Always Partners with 50 Period Heroes Across the Country to Help #EndPeriodPoverty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This back-to-school season, Always expands their work to help #EndPeriodPoverty across the United States by partnering with 50 Period Heroes in each state to provide young people greater access to the period products they need.

Period Heroes are people and organizations doing extraordinary work in their local communities to help #EndPeriodPoverty. Research shows that 1 in 5 girls in the U.S. have missed school due to lack of access to period products1. This means they are missing confidence-boosting activities they love like class time, sports and hanging out with friends simply because they do not have access to the period products they need.

Since 2018, Always has donated more than 65 million period products to help #EndPeriodPoverty in the U.S. – but there is still work to be done.  This year, Always, alongside the 50 Period Heroes, will distribute 2.5 million pads to help young people stay in confidence-boosting activities they love.

Helping Women Period is proud to be named as one of the 50 Period Heroes Michigan. These donations from Always will help serve menstruators across the state.

Join Always and the 50 Period Heroes to help #EndPeriodPoverty in the U.S. Here’s how you can get involved:

Footnote:
 
1 1000 U.S. females, 16-24 y.o., Research Now ‘17

Menstrual Product Options and Alternatives

 

There are a wide range of products available to meet the needs of menstruators and it can be a bit overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently used period products to help you choose the product that’s best for you! 

 

 1. Pads

Menstrual pads, followed closely by tampons, are the most frequently chosen period product. They are available in a wide variety of sizes – they can be thin for when you’re lightly bleeding (pantyliners), regular, or thick for heavier bleeding (“max”, “overnight”, or “super” pads). Pads can be used both as a primary menstrual product or as back-up to use in tandem with another product.

Some have flaps, also known as wings, that fold over the sides of your underwear to protect against leaks and stains. These are especially useful if you’re active and moving around a lot. 

Most pads are disposable and single-use, but reusable options do exist. Reusable pads are made from fabric and can be washed and reused for years. To use reusable pads, you simply place one into your underwear like you would a disposable pad. Instead of the sticky adhesive you find on disposable pads, reusable pads are fastened around your underwear with Velcro or snaps. When you’ve finished with the pad, simply place the it in a waterproof, sealed bag (if you’re out and about), or immediately toss it in cold water to soak, then run it through the washing machine. It’s as simple as that!

For most pads (disposable and reusable) it’s suggested that they be changed every 4-6 hours, or when it’s soaked with blood. This will depend on how heavy your flow is. 

Etsy and Amazon sellers offer a wide variety of reusable pads in many different absorbency and size options. You can also make them yourself following videos and patterns available for free online

 

2. Tampons

If pads aren’t your thing or you find they limit your activity, tampons can be a great alternative. Tampons are cylindrical cotton and/or cellulose inserts that sit inside the vaginal canal and soak up menstrual blood. While most tampons come inside of plastic applicators, reusable and refillable applicators do exist. All tampons have a string attached so they can be easily pulled out and disposed in the trash. Tampons should not be worn for more than 8 hours and are single-use only. 

Some of the biggest advantages the tampons have over pads and other menstrual products are their size and availability. Like pads, tampons are easily accessible in grocery and drug stores and even some public bathrooms. They are also one of the few menstrual hygiene products you can swim with (in addition to period swimwear, cups, and discs). 

 

3. Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are a reusable, funnel-shaped cup made of medical-grade silicone that suctions to the cervix and collects blood. Similar to tampons, they require insertion but unlike tampons they can be worn for up to 12 hours and are reusable. When cleaned and stored properly, cups can last up to 10 years. Additionally, cups can hold significantly more fluid than tampons, requiring less trips to the bathroom and providing you with a stronger peace of mind.

Available brands of reusable cups include the Lunette Menstrual Cup, DivaCup, Flex cup, and Saalt Cup. There are also a few disposable menstrual cups on the market, such as the Instead Softcup. To determine which cup is best for you and for tips and tricks on insertion, removal, cleaning, and more, check out Period Nirvana.

 

4. Menstrual Discs

Menstrual discs are similar to cups and tampons in that they require insertion but differ in their placement. Discs fit back into the vaginal fornix (where the vaginal canal meets the cervix) and collect blood, rather than sitting within the vaginal canal like a cup or tampon. Because of this, menstrual discs are a good option for period protection that allows for participation in sexual activity. Discs, similar to cups, are made of medical grade silicone and can provide up to 12 hours of protection. When cared for correctly, discs can last up to 10 years. No suction is involved when using a menstrual disc.

Softdisc offers both reusable and disposable options, with other reusable options including the Hello Disc, Flex Disc, and Saalt Disc. To determine which disc is best for you and for tips and tricks on insertion, removal, cleaning, and more, check out Period Nirvana.

5. Period Underwear

Period underwear are just like regular underwear, except they have extra layers of fabric that are intended to absorb menstrual blood. You can wear them instead of other products or in conjunction with other products for extra protection.

Just like pads and liners, most period underwear incorporates anti-microbial and moisture-wicking properties to help prevent odors. Most period underwear will be reusable, though some companies do offer disposable options. Depending on your flow and the style you wear, you can wear period underwear for up to 12 hours without fear of leaking, then wash as directed. 

Award winning brand, Cheeky Pants, offer a huge range of reusable period underwear products, ranging from high-waisted pants to boy brief period shorts and even period thongs

 

6. Period Swimwear

For complete peace of mind when swimming, whether that be at the beach or the pool, you may want to try period swimwear. These look like any other swimwear but are designed to absorb menstrual blood and protect from leaks, eliminating the need to worry about inserting a product like a tampon, cup, or disc.

You may also look to other period proof clothes during the warmer days like period shorts, which again provide a cute and comfy alternative to traditional menstrual products.

 

 

Written by Kate, on behalf of Cheeky Pants and Ryann, on behalf of Helping Women Period.

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