Monthly Archives: May 2013

What’s a Grandmother to do?

Susan Stiffelman offers an interesting scenario in which your 13 year old granddaughter confides to you that she’s started her period and doesn’t want her mother to know. Take a moment, read, and see if you agree that her solution is period wise.

Your 13-year-old granddaughter tells you she’s gotten her period.

“Grandma, you absolutely, positively cannot tell Mom and Dad,” she cries.
You know your daughter — her mother — would want to know, and to celebrate this moment in her daughter’s life. You also know that your daughter will be furious with you when she finds out you’d kept it from her. What do you do?

You hold the secret, and create the space for your granddaughter to tell you about this new experience. You don’t rush the talk, and you stay lovingly connected to her. Eventually you may say, “Sweetie, I’m so happy for you. Wow! This is a huge moment in your life. I’m honored that you told me, and I respect that it’s your right to share this with whomever you choose. Can you tell me what it is about telling Mom and Dad that feels uncomfortable? What do you think might happen if you tell them?”

And then you listen. In the back of your mind, you’re looking for a way to help your granddaughter become comfortable sharing this with her parents, but you allow her to be ready at her pace. If your daughter finds out that you knew and didn’t tell her, you accept her anger and disappointment, assuring her that you will absolutely tell her if your granddaughter discloses anything dangerous.

Makeup and Suncreen Linked to Painful Periods

Is it possible that things you use every day – like makeup and sunscreen – are creating period problems for you? For your daughter…now or in the future?

With Summer just around the corner and sunscreen displayed prominently in most stores, it’s important to choose sunscreen that’s period wise.

Prevention Magazine reported 3 environmental factors that are linked to painful periods. The first is sunscreen (the makeup you use may contain sunscreen).

They protect your skin, but certain ingredients in sunscreen could be doing a number on your reproductive parts. The latest evidence of that, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, comes from research showing that women with higher levels of benzophenone (or Oxybenzone), a common UV filter used in makeup and sunscreen, faced a significantly higher risk of having endometriosis.

Avoid it: Lighten your chemical load by opting for natural sunscreens (see our picks with the Best Natural Sunscreens).

The second and third environmental factors linked to painful periods?

  • Pesticides
  • Trans Fats

To learn more visit Environmental Factors Linked to Painful Periods.

Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Blog

If you’ve never visited (or only rarely visit) the blog re: Cycling you’re missing out on a world of information that matters.

We are often under informed when it comes to our bodies and things pertaining to them – period wise and otherwise, too.

Here’s a rundown of the past 10 posts on re: Cycling.


Take a few minutes and click on the links that interest you – bookmark them to read later.

Awareness – of our bodies and that which concerns them – is period wise.

In case you’re wondering what The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research is and why we should be interested in what they have to say, the following is taking from their homepage.

The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research is a nonprofit, interdisciplinary research organization. Our membership includes researchers in the social and health sciences, humanities scholars, health care providers, policy makers, health activists, artists and students with interests in the role of the menstrual cycle in women’s health and well-being.

We strive to be the source of guidance, expertise, and ethical considerations for researchers, practitioners, policy makers and funding resources interested in the menstrual cycle.

re: Cycling provides up to date information that is period wise and beneficial to girls and women. To quickly and easily receive updates, you can can subscribe to re: Cycling and receive it by email, “Like” it on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

It’s Time to Talk about Menstruation

Sarah Ogden, a Staff Writer for Everyday Feminism, recently wrote an article.that screams  “PERIOD WISE” beginning with her first sentence: “All right, folks, it’s time to talk about it.”

“Breaking News: Menstruation Is Awesome!” is loaded with timely and important information – and chocked full of encouragement.

“It’s a beautiful thing.” That’s what she said about menstruation.

She said a lot more, too, like…how her boyfriends knew more about her body than she did and that the products we use help us remain disconnected from our bodies.

How’s that for a teaser? She packs quite a punch in her piece.

Here are some highlights.

  • We need to reclaim this experience and find power in the blood that unites us.
  • Menstruation is natural, beautiful, and powerful.
  • Some companies try to make us feel bad about our periods to buy their products.
  • Vaginas are not dirty.
  • Some companies try to make us feel periods are “inconvenient” to buy their products.
  • Menstruation is not a disease, and there should not exist a “cure.”
  • Our periods connect us to the moon and to the sea.
  • Menstruation is a shared experience amongst women and trans people who menstruate.
  • What’s a menstruating person to do? (She shares 3 tips.)

I encourage you to take a few minutes and read Sarah’s post.

If you use tampons as your main menstrual product, I hope Sarah’s words below awaken you to the possibility of trying other products (esp. reusable menstrual cups like Lunette, Diva, Keeper, Instead SoftCup, or pads like Always Infinity or cloth).

We use plastic to put tampons in our vaginas, pull them out by the bottom of long string, and then throw them away, all without getting our fingers bloodied.  We are almost completely disengaged from our blood and our bodies.

Period wise women redefine menstruation by breaking taboos and challenging long held beliefs and assumptions.

Period wise women personalize menstruation through the acceptance of their own experience and in sharing their experience with others.


  • How have you redefined menstruation?
  • How have you personalized it?

Where did you learn about periods?

Laura Wershler, frequent writer for the blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, recently wrote a delightful, thought-provoking piece titled: How do girls learn about periods?

In the article, Laura asks:

Why aren’t cool moms and older relatives already talking to the girls in their lives about menstruation? Sharing friendly advice? Passing on wisdom from mother to daughter, woman to woman?