This Valentine’s Day we want you to be your Valentine, by loving on your own self. Nothing against exchanging flowers, treats, and affection with others, but making self-love a habit is essential to your physical and mental health.
To help, we collected some of the best wisdom that members of our medical team and guest experts have shared with the Nurx community. Some of these insights are meant for specific groups, and others are for anybody with a body. Read on for health, sex, love and life advice from some of the smartest and most caring people around.
For everybody looking for health answers . .
“Please do not believe everything you read on the internet. Your neighbor, aunt, or bestie is not you, so what works or doesn’t work for them may not apply to you. We know that you are an individual and want to help you find the best option to suit your needs. ASK QUESTIONS! Be honest about your medications and health conditions – we will not judge! Feel free to message us in between yearly prescriptions because we understand that you don’t only have questions or concerns when it’s time for a renewal. Take care of yourself and take charge of your health!” —Cristin Hackel, MSN, WHNP, Nurx medical provider
If you’re exploring your sexuality . .
“No sex act is exclusive to people of a particular gender or sexual orientation, and when we accept that anyone can enjoy any particular thing, we open ourselves up to many more opportunities for pleasure while also reducing our own judgment (both self-judgment and judgment of others). So if you feel like you aren’t ‘__________ enough’ because you don’t like a particular thing or because you do like something, let go of that belief. You’re _________ enough just as you are.” — Cassandra Corrado, Sex Educator
For migraine sufferers . .
“Understanding and avoiding your food triggers and avoiding excess caffeine and alcohol can reduce headaches significantly and make the traditional medical approach more effective. Eating regularly, not sleeping too little or too much, avoiding or addressing stress, avoiding too much screen time, and exercising can make a real impact. For many patients, however, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding triggers will reduce but not alleviate their headaches entirely. The appropriate prescription medications (not simply pain-relievers) can stop migraines in their track and give patients their lives back.” — Dr. Charisse Litchman, MD, neurologist, headache specialist, and Nurx advisor
For Black women . . .
“Black women need to prioritize themselves. We have to save ourselves first and fill our own cups before we pour into others. The people who love us should respect and support our self-care process. Also, as Black women we need not feel guilty about taking time for ourselves, relaxing our shoulders, and decompressing. Us, Black women need to work on centering our joy and being proactive about it and protective with it, especially when it is threatened by those around us deliberately or unintentionally.” — Zsanai Epps, Program Director of My Sister’s Keeper, a program of Black Women’s Health Imperative.
On getting tested for STIs . . .
“At least once a year is a good benchmark, but it depends on how sexually active you are and the gender(s) of your sex partners. If you are having a fast rate of partner change I wouldn’t wait a whole year to get tested. My friend who studies sexual networks says he looks at it as ‘every 3 months or every 3000 miles.’ One person’s three months are different from another’s. And if you have had an STI in the past you should probably be tested more frequently going forward. In terms of protecting female fertility the issue is not just how long the chlamydia is there before it gets detected, but the higher the number of infections you have had the higher the likelihood of pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. One key to avoiding repeated infections is making sure your partners get treated as well.” — Dr. Ina Park, MD, MS, author of Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in the Science, History and Surprising Secrets of STDs.
For people looking for their best birth control . . .
“Women don’t always realize how many options there are! Different pills contain different types and amounts of estrogen and progestin, and there are both monophasic and triphasic options. If you’ve had unpleasant side effects in the past it doesn’t mean the pill isn’t right for you necessarily. We can find the right contraception for you and our goal is to work alongside you until we find the perfect fit.” — Jenny Pappas, FNP, Nurx medical provider
For survivors of partner abuse . .
“Know that it’s not your fault and you have options should you choose to leave. Even if you’re starting to think you want to leave, or just starting to think that there are behaviors in your relationship that might be problematic, safety planning is everything. Figure out what you need in your situation to prevent yourself from being hurt, think about what you need to bring with you if you leave, how to store extra money or cash, who you can trust and tell about your plan — think through all of these strategies.” — Esha Dholia, case manager at San Francisco Safe House
On protecting yourself from HIV . .
“People should know that HIV is a totally survivable, manageable condition, but getting tested and getting on treatment early is the key to a long life! So get tested! This message is especially important for women who think this won’t affect them, but they’re wrong, and for guys who think they can’t get it from girls — that’s a huge misconception . . . If you have any doubt about the status of your partner or partners, get tested regularly. Tell your sisters, your friends, your mom to get tested! Normalize it! Get rid of the stigma around it.” — Dr. Emily Rymland, DNP FNP-C, Nurx Director of Clinical Operations
For anybody in search of love and satisfaction . . .
“One of the things that prevents us from having healthy relationships is that we are so afraid to admit who we are, what we want, what our expectations may be, in particular, if our expectations do not match the cultural norms of our communities. These things prevent us from having healthy, meaningful, fulfilling relationships, whether they are for a night or a lifetime. And, the challenge of not speaking up about those issues starts with the fact that we barely give ourselves the freedom to ask ourselves what it is that will fulfill us. So, start with: Who am I? Who am I attracted to? What am I open to being attracted to? What am I looking for? I mean maybe I am just looking for sex, maybe I am looking for emotional connection. But, we do not ask ourselves these questions because we wind up realizing that maybe our desires do not fit that stereotype of what we are supposed to want. And, that can be really scary. So, I say fuck the fairytale — they do not mean anything nor do they guarantee personal satisfaction.” — Dr. Logan Levkoff, Sex Educator
For anybody taking care of a body . .
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We want our patients to be active participants in the decision-making process. The healthcare system can sometimes be confusing and complex. We are here to advocate for you and truly care about your health. Ask why a test is being done and what the results mean. Ask questions about your diagnosis and symptoms. Get copies of all your results. We want you to walk away with the knowledge you need to make the best choices possible for your health. If you are a Nurx patient, feel free to message us any time you have a question or concern. We are here for you day and night (even on weekends and holidays)!” — Leann Mays, PA-C, Nurx medical provider
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.