Category Archives: Teen

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.

Living Life As A Girl – Giveaway

If you’ve ever wanted to try a sampling of various and different menstrual products, the opportunity is now. 

The mastermind behind Living Life As A Girl, is planning a giveaway of a huge sampling of pads, liners, tampons and wipes.  If you’ve ever wondered what a particular product is like, chances are you will find it among the giveaway goodies she will be offering soon.

Who is she? I’ll let her words speak for her.

When I was about 12 I realized that I loved helping girls. I was always giving my friends advice. Also most girls came to me if they needed help. I started a YouTube channel because I like to help other girls with any help or advice they might need about all girl stuff.

Does she have any period wise advice for girls? Oh, yeah! And, her advice is spot on.

A piece of advice I would give to girls my age would be to talk to their moms if they are feeling scared or need anything.

Check out Living Life As A Girl‘s Giveaway video – be sure to subscribe to her channel and stay tuned for more info about the giveaway!

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?

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.

Morning After Pill Goes OTC for Ages 15 and Over

The Morning After Pill is now available over the counter for purchase by those age 15 and over, with proof of age at check-out.

Previously, it was restricted to those 17 years of age and older, and sold only from behind the pharmacy counter, after showing proof of age.

With morning after pills available to younger women, and more readily available, it is period wise to understand what morning after pills are and how they can affect your cycle.

First, let me say that morning after pills are NOT for monthly use – but rather for emergency use.  High levels of hormones are present in the pill – far higher than in birth control pills – and when used in a way not intended can cause health problems, especially for teens.

Second, hormonal intervention (whether in the form of birth control pills or morning after pills) alters the menstrual cycle and can be detrimental to a teen’s physical and emotional health.

An interesting article about how morning after pills affect your menstrual cycle is on The Emergency Contraceptive Website of Princeton University and is well worth the time it takes to read it. It offers important information about the pill, your cycle after taking the pill, and research done on the differences in the combinations of hormones in various morning after pills.

Researchers have conducted three studies designed specifically to find out how progestin-only emergency contraceptive pills (like Plan B One-Step or Next Choice) affect women’s bleeding patterns. Although the results were somewhat different, each found there were often changes in a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle.

It’s important to note that after taking morning after pills,

  • you should have a normal period within the next month,
  • it change the length of your cycle, making your next period come a week earlier or a week later than usual,
  • it can cause unexpected bleeding,
  • and you might consider getting a pregnancy test If your next period is late.

For more information on these studies and concerning changes in menstrual cycles, or bleeding patterns, after taking the morning after pill can be found in this thorough, up-to-date academic review on emergency contraception.

Be period wise if / when using emergency contraception.

Period Stash

I came across a YouTube video of a girl’s updated (menstrual) product storage.  It’s a little long, but if you will do as I did and just briefly scan through it, it’s easy to get a quick glimpse of the variety of products she has available.  I have to admit, I was drawn to all the colors and the way she has them organized.

After viewing the video, I glanced into my period stash to see how mine compares to hers.  And, I looked at my daughter’s, too.

Mine are organized in similar fashion to the video, but Daughter’s are tossed into a drawer and mingle with deodorant, toothpaste, brushes, hair doo-dads, etc…total disarray.

Watching the video made me want to run out to my local Wal-mart and pick up a few of the newly minted products in the cool colors and sizes.  Though I have much of what she showed, for some reason hers looked flashier, newer, more colorful than my own.

There’s nothing like buying and checking out new products.

And, there’s nothing like trying new/different products to gain insight into our flow, period wise.

I wonder…

  • What does your period stash look like?
  • When was the last time you updated it?
  • When was the last time you really looked at all the neat things your local store offers period wise?
  • When was the last time you stepped out of your menstrual comfort zone and did something really wild for your period?
  • How many of the items in her stash do you recognize by brand/type/size, or have in your own stash?
  • How period wise is your period stash?

Preventing Childhood Sexual Abuse

Would you be embarrassed or find it difficult to tell you child (or grandchild), “Don’t touch that, it’s hot!” or, “Always look both ways before crossing the street” or, “If you eat that, it will make you sick and you might die.”

Of course not!  You love your children (and grandchildren) and want them happy, healthy, and whole.  And, you are willing to say and do anything that will keep them safe.

So, why do we often delay telling our children (and grandchildren) about other ways to keep themselves safe?  Why do we find it difficult to talk with them about Stranger Danger, about sexual predators and the possibility of/potential for sexual abuse?

Is it because we are uncomfortable with the topic ourselves? Or, do we truly have our heads in the proverbial sand thinking it can’t/won’t happen to anyone we love and care about?

I came across a blog post the other day by Amanda Morin on entitled “Why I Had to Talk to My Kids About Sex Offenders.”

I could think of a lot of reasons why she NEEDED to but was curious about why she HAD to.

Two paragraphs into her piece I discovered why.

Last year, though, I was blindsided when someone in my family was sentenced on charges of possession of sexually explicit material. This was a difficult conversation I never thought to have with my kids — a conversation about child pornography and sexual predators.

And, of course, after her discover came the concern/fear that this important conversation with her children may be too late.

As any mother would, she immediately wondered if her own children had been victimized in any way by this family member.

What would you do if you discovered a family member or close friend had been charged with a sexual crime involving children? Would you know how to approach your children (grandchildren)?

Did you know that most perpetrators are people known by the child and trusted by them?  And, trusted by the parents as well?

Stranger Danger is real, but the home grown variety is most often the greatest threat.

Friends, family members, teachers/clergy/coaches have opportunity to become close to your child and to gain their trust. This is how life is.

But, if their interest in your child is other than wholesome, they have opportunity to not only abuse them, but to groom them in preparation for years of abusive behavior.

This is why it’s necessary to talk with your children (grandchildren) – not to alarm them or to scare them, but to arm them and enable them to protect themselves.  Children often do not know it’s okay to tell an adult “no.”  They need us to give them that permission and for us to let them know that if “no” is not heeded, it’s okay to scream and kick and enlist the help of others and not worry about upsetting the adult who won’t take “no” for an answer.

And, we need to let our children (grandchildren) know it’s okay to come to us with anything, even if it’s something they feel uncomfortable, confused or scared about.

Here are a few links to help begin conversation among adults who care for/about children and age appropriate conversations with the children (grandchildren) in your care.

A recent event in our local news reminded me that parents are usually the last to know if/when their children are being abused. And, that, my friends, is a scary thought.

A 46-year-old man was arrested and accused of sneaking into a home through an open bedroom window and having sex with a young girl in her own bed. Police said it all happened while her parents slept just down the hallway.

“The fact that the suspect was going to the residence with the parents at home — that’s what’s quite disturbing,” said Major Bill Sharp with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department. — by Nick Beres  (Read more.)

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

  • Did you know that girls who are sexually or physically abused may reach menarche earlier or later than average?
  • Are you aware that girls who are sexually abused often have emotional issues regarding their periods?
  • Did you know that monthly bleeding of menstruation can be a trigger that brings up memories of trauma, assault, abuse – and can be difficult to overcome because of its recurring nature?

Be period wise.

Are Clots Normal?

Holly and Charisse are two women who regularly talk about periods and things every girl and woman should know.

In their most recent video, they answer the question, “are clots normal?” and provide additional information about what causes clots and what, if anything, needs to be done about them.

2 minutes and 40 seconds of video – it’s period wise to take the time and watch, especially if you have a tween or teen girl.

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month

What is Endometriosis (Endo)?

The Mayo Clinic defines Endo as:

…an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond your pelvic region.

In endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would: It thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. And because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions — abnormal tissue that binds organs together.

This process can cause pain — sometimes severe — especially during your period. Fertility problems also may develop. Fortunately, effective treatments are available.

Suspect you may have Endo?

The Endometriosis Research Center provides a self test on its site.


(Developed in 1999 by the Endometriosis Research Center.)

Not sure if you have endometriosis?  Pelvic surgery is the only current way to definitively diagnose the disease, but symptoms can lead you and your doctor to suspect it.  Review the following and consider if any of these common symptoms apply to you.  Review your answers with your gynecologist for further discussion.

  • Do you experience so much pain during or around your period that you find yourself unable to work, attend school or social functions, or go about your normal routine?  YES  /  NO
  • Do you have any relatives diagnosed with endometriosis?  YES  /  NO
  • Do you find yourself with painful abdominal bloating, swelling or tenderness at any time in your cycle? YES  /  NO
  • Do you have a history of painful ovarian endometriomas (“chocolate cysts”)? YES  /  NO
  • Do you have a history of miscarriage, infertility or ectopic pregnancy? YES  /  NO
  • Do you experience gastrointestinal symptoms during your cycle, such as nausea or vomiting and/or painful abdominal cramping accompanied by diarrhea and/or constipation?  YES  /  NO
  • Do you have a history of fatigue or feeling “sick and tired” all the time?  YES  /  NO
  • Do you have a history of allergies, which tend to worsen around your periods? YES  /  NO
  • If sexually active, do you experience pain during sexual activity?  YES  /  NO
  • Do you suffer from autoimmune diseases or other conditions e.g. thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, chronic migraines? YES  /  NO
  • Have you ever undergone pelvic surgery like a laparoscopy, in which endometriosis was suspected but not definitively diagnosed? YES  /  NO

If you have answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, you may have endometriosis.  Talk to your trusted nurse or doctor about getting an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment today.  Dull aching and cramping can occur during menstruation in many women and teens, due to uterine contractions and the release of various hormones, including those known as prostaglandins.  However, period pain that becomes so debilitating it renders you unable to go about your normal routine is not ordinary or typical!  Pain is your body’s way of signaling that something is WRONG.  If you are suffering from pelvic pain at any point in your cycle, an endometriosis diagnosis should be considered.

To learn more about endometriosis, please visit these links:

Girls on Their Periods Info!

You may think it takes years to become period wise –  Ann Dillard proves otherwise!

If you’ve not seen her period wise YouTube video, “Girls on Their Periods Info!”, you’re missing out on something really special!

Here are some of her period wise quotes:

  • Don’t assume that we’re on our periods because we’re moody.  We could just not like you at all.
  • If you know a girl on her period don’t take it personal if she’s yelling at you.
  • It’s confusing as heck!
  • This is a subject that had to be spoken about.
  • Guys with girlfriends, buy her some pads or tampons or something – show her you support her. Buy her a chocolate box that’s this big!

Grab your favorite girl and check out “Girls on Their Periods Info!” here.