medication is going to carry some level of risk, be that very small or large. If we're thinking specifically about a medication abortion or a manual uterine aspiration, these are incredibly safe procedures.

Now, something to keep in mind is that for some people, not everyone, but for some people having an abortion can feel like a lot on the body, on the heart, on the mind, the whole spirit. So it's really important to keep that in mind too when choosing your primary mode of contraception aka your plan A. That should be your default way of preventing unintended pregnancy, so that abortion really is a plan C.

❔ What should my vagina smell like?

👩‍⚕️ There is not one certain way that a vagina is supposed to smell—there's a range of smells between individuals. It may change depending on where someone is in their menstrual cycle, if they recently had sex, all sorts of things. It's normal for it to smell a little bit acidic or sour, even tangy—this is because the natural, normal, healthy pH of the vagina is acidic to help prevent infections—so all of those smells are normal. Also around menstruation, it might smell a little bit metallic, and that's because of the iron in the blood.

Now, odors that we would be concerned about are if there is ever a fishy or yeasty smell, that tells us that there might be an infection and that's when you do wanna get checked out. But otherwise, the vagina is self cleansing, so there’s no need to douche or put anything in there with the intention of "cleaning".

❔ Is it okay to masturbate on your period?

👩‍⚕️ You can absolutely masturbate during your period. In fact, I encourage it! As well as period sex, if that's something that you and your partner are interested in.

The reason for the encouragement is that orgasm is actually really soothing for menstrual cramps. When we orgasm, our body releases all of these feel good neurotransmitters, endorphins, as well as nitric oxide to the pelvic area. This is going to help with easing pain as well as increasing circulation, which can support cramping as well.

If you have any questions you want answered by one of Looni’s experts, just email us or ask away in our Burning Questions room here in Geneva.