Tag Archives: young women

Why are we hesitant?

Your menstrual product of choice is not working as well as you would like…leaks, frequent changes, itching, irritation, cost…you’re not completely happy with it, but you are not open to change.

Why not?

If we are dissatisfied with clothing, what do we do? Continue to wear what we’ve always worn?

If we don’t receive service we like at a restaurant, what do we do? Go back to the same place time and again expecting different treatment?

If we don’t like a particular brand/type of food, what do we do? Purchase it again and again, eat it and complain about how much we dislike/detest it?

If we are watching TV and don’t like what’s on the channel, what do we do? Settle in to view something that doesn’t meet our needs or speak to our desires?


Then, why do we continue to use the same menstrual product for years even though our needs change?

There are some awesome menstrual products available now and if you’re stuck in the rut of using the same product you’ve used since X, I encourage you to open yourself to the idea of trying something new.

What do I recommend?    I recommend that you shop your options.  Take a chance. Try something new.  Explore the new pads, consider cloth, and give menstrual cups a look.

As always, I welcome questions and will help you find answers as you look into the options available to you.

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:

International Women’s Day 2013


International Women's Day

Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.

Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’.

So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.  — About International Women’s Day 2013

Since the early 1900s International Women’s Day has been an active component in addressing inequality and giving voice to needed changes concerning the rights of women world wide. 

1908 – 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

1909 – The first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on February 28 – a tradition which continued until 1913.

1910 – Clara Zetkin proposed, at the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen, that on the same day every year women world wide should celebrate a Women’s Day.  Her proposal was met with unanimous approval. The day became International Woman’s Day.

1911 – International Women’s Day was first honored on March 19 in Austria, German, Denmark and Switzerland.  Rallies were held for women’s right to work, to vote, to receive education, to hold public office and to end discrimination. A few days later, a horrific fire in New York City, which killed more than 140 working women, called attention to working conditions and labor legislation.

1913-1914 – International Women’s Day moved to March 8, 1913 and in 1914, women campaigned against World War 1.

1917 – On March 8 (on the Gregorian calendar, February 23 on the Julian calendar in use in Russia at the time) Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” to oppose the deaths of over 2 million Russian soldiers during the war.  The result was the Czar stepped down and the provisional government granted women the right to vote.

1918 – 1999 – The UN has worked to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and designated 1975 ‘International Women’s Year‘. Women’s organizations around the world observe IWD by holding events that honor women’s achievements and advancement while holding forth the continued need for vigilance and for action to ensure equality is gained and maintained for all women in all aspects.

2000 and beyond – International Women’s Day is official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. Men, and in come countries children as well, honor the women in their lives with small gifts or flowers.

Within my lifetime significant change is evident in attitude and thoughts about women’s equality and freedom. We’ve come a long way, but, we’ve not come far enough.  Women are still not paid equal to that of their male counterparts, women are still under represented in business, politics, health and education. Violence against women is rampant. And, menstruation is still spoken of in hushed tones and with embarrassed glances.

In light of great strides made, International Women’s Day has moved from being a voice recalling the negatives, to a celebration of the positives.  And, there are many!

Join me in celebrating women and the achievements and advancements each of us have made, as well the progress forward in women’s rights that we have seen in the world around us.

Find out more about the history of IWD, learn of events scheduled, check out themes around the world, pick up resources, or just browse the homepage.

Celebrate International Women’s Day – say “toodle-oo taboos,” embrace your emancipation and live period wise, appreciative of the benefits hard won by women who came before us.

Signs Your Period is About to Start

No one likes to be caught unaware or unprepared, especially period wise.

Knowing the signs your body displays when your period is about to start can mean the difference between ending the school/work day with confidence or with your sweater/jacket tied around your waist.

Read through the list below and think of your own pre-menstrual symptoms.  Knowing your cycle AND the signs your body gives – obvious as well as subtle – is period wise.

  • bloating
  • food cravings
  • nausea
  • increased appetite
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • light crampiness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • teary
  • easily irritated
  • hyper sensitive (to light, sound, smell, touch, etc)
  • acne
  • breasts swollen, painful
  • fatigue
  • general achiness
  • worsening of allergies or asthma
  • tooth pain
  • angry
  • moody
  • puffy face
  • dark circles under your eyes
  • hot flashes
  • changes in vision
  • increase in type and color of vaginal discharge
  • increased urination
  • lower back pain
  • prominent/visible blood veins
  • changes in cervix (lowers, feels larger, relaxes and opens)

By paying attention to the signs, you can learn to accurately predict the arrival of your period to within hours of her start.

What would you add to the list above?

PMS a Problem? Iron May Help

If you are among the millions of women who struggle with PMS symptoms (or love someone who does), take a moment and read Annie Hauser’s article, posted yesterday in Everyday Health‘s Women’s Health section.

Her article, “Forget Midol: More Iron May Stop PMS, Study Says,” reports on the latest PMS information gathered by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology. (Read the Abstract of the report here.) She also quotes Joan Salge Blake, RD, a clinical professor of nutrition at Boston University who did not work on the study.

Excerpts follow.

Women who eat diets rich in iron are 30 to 40 percent less likely to develop pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS, than women who consume lower amounts….

The study suggests that the link between iron intake and PMS may reflect iron’s role in the body’s production of serotonin, a chemical that regulates mood and emotions.

Researchers used self-reported data from about 3,000 women enrolled in the prospective Nurses’ Health Study II.

The women who consumed the most non-heme iron — the form found in plant foods and in iron supplements — had the lowest PMS risk. Interestingly, the level of iron associated with a lower risk of PMS was slightly higher than the current recommended daily amount — 20 mg, up from 18 mg.

Blake says that…the key to plant-based iron sources is to pair them with a vitamin C-rich food to help boost iron absorption. “If you’re eating a whole wheat pasta that’s enriched in iron, pair it with tomato sauce,” she suggests. “If you’re having cereal in the morning, have a citrus fruit to go with it.”

Because a high iron intake can come with health risks, women should always consult a doctor and a registered dietitian before starting iron supplements, Blake says.

High intake of zinc was also associated with a lower PMS risk in the study.

Women consuming the highest amount of potassium — found in bananas and potatoes — had a higher risk of a PMS diagnosis than the women who consumed the lowest amount of potassium.

To hear what The Doctors have to say about nutrition and PMS, view the video below, but keep in mind the statement above about potatoes.


For more on PMS, visit Women’s Health.

I invite you to share your own period wise PMS thoughts, remedies, advice and what works for you.

Life-Changing Cups

Kim Rosas, the menstrualcupsfbbrains behind Dirty Diaper Laundry and Cloth Diaper Finder, wrote a delightful and informative piece – “Menstrual Cups: What Every Woman Should Know.”

“In all honesty using a cup can change your life for the better.  All women should know this is an option, especially teenagers who have decades of periods to look forward to.  This video will answer all of your questions about how and why menstrual cups are the greatest things since sliced bread.  If not I have some more information for you to read in this post and links to even more helpful resources.”  

In her post you will find

  • The video
  • Choosing a Cup
  • Using the Cup
  • Benefits of Using the Cup
  • Troubleshooting the Cup
  • Getting over the ICK factor and “Owing it”
  • Where to buy?
  • Win one!

Take a few minutes and view the video.  It’s well done and well worth the 8 minutes you will invest in it.

Who Determines Your Worth?

I picked up the Avon book (Campaign 4, 2013) lying on my desk and leafed through it.

I’m not a girly-girl and don’t have much interest in jewelry, perfume, makeup, or “fashionable” things.  (Who exactly is it that determines what’s fashionable and what’s not??)

But, I do enjoy looking at the colors and shapes of things Avon wants me to purchase.

AND, I enjoy reading the descriptions of the items for sale.

Here’s one: “Put your best face forward. Leave your flaws behind.”  You’ve probably guessed this is an attempt to sell their foundation (makeup that covers your face and hides “flaws.”)

Isn’t that hilarious?

Have you ever considered that Avon (and others) assume you are ugly and kindly suggest their makeup is better than putting a bag over your head?  Read it again if you don’t believe me.  Would you buy something from someone who has the gall to assume that you are ugly without their makeup?

Hello?  Leave your flaws behind? What flaws?

  • The wrinkles that crease my face?  Hey, I’ve earned every one of them!
  • The freckles that grace my cheeks? Those are kisses from the sun!
  • The scar above my right eyebrow? I won that!
  • My rosy cheeks?  That’s the color of health!
  • That little bump on my chin? That’s proof my hormones are still working!

These “flaws” are what make me uniquely ME!  When I look in the mirror I want to see ME, not some Barbie Doll image of me.

Put my best face forward?  I only have one face and it’s the one my friends and family love to see.  Why would I want to cover it?  Who do I need to hide myself from?

My dad said “a little paint will make any old barn look better” and I guess there’s truth in that statement. Enhancing what we like about ourselves – that’s one thing.  Feeling we have to cover up “flaws” to put our “best face forward” is quite another.

And, I’ll admit it angers me.  If grown women are falling for this type of advertisement, what about girls?

When a girl reads Avon’s words: “put your best face forward – leave your flaws behind” her first thought is to look in the mirror and find her “flaws.” And, she will use the air brushed picture of the make up covered model as the template for determining what “flaws” she has.

Who determines your worth?

Companies and corporations that know nothing about us and care only for our money tell us what to think about ourselves, how to see ourselves, and that without their product we are less than we should be.

We believe their lies.


Because we want to look the best we can and care little about being the best we can.  Beauty comes from within – not from something applied to the surface.

Before you buy, ask yourself why.

At 6 years of age, I pointed to a young friend who had a mark on her face and said “look, she has a mole!”  Mom quietly corrected me and my opinion of her worth – “it’s not a mole, it’s a beauty mark.”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Look in the mirror and see who you really are.  You might be surprised.

Full Throttle

Yesterday, Danica Patrick became the first woman to secure the top spot for any race in NASCAR’s premier circuit when she won the Daytona 500 pole with a 196.434 mph lap.

“I was brought up to be the fastest driver, not the fastest girl. That was instilled in me from very young, from the beginning. Then I feel like thriving in those moments, where the pressure’s on, has also been a help for me. I also feel like I’ve been lucky in my career to be with good teams and have good people around me. I don’t think any of it would have been possible without that. For those reasons, I’ve been lucky enough to make history, be the first woman to do many things. I really just hope that I don’t stop doing that. We have a lot more history to make. We are excited to do it.” — Danica Patrick

I wonder…what are we instilling in our girls?

My hope is we are encouraging them to embrace life and live it full throttle!

When Words Won’t Flow

Have you ever had days when you just can’t find the words?

Communication is harder and though there may be a conversation going on in your head, getting it out and sharing it with others is nearly impossible.

Rambling, disjointed thoughts jotted on paper are the extent of and result of any writing exercise.

Why is it some days we just can’t seem to find the words to express ourselves?

Can it be that hormones are to blame?

Dr. Laura Berman, in Hormones 101, says yes.

Hormones are the driving force behind our bodies, minds, and bedrooms.

Researchers have found that hormones control almost all our physical, emotional, and sexual functions. Hormones dictate hunger, sleep, sexual response, weight, and even your mood.

While her post centers on hormonal fluctuations experienced during menopause, she offers sound advice for all of us, no matter where in our menstrual experience we find ourselves.

We all experience frustration. We all experience days where we wonder what the heck is going on and if our minds/bodies will ever get in sync.

On days like this, patience is truly a virtue.