Welcome to our blog posts..

Welcome to Periodical Diary

Over the coming months we will be blogging, tweeting and facebooking about the menstrual cycle, sharing first experiences and providing healthy tips, facts and uploading our knowledge.

Click on our About page to find out more about us.

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Kaye & Liz x

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Fatherhood Series: Jasper (40)

In celebration of FATHERS DAY, this week’s instalment of the Fatherhood series is with Jasper, a father in a co-parenting situation.

He explains how his upbringing has affected his approach to Periods and how he has been tackling the “Period Talk” with his daughter.

Growing up I was fortunate to be surrounded by a mum who had a lot of female friends. Most conversations were from a female perspective and included periods. This conversation was then opened to involve me, to make me aware of what a period meant and what it involved.

Through education I knew and understood things prior to being a father. The topic was covered in depth so I didn’t really change my thought process once I became a father. The only difference was I would be able to explain from a male/fathers perspective……. Nothing really changed.

Reservations??

I was fine and didnt have many reservations apart from wondering if she would be able to understand what was going to happen however as we are open about everything I didn’t feel any anxiety about the conversations….. plus her mum also made sure she discussed the subject with her.

I /we (as parents) approached the subject as soon as we saw her going through puberty and started seeing signs such as the emotional change and the bodily changes such as hair and spots. We knew it was better to both prepare her.

Also her mum was going away and wanted to know that if her period came, she would know what to expect and what to ask me for.

Approach ??

There was not other way to approach the topic given hindsight. As long as we were all open, I knew it wasn’t that much of an issue.

Changes in attitude now your daughter is a pre teen??

My attitude hasn’t change as I was given a lot of information at a young age, however the only part was explaining about swimming while on a period and the different types of pads available (such as tampons) which I asked her mum to explain to her as it could lead to a sexual health conversation.

Many thanks to Jasper for taking the time to share his experience.

Jasper highlights the benefits of great communication in a co-parenting situation and how it can help ease the anxiety of a first period not only for the child but also for the parents.

Happy Father’s Day Guys!!!

Check out the rest of the Fatherhood series below:

Bobby’s experience

DJ’s experience

Fatherhood Series: Bobby (33)

As Father’s day falls in the Month of June we thought we will celebrate by talking to fathers about periods with their children. 

Today is the turn of Bobby a single dad who despite not having discussions about periods in his youth, felt able to discuss the issue with his ten year old daughter. 

I enjoy being a father to a girl in lots of ways I think it s probably a lot easier than being a father to a son. I enjoy our relationship and we have a lot of fun. There are lots of things that I am probably not as equipped to deal with as a mother would be, such as periods but I ask female friends and relatives for advice and some of them help me deal directly with my daughter on some of these issues.

Broaching the Subject with a little help. 

As she began to get older and develop it was clear that her periods may come at any time. I want her to be as prepared as possible so that she does not have an embarrassing experience at school as I think that may really effect her confidence and that is what I am most concerned about.

I actually got the help of a close friend who is close to my daughter to talk with her about it first. They know my daughter very well and have a very close relationship with her. Since then I have been quite upfront about it ensuring she has a pad in her school bag as she gets older and talking about the subject without being shy or uncomfortable about it- just to show that it is a normal thing. If my daughter feels shy to talk about it  I tend to just explain that it is a normal thing. If I sense she is really uncomfortable talking to me about certain things that surround it then an aunt or my mum would step in once I explain the situation.

Final Thoughts and Reflections

I don’t think I thought about periods at all when I was younger. My attitude has towards periods have changed since I was a child. I am concerned about the other effects that puberty may have on her and how to deal with them.

I am happy with the way that I carried out the conversations. Getting support from other members of my family and talking about it very frankly to show my daughter that there is nothing to be embarrassed about.

best dad period

Thanks to Bobby for taking the time to share his experience. Bobby’s fearless ability to start a dialogue on periods to his daughter shows that Dads can more than successfully manage the sensitive topic!

Additionally Bobby has shown us that recruiting support from an important female role model in a child’s life can help provide further depth to the ‘period talk’. 

What male figures have you spoken to about periods? 

Is talking to men about periods still an uncomfortable topic? 

Let us know in the comment section.
Check out Dj's experience

 

Pill & Periods

We came across this amazing article by Clue App, giving a really clear breakdown of what it means to have a period whilst taking the pill.

Here is an portion of the article, to read the full click the link below….

https://helloclue.com/articles/sex/pill-your-period

Clue says….

When you’re on the pill bleeding typically happens at the end of each pack. These are the days you take no pills or take the pills in your pack with no (or few) hormones—also known as placebo pills. This bleeding will probably be different than your period would be if you weren’t taking the pill—and you may have times when you bleed very little or not at all.

Top things to know:

  • Your “period” on the pill is actually called withdrawal bleeding, and happens when the levels of hormones in your pills drop
  • Withdrawal bleeding may be lighter or slightly different than the period you had before taking the pill
  • Some people experience only spotting or don’t bleed at all during placebo pill days
  • Your bleeding on the pill is likely to change over time

Do I get a “real” period on the pill?

Nope. The bleeding you get when you’re on the pill is not the same as a menstrual period.

When you’re taking the pill, your period is technically called withdrawal bleeding, referring to the withdrawal of hormones in your pill. The drop in hormones levels causes the lining of your uterus (the endometrium) to shed (1). This bleeding may be slightly different than the period you had before taking the pill. It also may change over time while taking the pill.

What exactly is happening to my body? Am I ovulating on the pill?

No. If you take your pill consistently and correctly, you shouldn’t ovulate. This is the primary way the pill prevents pregnancy. In a usual (no-pill) cycle, the body’s natural reproductive hormones fluctuate up and down, taking your body through a process of preparing an egg for release, releasing that egg, and preparing your uterus to accept a potentially fertilized egg.

The hormones in the pill stop and prevent your ovaries from preparing and releasing eggs. They stop the usual hormonal “cycling”, including ovulation, the typical growth of the endometrium, and the natural period.

Why is my bleeding different on the pill?

The pill prevents your endometrium from growing thicker, as it would in a typical menstrual cycle (2, 3). It also prevents ovulation, and the typical cycling of reproductive hormones. When you have withdrawal bleeding, the bleeding tends to be lighter than normal menstrual bleeding.

It’s also possible to have no withdrawal bleeding or only spotting during the days you take inactive pills (or no pills). This is more common for people taking higher doses of estrogen, or a pill with a shorter (or no) hormone-free interval (most pill packs have seven placebo pills but check your pack’s box and infosheet if you’re not sure.) (4, 5).

What’s “normal” bleeding while on the pill?

Your body’s response to your pill will depend on the type of pill you take, and your own body’s hormones. On a typical 21/7 monophasic pill (where all active pills have the same amount of hormones — check your pack), bleeding may start on day 2 or 3 of your placebo week and last 3–5 days on average. A few people may have only one day of bleeding mid-week, and others may have bleeding that extends into their next pill pack. Up to 1 in 10 have no withdrawal bleeding at all (not including spotting) (5).

Bleeding on the pill is also likely to change over time. In people using the 24/4 day pill (24 active hormone pills & 4 placebo pills), about 1–2 in 10 had no significant withdrawal bleeding by the 6th pill pack (4). Bleeding also tended to decrease over time.

No bleeding can also signal a pregnancy. Take a pregnancy test if you’re unsure, especially if you haven’t taken your pills correctly in the previous pack.

Unexpected spotting and bleeding on the pill

Bleeding and spotting can happen outside of your usual period time. This is called breakthrough bleeding. It doesn’t mean your pill isn’t working, but it can be frustrating to deal with (2).*

Up to 1 in 5 people experience breakthrough bleeding when first taking the pill (6). It is not usually a cause for concern and will often stop after a few weeks or months (7).

Others will need to try a different pill brand, with different levels of hormones. Many experts recommend choosing a pill with the lowest dose of estrogen (ethinylestradiol/EE), and only changing to a higher dose if breakthrough bleeding is a persistent problem (7).

Spotting can also be caused by missing pills, as the drop in hormone levels can cause a small amount of withdrawal bleeding.

What’s normal

  • Unexpected spotting for the first few months while taking a new pill (talk to your healthcare provider if it’s still happening after 3 months
  • Withdrawal bleeding that is lighter, or shorter than your period before the pill
  • Withdrawal bleeding that changes slightly over time while on the pill
  • Having little or no bleeding during your placebo week after taking your pills correctly

*This article refers to the use of combined hormonal contraceptive pills, which contain both estrogen and progestin (the most common type). Bleeding patterns will be different for people taking the progestin-only minipill.

Download Clue to track when you’ve taken your pill.

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Fatherhood Series : DJ (39)

In honour of the upcoming Father’s Day, we have dedicated the month of June to Father-Daughter stories.

We kick off our Fatherhood Series with a touching account from DJ

We sat down with DJ, a father of a pre teen, to get his view all things periods.

When you were growing up did anyone speak to you about periods?

Yes. In sixth form and college discussions but I don’t remember much talk about it before then.

Thoughts/Opinions on periods prior to being a father to a girl

It hadn’t really crossed my mind…..

I’ve been lucky as daughter’s primary school started on the subject and those questions were a sign for my wife to have “the talk” and explained to her.

How did you first broach it with your daughter ?

The topic came up randomly one day and as my daughter was quite informed, she was trying to educate me……. but the conversation was quite simple / basic and we basically spoke about what she knew.

Did you have any reservations ?

No…. it’s necessary that I’m included…. I’m her dad !

How do you feel about talking to her about it ?

I feel fine, it’s natural – if I’m awkward, it will be awkward.

My view is it’s information she needs to understands and will ultimately experience, so no problem for me.

Why did you choose to do so when you did/ is there a right time to broach the subject ?

Although she has not started yet, she is beginning to grow up and on discussion with my wife, we felt the time was fast approaching. The opening conversation from the school just sped up the process.

So I guess there is no right time…. I think it depends on the child.

In hindsight would you of prepared differently for the conversation ?

No, I think she is well prepared now.

If you didn’t broach the subject who did / why was that person best placed to speak with your daughter ?

I feel like her mother’s life experience made her the perfect person to start off the conversation but it should be noted that daddy’s can play a role too.

Before Meghan met Harry….

Like the rest of the world we watched what felt like a real life fairy tale unfold before our eyes!! 

The Guests! The wonderful Choir and of course THE DRESS!

However, before Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex… she was actually a pretty amazing Humanitarian from speaking out about Sexism at the tender age of 11 her work to promote the issue of clean water in areas such a Rwanda. 

Interestingly, Meghan penned an essay for Time Magazine  about young girls in places such as India and Africa loosing out on education once their periods started. 

Read her essay below and tell us what you think in the Comment section! 

Meghan Markle: How Periods Affect Potential

Imagine a world where the female leaders we revere never achieved their full potential because they dropped out of school at the age of thirteen. In the Western world this is challenging to fathom, but for millions of young women globally, this remains their harsh reality for a staggering reason. From sub-Saharan Africa to India, Iran, and several other countries, the stigma surrounding menstruation and lack of access to proper sanitation directly inhibit young women from pursuing an education.

Based on societal ignominy in the developing world, shame surrounding menstruation and its direct barrier to girls education remains a hushed conversation. As a result, both household dialogue and policy making discussions often leave Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) off the table. Former First Lady Michelle Obama spoke directly about this subject at the World Bank in April 2016, and various NGOs actively seek out policy reform and programming to address this concern, yet the topic remains neglected.

I traveled to Delhi and Mumbai this January with World Vision to meet girls and women directly impacted by the stigmatization of menstrual health and to learn how it hinders girls’ education. One hundred and thirteen million adolescent girls between the ages of 12-14 in India alone are at risk of dropping out of school because of the stigma surrounding menstrual health. During my time in the field, many girls shared that they feel embarrassed to go to school during their periods, ill equipped with rags instead of pads, unable to participate in sports, and without bathrooms available to care for themselves, they often opt to drop out of school entirely. Furthermore, with minimal dialogue about menstrual health hygiene either at school or home due to the taboo nature of the subject, many girls believe their bodies are purging evil spirits, or that they are injured once a month; this is a shame-filled reality they quietly endure. All of these factors perpetuate the cycle of poverty and stunt a young girl’s dream for a more prolific future.

The Indian government initiated a campaign in 2014 called “Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child,” reinforcing the value of a girl’s life and her education. And while this initiative steers India closer to the Sustainable Development Goals, (specifically universal education & gender equality), the fact remains that only fifty percent of secondary schools in India have toilets, leaving roughly fifty percent of the population deterred from attending. If MHM were part of the conversation surrounding policy change, just as access to clean water and sanitation, it would push the conversation (and actualization of it) significantly further.

When a girl misses school because of her period, cumulatively that puts her behind her male classmates by 145 days. And that’s the mitigated setback if she opts to stay in school, which most do not. The latter elect to return home, increasing their subjection to dangerous work, susceptibility to being victims of violence, and most commonly, being conditioned for early childhood marriage. As a female in India, the challenge of survival begins at birth, first overcoming female feticide, then being victim to malnourishment, potentially abuse, and lack of access to proper sanitation facilities. Why, if she is able to overcome all of these challenges and finally get to school, should her education and potential to succeed, be sacrificed because of shame surrounding her period?

To remedy this problem, young girls need MHM, access to toilets, and at a most basic level, sanitary pads. Twenty-three percent of girls in India drop out of school because these factors are not at play. During my time in the slum communities outside of Mumbai, I shadowed women who are part of a microfinance system where they manufacture sanitary napkins and sell them within the community. The namesake of the organization, Myna Mahila Foundation, refers to a chatty bird (“myna”) and “mahila” meaning woman. The name echoes the undercurrent of this issue: we need to speak about it, to be “chatty” about it. Ninety-seven percent of the employees of Myna Mahila live and work within the slums, creating a system which as, Nobel Peace prize nominee Dr. Jockin Arputham shared with me, is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and allowing access to education. In addition, the women’s work opens the dialogue of menstrual hygiene in their homes, liberating them from silent suffering, and equipping their daughters to attend school.

Beyond India, in communities all over the globe, young girls’ potential is being squandered because we are too shy to talk about the most natural thing in the world. To that I say: we need to push the conversation, mobilize policy making surrounding menstrual health initiatives, support organizations who foster girls’ education from the ground up, and within our own homes, we need to rise above our puritanical bashfulness when it comes to talking about menstruation.

Wasted opportunity is unacceptable with stakes this high. To break the cycle of poverty, and to achieve economic growth and sustainability in developing countries, young women need access to education. When we empower girls hungry for education, we cultivate women who are emboldened to effect change within their communities and globally. If that is our dream for them, then the promise of it must begin with us. Period.

Menstrual Hygiene Day #nomorelimits

The 28th May marks World Menstrual Hygiene Day!

This day is of much significance to not only the Periodical Diary team about to young girls and women all over the world!
Increasingly periods are being spoken about in the media which is a great step in eradicating shame and stigma associated with periods.

However, people are talking less about cleanliness and how to manage more heavier periods.  We remember that in a workshop we delivered some young people were uncertain of how often to change their sanitary products and disposing of sanitary wear effectively.

It is wonderful to have a day to really focus on these issues and ultimately continue to provide further information on menstruation.

Below is the official Music Video from the campaign performed  by DEE MC.

 

We talk periods in school here

Mooncups are pretty cool alternatives to pads as tells us here 

 

Supporting the cause

This week we attended a protest at Parliament Square to support Bloody Good Period’s campaign.

Armed with a #BloodyLaundry installation, we stood on Parliament Square to highlight Period Poverty and the struggles that Refugees & Asylum seekers encounter.

Similar to our objectives, Bloody Good Period are calling on the government to increase the allowance for sanitary products or make them free.

It was lovely to see such support and meet some amazing women, doing great things in the field of Menstruation.

Check out our Instagram post for video footage Click here

It’s everywhere

We feel it’s time for a REAL conversation about periods. What are your first thoughts when you hear the word Period??

Historically the media has been promoting the negative images or humorous aspect of periods but rarely are the facts at the forefront.

Just type Period quotes in google – we did and we were underwhelming by the first images that popped up.

Nothing informative or uplifting, just pages and pages of this…..

But we at Periodical Diary are about solutions, so it got us thinking, what do we need to do to replace this with positive images? How can we reclaim the word?

We believe education is key, that’s why we are focused on spreading a positive message to the next generation, in the hopes that it will change the narrative, shame the shame and normalise the experience.

Our workshops are fun, positive, interactive and curriculum based.

If you think that your school, youth group or organisation would benefit from our workshop, please contact us Here

Forward thinking Employers

Following a #Throwback Thursday picture that was posted via our Instagram, we began to ponder on what makes a company forward thinking….

During a trip to Facebook HQ, we noted a cute little crate on the counter by the sink with free sanitary products.

We mentioned this to a staff member and was advised that both the male and female toilets had this crate to allow access to everyone that may need the products.

Well done Facebook

How forward thinking is your company??