Hi, I’m Molly, and I oversee community programming at LOLA. Usually my job involves meeting you IRL, but over the last two week’s I’ve been shifting my focus to connect with many of you in new ways.
When we created Period Support Group, we wanted to foster an IRL space where the LOLA community could speak openly and fearlessly about periods. Over the last two weeks, amidst a global pandemic, connecting with our community has looked very different. With this in mind, we’ve adapted Period Support Group to come to you, wherever you are.
Introducing Period Support Group at Home: Fridays at noon on IGTV, the LOLA team, experts, and our community will be hosting an honest conversation on reproductive health and wellness fueled by your questions and stories.
In our first Period Support Group at Home, Jordana Kier, our cofounder, joined me to kick off the conversation. She spoke to the collaborative nature of this community, and to the ways in which LOLA hopes to make space for essential conversations right now:
As the founder of LOLA, what are you hoping we can provide our community in this time?
We’ve heard from our community that they’re feeling anxious, scared, and lonely. Especially when it comes to reproductive health, which can already be a vulnerable and isolating journey, it can be unclear where to turn for discussion even in a normal time. The thing we can all do is connect with each other virtually and say I understand and I’m here for you.
It’s been really cool to see us bring Period Support Group into a virtual setting because we can replicate the magic that we see when we’re all together in person, having these discussions. It’s important for us as a company given our focus and our mission to be able to provide a supportive community, access to expert information, and access to discussion that is without judgement.
We have heard so many questions from our community about how to best approach their reproductive health at this time. We brought on an expert, Dr. Navya Mysore, a primary care physician and a director at OneMedical, to respond to these questions:
We’ve been collecting questions from the LOLA community all week, the first is from Lindsey who asks, “My annual got canceled because of corona. What resources can I trust will be accurate while I can’t talk to my gyno?”
That is a really common question being asked by my patients. Most clinics are closed right now for routine, in person visits and I know that’s frustrating. But the idea behind these measures is we really want to reduce how this virus is spread. On the flip side, most offices are offering virtual visits. I would absolutely touch base with your gynecologist or primary care physician, to see if they’re offering a virtual visit. In a virtual visit, if you have questions about your birth control, through most virtual visits you can get your birth control renewed. If you have questions in general about gynecological issues, a few resources I like to suggest to patients are: reproductiveaccess.org, plannedparenthood.org, and bedsider.org.
One more thing I wanted to say: a lot of questions I’ve been getting have been about routine pap smears. If it is a routine pap smear and you’ve had a normal history of pap smears in the past, it is totally fine if your pap smear is delayed by a few months. With that said, if you have had a history of abnormal pap smears or are waiting on a procedure, I would continue to check in to see your physician’s options for in-person visits.
Our next question is from Holly who writes, “My husband and I started passively trying a few months ago, not expecting anything to happen too quickly. This was before the pandemic began. We just found out three days ago that we are expecting only a few minutes after finding out my husband was treating the first COVID positive patient in our area. We are trying to focus on the excitement but trying not to live in the fear of the moment.” What advice would you have for Holly?
First off, congratulations, that is great news, and also to your partner: thank you so much for what you are doing in these times. The short answer is while we don’t know what the impact is specifically, what we do know from what we have seen is that fetuses, for the most part, have not been affected when exposed to COVID-19. If you do get sick, I would urge you to first call your doctor to assemble a plan – don’t show up at the office. In the meantime, try to keep yourself as healthy as you can! There’s a lot of virtual visits being offered right now, so it’s a perfect opportunity if you’re very early in your pregnancy to get on the phone and discuss what’s next.
Our final question is from Grace, who asks, “My IUD is almost expired and I’m worried that social distancing will not be over by the time I need to get a new one. What do I do?”
I would first double-check to see what kind of IUD you have, because, for the most part, IUDs have a bit of extra time. People are surprised to hear that the Mirena functions for seven years, as opposed to the five it is marketed for, but we have enough research to know you can have it for that long without affecting contraception ability. I would certainly double-check with your gynecologist and, too, call them to see if there is a plan in place for when you eventually have it replaced. If you have an IUD that is being used for contraception but you have hit its deadline, I would be sure to use a secondary form of contraception. With a progesterone-only IUD that would be a condom. With a copper IUD, if you are comfortable with the birth control pill, you can absolutely call your gynecologist to see if you can get a prescription to carry you over for this period of time. Ultimately, my first suggestion would be to consult your physician.
We want to hear from you! Comment below what you would like to see from the LOLA community at this time: what questions do you have about your reproductive health? What kind of experts would you like to hear from?
Check out LOLA’s IGTV channel to see more Period Support Group At Home!