Monthly Archives: July 2013

Camp Gyno Star Rocks Menstruation

If you’ve not seen Macy McGrail in the viral video “Camp Gyno,” you have really missed out. Take two minutes and enjoy an fresh, entertaining look as a nine year old girl experiences menarche (her first period) at camp and becomes the camp gyno.

For more on Macy McGrail and menstruation, check out Cosmopolitan’s interview of Macy.

How does Macy’s experience differ from your experience?

What is your initial reaction to the video? to how Macy embraced her first period?

Macy, who has not yet begun to menstruate is already period wise.  And, by Macy’s own words, she owes much to her mom and her openness about menstruation.

What Would You Do Differently?

If you knew that your next period would be your last…

  • what would you do differently?
  • what would you like to experience during it?
  • what would you like to share of it? and, with whom?
  • would you be more open about the fact that you are menstrual?
  • would you invite your daughter to experience your flow in some way? to view your used product?
  • would you share your experience with your best friend?

If you knew that your next period would be your last, is there anything that you would feel had been left undone? or, anything you might regret not doing once it’s no longer an option?

Most women do not know when their last period will be (unless radical surgery ends it) and never consider how they will feel and whether they will have regrets when they discover that their last period was, indeed, their last.

Why wait?  Why risk leaving important things undone? Why not, at your next period, do the period wise things that came to mind when I asked the questions above?

The Hippy Gardener Trashes Sposies, Goes Cup Wild

I received an email from Heather O’Cain, The Hippy Gardener, in which she stated:

I am getting ready to review a number of menstrual cups and would love to get more followers and hope others will spread the word about my project.  My blog has many other topics on it, but this project is my main focus at the moment and will continue over the next few months to a year.

Curious as to what brought about this interest in menstrual cups, I asked Heather.
Upon receipt of her reply, I asked for her permission to post it here for you to read.  Heather has graciously permitted me to post it in entirety.

Hello Suzan,

What prompted me to start this project is three-fold.
1. I’m honestly disgusted by our modern disposable society.  And I guess the natural progression towards kicking trash from coming into our lives to begin with led me to all the trash created just because of my cycle.
2. I don’t believe that life has to be so expensive!  It’s gotten out of hand how many things “they” want us to spend our money on.
3. I’m concerned about what we are doing to our bodies.  There are too many fake products (food included), that we are putting in and on ourselves, that is slowly killing us.
I purchased a DivaCup years ago and have struggled with it ever since not knowing there were other options out there.  This past month we could barely afford to buy my “girlie things” so I pulled the cup out again.  This time I really thought about what was going wrong and also started searching online.  I found that there are so many brands of cups out there it’s mind-boggling.  So I’ve made it a goal to help spread the word.  Since I already have a blog I’ve been working on for years ~ I figured why not do some reviews and share what I learn with others.  So, yeah I just started sending out emails almost before I thought too much about it.
Thanks for checking out my blog and all the mentions on Twitter.  I greatly appreciate your interest in this project and your help talking about it.  I think it’s going to be fun and hopefully I win some people over from disposables.
I checked out your Periodwise blog and I love what you have going on there!  Part of me can barely believe I’m even bringing up such a subject on my blog.  I grew up learning that we just don’t talk about our periods and it was very subtly hinted at that it was something to be ashamed of.  I’m 41 years old and I am just now getting to the point where it doesn’t embarrass me for someone to know I’m bleeding.  That’s ridiculous in my mind.  Girls should not be taught to be ashamed of what their body does.  It’s wonderful to find people like you who are reaching out.  I’ve been following The Red Tent documentary happenings on Facebook for some time and I’ve seen Be Prepared Period’s website before.  I think it’s definitely time for me to be a voice in this movement as well.
Thanks again!!!  I’m so glad I met you Suzan!  :)
If you would like to support Heather in this exciting venture, you can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and at Google+.


Where Are You in Your Cycle?

A friend’s question, “Where are you in your cycle?” was met, by me, with a blank stare and repeated blinks.

And, then I said, “I don’t know.  Either I just ovulated or my period started…not sure which.

I brought both hands to my breasts and squeezed gently, then said, “must be my period…boobs aren’t sore at all, and my weight’s down.”

For someone (like me) who has put a lot of attention toward knowing my exact cycle day…when to expect ovulation and when menstruation will begin…this not knowing can be bothersome. And, frustrating.

Before my hysterectomy I knew where I was, where I was going, and how soon I would arrive.

After my hysterectomy, it took some doing, but I was able to chart my hormonal changes and know where I was in my cycle even without menstruation and cervical changes/discharge.  This knowledge brought comfort to me and a sense of normalcy.

Enter peri-menopauseal changes. Skipped periods. Delayed ovulation. Non-ovulatory cycles. Hormonal imbalance. Hot flashes. Vaginal dryness.  Without my uterus and cervix, I felt lost. I didn’t know where I was in my cycle…if I was cycling at all.

I soon came to see that I was cycling, just not my usual 28 to 30 day cycle as before.  Some cycles were short (some very short) and others longer.  By being aware of weight change, bloating, breast and vaginal changes, libido, appetite, I began to see a pattern and know (sometimes several days after the fact) when my period started or when I had ovulated.  If I knew that I had ovulated, I could count forward about 14 days and expect my period to start.

I’ll admit, I felt really lost at first.  Knowing my cycle day and the strengths that came with each CD was a big part of my identity.  With the hormonal changes I was experiencing, I did not have that knowledge to lean on each morning when I rose, or each evening as I planned out my next day’s activities, or scheduled upcoming tasks to match my most productive days in my cycle.

But, you know what I learned?  Each day has it’s own strengths and every day I am strong.  Yes, knowing my CD helps me be my most productive, but not knowing helps me, too.

How?  Well…I don’t have an excuse for putting off unpleasant tasks for a “better CD.”  I assume any and every day is the right CD for that particular task, and I lean hard into making things happen.  Oh, sure…sometimes I have days when I should have just stayed in bed because nothing I touch goes the way I wanted it to.  And, sitting to write…I have no idea what days I’m going to be most productive.

So, I look at every day as an opportunity to be my most productive.  Every day has become an opportunity to shine.  I am strong in all ways every day now and not dependent upon my cycle day strengths.

Have you ever taken a good look at your cycle day strengths?  One day soon I will share what I discovered about my own CD strengths.  Perhaps it will help you while you still flow.

Peri-menopause has alerted me that menopause is just around the corner.  My ovaries still function, just not as reliably as they once did.  And, that’s okay.  That’s how it’s supposed to be.

Change is good.

What CD is this for me?

This CD is today.  I am post period and pre ovulation.  It’s my favorite place to be since I stopped flowing.  I can look back on hormonal changes that I just experienced and marvel at them. And, I can look forward to the changes ovulation brings, should I ovulate again.

And, if menopause calls a halt on all this peri-menopausal confusion, that’s okay. It will always be CD today for me.  I live in the present – fully experiencing life as it comes, leaning hard into what is and looking forward to what’s next.

As you cycle, enjoy each and every CD change that comes your way and be sure to discover your own CD strengths. Lean hard into them and learn to love your cycle and what she offers you.

And, when peri-meno knocks at your door, just smile and welcome her in.  She’s not the enemy.  She just heralds change.

And, change is good. Whether it’s cycle day changes or change of life – it makes us stronger, more resilient, wiser.

It makes us period wise.

Pock-It? Why not?

While flipping through a copy of the Family Handyman magazine (don’t ask), I came across an article about neat tools every handyman needs (to be aware of).

One particular item caught my eye.

The heading said: Cases for whatever you carry.

I thought, yeah…right…guys carry their tools on their belt/pants for all the world to see.  Women are expected to tuck our “tools” in purses or hide them in cosmetic bags lest we embarrass ourselves or someone else.

What about women who can’t carry a purse on the job and a pocket simply isn’t sufficient?


As one who prefers NOT to carry a purse, I found this intriguing. I wear jeans and like my hands free.  The thought of clipping a small utility pack to my belt or onto my pants appeals to me.

Look at this picture of Pock-Its and imagine tampons, SoftCups, or pads and wipes in it instead of tools.

The top flips over to conceal and protect the contents.

The back contains a clip that attaches to a belt or the waist band.

True – it is black…but isn’t black always in style?  And, some manufacturers (like Skinth Sheaths) make them to your specifications.


It’s time to break menstrual taboos.

Let’s think outside the box…beyond the traditional.

Let’s be innovative

Let’s be period wise.

#PeriodTalk #TwitterParty

Friday, July 12, at 2 PM ET (1 PM CT, 12 PM MT, 11 AM PT), Be Prepared Period kicks off year three of #PeriodTalk Tweetchats with a party – “Our 2nd Annual Menstrual Party.”

To the regular attendees of #PeriodTalk – I look forward to partying with you!

If you’ve never attended #PeriodTalk, or been involved in a Tweetchat, I encourage you to log into Twitter Friday (check times listed above) and follow #PeriodTalk.

Tara Bruley, founder of Be Prepared Period, said the following about #PeriodTalk.

We started these chats back in July of 2011 with the non-profit org You ARE Loved.  Continuing to host these events we’ve covered a variety of topics. Our 2nd year of tweet chats included the following subjects:

·        August 2012: Your TOTM: Time of the Month

·        September 2012: Back to School: Periods 101

·        October 2012: PeriodTalk Celebration – The launch of our Q&A forum for all things   menstrual (making PeriodTalk available 24/7/365)

·        November 2012: Menstrual Understanding & Creativity

·        December 2012: Menstruation and The Organizations That Care

·        January 2013: Puberty & Menopause: A Dangerous Combo

·        February 2013: Learning to Love Yourself & Your Period

·        March 2013: Endometriosis Awareness

·        April 2013: Pelvic Pain: What It Is & What You Can Do About It

·        May 2013: Be Prepared for Summer & Your Period

·        June 2013: Conventional Feminine HygieneProducts & Their Toxic Implications

As Director of Connectivity for You ARE Loved, I witnessed #PeriodTalk go from a tiny idea to the awesome outreach it is today.

I encourage you to visit Be Prepared Period. Read #PeriodTalk transcripts and visit the PeriodTalk forum.  You won’t be disappointed.

#PeriodTalk is about…period talk.

You can talk with some truly period wise women (and men), exchange thoughts and ideas, ask questions that have always bothered you and gain a lot of period wise knowledge.

Anything goes and nothing is too icky to discuss in #PeriodTalk.

Hate menstrual taboos?  We do, too.  Love certain products?  We do, too!  Have questions and need answers?  We all do!!  Just want to connect with others who understand what it’s like to menstruate? Well, what are you waiting for?  Want to share your experience?  Hey! We want to hear!

Come on! It’s going to be fun!  It’s a period party!

Join us Friday, July 12 and help kick off year three of #PeriodTalk TweetChats.

See you there!

(Be sure to stop by and register for a chance to win during #PeriodTalk!)