By Leslie Vandever
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), up to three out of four women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms each month during their fertile years. Researchers believe changes in brain hormone levels, along with social, cultural, biological, and psychological factors might be the culprits, but so far, the exact cause is still a mystery.
Physical symptoms of PMS may include:
• bloating and gas
• abdominal cramps
• tender breasts
• diarrhea or constipation
• food cravings
• insomnia or oversleeping
Mental symptoms may include:
• difficulty concentrating
• tension and anxiety
• mood swings
• changes in libido
• fear and guilt
• poor self-image
By Shawna H.
Going through puberty can be a tough time for a young girl. That is even more true when the young lady is autistic. There seems to be scant literature pertaining to females on the autism spectrum, and even less speaking about, or to young autistic girls about the changes of puberty, and beginning menstruation.
I can’t speak for all females on the spectrum about getting your period, and the whole puberty process. I can only relay my experience, and maybe some of that might be helpful for other young girls, or her parents in understanding. I have heard many ladies on the spectrum who have had quite different experiences with puberty than I did.
For me, it was a change that I welcomed. I looked forward to getting my period, and becoming an adult. It was exciting to me to become a woman. I learned a lot about it at school during sex ed. There was a lot of information available during that time to learn from. I think that this may have made the biggest difference to me in not only welcoming my period, but accepting my body as one in transformation. Knowing what to expect was paramount to easing my anxiety, and allowing me to be open to change.
Here are some things that I found to be helpful in preparing me for menstruation, and other changes that occur during puberty: Click to continue reading… »
It was summer 2002, right around my 11th birthday. I had gone to my dad’s house for a weekend visit and ended up getting my first period on the Friday night.
I asked my mom to come pick me up on the Saturday because my dad and his wife were just not prepared to be helpful. Periods, sexual health, etc. type topics (or any type topics, really!) have never been uncomfortable or unwelcome at my mom’s house, so when I got home, my stepdad greeted me with a loud “So I hear you’re a woman now!”, a huge smile, and a hug.
My mom generally didn’t use tampons, so her friend came by with a small box because we all planned on going swimming. They both sort of talked me through inserting it properly and comfortably from the other side of the bathroom door, and then we just went about our day! Apart from not being in the most ideal location at first, I know a lot of girls who have experienced worse! Not a bad first time!
Congratulations to all my fellow females who have entered womanhood! And good luck to those who will soon be embarking on this beautiful journey!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEATTLE — Be Prepared. Period. has launched their brand new website and are echoing the sentiments of their fans by hailing it as “A one stop shop for all things menstrual.”
Tara Bruley, Seattle area mom, health & environmental enthusiast and founder of BePreparedPeriod.com said she created the website to help girls of all ages have a “Better Period.”
“In a culture of menstrual misinformation and societal taboos, Be Prepared Period is a welcomed resource for girls, women and parents alike. From eco-friendly products to monthly educational chats, every facet of Be Prepared is designed to inform and empower – even celebrate. With constant, compassionate advice and updates, it truly is a platform like no other for menstruation and transition from puberty; indeed, it will help all readers Be Prepared!” boasts Heather Guidone, Surgical Program Director at the Endometriosis Research Center.
Bruley states, “Periods are a topic many are still uncomfortable talking about openly, which is what hinders many from learning how to have a healthier menstrual cycle.”
Keeping the needs of so many in mind, “veteran menstruators” to girls experiencing menarche, BePreparedPeriod.com has rapidly grown to be the comprehensive menstrual resource it is today. Initially starting as a site offering 1st period kits and information for parents and developing girls, it quickly grew to also be a resource for women looking to improve their menstrual health.
Their resources include, helpful articles on a variety of topics including puberty (with articles just for dads), first periods, PMS, PMDD, PCOS, toxic shock syndrome, endometriosis and more. Click to continue reading… »
By Gabrielle Lichterman
Dread your period week because of menstrual-related aches and fatigue? Hey, it’s not all bad! The onset of your period signals significant hormone changes that can make you happier and healthier. Here are 4 reasons you can look forward to your flow:
1. Your period means the end of annoying PMS!
There’s no better antidote to annoying premenstrual syndrome—and the moodiness, irritability, sleeplessness and other discomforts that come along with it—than getting your period. That’s because the start of menstruation signals that estrogen is rising, reversing the cause of your premenstrual woes: plunging estrogen. Even better? This hormone continues to rise all throughout your menstrual week, improving your mood, outlook and energy as it climbs! (Hint: Eating foods high in iron—such as beans, fortified cereal, spinach and tofu—or taking a daily multivitamin that contains iron can help boost your mood and energy even faster by replacing iron lost during menstruation.)
2. During your period week, the bathroom scale numbers go down!
Ever since I was 15 yrs old and it was time to get my period, it was a time of suffering. It hurt a lot, I used to cry a lot and spend two days in bed because I couldn’t handle the pain. I started visiting the gynecologist and she used to tell me that it wasn’t normal to have that kind of pain every month.
Years passed and the pain grew higher, I couldn’t evacuate because of the pain I had, I couldn’t walk more than 3 hours without pain. I first thought that my problem belonged to a gastroenterologist ’cause I thought the problems where with the evacuations even if I didn’t have my period.
So when I was 18 (notice that I spent all those years from doctor to doctor with a lot of pain) I went visit the gastro and he indicated some lab test and abdominal and pelvic US. There it was, I had an ovarian cyst “probable endometriosis”, I had to visit my doctor again. She indicated an exploratory laparoscopy which I didn’t do because my father didn’t want to.
So I went under contraceptive pills for three months. Those were the worst months of my life, I couldn’t sleep, eat, walk. If I had my period, nausea, vomit, would appear as well. I passed out a couple of times and when I had the next pelvic US the endometriosis would grow more and more.
At the end, the gynecologist decided to operate and when they opened my belly the ovary exploded so they took it out to prevent future ectopic pregnancy. The right ovary had some endo so they just cleaned them out.
After the surgery I went on treatment with Lupron for 6 months, I was happy I had no pain anymore.
I’m 22 yrs old right now, I have no pain and no endo. I sometimes get a little bit of pain and it scares me to think it would be back or something so I just go periodically to do an US to make sure that if it happens again I have time to get rid of it.
Always think of endometriosis!! It’s not normal to have pain during your period!
Join us March 14th (11am PST) for a special tweet chat to raise Endometriosis Awareness.
The topic: Endometriosis: The Invisible Disease and the Women Who Suffer. Click here, for details.
By Becky Mantuano
I’m going to try and tell you (and not leave anything out) because it’s been one heck of a journey. I guess I always knew something just wasn’t right.
I started my cycles at 13 and they were always painful. Crippling I guess you could say.
At 16 I went on Depro Provera which was a blessing and a curse all bundled up together. On one hand no more painful periods, on the other, drastic weight gain (I’m talking 150 pounds weight gain) in a matter of the 2 years that I was on it. I had depression so bad I didn’t even want to get out of bed, and massive hair loss.
So at 18 when I figured out what was the cause I stopped taking it. Pain came back about 3 months later. I rocked on like this for another 3 years without taking anything. And then a new pain. Right shoulder pain, bad indigestion every month like clock work, and when I was on my period there was the new pain growing in intensity every month.
March 1st marks the beginning of Endometriosis Awareness Month!
Here at Be Prepared. Period. we are working hard to help spread the word. We’re increasing the number of stories and articles in our endometriosis section of the website, we’re including informative brochures on endometriosis with all our orders and we’re heavily promoting endo via social media. But one of our most favorite ways to raise awareness is through our monthly tweet chat on Twitter, #PeriodTalk.
March 14th (at 11am PST) our topic will be Endometriosis: The Invisible Disease and the Women Who Suffer. We believe social media is a great platform to not only raise awareness, but to educate.
To promote the tweet chat and encourage participation we are giving away our Cramp Care Heat Pack to one lucky participant.
The Cramp Care Heat Pack offers a convenient and effective way to relieve pelvic pain and menstrual cramps. It’s perfect size of 5×8 inches fits comfortably on the lower abdominal or back area and can be used either hot or cold.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis in October 2012, at the age of 45 after over 10-years of being diagnosed with poly-ovarian cysts. My last ultrasound in 2012 was identical to my ultrasound from 2007. Ultrasounds do not show endometriosis!
I was fortunate and blessed because I did not have horrible pelvic pain for the last 15 plus years, even though I had cysts on both ovaries. I endured no pelvic pain on or off my periods during these years, but what I did have was flooding & large clots (larger than a half-dollar) while on my period. The first three days of my period may of included accidents even with the use of a super tampon every 30 minutes plus a night time maxi pad. I was anemic and lethargic. The last year prior to this diagnosis I had low-low back pain, uncomfortableness while lying down, and sciatic leg pain to the point of limping on my left leg.
After my endometriosis diagnosis, I was informed that my only option was a total hysterectomy including the removal of my ovaries. I was very blessed and had two beautiful girls in my early twenties.
Ok, it’s not Valentine’s Day just yet…but it’s on our minds.
Personally, Valentine’s is not a one day holiday in our family. We usually begin our celebrations a good week before the actual day. It all starts with the annual tradition of preparing for the Valentine’s Father-Daughter Dance.
As Mom, I get the fun job of helping my daughter get ready – shopping for a new dress, getting her hair fixed up, nails, etc. The stuff memories are made of…
That night, “Dad,” gets to make his own memories – photo sessions (our daughter and her girlfriends with all their dads), special dinner out, and finally the dance.
We feel fortunate to have this tradition in our lives to help strengthen the relationship we have with our daughter – a relationship that is constantly evolving as she gets older and older. She is no longer our little girl, but now our beautiful young lady.
This transition can challenge any parent, but it can be particularly tough on dads as they may not be as well versed with all the “woman stuff.” It’s important for dads to know how big a role they play in the development of their daughter, especially at a crucial time like puberty.