Category Archives: Menarche

Menstruation myths

Menstruation Myths That Cause Trouble | Toni Weschler

“#1 Ovulation occurs on Day 1.

First and foremost, I’d say the myth that ovulation occurs on Day 14. Not only is this myth responsible for more unplanned pregnancies, but also for untold numbers of women not being able to conceive.

The issue of unplanned pregnancies is huge. Unfortunately, most of us grow up hearing that the egg is released on Day 14, so if we just avoid that one day of our cycle, we can prevent pregnancy, right? Wrong! First of all, not all women ovulate on Day 14. Secondly, even if some women do ovulate on Day 14, the day of ovulation may vary from cycle to cycle. Thirdly, sperm can live up to 5 days inside the woman’s body, so if a woman has sex on Monday, she can still get pregnant that following Friday!

The opposite ramification of this myth pertains to the issue of infertility, which can feel even more overwhelming for scores of women desiring to get pregnant. Again, a woman may ovulate on Day 14, but could just as well ovulate on any other day. So she could theoretically try for years to get pregnant by timing intercourse for that one mythical day, only to discover that she never ovulates then, but rather weeks later!

#2 A Normal cycle is 28 days

Actually, a normal menstrual cycle can vary from about 24-36 days. Not only do cycles vary substantially among girls and women, but they often vary within each individual person. There are numerous things that can impact a cycle. One of the most unfortunate results of this myth is the needless anxiety that it causes people who are led to believe over and over again that they may be pregnant because their periods are “late.”

#3 Vaginal discharge is a symptom of an infection

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Yes, it’s true that discharge can be a sign of an infection if it is accompanied by itching, odor, or inflammation, but the female body has a predictable way of revealing how healthy it really is. Every cycle, when a girl or woman is about to release an egg, she will produce a wet, slippery substance for several days leading up to ovulation. It is called cervical fluid, and is absolutely healthy!

So rather than feeling shame or running to the gynecologist every cycle when you produce this normal cervical fluid, take pride in the fact that your body is doing what it was designed to do!”

Toni Weschler, author of “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” interviewed by Heather Corinna of Scarleteen.

www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2010/07/20/talking_menstruation_with_toni

Art: Sarah Ann Ward

☾ Elena Zubulake ~ Occupy Menstruation
www.sweetearthwisdom.com

Periods, Power cycles & aligning with the new moon

 

Periods, Power Cycles and Aligning with the new moon | Cate Stillman

What a weird word… period. A dot. Perhaps a bead on a mala. A time in the cycle that connotes a pause.

Not the word I would have chosen. Nope.

I choose ”power cycle”. Instead of saying, “I’m on the rag.”, or “I just got my period,” I say “power cycle”. As in, “My power cycle just kicked into the flow gear.” Period.

Why?

Because your bleeding time is the most powerful reset button for your body as a menstruating woman. Menstruation is the reason women live longer than men. Instead of storing ama (toxins) in the blood (rakta dhatu) and liver (yakrut)…. you have access to the flush cycle.

Yesterday was the first new moon day, and day 1 of my power cycle.

The period of my period. Red blood. Low agni (power of digestion). Mellow, pleasant, intuitive mood. Body flushing blood.

I’m often asked,

“How do I sync my menstruation with the moon cycle?”

If you’re a menstruating woman and you don’t know if your menses correlates with the moon, I suggest you start to notice. Once you notice, start worshipping the moon and you’ll align. Anything you do to synchronize with Earth’s rhythms and your moon’s cycles will start the shift. Perhaps, most powerfully, is simply taking the time to squat, with heels planted, gazing at the moon throughout its cycle. Oh, how primitive…. I know.

Painful periods? Menstrual Problems?
If you’re one of the gals who moans on the couch, popping Motrin, you should read “Women’s Power To Heal,” Maya Tiwari’s amazing book on healing your menstrual woes. For those not familiar with Sri Swamini Mayatitananda, her old school name is Maya Tiwari. This book isn’t for the casual. It’s powerful old school Ayurveda to realign your cycles. Period.

For those not looking for old school Ayurveda, just grab my moon cycle cards. You can print the Moon Rhythm Card for free, or I can send you a handful for you and your friends, yoga students, clients. I wrote a simple power cycle story, included a moon chart, and a checklist. The checklist will power up your “power cycle”.

I find most women have no idea during what phase of the moon they menstruate. Oh, how embarrassing, really. Not for you, but for whomever educated you on your period in 7th grade health class. How far the patrriachial modernists went to usurp your power cycle. Oy vey (Yiddish: אױ װײ).

If you’re healthy and aligned, the moon will literally pull and pulse your womb along with the rest of you into vibrant health. The only symptom of a healthy power cycle is a mellow increased intuitive phase. Not bitchiness, pain, bloating, cramping, and food cravings. Being in sync, your body is in flow, your agni mellow, your emotions relaxed. Your period is the easiest way to gage your health. Period. If you hate your period because you’re bloated and in pain…. you need to detox and align.

If you too are on day 1 today…. power on sista.

Menstrual problems are a sign that you’re not in sync and that your systems are out of whack. Fortunately, most don’t take long to completely reverse with diet a lifestyle.
For starters:

• Eat only 3 meals a day (no snacking)!
• Eat dinner by 7 pm.
• Enjoy your evenings.
• Go to bed early.
• Don’t engage in stress patterns.
• Exercise immediately upon arising, before food (or coffee).
• Ditch your alcohol and caffeine addiction.
• Drink green smoothies for breakfast and up your chlorophyll (leafy green) intake to 50% of your diet.

~ by Cate Stillman on YogaHealer.com

Read more: http://www.yogahealer.com/i-love-my-period-period-do-you/

Folks, her Moon Cycle cards are free to download and are pretty cool. I am going to create a separate post so that more people can see what they’re like. Check them out here http://www.yogahealer.com/moon-cycle/

Thanks to Lisa for the link!

Art: “Moon Time” by Xana Felix

☾ Katharine Krueger ~ Occupy Menstruation
Girls’ Empowerment and Coming of Age http://JoYW.org/

Fierce body nourishment …

Fierce Body Nourishment: 5 gentle steps | Victoria Erickson

Choosing to nourish your body from the inside out should be a fiercely decisive choice, but never drastic or highly uncomfortable. In fact, it can actually be quite gentle in an extraordinarily powerful way…

Step 1: Listen to your cells.

It’s a curious thing, how we all are born into bodies that pulse with ancient wisdom yet we forget over time, how to listen to their subtle signals. We’ll follow countless programs and strict regimes in a grand attempt to navigate our way through self-care, yet physical and mental disease surrounding food still runs rampant because we are neglecting to listen.

Your body is constantly sending signals of physical or emotional distress to your mind, and vice versa. Rather than completely disregarding these whispers by using various numbing tactics, take the time to tune in and listen, as every cell is always speaking.

The body just knows.

Step 2: Think in terms of oneness, not separate parts.

“The part can never be well until the whole is well.” ~ Plato

See your body as the connected field of energy it is, rather than a fixed, material thing with separate parts. Everything that happens in one area of the body affects all other areas. Our emotions from all experiences become stored inside of our cell tissue, and if ignored early on, will only resurface later in one way or another, often more stubborn and concentrated.

Try and be mindful of your thoughts and notice if anything feels tight. The body wants to heal itself but often needs your light assistance.

Step 3: Remember that we are essentially nature.

We are not separate from the pulse and wisdom of the natural world as our bodies are always in direct connection with the energies of this planet. Every one of us mimics the earth with our daily and seasonal cycles, and we’re comprised of the very same elements.

Place your hands into soil to feel grounded. Wade in water to feel emotionally healed. Fill your lungs with fresh air to feel mentally clear. Raise your face to the heat of the sun and connect with that fire to feel your own immense power.

Step 4: Accept your body’s moods and fluctuations.

Our bodies are constantly changing. There are weeks when we’ll feel vibrant and alive. There are weeks when we’ll feel achy and stiff. We need to do the best we can with honoring ourselves each day by noticing what is happening without judgment, then continue to do all we can to re-balance and renew.

Step 5: Let the body love what it loves.

The body knows what it loves and what it loves most are gentle yet powerful things, same as the way we must care for it.

It loves things like the space between a look and a kiss. It loves things like the release of memory stirred from a scent. It loves rocking of any kind, slow rhythmic rocking it can sigh along with.

It loves the rise and fall of the sun’s comings and goings, constant and consistent in announcing days and nights. It loves other bodies, their skin, and hands and heartbeats.

It loves the curves of waves and sand underfoot. It loves the caress of cool sheets, intense pursuit, and silent solitude. It loves curiosity and goosebumps and song and virtue. It loves foods grown from the ground and fluid movement and rest. It loves to protect, to thrive, to harmonize, to taste and feel blessed.

…Our bodies are both wildly powerful and frighteningly vulnerable, reflective of our human souls.

Let’s honor, polish and carry them well, my friends, because fierce bodily nourishment is truly one of the greatest and most noble things ever worth fighting for.

~ Victoria Erickson posting on Rebelle Society
Read more http://www.rebellesociety.com/2013/08/02/fierce-body-nourishment-5-gentle-steps/

Photo by Betes de Mode

☾ Katharine Krueger ~ Occupy Menstruation
Girls’ Empowerment and Coming of Age http://JoYW.org/
Coming soon: Online Moms and Mentor Training
Visit http://JoYW.org/ to be notified

Toxicity, Cancer & Tampons

Toxicity, Cancer, and Tampons | Dr. Nicole Rivera

…. Thanks to Sarah Hannah Martin for asking the question, “Has anyone ever connected cervical cancer with having a cotton tampon full of chemicals sitting on your cervix for a few days a month? ” in response to the tampon rant post… Here is one article that I found in response. ~Elena

“This is a must read if you are a woman who uses tampons or pads! For the men, the use of tampons by your significant other can be limiting your ability to conceive a child so please read and then forward this… to friends and loved ones. They will appreciate it!

Let’s start with the basic truth, the fact that the mucosal lining of the vagina is one of the most sensitive and absorbent areas of the body. However, each month women expose themselves to a variety of hazards through the use of tampons. Tampons may contain many chemicals and pesticides from the process of Non-Organic farming. Five of the top nine most harmful pesticides are used on non-organic cotton farming in the U.S. These five pesticides include Cyanide, Dicofol, Naled, Propargite, and Trifluralin and are known to be CANCER-CAUSING Chemicals. Besides these cancer causing chemicals, almost all non-organic Tampons contain two additional things that are potentially harmful. These are rayon (for absorbency), and dioxin (a chemical used in bleaching the products).

Dioxin is a potentially harmful byproduct of the chlorine bleaching process used in making tampons. Dioxin, can disrupt hormones within the body, and can lead to very harmful problems for women. Dioxin is cancer causing as well as toxic to the immune and reproductive systems. It has been linked to endometriosis, cancer, and lower sperm counts for men. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that people exposed to high levels of dioxins may be at risk for a damaged immune system, increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and reduced fertility. The EPA reported that there is no set acceptable level of exposure to dioxin given that it is cumulative and slow to disintegrate. Do you think being exposed to dioxin 11,000 to 13,000 times is acceptable? Females use an average of 11,000 to 13,000 tampons during their lifetime. This amount of exposure to dioxin is extremely dangerous considering Dioxin is cancer causing, disrupting to your hormone balance, toxic to your immune, harmful to your reproductive system, and leads to diseases such as endometriosis and cancer.

The other harmful chemical in tampons is Rayon which is a highly absorbent substance that can remain on the vaginal walls. When fibers from the tampons are left behind in the vagina (as usually occurs), it creates a breeding ground for the dioxin. It also stays attached to the vaginal walls longer than it would with Organic cotton tampons as they don’t contain any dioxin or rayon. Organic All-cotton tampons do not produce the dangerous TSS (toxic shock syndrome) toxin, Staphylococcus aureus, but all other varieties of tampons containing rayon amplified production of the toxin TSS-T1. This includes tampax, Playtex, and OB. Think twice before buying the most well known brands of tampons!”

From: www.integrativewellnessgroup.blogspot.com

Image: Louise Daddona

Leaving this post on a more hopeful note, seaweeds are both an excellent food for our cycles and help remove toxins from our bodies ~Elena

☾ Elena Zubulake ~ Occupy Menstruation
Sweet Earth Wisdom

Tampons for young women

Occupy Menstruation
Tampons for young women? Ask Aunt Flo

Q: I’d like your advice on tampons! My daughter hasn’t started her periods yet, but she does love to swim and dance so she will need to use something like a tampon for those times. What would you recommend? I am rather concerned about TSS. Thanks.
~ Rachel, Pembrokeshire

A: Hi Rachel, thanks for your question, it’s one I get asked a lot!

It’s a tricky one as I like to encourage women to take gentle exercise when they are on their moontime- but I’m not a huge lover of using internals like tampons unless really necessary. I would suggest that at least for her first 6 months of flowing she stick to pads, just to give her and her body time to adjust to having her moontime, and see how she copes with it. It’s only a few days out of the month so hopefully she wont mind missing swimming on those occasions. A bit of fun dancing is fine in a pad – she could have a go at home to see how it feels to dance and flow!

Encourage her to tune into her body and see if she really feels like swimming or dancing at that time. Being kind to her self is whats needed- so maybe introduce her to yoga or take her for a stroll under the moonlight?

When she does feel the need for using something like tampons, maybe show her some Moon Sponges (you can get small sizes, ideal for young women) or one of the many menstrual cups that are on the market? There are no known cases of TSS from sponges or cups.

I am proud to say that my eldest (now 23 yr old) daughter has never used a tampon or even a sponge or cup, she just hasn’t had a need to use them even though she is fairly active, cycling about the city and doing Bikram Yoga!

You might like to read my Menarche book with her, it’s a workbook for mums and daughters, with lots of info on celebrating her first Moontime, what’s going on in her body, choices in sanitary wear and lots more! Hope this helps, love Aunt Flo xxx

~~ Aunt Flo is Rachael Hertogs, author of the book “Menarche: A Journey into Womanhood.” Available on amazon or get a signed copy directly from Rachael at http://www.moontimes.co.uk/

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Community – In the wake of Camp Gyno, the pro-tampon (and sort of pro-bullying, but that’s another discussion…) ad that’s been viraling about, what do YOU think about tampons for pre-teens and teens?

What are your thoughts and stories and questions about how to help young women manage their flow?
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☾ Katharine Krueger ~ Occupy Menstruation
Girls’ Empowerment and Coming of Age
Soon: Online Moms and Mentor Training
Visit http://JoYW.org/ to be notified