Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Irregular Periods

Lately I've received many e-mails about irregular periods, of course that means I have to take to the blog and write about it.

The word oligomenorrhea means abnormally infrequent or scanty menstrual flow. It's common for a young woman to experience this in the first year or two of the onset of mesnses. Typically, over time, the periods become more regular -with an interval of 28 to 35 days, and a duration of 5 to 7 days long. Generally it isn't of concern, however, you can take your daughter to see her doctor should you want to know more about it, or why your daughter's periods are irregular.

You can read more about oligomenorrhea here:
What are irregular periods (oligomenorrhea)? What causes irregular periods?
Irregular Periods


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

If you're planning a Menarchi party for the young lady in your life, then you'll want to check out Menarche Parties R Us. They are elite Menarchi and Puberty party planners! You can purchase items for the party straight from their site. And, they have games too that the attendees can play -not only are the fun, they're educational too.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The people over at I Heart Guts, have designed a 'Periodic Table of your Period'. In their words they "have included everything from bloating to chocolate, corpus luteum, to period underwear. 
Promoting awareness of such things as period symptoms, menopause, safe-sex, and conversation, we at Menses Today, encourage you to check it out.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Surfing the Crimson Wave

By Lisa Davis

Often when my period arrives I remember the line from the movie Clueless, when Cher says, “Mr. Hall, I was surfing the crimson wave. I had to haul *** to the ladies'.” This is probably because the movie came out the year I got my period, and that was one of the famous lines from it. Still to this day, my friends and I often joke and say, “I’m surfing the crimson wave.” as our way of notifying each other that ‘it’ has arrived. I also use it with my boyfriend, who is now my husband and the father of our sweet and beautiful two year-old daughter.

Anyway, I remember that moment very well when it finally arrived. I was twelve, and had been expecting it for a year. My mother got her period when she was eleven, my older sister also got her period when she was eleven, and my friends had started getting their periods. So naturally I expected mine would arrive on time at age eleven. But, by age twelve I was still waiting for it. I was convinced there was something wrong with my body. That it was broken, and I would never get my period.

I grew up in one of those families that put a lot of emphasis on family. Particularly that girls grow up, become women, get married, and then make babies. What was I to do if I never got my period? How could I make babies without it!? Even though my mother had assured me it would come, I decided it was time to talk with her doctor. My mother obligingly took me to see her, even after telling me that it was normal, and that I would definitely get it. The doctor said basically the same thing my mom had said, but I wasn’t convinced. I knew my body was faulty.

As it turns out they were right, and a few months after my twelfth birthday I finally got my period. The thing I hadn’t thought about was the fact that it would be with me for the next 40-50 years until menopause [editor’s note: menopause begins about age 51, with a range of 30-60 years of age.]  If I had considered this, maybe I would have relaxed and have tried to enjoy my time before puberty a little bit more.

Now, at the age of twenty-eight, my periods are on a twenty-eight day cycle. I bleed for four days, and experience mild cramping sometimes, but mostly I just bleed. So, my period is on the mild side, I don’t experience PMS [editor’s note: PMS or premenstrual syndrome are symptoms associated with the menstrual period, i.e. cramping, fatigue, nausea, food cravings, and irritability.]. I exercise regularly and eat a well balanced diet, and I think that has a lot to do with my period health. When I started out I used tampons, but have moved onto the Diva Cup, which I have found to be more physically comfortable, and better for the environment. Of course the decisions are for you to make J.

I look forward to the time my daughter is grown, and the time arrives when she will start her period. I plan to keep the lines of communication open between us, and let her know she can come to me with anything, and count on me to be there for her; and, mainly to help her to make the right choices for herself. We live in a wonderful time when there are a lot of options available, you can choose what you want to use, whether it’s disposable pads or tampons, or cloth pads, or a cup. The choice really is yours to make. So, make the most of it!

About the author: Lisa Davis is a wife and stay-at-home-mom, who spends her time scrapbooking, cuddling with her daughter and reading her daughters favorite books to her. She and her husband enjoy spending time together as a family, visiting parks, relatives, and visiting their local museums.

The Size of Your Uterus Throughout the Month.

Information is very important to me. It helps me to understand what's happening, and that understanding usually helps me to feel better emotionally, if not physically. To that end, I want to share with you this picture with two life-size models of the human uterus. On the left we see it as it is throughout the month in it's regular size, and on the right we see it during our period. The difference in size is astounding, kind of explains why you might feel "bigger" and "heavier" during your period. The change in size is what is supposed to happen during menstruation, and your uterus will return to it's regular size when your period is over. 

The photo used in this article is credited to Jacintha of the Jocelyn Centre in Sydney, Australia.

Monday, January 30, 2012

It Couldn’t Have Come At a Worse Moment!

By Heidi Gutenberg

Okay, so I was 9 years old and sleeping over at my friend’s house. This was a big deal because it was the first time I spent the night at a friend’s home. I hadn’t felt well, but didn’t tell my parents because I really wanted to go. I thought I would feel better. I had thought it was just stomach upset from being nervous about sleeping over.

After arriving at my friend’s house, my stomach really started hurting more. I thought I should say something to my friend’s mom that I should go home, but when I told my friend, she didn’t want me to. She asked if I could wait and see if I would feel better. I didn’t!

Later we went to bed, but I had to go to the bathroom. When I wiped there was blood, and I thought I had done something wrong for that to happen. I got really scared. My mom and I hadn’t really talked about me getting my period. I thought I had more time before that would happen, so did she. I woke my friend and told her I really needed to go home, because I was sick. She woke her mom, and she called my parents and told them she was driving me home. When I got home my dad kind of yelled at me, saying that I could have waited until the morning. But my mom new as soon as she looked at me that I got my period, and told him she would handle it. I thought at first she might yell at me too. But she didn’t. She took me to the bathroom, told me to wait here. When she came back she had a pad with her. We stayed up for a while talking about what it would be like, how I should take care of myself, and what I would need to do every month like bring pads to school.

My mom also told me about using hot pads to help with cramps, and taking naps to help with irritability. She gave me disposable pads. But in school we learned about cloth pads too. I decided I wanted to use cloth for the environment. She also took me to her doctor, and she talked to me about periods and pads. At school the girls talked about their older sisters getting it, none of them had it. I was the first. I haven’t told anyone at school about it, or any of my friends except my best friend whose house I stayed at. I told her that was why I had to leave, and she understood.

I’m 10 now, and have had my period for a year now. It’s not bad at all. Not that I enjoy it, or like having it, but it’s not bad either. No one knows when I have it either. I used to think EVERYONE knew, but they don’t. My friend still doesn’t have hers, and we talk about it. She knows when she does get it she’ll be okay too.

About the author:
Heidi lives at home with her parents, and sister who is still waiting for her period to arrive.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

In the Beginning…There Was Menarche

By Michelle Schnaars
6 January 2012

Menarche is the first menstrual period a girl or young woman gets. The average global age range for menarche is anywhere from 10 to 13 years of age; with as late as 19 or as early as 8 in some instances.

The beginning of a period can mean different things to different girls. It can be an exciting time in your life, filled with anticipation, expectation, and sometimes fear of the unknown. Some girls think about it a lot, while others don’t think about it at all. Some think there’s something physically wrong with them the first time they get it. With this article, I want to show that “normal” encompasses a wide range of feelings, experiences, and options. So, whether you slide into this new chapter in your life easily, or go kicking and screaming, at least you’ll know that this is indeed a healthy time in your life, and that your body is doing what it’s supposed to do.

You might want to know what you can expect from your first period. It might surprise you to know that it might not occur every month, or that you’ll feel sick, and the color of the blood might not be bright red. In her article, I Got My Period and Thought I was Dying, Jessica Gottlieb shares a great point.  She says, “I went to the restroom and as I took down my pants I saw brown on my underwear.” It’s possible that you too might experience this brown discharge instead of bright red blood.

Maybe you’ve wondered if there’s a way to know your period is impending. Well, there sort of is a way to know that it’s about to make its appearance. Aside from sore and growing breasts and mood swings, you might also notice a whitish or clear discharge coming from your vagina. This can start about 6 months or so before getting your first period. This discharge is common; there’s no need to worry about it unless it has a strong odor or causes itching. If either of these happens, have your mom take you to see your family doctor or a gynecologist. Sometimes girls get minor infections, and it doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong. You just might need some help getting over it.

This white discharge will usually appear in the middle of your cycle each month.  Some girls will have it each month before their period starts. It can continue after your period starts too, and can be an indication that you’re ovulating. (More about that later).

Using a common questions format, I’ll break this down into small pieces. Here’s what to expect from your menstrual period:

When will my period start? As I mentioned earlier, the global range is 10 to 13 years old. But it can start as early as 8 or as late as 15 years of age. Just because your mom, sister, aunt, or friend got her period at age 11 doesn't mean you will too.  Just because your friends are getting theirs, that doesn't mean you'll get yours anytime soon. Be patient; your body changes in its own time.

Will I get cramps? Some girls notice cramping in their abdomen or lower back; you might even cramp in your vagina. You’ve probably heard of PMS, premenstrual syndrome.  The symptoms include irritability, fatigue, food cravings, nausea, headache, bloating (water retention in your breasts and abdomen), and breast tenderness. Not every one experiences PMS, and not everyone experiences all of these symptoms.

Will it come every month? Your period might be irregular the first year, but will become regular over time. You might bleed for the first time, and then wait months before it returns. Use a personal calendar to mark when your period comes. You can do this by placing a check mark in the upper right-hand corner of the beginning date, and then mark each day you have your period with other check marks. Over time, this record will help you see when you’re most likely to get it each month, and you can have pads on hand.

How much will I bleed? You will pass about 3 tablespoons of blood during your period, with an average of 6 to 9 tablespoons. It’s important that you know the blood flows out of your uterus and through your vagina.

What will the blood be like? The color of the blood can be bright red, brown, or rusty red. All of these colors are normal. Periods are also described in terms like “flow” and “spotting.” Both flow and spotting refer to the amount of blood you pass during your period. Most girls start out with a light flow. And “spotting” literally means spotting. It’s when a small amount, like a spot, of blood comes out.

When should I wear a pad? You already know to wear one when you’re bleeding. But you’ll also wear one when you have the white discharge. Wear one to bed too, because even though you’ve gone to sleep, you won’t stop bleeding. You can also wear one as back-up for a tampon or cup, and on light days when you’re spotting.

How long is my cycle?  Check-marking your personal calendar, as discussed above, will help determine your cycle.  A cycle is the number of days from one period to the next.  A cycle can be 28, 30, or even 40 days.  To learn your cycle, start counting the days from the start of one period to the start of the next period.  If you count 28 days from the first day to the next period, then you have a 28-day cycle; if 30 days, then a 30-day cycle, etc.  To determine when you’re ovulating, cut the number in half.  For example, divide 28 in half and you have 14; this means you’re ovulating about 14 days after you start bleeding.  It is important that you know not every woman ovulates in the middle of her cycle; it is possible to ovulate closer to the onset of your period, or just after it. It is also possible to ovulate during your period. Ovulation typically lasts 3-5 days.

Can I get pregnant now?  Yes.  Once you start ovulating and having periods, you can get pregnant if you have sex, even one time, with a man. Conception (making a baby) happens when a woman and a man have sex. A woman can become pregnant once she starts ovulating.  If you have your period, than you’re ovulating too.

Your period is a time of practice for your body when someday you’ll get pregnant. Every month when you have your period, your uterus is making a place for the baby. Blood and other fluid build up on the walls of your uterus; since there’s no baby, you shed this lining and have a period.

You’ll also notice other changes taking place; these include:

  • Breast tenderness and growth.
  • Hair growth under your arms, on your legs, and on your pubic area (the space between your legs).
  • Breakouts, also known as pimples or zits.
  • Oily hair
  • You might notice that you sweat more or have an odor after a long day or after exercising.
Taking care of yourself: If you notice body odor or oily hair, take a shower every day or every other day. You can use the same soap you shower with to wash your face between showers to help reduce the chances of breakouts occurring, and to help heal existing ones.

Period care: There are many options for period care available to you. These include disposable pads and tampons, cloth pads, and menstrual cups.

Cups, tampons, and pads come in different sizes to fit different body sizes and the flow of your period. When starting your period you most likely will use a smaller size cup or tampon.  A good pad size for beginning or for lighter days is 6 or 8 inches. This size is also good for young girls and teens.

Period kits are excellent things to have on hand before your period starts.  They will go a long way in helping you to feel, and be, prepared when your period starts. You will find links to websites that tell you about menstrual care products and options right here: feminine hygiene care and information.

A Teen Kit usually includes:

  • 3 pads, to wear during the day and at night.
  • 3 underwear liners, for lighter days or spotting, or as a back-up for tampons or cups.
  • A carrying bag for times you’re out of the house (to take to school, etc.), and for storing in between use. You can also look into wet/dry bags and laundry bags.
  • A booklet of information about menarche and periods.
The thing to remember is that this is your own experience. It’s all about you and the wonderful changes that are taking place, although they might not always feel wonderful. At least now you know what to expect and what options are available to you.

If you still have questions, talk with your mom, sister, or a trusted woman in your life. You’re also welcome to email me at