Conscious Period’s Dual Giving Program for Menstruation

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The GirlU Blog has covered global menstruation issues and the team decided to do a little research to see what was happening in the United States to help women who are struggling economically or who are homeless.  What we learned was pretty shocking…not much is going on to help these women at all!

We also learned that menstrual supplies are not covered by food stamps and are taxed in 40 of 50 states.  Homeless shelters and “midnight run” charities don’t typically include menstrual supplies as part of their collection drives.   We’ve read about young girls and women using mud, grass and leaves to collect menstrual blood in countries like Africa and India, but right here in the US, homeless and economically fragile women are also in a real jam when dealing with menstruation.

Through our research we found two women who are attempting to do something about this. Annie Lasco and Margo Lang are the founders of Conscious Period, purveyors of organic tampons with a dual giving model.   They are so close to their Indiegogo goal, please check it out here.

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Conscious Period will sell organic tampons and with each box sold, they will donate a box of organic pads to women in need in Los Angeles, where they are based.  As we have written about here, there are some concerning chemicals and ingredients in tampons.  Scarily enough, there is no regulation requiring tampon manufacturers to disclose the ingredients in tampons.  And to quote from the Conscious Period Indiegogo campaign, “women spend over 100,000 hours of their lives with a tampon in contact with some of the most sensitive and absorbent skin in the body.”  Makes you think!

Part two of the Conscious Period giving model mirrors what is going on in India and Africa.  Part of the campaign will fund the set up of a cottage industry in Los Angeles to produce pads domestically for women in need.  This will provide jobs and hygienic supplies!  The model is working beautifully in India and with these two dynamic women leading the cause, chances for success close to their home seems pretty high!

Please check out the Conscious Period campaign today.

Period Management Products

menstrual cup

We are in the midst of an evolution, or maybe a revolution of period management products.  Menstrual cups, like Diva Cup, and leak proof underwear, like Thinx and Dear Kates, present women with a choice of reusable products to deal with a period.

Reusable products prompted two questions for our team. First of all, are women in the US embracing the “ick” factor of washing out a cup and dealing with blood in leak proof underwear in lieu of a panty liner?  Secondly, is it time we seriously understood the environmental impact of our disposable habits?

Founder of Girl Uninterrupted, Mayling Kajiya says she loves her menstrual cup.  “I love the freedom it gives me, 10-12 hours of protection and no carrying around tampons.”  Once you make the initial investment of the cup, the cost savings from not making monthly purchases of pads and tampons is significant.

As for washing out underwear, aren’t we doing it anyway? Nobody gets through a period without at least one episode of leaking…right?  Most of us have a set of grungy period underwear, probably consisting of underwear that has already sustained leaking damage! But maybe we need a set of cycle underwear that has great materials and technology to replace a panty liner? Just think of all the pajamas and pant inseams that would also be spared!

From the day of our first period until the day we are fully in menopause, period management is a monthly issue.  What do you think about embracing reusables?  Are you ready for it as a consumer?  Let us know at info@GirlU.com.  We’ll look at question #2 in our next post!

#LiveTweetYourPeriod

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Tweeting about period symptoms using #LiveTweetYourPeriod has caused quite a commotion and has a scatological approach that has some people a little confused, maybe even grossed out, but should it?  Half the population bleeds from a vagina each and every month!

One thing that these tweets have done is make any and all symptoms of a period seem so reassuringly normal.  You are not the only person whose menstrual flow can explode off the super-deluxo-maxi-pad-with-mega-wings!  Pancakes and broccoli for breakfast, sounds perfectly delicious.  There is the “day 2” rage monster and the “day 3” gal who eats anything salty, sweet, crunchy and fattening within sight.  And look at all the people who feel as if their uterus is being trampled upon, who are constipated, who want to lie in bed all day and whose face is covered with zits.  It’s a community of period sufferers!

All of these swirling emotions, cravings, hassles, eruptions, heavy or light flows are just so…in a word…normal.  Twitter appears to be the new place to freely bitch, whine and moan about the misery of a period.

In the right frame of mind, reading these posts can make you smile too.  There are some incredibly creative .gif files of T-Rex’s roaring to explain a current mood and a cat with a mouth full of cupcakes and “no regrets.”  One person went so far as commenting that #LiveTweetYourPeriod was the best to have happened to her period.

Giggle, commiserate, complain or even just read them to know that you are not alone in the world with your symptoms in a monthly cycle.

How Menstruation Keeps Girls Out of School

Three young Nepalese girls

For many women and girls in Nepal, menstruation can make education--and personal safety--difficult.
Image: Det-anan / Shutterstock.com

For many of us, getting our periods may be a little annoying, but it’s also considered a normal part of life. For millions around the world, though, getting a period every month can have serious consequences for school, jobs, and even health and personal safety.

In Nepal, for example, about 30% of girls miss school every month due to their periods, according to Her Turn. And UNICEF reports that 95% of girls surveyed in mid- and far western Nepal have to deal with some sort of restriction when they’re menstruating, due in large part to a tradition called chaupadi, which, depending on the culture, can mean women aren’t allowed to touch men, read books, or even sleep or eat in the same place as the rest of the family. In fact, many women are forced to stay in a shed during their periods, which means no heating during the winter, potential animal attacks, and even asphyxiation and burns due to trying to build fires in small spaces. Nepal’s Supreme Court ruled chaupadi illegal in 2005, but it’s still practiced in many places.

Even in places where chaupadi isn’t a tradition, girls still face challenges with menstruation because the facilities in their schools aren’t private or sanitary. Girls use newspaper, leaves, or even sand and ash instead of sanitary pads or tampons, simply because they don’t have access to or education about anything better!

And sure, skipping school might sound great, but it can have negative results in the future. The Girl Effect found that an additional year of primary school education can boost girls’ income from 10-20%. And an additional year of secondary school can raise it another 15-25%!

Taking all of this into account, several organizations got together last November to lead a discussion on menstruation and its effects on menstruation. Using the hashtag #PointPeriod, Her Turn and the Day of the Girl Summit asked and answered questions about the issue, hoping to raise awareness. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Phases of a Period Workout

Woman jogging on dirt road

Here are some great exercises for each phase of your menstruation cycle.
Image: Shutterstock

Building on our blog post from last week about period workouts, here are some specific exercises for each phase of your menstrual cycle, straight from GirlU founder Mayling Kajiya.

 

Menstruation Phase

Day 1 signals the first day of menstruation (bleeding). I wouldn't recommend doing too much on those days because you are probably uncomfortable. A simple walk or hike is sufficient.

 

Follicular Phase (Yay My Period is Over!)

Right after your period is over (maybe day 5) is the optimal time to really kick into high gear.

Yay my Period is Over Workout (YMPO Workout)

Warm up - light jog and stretch

3 rounds for time, no stopping between sets:

20 Burpees

15 Chair Stepups

15 Chair Pushups

20 Chair Tricep Dips

 

Ovulation Phase

It's time to turn it down a notch and go for longer, low-intensity exercises

Warm up - light jog or stretch

1 round:

20 Walkouts with legs straight, walking body out into a pushup position and walking back with straight legs

20 Forward Lunge with arms raised over your head and back knee almost touching the floor

20 Side Lunge (Lateral) with knees inline, toes and pushing your butt back

20 Curtsy Lunge

30 Ab Curls with legs resting 90 degrees on a chair

 

PMS Phase

This is the perfect time to go for a light jog, 3 miles max. Try going outside so you can enjoy the scenery! Or check out that Hatha yoga class that you’ve been eyeing. Even a meditation class would be great.