Posts tagged #menstruation matters

Menstrual Hygiene Day

In the developed world, poverty stricken and homeless women also find access and funds for feminine protection to be a struggle. Imagine having to choose between buying a box of pads or dinner? 

Proud Partner of Menstrual Hygiene Day

Feby is proud to be a partner of Menstrual Hygiene Day. 2015 will be the 2nd such day and the same as last year it will take place on May 28. This date was specifically chosen as it represents the average number of days a woman bleeds (5) out of the average length of a cycle (28). 

One reason there is the need for such a day is that ensuring good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) can support the fulfillment of some basic human needs and rights. One such right is the fundamental right to human dignity. Many women across the world are denied this right when they are forced into seclusion because they are menstruating or when they must use leaves or dirty rags to manage their menstruation.

Another reason for Menstrual Hygiene Day is to protect the environment. Many disposable products that are used to manage menstruation are harmful to the environment in a multitude of ways. Many tampons and sanitary pads are made using harsh chemicals such as chlorine and dioxin. These ingredients can leach into the groundwater from the landfills where they rest (for as much as hundreds of years before they biodegrade) and this causes pollution and health concerns. If tampons or pads are disposed of incorrectly through sewage systems this can cause a breakdown in said system and can also lead to public health concerns. 

Menstrual hygiene is also fundamental to making the economy stronger, ensuring health and well-being of all citizens and advancing education. 

All too often girls must also miss school when they are on their periods and this denies them the basic right of education. 

Education about the menstrual cycle and how to manage it is the key to overcoming cultural taboos. In doing so we will eventually live in a world where menstruating women are no longer forbidden from doing everything that non-menstruating women and all males can do. Education is only possible when we communicate effectively about the obstacles that many face.

Here at Feby I've long been an advocate of open and honest discussion on all things menstrual. Won't you join me in helping overcome the remaining stigma and shame associated with menstruation? This is as easy to do as honestly discussing your concerns with family, friends, coworkers and the like without the need to whisper and giggle. Men are equally invested in a strong and healthy future for all and will benefit from understanding the facts regarding menstruation instead of turning away and ignoring any potential problems or hazards. Do not be embarrassed of having such discussions when males are also present. 

For more information please check out this infograph:

and this video entitled  The Monthlies 

and visit Menstrual Hygiene Day.org 

Peace, love and menstrual empowerment for all! 

Women are Meant to be Moody

Years ago (before Feby)  my decade younger sister-in-law confided in me that her husband told her that she was so moody he thought she was crazy and she ought to go to the doctor to get medication for it. I instinctively said "Amelia*, you are a woman. You are meant to moody. We're all moody. Do not go on prozac or some such nonsense simply because you are bitchy once a month." 

"What do you mean?" she asked, so sweet and unknowing in her youth . 

"I mean, do you track your periods? "

"Kind of. Sometimes. When I remember." was her response.

"Well track your period. Mark it in your calendar but mark your moons every day, all month. I bet if you did you'd find that you're bitchiest right before you get your period. PMS you know?"

"Yeah. I've heard of that but it's not a real thing is it?"

"Oh, it's a real thing all right. I'm living proof. Once a month. Like clockwork, I lose it. Like clockwork I also cry, eat chocolate and go to bed early. You really should keep track. It's hormones. 

"Hmmm. I'm going to do that." she said. "I'm glad I talked to you. I didn't feel good about taking medication. That seems a last resort if I was depressed or something, and I'm not. Sometimes I just get really fed up with Neil* and the kids and then I get mad at myself for getting so mad."

"Classic case of PMS sister." 

We laughed but deep down I was really comforted that she had brought this up with me and maybe I saved her from something. I've seen too many of my close friends go on anti-depressants and become ghosts of their natural vivacious, if somewhat erratic, selves. (Please don't get me wrong, I understand there is often a genuine benefit of taking such medications but I just don't agree that natural highs and lows of being a woman need manipulating.) Amelia never did take a prescription to control her moods and for that I am relieved and grateful.

But I'm no doctor; I'm simply a woman who has lived this truth for a long while and and am trying to share the knowledge of that by means of a bracelet. Well happily, at the beginning of March a book was published that supported everything I believed in my gut all along about being a woman and being moody and that the two elements belonged together is some way and it was written by a doctor. 

'Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing. the Sex You're not Having and What's Really Making You Crazy' by Julie Holland, M.D. corroborates my theory and everything I've built Feby upon and I'm so estatic that she wrote this book. It may become my new go-to so full is it of thoughtful and well-crafted reasoning about the natural female experience.

The premise of Holland's argument is that fluctuating moods are not inherently negative and it would be in our best interest to allow ourselves to be authentic and follow the indicators that Mother Nature bestows us. . 

“Because it is perfectly normal to have mood fluctuations throughout your monthly cycles, you don’t necessarily need to medicate PMS away, but you do need to educate yourself about it. I also strongly recommend that you keep track of your cycle, jotting down when your period starts and when you ovulate.”
— Julie Holland
“Moods are not an annoyance to be stuffed away. They are a finely tuned feedback system that, if heeded, can tell us how to best manage our lives. “

and

“If we deny our emotionality, we deny the breadth of our talents.”

The book is broken down into three parts. Part One is entitled Moody by Nature and Holland is quick to establish the importance that we possess awareness of our menstrual cycles and its effects on our moods primarily through hormones and chemicals naturally released in our bodies. 

Part Two is entitled Mating, Milfs, Monogamy, and Menopause and this section is teeming with enlightening information largely because I'm presently married and probably in perimenopause as I'm 48 but would be helpful regardless of age or marital status. Most of us will at some time or another struggle with monogamy, motherhood and menopause. 

Part Three is The Moody Bitches Survival Guide and here the author gives practical advice on how to use all the information from the previous chapters.

She cautiously advises to consider alternate forms of birth control other than the hormonal variety as these alters the body's chemistry in a very powerful, possibly toxic way. She believes that hindering the ability of the body of it's natural cycle of hormones and chemicals is not necessarily always in our best interest and natural family planning, condoms, iuds, diaphragms et al are a wiser choice in the long term.  

“The body, undisrupted, is powerfully intuitive and worth listening to.”

I'm end this here as I could pretty much quote the entire book. Moody Bitches is an amazing tome to cycle awareness and embodiment. If you're interested in owning your relationship with your cycle, body and emotionality then I strongly suggest you get this book. Heck, pick it up for other women in your life who may need a nudge in self-acceptance and awareness. In this sisterhood, we're all moody bitches. 

* Names have been changed