Category Archives: Menstrual products

Out With the Old, In With the New

New year New YouHere we sit on the brink of a new year filled with new opportunities and possibilities.

What does that mean to you period wise?

Here’s a quick list for consideration as you turn your back on the old and face the new.

  • try something new (product, attitude, activity)
  • learn something new (about yourself, your flow, your cycles, a product you’re curious about)
  • be curious (Infinity pads, menstrual cups, 100% organic cotton tampons, cloth pads, free bleeding)
  • be adventuresome (step outside of your menstrual comfort zone)
  • share (don’t keep your growth and discoveries to yourself)
  • prepare (the next generation to be period wise – you may be their only hope of a great start)
  • create change (first in yourself then in your world)
  • be period proud

Happy New Year!

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.

Small Business is Big – Where to Buy

The Black Friday ad appeared on my desk mysteriously in my absence yesterday.  Black Friday sales do not move me. 

The thought of spurning stores that force their employees to work on Thanksgiving and taking my business to stores that honor the same values I do is growing on me.

I shouldn’t allow someone who doesn’t know me or care about me to tell me what I want, need, can’t live without.  Why would I even want to spend MY money in THEIR store?

Let’s get period wise for a moment.  Menstruation is personal – each cycle is unique.  Who do you trust your menstrual needs to and why?  Do they truly care about YOU?  Hey! What’s in their product? How safe is it (long and short term)?  Are they willing to work with you to tailor the product, or your use of it, to your individual menstrual needs and experience?

Small businesses, privately owned and personally operated, offer an amazing variety of menstrual products that can often be tailored to your particular menstrual needs.  Their customer service is terrific – why? Because they care, really care.

Instead of listing the names and contact information of small businesses devoted to providing quality menstrual products, I encourage you to share your business, or one you frequent in the comment section below.  Be sure to share contact information and what menstrual product(s) you specialize in.

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

Concealed Carry or Confident Carry?

The recent suspension of a 17 year old girl for carrying a purple clutch containing feminine hygiene supplies caught my attention.  It reminded me of the “all clear” rule enacted last year by the NFL.  However, this goes a step farther and bans everything that would allow students to conceal anything.

That anything includes feminine hygiene products.  Apparently the Principal’s position is that teenage girls should feel confident enough to place their feminine hygiene needs in a clear bag for all the world to see and carry it with them to class throughout the days they are menstruating, or expect to become menstrual.

And, perhaps that’s what these girls should do until this rule is struck down. Perhaps the girls should band together and bring feminine hygiene products in a clear confident carry bag every day whether they are menstruating or not.

I wish all girls and women were so confident in themselves and with menstruation that they were comfortable doing just that.  It would go a long way in ending the embarrassment that so often (and unnecessarily) accompanies things period wise.

And, it would also put an end to the idiotic assumption that menstruation requires a doctor’s permission slip because it’s a medical issue.

A medical issue?  Um…the last time I checked the definition of “medical” it said the word related to the treatment of illness and/or injury.

Menstruation is NEITHER.

It’s a normal function of the female body.  Treating it as anything otherwise is ignorant and sexist.  It’s demeaning, degrading, indefensible, and, it smacks of sex-based discrimination.

I call for a day of confident carry on May 9 to raise awareness about the plight of menstruating girls and women everywhere.  Let’s end these ridiculous menstrual taboos and stereotypical assumptions about those who menstruate.  Let’s put a stop to the assassination of confident menstrual lifestyles by those who assure us they mean well and that it’s for our own good.

Girls at Galesburg High, and in schools across the land, are you willing to band together in support of your right to menstruate confidently, whether privately or publicly, as YOU choose and not as it’s chosen for you?  Join me in carrying feminine hygiene products where all can see on May 9.

Period wise women buck the norm.  What’s your norm and are you brave enough to step out of it for just one day for confident carry?

Why Try a New Product?

I’m often asked, “Why would I want to try a different menstrual product if I’m happy with the one I’m using?”

My reply?  “Why wouldn’t you?”

All too often we settle for what is because of fear.

Yep.  Fear.

  • I’m afraid I won’t like it.
  • I’m afraid it will be money wasted.
  • I’m afraid it will be a waste of time.
  • I’m afraid I will have issues with leaks.
  • I’m afraid I won’t be able to use a…(cup, sponge, tampon, cloth pad, ultra thin pad, pad with wings…)
  • I’m afraid it won’t work for me.

How will you know if you don’t try?

When did we become afraid to try new things? Hey, we’re women! We’re fearless!  We LOVE new things!

New shoes, new purses, new hair styles, new clothes, new panties, new cars, new friends, new experiences, new social media groups….

We’re all about change and innovation.  So, why do we stick with the same old menstrual product year after year after year?

Hey, I have friends who are still using the SAME product they began using when young teenagers.  Times have changed.  Bodies have changed.  Menstrual needs change. And, so do menstrual products.

I’ll bet you have shoes for every event and activity – work, church, play, exercise, beach, pool…and I’m guessing you have one menstrual product (at best two) that you have used for years and years.

Question – what will you do when the company stops making them…changes them…store stops carrying them?

(I remember the panic I felt when OB Ultras were not available.)

Take a look at what’s out there. Don’t be afraid. Remember – you are fearless! And, truly, there’s nothing to fear.

And, while I’m on this soapbox, encourage the girls in your life to explore and experience many options.  Don’t let them settle for just one. And, don’t let them be afraid to try new products. Encourage menstrual openness and creativity via all the options available. Menstrual fear should not be a part of their experience.

Why try a new product?  Because your period is worth it!  And, so are you!

Besides, It’s period wise!

Black Friday

Are you ready?

Black Friday is upon us.

When you head out, be prepared…period wise.

Even if you aren’t on your period, or even expecting her arrival this weekend, make sure you’re prepared when you leave the house.

Even if you don’t find yourself in need of feminine hygiene products, someone else might. It’s possible that one out of every four women you see today will be menstruating.

Tuck an extra pad and/or tampon into your purse…there’s nothing like hearing the words “thank you” unless you are the one saying them.

What Does it Cost You to Flow?

In the past few days I’ve heard from two women who have extreme flow during menstruation.

The amount of product used is staggering.  (And, the amount of trash produced is, too.)

Imagine using 98+ individual products – overnight pads and ultra tampons often used concurrently – for one 7 day flow period.

Now, imagine the cost involved.

  • The last time you purchased tampons or pads, how many did the box(s) contain?
  • Now, divide 98 by the answer in the previous question (number in the box of pads/tampons you bought).
  • And, finally, multiply that number (that you got by dividing) by the $ spent to purchase your product of choice.

What’s the total?

The total $ is the minimum cost you would incur for EACH period if your menstrual experience was similar.

Could you handle that financially?  I couldn’t.

Can you see how reusable menstrual products can literally be a financial savior to women with heavy menstrual flow?

Did you know they can be for you as well?  How much do you spend each month on menstrual products?  Come on, be honest.  Now, multiply that by 12 (or however many periods you have in 12 months time.  What’s your total?

Did you have a “wow” moment when you did the math?

Now, multiply the $ amount by the number of years you will probably need menstrual products – 40.

Did you have a WOW moment just now?  Mine came out to almost $7000. (And, that’s not counting the gas used to run to the store, incidentals purchased while out that I wouldn’t have purchased if I’d not had to make that period run for product.)


That’s a down payment on a house…a new/used car in the garage…educational needs…a new beginning…a new location…a dream vacation….

Now, imagine yourself unable to pay the amount you initially gave for each month’s menstrual needs because finances were too tight, or the expense too great.  And, so you relied on a credit card to meet your needs.  How long would it take to run up credit card debt for menstrual products alone?

What’s the solution?

Reusable menstrual products.

  • menstrual cups
  • cloth pads
  • sponges

A quick search online of “cloth menstrual pads” reveals many options and sellers – too numerous to mention here.

Sea Pearls are, perhaps, the best known menstrual sponges, at least according to Google.

When it comes to menstrual cups, 5 reusable cups have FDA approval for sale in the US.

  1. Lunette
  2. Diva
  3. Sckoon
  4. Keeper
  5. SoftCup

Flowing should not be costly, but it is for so many women.

Make the change to reusables and keep your dollars and change where it belongs – in your control.

Reusables are the way to go with heavy flow…with any flow.  It just makes better sense, for your wallet and for the environment, too.

Be period wise – be dollar wise.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pads

Daughter’s doctor appointment drew me to the heart of our city, up to the 9th floor of the Doctor’s Building.

While Daughter was entertaining her doctor, I slipped from the waiting room and paid a brief and welcome visit to the 9th floor women’s restroom.

A quick check revealed that I was alone.  A quick peek into each stall encouraged me to choose the middle one – third from the entrance.

Another woman entered the restroom as I entered the stall and closed the door.  She chose the first stall.

Eager to release the coffee I’d enjoyed earlier, I paid little attention to what was happening two stalls away from me.

At least, I didn’t until I heard a commotion coming from the first stall.

Rattling, clanging, banging and a few softly spoken curse words prompted me to ask, “Is there anything you need that I can get for you??”

There was silence.

And, then a woman spoke.

“Yes, this toilet tissue dispenser won’t release any paper.  Would you mind terribly handing me some tissue?  I hate to ask, but…I’m in a bit of a bind.” (Nervous laughter ensued.)

“Sure,” I said.  Give me just a sec to pull up my jeans and wash my hands, and I’ll hand you all you need.”

“Thanks!” she offered.

With zipped jeans and clean hands, I entered the empty stall next to hers and pulled off a large amount of tissue and slipped it under the stall into her waiting hand.

She thanked me and I returned to the sink where I fiddled with my hair and smoothed my eye brows…looked up my nose and between my teeth…ran water…washed my hands again…dried them…sent a text…smoothed my shirt…dabbed at the water I’d managed to splash onto it….

And, then I heard a soft expletive uttered in the same feminine voice I’d spoken with just minutes before.

Then I heard the toilet flush.  And, immediately, heard it flush again.

Her door handle jiggled and the stall door opened.  I was standing at the sink, washing my glasses, and glanced into the mirror to see her exit the stall.

As she approached the sink, I stepped toward the paper towel dispenser.  As I reached for a paper towel, the young woman spoke.

“Would you believe that not only could I not get any toilet paper, there also was not a trash thingie in the stall?”

“Unbelievable!” I uttered.  I stepped to my right and turned to face the open door of the stall she had vacated just seconds before.  The water in the toilet bowl was still moving.

The toilet paper dispenser was jammed.  And, behind it was the hollow metal frame that held the feminine hygiene trash receptacle, but the receptacle was missing.

I turned to look at the young woman. She had not exited the stall with anything but her purse.  And, she had not thrown anything into the trash. Of that I was certain.

“I had to flush it,” she said.  “It took two tries before it finally went down and stayed down!”

“It?” I asked.

“Yes, the pad I was wearing. There was no place to put it…no where to put it…no trash thingie in the stall,” she said.

“Oh…you flushed your pad…wow,” I said out loud before I caught myself.

“Yeah, I mean…what was I supposed to do? Bring it out of the stall with me and throw it away here in front of everyone? I mean, really? That would have been SOOO embarrassing!” She said this with eyes wide and great sincerity.

I stood looking at this precious young woman who had just flushed her period pad down the toilet because she was too embarrassed to bring it out of the stall with her.

As she carefully washed her hands and glanced at me in the mirror, I offered: “It would have been okay if you had thrown it away out here.  In fact, I wouldn’t have even noticed if you had.  People don’t pay attention to what other people do as much as we think they do.  Just because we are aware doesn’t mean anyone else is. And, remember…this is the women’s restroom. It’s where WOMEN go, where WOMEN gather, where WOMEN take care of needs. Everyone who comes in here knows about periods and understands the need to dispose of used products. It’s like the sisterhood of the traveling pads. They are either traveling into the stall or out of it.  Don’t be embarrassed.  It’s normal.  It’s natural. And, it’s not something we need to be ashamed of or feel a need to hide from others.”

There was a pause and I waited for her thoughts concerning what I’d said.

What came instead was, “Do you think it will stop up the plumbing?”

“The pad?” I asked.

“Yes, do you think it will?” she asked.

“I don’t know. Personally, I hope it keeps on traveling! But, I’m out of here before it has a chance to do otherwise and they come looking for the one who flushed it!” I said with a smile.

“Me, too!” she squealed. “Let’s get out of here, sister!”

And, we did…exiting the women’s room loudly enough to turn heads and earn a stern look from the receptionist.

The sisterhood of the traveling pads…I was in the presence of many women today as I went from place to place.  I wondered…how many were menstruating?  And, of those who were…how many belonged to the sisterhood of the traveling pads?

Menstrual Blood Paints a Picture

Artist Carina Úbeda, saved 5 years worth of menstrual cloths and displayed them for her exhibition, “Cloths,” at the Center of Culture and Health in Quillota, Chile.

She placed 90 used menstrual cloths in embroidery hoops, embroidered words on them, and then hung them from the ceiling along with rotten apples that symbolized ovulation.

What do you think of this?

What questions does this raise?



There’s No “What? Empty Again?” When You’re Prepared

Amy Meyer starred in an EWU student-made video in which she attempted to obtain feminine hygiene products from restroom dispensers.

I learned through @re_Cycling_SMCR, Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, of an accompanying article to Amy’s video.

In her follow-up piece, Amy shares her experience and what she learned. And, she provides a chart in which she shows which buildings on campus failed.  Note that I said “buildings” and not “restrooms.”

The Easterner found twelve buildings on campus with absolutely no working feminine hygiene machines. The machines were either absent, empty, broken or ate quarters without producing a product.


When researching, if we found a working machine in a building, we moved on to the next building without checking the other dispensers in other bathrooms. We were looking for one working machine per building.

One working machine per building…I was shocked to see how many buildings lacked ONE working machine.

Considering that a little over half of the students enrolled at Eastern Washington University are women, menstruation is a big deal to more than just a few people.

Wow – a little over half enrolled there are women and a little under half of the buildings failed.

Amy didn’t just report the problem. She took steps to correct it by talking with Karen Wichman, director of facilities services.

The greatest takeaway from this piece is the importance of being prepared.

Darrel Greene felt it was a good idea to keep a spare pad handy in case you need it. He also said: “It’s also a good thing to do in case you encounter someone who needs one.”

It’s period wise to keep a pad or tampon in your pocket, purse, or backpack. You never know when you (or someone else) may need it.