on traveling with your period…

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This is not at all what I look like when traveling… picture me in my moccasins, tights and a loose sweater.

Back in February I had the opportunity to travel to Florida for business and then in March, both Texas and California. Being from Canada, a trip to anywhere warm and without snow is just lovely. The weather was warm, a light breeze graced us every so often and we seemed to always miss the brief showers. And yet, even in all this wonderfulness, it seemed like something was missing… oh yes, my period.

Since getting my period, it has seemed to always come when I travel, especially when it’s not due to come. I’ve had my period for the tail end of my honeymoon, camping, sailing, on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic, music festivals, on most of my business trips and of course, all experiences come with their fair share of nausea, pain and discomfort. Given the fact that most women get their period once a month, it is bound to fall on some sort of event (mine is notorious for this).

Over the years, and more recently, I have learned to pack my suitcase with items specific to the care of my period. Everything from my bra choice to my shoes is catered for period comfort. And because I’m a big advocate of knowledge share, I thought to offer some of my travel tips to help any fellow travelers!

1. First things first, never leave home without The DivaCup!

I know I talk way to much about my love for menstrual cups, but they really are the best thing for you and your suitcase space! If you aren’t due to get your period, but need something for cervical fluid, I recommend reusable cloth pantyliners made by Lunapads. They are so soft, it’s like sitting on a cloud.

2. Pack tea for nausea and cramping

Most hotel rooms have coffee makers and a nice cup of peppermint, ginger or raspberry leaf tea can make a world of difference. I’m a big fan of teas made by Traditional Medicinals.

3. Invest in a good electric heating pad or hot water bottle

Whether staying at a hotel or out camping, heat can help do away with cramps or at least help you settle.

4. Comfy pants

As someone who attends trade shows, I can’t exactly show up in my yoga pants, but I can change into something loose on my pelvic area after the show. These are especially helpful for plane rides. I usually keep an extra pair in my carry on in case I need to change before the flight, which is the case every time I fly. Dresses and skirts that don’t have tight or high waistlines are a also great choice!

5. Kettle chips!

Women who are pregnant and struggle with morning sickness or constant nausea have found great relief in eating potato chips. I myself also find these to make my nausea subside and quickly! A handful of these should help relax the stomach.

6. Nausea relief

For nausea brought on by travel, I usually pack the homeopathic remedy, cocculus indicus and for all other sorts of nausea I pack Ipecac. These two remedies have done wonders for me and I are a great relief. I’d recommend first talking to a health care provider before taking anything of this nature to ensure you are taking the right dosage for your symptoms.

7. Extra underwear!

Having a nice, hot shower after a long day at the conference is nicely complemented by a fresh pair!

8. Breast petals.

For those of us who experience breast tenderness prior to and/or during our period, a comfortable bra can go a long way. My breasts usually go up a cup size when I have my period, and so I often cannot fit into my bras nor do I find them to be very comfortable. Packing shirts with in seam cups or loose-fitting tops, that let you get away with a non wire bra or breast petals are a great comfort. You can find a good pair of reusable silicone petals at any department store.

9. Workout Gear

While I may not be able to get in a good workout on the first day of my period, it’s important to have the option when traveling. Given the amount of standing I do, a good workout 2-3 times a week is important. I would recommend picking up a copy of the 28 Lighter Diet as it provides exercise and diet tips for each phase of your cycle.

10. Reusable Water Bottle

Hydration is key for feeling good, no matter how what cycle day you are experiencing. By packing a reusable bottle, you can ensure you will have access to water at all times, helping you feel better, no matter your symptoms.

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99.3 percent effective

For years, technologies like the home pregnancy test, breast pumps and tampons have been “helping” women through life’s everyday experiences. Some view these technologies as “feminist” in nature, yet, recent research on feminist technologies has questioned whether or not technologies are entirely liberating or empowering for women.

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an artist’s touch

Imagine with me the following:

You invite some friends over for tea and dessert.

You set your table with your new centre-piece (a vagina shaped votive holder), place some tea cups and saucers down (with a vagina inspired print) and dust off the vagina shaped pillows and plush uterus on your couch.

The doorbell rings. You answer the door. Your friends are standing in the entrance-way staring at you wide-eyed, mouths dropped.

Of course you know right away that they are staring at your uterus shaped fanny pack and the vulva shaped pendant hanging from your neck. As they walk in and see your new decor they find it to be, well somewhat weird. Continue reading

the “F” word

That’s right, I am going to write about feminism.

Now, before some of you click “back” or “close” on your Internet browser, I ask that you hear what I have to say.

I often find that when I speak of feminism women around me get squirmy. “She’s one of them”, they say, looking through me, not at me, while I talk. Funny thing is most women who reject feminism don’t even know what it is they are rejecting. I want to write about this topic not only because it has been essential to menstrual health (and my research focus over the past two weeks), but also because it has been incredibly misunderstood by young women born after the 1980s – myself included.

Please know that I will not drag you into the theoretical matrix I have found myself to be drowning in currently. I will however share a few things I feel are important for women to know about feminism.

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A Period Mix

  • Add 1 or 2 ounces of blood
  • Sprinkle in pinches of light to medium (or extreme) cramping
  • Stir in a yoga routine
  • Take in a few capsules of Tylenol or Advil
  • Consume one tub of dark chocolate ice cream
  • Layer with a bag of potato chips
  • Let body soak for a 1/2 hour in a bubble bath 

Last weekend I watched the film, No Strings Attached (2010) and although the film is not one I would recommend there was one scene that really contributes to my research topic of menstruation. The scene features a guy (Adam) arriving at an apartment where the girls within are all on their period. He comes bearing gifts, cupcakes and A Period Mix. To explain, by definition, a Period Mix is a CD composed of music that helps women better relate to their experience of menstruation.

The songs featured include, “Red Red Wine” by UB40, U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love”. A complete song list is available online.

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