An article in the New York Times, by John O'Neil, reported that
[a]n herbal compound made from the fruit of the chasteberry tree was effective in reducing most of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, German researchers reported this month in The British Medical Journal.
The researchers tested dried extract of the fruit of Vitex agnus castus, a tree found widely in southern Europe and western Asia. Vitex has been used as a folk remedy for premenstrual syndrome for centuries. It traditionally was also thought to counteract sexual desire; along with chasteberry, it has also been called monk's pepper tree.
The article recommended that women who have had no success with other treatments try Vitex.
Women who take estrogen after menopause have a lower overall risk of death
That was a recent, and invigorating, headline from Reuters Health press service.
Barbara Sommers, of the University of California, a member of an organization I belong to, commented,
"This is good. I guess anything that can reduce the risk of death from 100 percent is a plus!"
Why do women who started menstruating earlier (like age 10 or younger) seem more willing to get rid of it than women who started older?
Last week a woman at Cornell University looked at the responses to Would you stop menstruating if you could? and asked for my opinion. Read hers:
[She agreed somewhat to my response.] That's what I was thinking. On the other end, girls who get it when they're older may be relieved to know that they're normal and they "fit in" with their peer group. It's a much-needed self affirmation at a time when you'll take what you can get, cramps and all!
I remember a girl in 5th grade who got it in class (blood everywhere) and she was wearing a black and white striped dress. Horrors!! When I got it, I was crying in my dad's arms because I wasn't a little girl anymore, and I was 13.
I can't imagine what it would be like to go through those feelings at 9 or 10.
Instead menstrual cup: I LOVE IT!
Two views of the Instead cup. Read users' comments (also at right), and read a short and incomplete history of cups..
I LOVE IT. I can not say that enough. I have never been able to wear a tampon. They are very uncomfortable. I almost forget I have my period with Instead. I am telling everyone about it. I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT!
(The maker of Instead menstrual cup wrote last week and said she likes this site.)
An Australian writes about Australian attitudes toward menstruation
Hello again! [She had just sent her contribution to Would you stop menstruating if you could?]
Australia has a few of it's own terms. I'll try to dig out a few here. [I created an Australia category in Words and expressions for menstruation from these submissions.]
I'm bleeding - well that's pretty obvious huh?
On the rags
Riding the red bike
Doo-dads (we use that one in our family: "We're on our doo-dads.")
Haemmorhaging (That's what I called it when I first got them; I was rather shocked about that).
My Dad, being from Germany, used to call it 'red week.'
I think the very unique thing about Australia (or perhaps the social situation I'm in) is that when we have our periods, we just say so. There's not a lot of flowering it up that goes on.
PMS is called PMT (Pre-Menstrual Tension) over here too.
But yeah, menstruation is universally called "The periods," 'cause I barely remember anyone calling it anything else. I used to be rather quiet about them, but after realising what I go through for the continuation of the species, I vocally protest having to hide the fact that I'm on my periods. If I'm incapacitated because of them, I just say so. I'm not embarrassed about them (is one embarrassed about blowing their nose?)
Great page by the way,
The Janssen Bleeding Score
Dear Mr. Finley,
I have a client who has heard of something he thinks is call the "Janssen Bleeding Score." It seems that the name is self explanatory and I have found "bleeding score" tests for dental applications, but not the menstrual version. Is this something that you have ever heard of and do you know where I can get a copy of it?
[Can anyone help him/me out?]
"My minister told me that menstruation is Murder!"
That's the title of an article in an online paper at (it's moved, but I hope it's still there somewhere!)
A TV production company asks, "Did you celebrate your period?"
If you had a party or created a ritual to celebrate your first period, we would be interested in hearing your story and seeing your videos, pictures.
This would be for possible inclusion in a television documentary called
Reinventing Rituals, Coming of Age in a Modern World for Vision Television, in Canada.
Series consultant is Ron Grimes, internationally recognized expert on ritual and the author of numerous books on ritual including his most recent, Deeply Into the Bone, Reinvented Rite of Passage.
These three one hour specials, Coming of Age in the Modern World; Marriage Separation and Divorce; and Birth and Death are co-production between Northern Lights Television in Toronto and Ocean Entertainment in Halifax for Vision Television Network. They will air on Vision TV, a Canadian specialty channel whose mandate is to cover multi-faith, multicultural stories about the human spirit.
Reinventing Rituals will explore exotic cultures and ceremonies that may, on the surface, bear little resemblance to the hallmarks of our own lives. We will witness dramatic initiation ceremonies from Africa, complex funerals from New Guinea, and elaborate wedding and courtship rituals from South America. Viewers will become acquainted with traditional rites from many different cultures, contemporary and historic.
However, at the core of this series are the North Americans who are exploring new ways to mark transitions. We'll meet parents who are preparing to spend their children out in the mountains to spend grueling days and nights in initiation ceremonies; individuals who are approaching the end of life determined to design all aspects of their own funerals; and expectant couples who are redefining appropriate behaviour in the birthing room. This series is about these men and women and their quest to reinvent traditional rites of passage; but it's also about the connections that can be drawn between these modern pioneers and their counterparts in other times and places.
Program #1 The Bridge: Coming of Age in the Modern Reinventing Rites of Passage.
Reinventing Rituals is a compelling series of television documentaries that explore the dramatic resurgence in ritual and how it is being interpreted or recreated in order to give meaning to our lives.
From first menstruation ceremonies to vision quests, traditional societies have used ritual to help young people mark and make the transition from adolescence to adulthood. All but abandoned by Western culture, initiation rituals are suddenly becoming more popular.
The increasing profile of street gangs, drug wars, and teenage promiscuity in our communities have contributed to rising the popularity of the coming of age rituals. Many parents fear that if they do not provide an initiation scenario their children will initiate themselves using sex, drugs or dangerous behaviour. By enrolling their children in complex and often dramatic initiation rites, families can help young people make the difficult transition to adulthood. In this program we meet youth at the National Rites of Passage Institute in Cleveland Ohio who have spent the past year in a coming of age program. And then we'll join up with teenagers who've enrolled in a 10 day-long program outside Calgary, Alberta as they prepare to spend three World
If you are interested and/or need more information, contact
Deannie Sullivan Fraser
SNAIL MAIL: Ocean ENTERTAINMENT, SUITE 404, 1657 BARRINGTON STREET, HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA B3J 2A1
Washable-pad company for sale
Gayle Adams, owner of Feminine Options, wants to sell the company to someone willing to put time and energy into it. The Food and Drug Administration has already approved its products.
Call Gayle at (715) 455-1652 (Wisconsin, U.S.A.).
[See and read about washable pads.]
Irregular menses identify women at high risk for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which exists in 6-10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is a major cause of infertility and is linked to diabetes.