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.

You can also follow us on all platforms for up to date exclusive content.

Kaye & Liz x

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Fitbit needs a women’s touch ….

Such an interesting article in THE POOL, highlighting the need for more female input in Tech….

Those that use Fitbit will know that it features a period tracker but how useful to you find it???

Check out the article below and share your thoughts

https://www.the-pool.com/health/health/2018/31/Caroline-O-Donoghue-on-Fitbit-period-health-tech-women

Ask Flo..

Dear Periodical Diary

I have a period question. Do you have any ideas on how I can regulate my periods? Since baby no 3, they are all over the place.

I stopped breastfeeding over 6 months ago but unlike my last two pregnancies, my period will just not realign!!

I’m usually like clockwork but have been randomly noting the dates and noticed that now they can come on anything from 21 to 28 days.

I can never predict 😫😫

Yours Sincerely

Frustrated Mumma

Periodical Diary :

Dear Frustrated Mumma,

To be honest between 21 -28 is pretty regular, it can take a year to normalise after breastfeeding but generally if you want on the clock, scheduled periods, it can be done through the pill (as it gives a fake period every month)

Not everyone is in favour of the pill but some people like the regularity it brings.

Also download a Tracking App, Clue is good because you get informative content as well as tracking periods, stress and daily activities but there are other apps available.

Finally….. remember any changes to your routine, eating habits or if you have a stressful situation, it can take up to two months to manifest through your period.

We hope this helps

Auntie Flo x

Highlighting Period Poverty

Such an interesting article about Period Poverty by Alesha Dixon in Stylist Magazine

In it she speaks about the that 137,000 girls are regularly missing school because they can’t afford sanitary protection.

Interestingly, she also believes that a simple but effective solution is to start talking about periods, as it would help normalise them, and takes away the stigma so that they’re no longer a taboo.

It would be such a positive step forward if we can have this open conversation where the public become more aware of the issue, and young girls feel more confident to ask for help.

Check out the full article here:

https://www.stylist.co.uk/long-reads/period-poverty-uk-period-pain-tampon-sanitary-pad-money-alesha-dixon-opinion/218300

Grace Cup

We had the pleasure of connecting with Ebby, the founder of The Grace Cup, who is doing some amazing work creating a more sustainable sanitary product alternative in Kenya

My name is Ebby Weyime. I am the owner and founder of The Grace Cup this is Kenya’s first and only menstrual cup brand.

In my community we have many girls who can’t afford commercial pads and tampons, they end up using unconventional means like pieces of cloths, old mattresses and even leaves as a means of dealing with their menses.

There are several organizations that are donating disposable pads to these girls, which is a plus but this does not solve the problem as it means you have to help these girls every single month.

The question now remains, how long will you do this for?

That’s when I stepped in with menstrual cups. After using it for a few months myself I found this to be the best solution as it is durable for up to 10 years, saves thousands of shillings in the long run also contains no chemicals or toxins hence good for your health.

So far we have distributed 213 cups for free to needy girls and are constantly looking for more well wishers to sponsor a cup to needy girls. We also sell commercially and the response is overwhelming.

Our aim is to have at least 20% of Kenyan women on the cup and have plastic free periods.

If you would like to know more, check out their Instagram Grace Cup IG

Fatherhood Series: Why menstrual education is important for both girls AND boys

To round up our amazing Fatherhood Series, we have the Marketing Director of TOTM (Time of the Month), an organic femcare brand giving a really insightful piece on why menstrual education is important for both boys and girls.

Why menstrual education is important for both girls AND boys

As a father of two boys, I’m often asked, “do you talk to them about tampons?”. This certainly isn’t the sort of question most dad’s get on fatherhood, but there is context to the question.

I’m the Marketing Director of TOTM, an organic femcare brand – which fascinates my friends no end. For some reason, me being male, working within a femcare company, seems to generate endless questions:

‘Do you have tampons on your desk?’

‘How many times a day do you say vagina?’

‘What’s the different between a pad and liner?’

‘What are those cup things?’

They don’t ask these questions to laugh, or be childish. In the most part, they’re just trying to learn about something new to them. I’ve somehow become a resource, and a window to a world that they’ve never heard much about before. I’m their encyclopaedia of menstruation, providing the education to them that we never had in school.

We SHOULD be talking about periods

So, this is why it irks me a little when they ask if I speak to my boys about periods, because why wouldn’t I?

“You’re 32 years old, and learning about periods from your buddy in the pub.” I said to a friend who asked if I was ‘honest’ with my 5-year-old boy about what the tampons around my house were. “Of course, I’m honest with him, otherwise I just reinforce the idea that it’s something that should be hidden away”, I pointed out to him.

There are many issues with the menstrual education in this country. It can be too late, too biologically focussed (not giving enough attention to the options girls have to manage their periods), and it’s for girls only.

Each of those three points creates real problems, all of which need addressing. But the last point is the only one I want to address.

Separate sex-education

Strangely, I still remember the day at school when we were taught sex-ed (which is perhaps evidence that it came too late). We all walked to the science block as usual, dragging our feet to make the most of the 5mins allotted walk between classes. But when we got inside the teachers were stood in the corridor splitting boys and girls into separate rooms. In the boy’s class we were taught that our testicles actually had a purpose, and that we were all about to start sprouting hair in new places. Though a quick look around the room proved that message was late for some…and yet I’m still waiting on gloriously thick beard I was promised.

I’ll never know for certain what was said in the girl’s room, but I learned enough from some of the girls to know that it was about their period. And I remember the conflict in attitude as we came out of the classes. The boys counting armpit hairs to see who had the most, or any at all, while the girls were mostly quiet.

It’s important to improve education

Now, I’m assured that menstrual education has improved over the last 20yrs. However, in the most part, boys are still excluded from this. And that is my major issue.

I firmly believe that when we separate boys and girls, teaching only girls about menstruation, we’re sending the message it isn’t something that should be discussed with boys. It’s something that should be hidden, and only spoken about in quiet whisper between girls. This, I believe, is one of the major reasons the stigma and taboo surrounding periods still exists.

Why are TOTM encouraging #TalkingPeriods?

At TOTM, we’re doing what we can to encourage open conversation around periods. We recently ran a campaign called #TalkingPeriods where we encouraged bloggers, influencers, and anyone else on social media to share their periods stories, tips, tricks and hacks. We’re challenging the stigma.

There’s a long way to go to improve attitudes towards menstruation. It can be difficult to change people’s affirmed attitudes. But there is something better and arguably easier that we could be doing. We could do a better job of being honest with the next and future generations about periods.

Kid’s don’t have opinions about periods, let’s not help them form the wrong ones.

Check out TOTM lasted campaign – period powerful https://www.totm.com/campaign/period-powerful/

TOTM Instagram

Fatherhood Series: Kofi (40)

As the month draws to a close we have a reflective account from Kofi about the subject of Periods and his daughter’s first experience.

When I was growing up my older sisters spoke about their periods so I knew what it was but not in too much detail.

I didn’t give it much thought but as I have grown and had relationships, I have gained more knowledge about periods and the impact it has on a woman’s life.

Reservations?

I had reservations at first but due to my relationship with my daughter it was easy to speak to her about it.

I had forgotten about it till she had her first one at my house. She knew what it was as some of her friends had theirs and they spoke about it

Hindsight….

I would have preferred to have spoken to her about it in detail before she had her first, but I had mention it to her prior.

Her mum had spoken to her about it as well, so it wasn’t a hard conversation

Changes in attitude

My attitude to periods has changed since I was a child. Growing up around two sisters and general life experiences has thought me a great deal about periods.

I was taught about the human body and the reproductive system in school, these lessons also broaden my knowledge about periods but being with my daughter when she experienced her first period has brought it much closer to home.

Many thanks to Kofi for taking the time to share his and his daughter’s experience.

Kofi also highlighted the unpredictability of the first period but it was great to hear that both parents took the responsibility to have the “period talk”.

Check out the rest of the Fatherhood series below:

Bobby’s experience

DJ’s experience

Jasper’s experience

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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