Menstrual Cycle and Sports Performance

I came across an interesting article in Medical News Today that asks the question:  Does the menstrual cycle affect sporting performance?

Earlier this year, when British tennis player Heather Watson was defeated in the first round of the Australian Open, she attributed her performance to “girl things,” causing her to experience dizziness, nausea and fatigue as she attempted to play.

Annabel Croft, a former tennis player, told the BBC that Watson’s openness was “brave” and that “women do suffer in silence on this subject. It has always been a taboo subject.”

Croft considers the impact of the menstrual cycle on sporting performance to be “the last taboo” in sports, yet others downplay its influence. British runner Paula Radcliffe currently holds the world record for the women’s marathon and she broke the existing record at the start of her period.

“I broke the world record so it can’t be that much of a hindrance,” she told the BBC, “but undoubtedly that’s why I had a cramped stomach in the final third of the race and didn’t feel as comfortable as I could’ve done.”  (Read more.)

The piece goes on to investigate to what extent the menstrual cycle might be capable of affecting performance, as well as looking at ways to lessen the possibility of negative impact.

For more about Heather Watson and her interview with CNN check out this link.

Five Year Anniversary: RIP ARE – You ARE Loved

Five years ago today, Amy Rae Elifritz (the ARE in You ARE Loved.org) lost her battle to tampon related toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

Read her store here.

Be period wise.  Be tampon wise.  Be TSS wise.

Know the facts about TSS.

Take care down there.  Don’t use any internal products that have the potential to leave fibers in your vagina.

Know that longer wear does not always mean safer wear.  Changing tampons every two hours (or less) and alternating between internal and external menstrual products provides less risk of developing TSS.  This means using the smallest possible tampon/absorbency for your two hour flow need.

Traditional tampons contain super absorbent fibers.  The better choice, tampon wise, is 100% organic cotton tampons.  Menstrual cups, in my opinion, are the best choice for many reasons. (no fibers, longer wear time, lower risk, less expense in the long run, often reusable, etc)

For more information about TSS, please visit www.you-are-loved.org .

And, if you’re interested, you can find my story here.

 

Menstrual Hygiene Day 2015

Today, May 28, is Menstrual Hygiene Day.

So what? It’s an important day because #MenstruationMatters and so do women and girls the world over!  That’s what!

MHD serves as a neutral platform to bring together individuals, organisations, social businesses and the media to create a united and strong voice for women and girls around the world, helping to break the silence around menstrual hygiene management. How will you be showing the world that ‪#‎menstruationmatters‬ to you? Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

For more about Menstrual Hygiene Day and #MenstruationMatters check out the following links.

How will you make a difference, period wise?

Big Feet, Big Socks, Big Possibilities

White, cotton socks – Hubby bought more than his dresser drawer could hold.

(You know how these “Buy One / Get One Free” deals are – hard to resist even when it’s for something you already have plenty of.)

“Looks like I’ll need to get rid of my old socks,” Hubby lamented to me.  “Do you want me to toss them into the trash?”

(Trash perfectly good socks?!?!)

“NO!” was my immediate reply.  I handed him the bag the new socks had traveled home in with these instructions: “Place the old socks in here.  I’ll take them to a women’s shelter.”

Men’s socks to a women’s shelter?

Yep.

Socks are like gold.

Menstruating while homeless calls for inventive measures if/when feminine hygiene products aren’t available.  A clean sock can be stuffed with tissue from a public restroom and used as a menstrual pad when nothing else is available.  The homeless period demands ingenuity. And, menstrual supplies, though essential, are not always readily available.

It seems a shame to just donate the bag of white cotton socks – knowing full well that the need is for something more than socks as a means to manage menstruation.

Hubby has big feet and the socks have the potential to hold a number of SoftCups, tampons, pads and wipes….

Hmmm… What would be the period wise thing to do?  ;)

#MenstruationMatters

Dear Kate, My First Time Was…

I love this.

Truly.

Dear Kate’s First-time video is…well…take a look for yourself.

OH!  And, be sure to page down…all the way down to the bottom of the page – down to where it says “SHARE YOUR STORY” ;)

Dear Kate’s wonderful period wise advice is -  “so, let’s talk about it.”

For the Freedom to Bleed Red

 

“Come and see the blood on my skirt!” is the invitation given by Shambhawi Vikram.

Why?

…to demystify the taboos and create a healthy, sustained debate around menstrual hygiene and reproductive health.

How?

…carry pads, tampons and other products…around proudly.

When?

April 10, 2015

Who?

Pads Against Sexism that started in Jamia Milia Islamia University has found momentum in Jadavpur University and now in Delhi University – against rising sexism in our society. You can read more such stories from campuses across India at Campus Watch, and #RaiseYourVoice!

That affects me how?

People need to be comfortable with the fact that as they walk down the streets, there are women walking around wearing sanitary napkins and tampons fixed firmly so that not a drop leaks out; as they sit in classes there are people who have blood trickling down their vaginas and it may or may not affect her demeanour, her mood or her ability to solve a mathematics problem! And no, this blood is not impure or unclean in any manner. This is precisely the kind of discourse that tries to reify women’s body by reducing her merely to her womb, wherein her sexuality must be curbed, her body and person either raised to the divine (render her sexless) or cast her as a whore (demeaning and conveniently eroticising her). It is this discourse that reduces a woman only to her reproductive roles and thus conveniently discriminates against her with menstruation being the most obvious and ugly reminder of her fertility. (Read more.)

For more details please go to https://www.facebook.com/events/872641072781406/87300376274513

 

Menstruation – a Threat to Community Safety

I first saw this picture while scanning Facebook.  My first reaction was to smile. My own sleep leaks came to mind – and a reminder that I”m part of something so much bigger than I.

My eyes drifted to the caption below the picture.

This Photo Was Removed By Instagram.

I looked at the photo again.

The warm fuzzy feelings I’d had earlier evaporated like raindrops on a hot rock.  I clicked on the link and began to read.

Someone at Instagram removed Rupi Kaur’s picture because it didn’t conform to their interpretation of Instagram’s Community Standards.

(How would a picture of a sleeping menstruating woman be a threat to community safety?)

Unbelievable!

(that Instagram would pull this picture)

Scandalous!

(that Instagram would consider this picture to be inappropriate)

Improper!

(that’s what Instagram’s reaction is)

Unforgivable!

(an apology does not erase it – change is required)

Uncalled for!

(the ignorant and asinine reactions of the few who dictate to the many)

Intolerable!

(that’s what this is and we can’t sit back and be silent about it)

Rupi Kaur has lifted the banner high and we must join in the movement to unfetter menstruation. Let our voices be heard in support of the freedom to menstruate uncensored.

Menstruation is not shameful.  It is not pornographic. It is not nasty. It is not something that should be hidden or denied.

Menstruation is glorious. It is beautiful. It is natural. It is creative. It is something that should not be hidden and must never be denied.

Ignorance must come face to face with truth and who better to speak it than those who menstruate?!

Speak up! Speak out! Let your voice be heard about all things period wise, and let no one censor you, period wise!

Follow Rupi Kaur.

I’m Not Bossy

Take a look at the picture below and give it a CD (Cycle Day).

I wonder if it’s the same cycle day I would give it. ;)

Poor boy, I’m sure he felt like many men do when faced with unexpected changes we  undergo cycle wise and often take for granted..

Aren’t the changes grand?!?

Each cycle day is a new opportunity and filled with new found strengths.

Embrace each cycle day.

Know who you are and what your strengths are in it. Learn to anticipate those strengths and make them work for you.  And, don’t worry if others don’t quite get it.  You do and that’s all that really matters.

And, no…I’m not bossy.  I’m Period Wise.

You be period wise, too!

Bride Chooses Wisely – For Herself and Her Future

The net has been awash with posts about the bride in India who walked away from her wedding, refusing join herself in marriage to the groom who could not correctly add 15+6. (More on this story can be found here.)

Wise woman.

She wanted more for herself and her future than what she was offered.

She bucked tradition and stood for what she knew was right for herself. Forget cultural taboos – this woman ditched it all and said she wasn’t having any of it.

Good for her!

It’s something we should all do, period wise.

Bucking menstrual traditions and throwing taboos out the window make room for enlightened thinking which leads to enlightened living and enlightened choices, period wise.

This bride envisioned more for herself and her future – expected more. Deserved more!  And,she bravely said “No” to all that threatened her dreams and hopes for the future.

When was the last time you said “No” to menstrual traditions and taboos, and took a good long look at your dreams and hopes for the future, period wise?  You deserve more, you know.

Period wise women stand up and stand out.  And, they don’t go with the flow, product wise.  Know your options.  Be open to change.  Experiment and explore.  And, do so with your hopes and dreams in mind.

Be strong. Stand for yourself, your ideals, your hopes and dreams.  And, say “No” to all that would tie you to traditional products and taboo thinking.

Be period wise.

Venus Matters

There’s a nifty little idea that could come in handy for all sorts of bedtime situations and appears, at least in idea, to beat towels and old blankets hands down when it comes to protecting sheets and mattresses.

It’s a Venus Pad.

The Venus Mat is a cotton-covered, absorbent, waterproof and washable mat that keep stains or wet-spots off the bed linens. (Learn more.)

According to the website, Venus Matters to a lot of women.

  • women tired of menstrual stains on sheets
  • women with new babies
  • teenage girls concerned about night time leaks
  • women experiencing night sweats and heavy flows
  • sexually active women
  • women concerned with the perceived curse of menstruation

Take a minute and watch the video.