I am a 22-year old cisgender woman. I am just putting this out there, because I wish someone had told me.
  1. No one will know what this word means.
    You will then explain what a uterus is. To adults. Even parents. Even more than once. Start carrying flash cards.
  2. People will then say, "You can have sex without condoms!"
    These horrifying germ loving free lovers skipped out on large portions of health class, specifically the part on those pesky STDs. What the fuck, guys. Did you not see Philadelphia?
  3. You will feel weird emotions.
    Some of this is dealing with others' reactions, and some of it is for sure hormonal. It's also just an emotional experience, no matter what stage of life/parenthood/other-hood you are in. For me, the big seller was jealousy of parents. I'm not perfect.
  4. "So you can't have any kids?"
    Stand up, wherever you are, courthouse, coffee shop, workplace, an empty field, and shout "LAST CHANCE FELLAS" as loud as you can while pointing at your ute. Any takers? No? Okay.
  5. You will want an abdominal binder to deal with the stomach pain.
    And the weird swelling. Plus, obviously a very sexy and alluring look. If you have a Velcro fetish.
  6. When you lose your cervix, the surgeon makes a new one.
    This is called the "vaginal cuff," and it's essentially a little pinch point, right where your cervix was, to end the vaginal canal. If you're me, you can ask the surgeon about how different it is from a cervix in the dark, then make a joke about him dropping his cuff links in the vaginal cuff. He will then slowly back the fuck out of his own office like a frightened villager in a horror movie.
  7. Hot flashes are really disorienting.
    After the 2nd or 3rd one you realize what is happening, and you feel better. It's comforting to know that although you feel like you suddenly landed on the chain gang in Cool Hand Luke, no one else can tell. They suck though.
  8. You will find tampons lying around for like six months afterward.
    In your jacket. On the stairs. In the closet. Near some bears. Collect them and donate them to a local women's shelter who needs them. Try not to feel sad. Also, why did you have enough tampons for your whole life and like five generations after? Think of the money you will save not buying them anymore.
  9. Alternatively, dip the tampons in kerosene and use them as flaming arrows.
    We did this at summer camp when I was a kid. It was bomb.
  10. It's okay to ask for help.
    The pain is pain, even if the source of it makes some people uncomfortable. You can ask for support. You can go easy on yourself as you recover.
  11. If someone mentions having PMS cramps, or birth control side effects, you might get upset.
    Your friends will not think about this. But they will stop telling you about their pregnancy scares. So it goes. Start wearing white jeans all the time. "You can't wear white jeans to my wedding!" Shut up, Barbara.
  12. You will notice that all movies, books, TV shows and Facebook posts are about how pregnant someone is, was, or will be.
    Opt for those British shows about old people in nursing homes.
  13. You lived through this. You may now buy expensive sheets.
    So soft. So, so soft.