Why You Should Track Your Period

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

(Source: Pexels)

Periods are a vital part of any woman’s life, so it’s important to know when they’re happening. Not only will tracking your period help you detect any irregularities, but it’ll also help you anticipate any symptoms—from headaches to mood swings. After all, the average American woman experiences around 450 periods in her lifetime—that’s a lot of medical history that needs recording.

But there’s more to it than that. Here are some more reasons why every woman should track their period:

Lets you plan activities around it

Periods are a natural part of life; we know this. However, it helps to have some semblance of control over them. Rather than having your period unexpectedly ruin a night out or get in the way of a beach trip, a tracker can tell you (almost) exactly when your period is going to come, which will allow you to plan your holidays, travels, and busy days around that time of the month.

 


Helps make accurate diagnoses

Instead of manually writing your experiences in a journal, it’s highly recommended to use period tracking apps. In fact, this type of technology is becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare industry. Maryville University highlights the growing inclusion of informatics in healthcare to complement public health initiatives and better understand the human body. This is why many apps and tech solutions are designed to pool patient data. A study by the University of Granada explains that menstrual apps are effective in helping women get to know their bodies a little better, since you log in your symptoms and can then determine if certain pains (like cramps) are period-related or something more serious.

Lets you know when to double your workouts

Syncing your diet plans and exercise routines with your period tracker can also help you maximize your fitness goals. Health columnist Emma McGowan writes that around two weeks after your period, your body produces more estrogen, which then increases the amount of energy in your body. However, once week three hits, both estrogen and progesterone increase, boosting your body’s ability to use fat for fuel. This means that weeks two and three post-period are the perfect days to burn some weight.

Avoid unplanned pregnancies

The woman’s body is fertile for an average of six days, according to medical specialists on Planned Parenthood. This includes the five days before you have your period and the day itself that you have your period. Of course, there’s still the possibility of pregnancy a day or two after your cycle, though the chances are lower. Though it’s not a very reliable way to avoid pregnancy, knowing your “safe” days may still help.

The menstrual cycle is not an on/off type of condition. Even if you’re not on your period, you can experience things like fluctuations in your sex drive, tiredness on some days, and even unexplainable mood swings at random intervals. Having a period tracker can help you understand a lot of things about yourself and make your life easier.

 

Words by Regina Forster
Article for the sole use of helpingwomenperiod.org

 

7 Amazing Facts About Periods That Everyone Needs To Know

So you think you know everything there is to know about periods? Think again. No matter how clued up you are, there’s always something that slips through your radar, especially some of the more unusual facts and stats of menstruation.

Below, we’ve gathered some of our favorite — and unexpected — period facts that we think everyone needs to know.

1.     Your periods get worse when it is cold

This is definitely an amazing period fact: cold weather can impact your period, making it heavier and longer than normal.

 

During the winter months, a woman’s flow, period duration, and even pain level are longer than the summer. This pattern also extends to women who live in colder climates rather than warmer temperature.

 

The seasons can also affect your PMT too — the darker, shorter days can adversely impact your mood when combined with female productive hormones. This is thought to be because of a lack of sunshine, which helps our bodies to produce vitamin D and dopamine — which both boost our moods, happiness, concentration and all-round health levels.

2.     You can still get pregnant if you’re on your period

Less of an amazing fact, but one you should probably know about.

 

Many people assume that you cannot get pregnant if you have sex while on your period. However, this is not true.

 

Although it’s more unlikely that you will become pregnant while you are menstruating, it is not impossible at all. This is because sperm can survive in the body for up to five or six days — so if you have a relatively short cycle, have sex towards the end of your period, and ovulate just after your period finishes, you could potentially fall pregnant.

 

Another fun related fact: back in the middle ages, people used to think that redheads were babies who were conceived while their mother was on her period.

3.     The average starting age for periods has changed over the years

Did you know that over the last few centuries, the average age that a girl begins getting periods has changed?

 

Back in the 1800s, girls wouldn’t get their periods until they were well into their teens — the average age was around 17. Nowadays, the average age to start menstruating is 12 — a whole five years younger.

 

Scientists think there are a few key reasons for this: namely, improved nutrition. We’re eating better — and more — than our ancestors did a few hundred years ago, and fat cells make estrogen. The more fat cells you have, the more estrogen you have in your body, which can trigger the start of your menstrual cycle as a girl.

 

Increased stress levels are also a factor. That’s right — high-stress levels can actually trigger the beginning of your period.

4.     You will spend nearly 10 years of your life on your period

From the time of her first cycle to menopause, the average American woman will have around 450 periods in her lifetime. That’s a lot of periods.

 

Added up, this equates to around 10 years — or about 3,500 days — of the average woman’s life that will be spent menstruating. Translated into period products, this works out at around 11,000 tampons that the average woman uses in a lifetime.

 

Of course, everyone is different, and anything from cycle length to child-bearing, breastfeeding and culture can influence the number of periods a woman gets over her lifetime. However, one thing is certain — periods impact us all.

 

That’s why it is so important that we have nonprofit organizations like Helping Women Periodthat are committed to supplying menstrual health products to people who are either homeless or low-income.

5.     It’s easier than you think to have eco-friendly periods with period panties

If the fact above scares you into thinking about the environmental impact that you’re having just by menstruating, then don’t worry! There are actually many different ways you can reduce your waste and have a guilt-free, eco-friendly period.

 

Disposable tampons and sanitary pads (which are mostly made from plastic) are no longer the only options out there. These days, there are all sorts of sustainable period products to choose from that you can keep and reuse for years — such as menstrual cups and period panties.

 

Period underwear brands like Knix have created a collection of washable, reusable, leakproof underwear which absorbs your period as a pad would (they can even handle heavy flow days). A few pairs of period panties save you from having to fork out for tampons and pads all the time and help you to have an environmentally-friendly period too.

6.     You lose a lot less blood than you think during your period

Sometimes, when you’re having a particularly heavy flow day, it can feel as if something is wrong. Surely it’s not normal to produce this much blood?!

 

Although it may seem like a lot, your body only actually loses around three tablespoons of blood during your period; the average woman can lose anywhere from one tablespoon to a small cup of blood during a normal period.

 

If it seems like you’re losing more than this during your period, you should seek advice from a medical professional. Losing too much blood can increase your risk of anemia — which can cause dizziness, tired and poor circulation.

7.     Your period can affect how you sound and smell

According to vocalization researchers, women’s voices can change slightly during their menstrual cycle due to our reproductive hormones affecting the vocal cords. This means women can sound different while on their period, and even “less attractive” according to the participants in their testing. Ouch.

 

The same female reproductive hormones also affect your natural scent, meaning you smell different when you’re on your period. This is very subtle and actually consciously detectable. It’s more of an animalistic thing, harking back to our caveman days when men would be more attracted to women who were ovulating rather than menstruating (meaning they could procreate).

 

These are just seven amazing facts about periods that you need to know. The human body is a

4th Annual Helping Women Period Brunch

 

It is hard to believe our annual fundraiser is over.  But, the connection, education, networking,  and financial support continues to make a tremendous impact and will do so in the months to come.  Thank you to our planning committee and event volunteers who helped things run so smoothly.  And to our keynote speaker, Ms. Jennifer Weiss-Wolfe.  We just about sold out of our books and raised over $200 in partnership with Schuler’s Books.  Please scroll down to view all the photos, courtesy of Jamie Randle of Randle Photography.

 

Sponsors

Heidi and Mike Nussdorfer

Morton’s Fine Catering

Schuler’s Books

Strip and Rip Waxing Services

Hagan Realty

Asbury Methodist Church

Christine Rademacher

Dr. Stephanie Fleming

Addison Family Law

 

Photos of the Day

 

Step and Repeat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Menstrual Health Education Training

Would You Like to Add Menstrual Health Education to your Programming?

“Be a Rose” partners with organizations to provide underserved women and school-age girls education on puberty, menstrual hygiene, and menopause, as well as access to feminine hygiene products. They administer roundtable discussions, seminars, and training workshops for groups and organizations to guide conversations on women’s health and hygiene with dignity and sensitivity. 

R.O.S.E (Reclaiming Our Self Esteem) workshops create a safe space for women to learn and share their experience. Trained educators facilitate these conversations, providing information and introducing participants to a variety of feminine hygiene products to manage their period. They focus on sustainable, eco-friendly options such as menstrual cups and cloth pads, in order to foster more long-term menstrual support.

Topics covered at these workshops, which may vary based on audience needs, include:

  • Female reproductive system
  • Menstruation management (feminine hygiene products)
  • Puberty
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy and postpartum care
  • Overcoming social and cultural barriers

Learn More

To learn more about her programs, please either view the documents below or email her at:  info@bearose.org

Model One – BAR Women’s Health Speaker Contract

Model Two – BAR Women’s Health In-House Trainer Certification Contract

Women Lawyers Association of Michigan-Mid Michigan Chapter Presentation

On Tuesday, January 23, Lysne and Amy attended a gathering of attorneys at the Women Lawyers Association (WLAM)-Mid Michigan Chapter at the Spartan Hall of Fame restaurant in East Lansing.  Amy outlined our history, organizational structure, business and charity partnerships, and plans for 2018.  We were also joined by the Honorable Judge Laura Baird, who spoke about the Pheonix Court, which helps Ingham County’s underage sex trafficking victims.

Thank you to everyone who attended.  Both your product donation and financial support are greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Jose Keenan

Women’s March Michigan – Lansing

On Sunday, January 21, Helping Women Period was proud to participate in this event.  Over 5,000 were in attendance, and it felt like most of them stopped by our table.  Which was awesome.  We distributed brochures outlining our work here in mid-Michigan and a handy guide for “out of towners” to provide a support in their community.  Thank you to our volunteers, Toni Colagrass, Audriana Flores and Beth Lundy.  Amy’s daughter, Jane, (pictured above) was also a big help with set up on a very wet, cold, early Sunday.

 

Meet Lee Reimann, Board Member

Introducing Board Member Lee Reimann

Lee provides exceptional legal, business and strategic guidance to Helping Women Period.  Not to mention, great enthusiasm, support, and humor!  But, back to business. When not attending HWP meetings and distributing product, she is a Senior Partner at Willingham & Cote, PC  law firm in East Lansing.  Specifically, she is the chair of the firm’s Estate and Gift team as well as Business and Corporate Law team.  In addition, she is also a certified public accountant.   With an extensive business background, Lee counsels individuals and businesses on forming, growing, selling and transitioning commercial enterprises. She also has extensive experience advising clients on estate planning matters.

Lee has also served on many other legal and community boards, with the most recent being the  Legal Services of South Central Michigan (Treasurer) and a member of the Capitol Region Community Foundation.  She was also the past President of the Ingham County Bar Association.

She is also a frequent speaker on the MSU campus and various community groups regarding estates, gifts and the importance of family communication.

HWP would not be the organization that it is today without Lee’s expertise, and more importantly, her can-do attitude and dedication to Helping Women Period.

 

photo credit:

www.evehannahphotography.com

Our Charity Partners | Redeemer United Methodist Church

Have you ever wondered how Helping Women Period gets products to those who need them?   Meet one of our 70 charity partners, Redeemer United Methodist Church!

Helping Women PeriodThe relationship between Redeemer United Methodist Church and Helping Women Period is unique.  Not only do they benefit from HWP, but HWP benefits from them!  There are two groups at Redeemer who work with us.

Helping Hands is a group of eight women who dedicate their time to sewing ditty bags. Ditty bags are the handmade colorful bags that we fill with feminine hygiene products to give to homeless and low income women in order to carry these products discretely. Helping Hands meets twice a month and makes around thirty bags each time.

The Redeemer Food Pantry receives products from HWP and distributes them to Clinton County women and girls in need. Suzie Unruh, the coordinator of the food pantry,  believes that providing pads and tampons is a blessing and gives women greater confidence to focus on their daily lives, their families and jobs. Offering feminine care products makes a huge impact since food stamps do not cover personal care products.

Thank you to Redeemer Food Pantry and the Helping Hands Group!