Women’s Health

Want to save money and the environment every month? Here is how!

Reusable Tampons:

The DivaCup

  • It goes where? I have to do what? Yes, you wear The DivaCup in “there”, in your vagina… but we promise, it is not as scary as it sounds. In fact, your body will thank you for giving it the period care it deserves.

 The DivaCup is a reusable, bell-shaped menstrual cup that is worn internally and sits low in the vaginal canal, collecting rather than absorbing your menstrual flow. Menstrual cups have existed since the 1930s when women were searching for an alternative to the choices of the time. Yet, its breakthrough into the feminine hygiene industry is much more recent.
  • Many women feel uneasy about changing their menstrual care routine. Years of dealing with the sights and odors of disposable tampons and pads cause the familiar reaction: “ick!”. The DivaCup empowers women to connect with their bodies and menstrual cycles like never before. Perfect for all activities (on air, land or sea), its easy care and use make for a better period experience. Wear The DivaCup for up to 12 hours without leaks or worry.
  • The DivaCup Features: 12 hour leak-free protection, Made from the highest quality healthcare grade silicone to assure comfort and durability, it does not contain any of the following: latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer, polyethylene, and free of colors and dyes, its reusable and eco-friendly – no waste, no chemicals it features extra grip ridges for easier removal, it’s cleared for marketing by the US FDA and the Australian TGA and the only reusable menstrual cup allowed to be sold in Canada by Health Canada, and Diva International Inc. is the only ISO 13485:2003 certified menstrual cup manufacturer and head office in the world!
  • Discover the healthy, “non-ick” alternative to traditional feminine hygiene products. Join women worldwide by switching to The DivaCup today!
  • http://divacup.com/

The Keeper

  • The Leader and Most Trusted & Recognized Name In the Menstrual Cup Industry 

Manufacturing Menstrual Cups since 1987
  • INTRODUCING THE MOON CUP®,
identical to The Keeper but made from medical-grade silicone, for all women, but especially for those with an allergy to latex rubber.
  • The Keeper (natural gum rubber — i.e., latex) and The Moon Cup (medical-grade silicone — i.e., non-latex) are both FDA-approved and the only menstrual cups made in America
  • The Keeper is made from natural gum rubber and has a potential life expectancy of 10 years, Although most women think pads and tampons have been sterilized, they have not. In fact, no feminine hygiene product has been sterilized. FDA does not require that the ingredients in tampons and pads be listed anywhere in or on the package, Over 12 BILLION pads and tampons are USED ONCE and disposed of annually, adding to environmental pollution, According to a 1999 USA Today article, the Center for Disease Control says that while Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is already on the list of 52 diseases that states are required to report, the agency still only hears about a fraction of all cases. This same article states that there were 814 reported cases of TSS in 1980 and five in 1997, and goes on to say that “those statistics imply the problem is gone.” Sadly, it is not. A March-April 2001 E Magazine article states that, according to the Center for Marine Conservation, over 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999.
  • http://www.keeper.com/index.html

 

Reusable Pads:

GladRags Cloth Pads

  • GladRags Day Pads, Pantyliners, and Night Pads have it all­. They’re comfortable, easily washable, good for the environment, and will save you money, too! Soft and breathable, you’ll never suffer through the chafing and irritation of disposable pads again. All pads are available in colored cotton and organic undyed cotton.
  • http://gladrags.com/

Luna Pads

  •  Our uniquely designed washable cloth pads feature 2 parts: a leak-resistant Pad Base with wings that fasten around the gusset of your underwear, and an Insert that is secured to the top of the Pad Base with ric-rac bands. Watch Video.
  • Not sure what size to order? It’s all about coverage! Use your current choice of disposable pad as a guideline. Need more coverage? Less?  We offer Pads & Inserts in sizes ranging from 8″ to 14″ long.
  • What about absorbency? Made of 2 layers of highly absorbent fleece, Inserts absorb the majority of your menstrual flow, leaving the Pad Base relatively clean and dry. Additional Inserts may be added to increase absorbency and prevent leaks. Our Pad Base contains 1 layer of ultra-thin nylon to minimize soaking through.
  • http://lunapads.com/

 

What is toxic shock syndrome (TSS)?

TSS is a rare bacteria caused illness occurring mostly in menstruating women who use high absorbency tampons. Non-menstrual TSS risk is increased for women who use vaginal barrier contraceptive methods (such as the diaphragm), although the incidence is much lower.

What causes TSS?

The main cause of TSS is a strain of staph, the bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus. Hyperabsorbent tampons may facilitate the infection because their prolonged intra-vaginal use enhances the bacterial growth. Wearing a diaphragm or sponge for more than 24 hours is not recommended because of possible risk of TSS.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of TSS occur suddenly: a high fever (102°F, 38.8°C or higher), vomiting, diarrhea, a sunburn-like rash, red eyes, dizziness, lightheadedness, muscle aches and drops in blood pressure, which may cause fainting. The infection can cause shock, kidney and liver failure. These symptoms require prompt medical evaluation.

How is it treated?

If TSS is suspected, hospitalization is recommended. Intravenous fluids and antibiotics will be administered.

Can it be prevented?

You can reduce the risk of TSS by alternating your tampon or internally worn products with pads. Use a tampon with the minimum absorbency needed to control your flow. Review the information on absorbency of your tampon brand. Change the tampon or internally worn product as directed. If you have ever been diagnosed with TSS, you should not use tampons.

What should I do if I suspect TSS?

At the first sign of a fever or rash, remove tampon immediately – as this may help prevent your symptoms from worsening. Seek medical care immediately.

 

 

Breast Examinations

What Is a Breast Self-Exam?

The breast self-exam is a way that you can check your breasts for changes (such as lumps or thickenings). It includes looking at and feeling your breast. Any unusual changes should be reported to your doctor. When breast cancer is detected in its early stages, your chances of surviving the disease are greatly improved.

How Do I Perform a Breast Self-Exam?

If you choose to do self-breast exam, follow the steps described below:

In the mirror:

  1. Stand undressed from the waist up in front of a large mirror in a well-lit room. Look at your breasts. Don’t be alarmed if they do not look equal in size or shape. Most women’s breasts aren’t. With your arms relaxed by your sides, look for any changes in size, shape, or position, or any changes to the skin of the breasts. Look for any skin puckering, dimpling, sores, or discoloration. Inspect your nipples and look for any sores, peeling, or change in the direction of the nipples.
  2. Next, place your hands on your hips and press down firmly to tighten the chest muscles beneath your breasts. Turn from side to side so you can inspect the outer part of your breasts.
  3. Then bend forward toward the mirror. Roll your shoulders and elbows forward to tighten your chest muscles. Your breasts will fall forward. Look for any changes in the shape or contour of your breasts.
  4. Now, clasp your hands behind your head and press your hands forward. Again, turn from side to side to inspect your breasts’ outer portions. Remember to inspect the border underneath your breasts. You may need to lift your breasts with your hand to see this area.
  5. Check your nipples for discharge (fluid). Place your thumb and forefinger on the tissue surrounding the nipple and pull outward toward the end of the nipple. Look for any discharge. Repeat on your other breast.

    In the shower:

  6. Now, it’s time to feel for changes in the breast. It is helpful to have your hands slippery with soap and water. Check for any lumps or thickening in your underarm area. Place your left hand on your hip and reach with your right hand to feel in the left armpit. Repeat on the other side.
  7. Check both sides for lumps or thickenings above and below your collarbone.
  8. With hands soapy, raise one arm behind your head to spread out the breast tissue. Use the flat part of your fingers from the other hand to press gently into the breast. Follow an up-and-down pattern along the breast, moving from bra line to collarbone. Continue the pattern until you have covered the entire breast. Repeat on the other side.

    Lying down:

  9. Next, lie down and place a small pillow or folded towel under your right shoulder. Put your right hand behind your head. Place your left hand on the upper portion of your right breast with fingers together and flat. Body lotion may help to make this part of the exam easier.
  10. Think of your breast as a face on a clock. Start at 12 o’clock and move toward 1 o’clock in small circular motions. Continue around the entire circle until you reach 12 o’clock again. Keep your fingers flat and in constant contact with your breast. When the circle is complete, move in one inch toward the nipple and complete another circle around the clock. Continue in this pattern until you’ve felt the entire breast. Make sure to feel the upper outer areas that extend into your armpit.
  11. Place your fingers flat and directly on top of your nipple. Feel beneath the nipple for any changes. Gently press your nipple inward. It should move easily.
  12. Repeat steps 9, 10, and 11 on your other breast.

    Interestingly, cancerous tumors are more likely to be found in certain parts of the breast over others. If you divide the breast into 4 sections, the approximate percentage of breast cancers found in each area are (in clockwise pattern):

    • 41% upper, outer quadrant
    • 14% upper, inner quadrant
    • 5% lower, inner quadrant
    • 6% lower, outer quadrant
    • 34% in the area behind the nipple

    Almost half occur in the upper outer quadrant of the breast, towards the armpit. Some physicians refer to this region as the “tail” of the breast and encourage women to examine it closely.

    What Should I Do If I Find a Lump?

    See your health care provider if you discover any new breast changes. Conditions that should be checked by a doctor include:

    • An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast
    • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle
    • A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast
    • A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea
    • A marble-like area under the skin
    • A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple (dimpled, puckered, scaly, or inflamed)
    • Bloody or clear fluid discharge from the nipples
    • Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple

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