DIRECTORY of all topics

COMIC STRIP: "A Visit to the Museum of Menstruation"
DIRECTORY of all topics (See also the SEARCH ENGINE, bottom of page.)
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepage | LIST OF ALL TOPICS | MUM address & What does MUM mean? | e-mail the museum | privacy on this site | who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! | the art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | asbestos | belts | bidets | founder bio | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books: menstruation and menopause (and reviews) | cats | company booklets for girls (mostly) directory | contraception and religion | costumes | menstrual cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | facts-of-life booklets for girls | famous women in menstrual hygiene ads | FAQ | founder/director biography | gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux | humor | huts | links | masturbation | media coverage of MUM | menarche booklets for girls and parents | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | olor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | puberty booklets for girls and parents | religion | Religión y menstruación | your remedies for menstrual discomfort | menstrual products safety | science | Seguridad de productos para la menstruación | shame | slapping, menstrual | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour of the former museum (video) | underpants & panties directory | videos, films directory | Words and expressions about menstruation | Would you stop menstruating if you could? | What did women do about menstruation in the past? | washable pads
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

Continued to next earlier News & Notes

NEW this month (news & letters BELOW):

A bowl for soaking used washable menstrual pads (New Cycle, about 1991) - Humor
Would you stop menstruating if you could? New contributions
Words and expressions about menstruation: Australia: I've got the flags out; Spain: El inquilino comunista, La berza, La regla; U.S.A.: Attracting the lesbian vampires; Being touched by the Goddess; Blessings of Lady; Blood is fighting its way out of my vagina; Bringing forth life to pass; Cherry drink [Milk, milk, lemonade . . .]; It's time; Moon's blood; Moonblood; Moonflow; Rusty beaver; Thank god/the gods the pills/condoms/diaphragm/etc. worked (again)!; That thing with the lady parts; The lady parts problem. SEE ALSO a letter at the end of the American section with too many contributions (hundreds?) to put on at one time - or two or three times; I tried.
What did European and American women use for menstruation in the past?

Read about Margaret Mead's legacy

Dear Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health:

The Barnard Center for Research on Women recently published issue 1.2 of our online journal, The Scholar and Feminist Online: "Margaret Mead's Legacy: Continuing Conversations." We have placed a link to your page in our "Resources & Links" section of this issue. We believe that readers of your page would also be interested in viewing this issue of S&F Online. We would greatly appreciate if you would consider placing a link to on your website.


Don't cut funding for sex ed!

Jonathan Franzen, who won the National Book Award in 2001 for The Corrections, writes in "The New Yorker" ("The Retreat," 6 June 2005) about his clueless adolescence, including this exchange with a buddy:

"When my friend Weidman and I were discussing what a girl did when she masturbated, I thought I was holding my end of the conversation rather well, but I must have said something wrong, because Weidman asked me, in the tone of a friendly professor, 'You know what masturbation is, don't you?' I replied that, yes, of course, it was the bleeding, and the period, and so forth."

"Other bodily details are examined in minute detail, but not one reality-show ever talks about [you know what]," writes Wendy Weiner

Years ago a guide at Pilgrim Memorial State Park (Plymouth Rock) and producers from PBS's "Pioneer House" asked me what women used for menstruation in their respective, um, periods. I told them what I knew (read about it here), which wasn't much. A "Pioneer House" producer asked me to send her the German pattern for washable pads from the late 19th century, here.

Wendy Weiner writes in the magazine "bitch" (issue 27, winter 2005) that neither "Pioneer House" nor the PBS program "Colonial House," set at Plymouth Plantation, openly addressed menstruation, but the subject was intensely debated behind the scenes. Female participants actually used modern methods during the filming.

But read her conclusion (in "Period Pieces: the Last Taboo of Reality TV"):

"It's not like I expect menstruation to be the focus of these shows, or for 'Survivor' to have a menstruation-related challenge. But there's something really off when, in a media culture where no subject is unmentionable, the only thing that is is a biological function most adult, pre-menopausal women experience once a month; the omission is even more glaring on the shows that actually focus on physical hardships. And, as [colonist Amy-Kristina] Herbert points out: 'Not only were the producers of "Colonial House" women, three of the four directors were women, so it's mind-blowing that more women's issues weren't raised. I mean, if women won't do it, who will?'"

Hm, there's only one sex left.

I thank my instigator-friend Larry W. Bryant for giving me this article and magazine. Larry, who helped make life tolerable in our Pentagon office many moons ago, was the only person who actively encouraged me to start this museum and, you see, is still helping me.

Actually, in that office he tried to describe to me what the odor of menstrual blood was like and provoked me to think about a museum. Preserving their "daintiness," - more here - girlfriends had perfectly shielded me from their periods - yes, I was thankful! - and it took the what-the-hell curiosity of middle age to nudge me into museum no-man's-land.

Comment about the above story, and where to get Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound and Zonite douche material

Within an hour or two of posting the above story a reader e-mailed:

Mr. Finley,

Having read July's news, I felt the need to email and point out that at least one program aired on PBS did in fact touch on the issue of what women used for menstruation: the original British program which both "Pioneer House" and "Colonial House" were based on, which was "The 1900's House." They briefly discussed the issue in the episode where the family went to a public bath house, except for the mother and eldest daughter for whom it was the wrong time of the month. They showed the belt and washable pads used during that time period. The eldest daughter in particular seemed very reticent to use a washable pad!

On a different note, and also slightly related to a letter in this month's news, I've found that both Lydia Pinkham's Compound and the douche liquid called Zonite are both still commercially available on the Internet. Lydia Pinkham's Compound can be purchased in both liquid and pill forms, and can be found here: Zonite Douche liquid can be found here:

Just thought you'd like to know.

[Thanks! Several visitors asked where they could find Mrs. Pinkham's remedies. See more about Mrs. Pinkham here and an ad for Zonite here.]

ThermaCare Heating Patches for mentrual discomfort has a story about the writer's love for ThermaCare Heating Patches for mentrual discomfort. Unfortunately you must be a Salon member to read the whole story at


but I print the first few words below.

Uncramping my style

I used to gobble handfuls of Advil when period pain knocked me out. But thanks to a magical heating pad [ThermaCare Heating Patches], I'm ditching the pills.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

By Lynn Harris

July 13, 2005  |  Someone engrave me a silver tampon. As of last August, when I turned 35 1/2, I have been getting my period for 25 years. A quarter-century. Your math is correct: I got it when I was 10 1/2, and I don't even have the giant rack to which I am thus entitled. (Historical note: I am old enough to remember those pads with belts, which, since you asked, are like wearing a hammock.)

Letters to your MUM

What stops women from using a menstrual cup, shame or practicality?

LOVE the museum. I've been sending the link to my guy friends and they're FASCINATED. One small comment, though:

From this page of your site:

"Most women must overcome many barriers, some very practical, before they will put their fingers into their vaginas."

I think you put a bit too much emphasis on shame and not enough on the "practical" barriers to using a menstrual cup. I get a real sense of "those women who go 'ewww' and don't want to put their fingers THERE"-- but considering I'm the kind of woman who is fascinated by GYN exams and brings a mirror so I can see what things look like inside, I don't think it's shame that's made me less likely to use a cup.

My previous workplace had several hundred employees, and thus we had a multi-user "stall" bathroom, where the toilets are in lockable stalls and the sinks are across the room.

Imagine you are a woman using such a toilet stall. You've just changed your menstrual cup, and depending on your level of experience, you now have either one or both hands rather messy. In order to clean your hands, you can either:

a) Use toilet paper (not very efficient, and takes quite a while)

b) Pull out a wet wipe (hope you brought some! Hope you're not out!)

c) Use a paper towel that you have wet and brought in with you (again, hope you're prepared)

d) Leave your pants down and shuffle, half-naked, over to the sink.

Now, I am not ashamed of my body, but I also don't want to show it to anyone who comes into the restroom. I'm not ashamed of bleeding either, but having bloody fingerprints on the fly of my Levi's is a bit much.

I can't even imagine using a reusable cup (even owning two, and putting a fresh one in), trotting across the ladies' room, hand held high like a Statue of Liberty with my little menstrual torch.

Well, maybe I can. Thank goodness we have a one-user bathroom at work!


She comments about the Diva, Keeper and Instead menstrual cups

I just wanted to add my comments. And this is my little plug for the Diva cup :)

Never having been happy with pads or tampons (I usually had to use both because my flow was so heavy), I decided to try Instead. I loved the idea, but the never seemed to stay in place for me and nearly always leaked. I continued to use them for a couple of years, just always wearing a pad at the same time (which seems to defeat the purpose). Then I remembered a brochure my mother had received many years ago about something called "The Keeper," a reusable menstrual cup. So I did a search on the Internet and found both the Keeper and the Diva cup. I preferred the silicone to the natural rubber, so I ordered the Diva cup. It is fantastic! It takes a bit of practice, but once I learned how to put it in and get a good seal it never leaks!

Maybe some women who were unhappy with the natural rubber Keeper would have better luck with the silicone-type Diva cup.

As far as the public restroom problem, all I do I wipe any mess off my hand the best I can with toilet paper and hide my fist on the way to the sink to wash my hands. No one will even notice! Of course, you can only do this if you are comfortable with a little bit of mess. If not, then the cup is probably not for you.

That is my experience, and it has been a good one.


[I have yet to makes pages on this site for Instead and Diva - they're coming - but see The Keeper page. And read your older comments about menstrual cups; click back through these news pages for more recent comments, like this one.]

Menopause resources


I am writing to you today to ask if you would consider adding our site "Menopause A to Z" to your list of resources located at .

Our site's URL is

Thank you for your consideration!

Warmest regards,

Dawn M. Olsen

Black Cohosh Information Center


I am the administrator for the Menopause and Black Cohosh Information Center, an informational resource about menopause: why people go through this, answers to many questions, and how to effectively ease its symptoms.

Here you'll teach yourself everything about menopause, from beginners' topics to the latest research. Everything is covered, from the science to what you should do to relieve hot flashes. It's up to you to start learning. Explore now!

In Health,

Alan Byerly


The Menopause and Black Cohosh Center

But: "Women cautioned against using herbal supplements"

Part of a news release from Cornell University on (

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Women who take soy or herbal supplements, such as black cohosh, red clover and ginseng, should do so with care, says a Cornell University expert affiliated with the Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors (BCERF) at Cornell, the land-grant institution of New York state.

"Although there is no direct evidence that any herbal medicines can increase or decrease breast cancer risk, some herbs can have estrogen-like actions and thus raise concern about their long-term use," said Barbour Warren, a research associate with BCERF and the co-author of the fact sheet "Herbal Medicines and Breast Cancer Risk," which is available free on BCERF's Web site at

"Some of these substances may prove to have beneficial effects -- and, in fact, may become part of conventional medicine in the future -- but for now, the lack of any regulatory oversight has set up a marketplace for herbal supplements, which is such a mess that women should have lots of reservations in taking these supplements," Warren said.

He points to not only a lack of well-designed clinical trials but also to a lack of any regulations regarding effectiveness or quality control in formulating these supplements and says that women with a high risk of breast cancer should be particularly cautious.

Bothered by yeast infections?

Hi Harry,

Threelac ( is an outstanding probiotic which addresses yeast infections and vaginal infections.

[The Threelac] page is a personal message to those people suffering from Candida or Yeast Infections. A personal message to those that are worried about their health and want to do something about it today. You know this condition won't fix itself. Something is needed to stop the bacteria from making your life miserable.

Many thanks for your time.


She misses the Insync Miniform "pad"

I am extremely upset that the inSync Miniforms no longer are a product. Some people are active yet cannot put a tampon in correctly or are too scared. (I personally think they hurt.) But I am a dancer and I do sports that are hard to do in a pad. I was excited when I heard about inSync miniforms only to find that they were no longer a product. I am upset about this and wish that it could be a product once again. Either that or they should have a product extremely similar to it. I hope you will consider what I have said. I also hope the museum will be appreciated the way it deserves to be. [Several e-mailers have told me they miss the pad.]



Two letters I didn't write (no, I don't write any of the letters) - and the writers like this museum

Dear Mr. Finley,

I just had to drop a line to you; I've been having fun all week exploring your website. This morning I've been reading some of the feedback from people who aren't as charmed by MUM as I am.

I'm fascinated by the historical aspects of menstruation, and have myself wondered "what women did, before ...." I was astonished earlier this week when I discovered that the museum curator was a man! Your treatment of menstruation and the devices used for the purpose is gratifyingly (is that a word?) straightforward, respectful, and amusing, to boot.

I've been reading something from your museum archives each day this week, and I've barely scratched the surface (as I see by the number of links that are still blue on my monitor.) The makers of "The Keeper" may attribute my purchase of my cup directly to you. Before I stumbled across your site I had no idea such things existed!

I'd love it if you were able to open your museum for public consumption in a physical venue [read some of my ideas for the future museum]. I'd visit it! In any case, I almost never write to the owner of any websites, but I felt compelled to thank you for providing such an interesting and educational virtual museum. I don't know how or why you were inspired to create it, but I think it's fantastic! [Read something about why I opened MUM here and tour the physical museum, now closed and dismantled.]

Warm regards,


Mr. Finley,

I encountered your MUM site with all of it's wonderful historical information - incredibly fascinating! I really had no idea that there was such information available.

I'm very sorry to see that there are "persons" out there (shamefully apparently women among them) who are so negative about the whole process of menstruating that they feel the need to try to put their "shame" off onto you for bringing the whole subject to light. How sad for all women.

I too was raised with the "hush hush" attitude, if not shame, about the whole period process. However, after staying up all night reading page after page of this fascinating information, I felt positively proud! And I wondered WHY??? is this something that is vilified instead of praised??? I mean, after all, if women didn't menstruate, there would be NO human race!!! Let's get real here, people!

Now, I haven't become "enlightened" about it enough to use my monthly flow as an art medium [see the Art of Menstruation here], but I admit to being intrigued by women that do.

May we all become more enlightened and educated.

Thank you and keep up the good work!



Continued to next earlier News & Notes

Grab the new edition of the famous book about women's health
Read about the new edition (pdf).
Take a quiz about women's health (pdf).
Buy the books through the books' home pages for the English and Spanish editions.
Click on the covers to go to the books' Web sites, where you can learn more about them and get 'em for yourself!

"[Barr] fails to mention frequent and sometimes substantial bleeding, the FDA . . . said"

Barr Pharmaceuticals makes Seasonale, a hormone drug that allows women to have only four periods a year - at least that was the plan. But read on . . . .

"FDA Warns Barr Over Seasonale Commercial

"Fri Dec 31, 2:49 PM ET Health - Reuters

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A television commercial for Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Seasonale misleads consumers by excluding risk information to make the birth control pill seem safer, U.S. health regulators warned in a letter released on Thursday.

"The commercial suggests use of the oral contraceptive leads to only four menstrual periods a year but fails to mention frequent and sometimes substantial bleeding, the FDA (news - web sites) said in the Dec. 29 letter.

"Barr's advertisement plays down the risk of irregular menstrual bleeding that can be as heavy as a regular period by suggesting it would subside with continued use of the pill, the letter said.

"The FDA posted the letter Thursday on its web site at" (a pdf from December 2004)

Results of a trial of the new pill to suppress menstruation, Seasonale: "effective, safe and well tolerated"

Christine L. Hitchcock, Ph.D., Research Associate, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR), Endocrinology, Dept. of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada (URL:, sent this to members of the The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (which includes me).

Here is the first article from the Phase III trial of the higher dose extended schedule pill (Seasonale).

In Contraception. 2003 Aug;68(2):89-96.

A multicenter, randomized study of an extended cycle oral contraceptive.

Anderson FD, Hait H.

The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical

School, Norfolk, VA 23501, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of Seasonale, 91-day extended cycle oral contraceptive (OC). METHODS: A parallel, randomized, multicenter open-label, 1-year study of the OC Seasonale [30 microg ethinyl estradiol (EE)/150 microg levonorgestrel (LNG), and Nordette-28 (30 microg EE/150 microg LNG)] in sexually active, adult women (18-40 years) of childbearing potential. Patients received either four 91-day cycles of extended cycle regimen OC, or 13 cycles of the conventional 28-day OC with daily monitoring of compliance and bleeding via electronic diaries. RESULTS: When taken daily for 84 days followed by 7 days of placebo, the extended cycle regimen was effective in preventing pregnancy and had a safety profile that was comparable to that observed with the 28-day OC regimen that served as the control. While unscheduled (breakthrough) bleeding was reported among patients treated with the extended cycle regimen, it decreased with each successive cycle of therapy and was comparable to that reported by patients who received the conventional OF regimen by the fourth extended cycle. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that Seasonale, 91-day extended cycle OC containing 84 days of 30 microg EE/150 microg LNG followed by 7 days of placebo, was effective, safe and well tolerated.

PMID: 12954519

Press release from the maker of Seasonale, Barr Laboratories

(Kathleen O'Grady, of the Canadian Women's Health Network, kindly sent this to The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research members)

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Barr Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:BRL) today announced that it has begun promoting SEASONALE(R) (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) 0.15 mg/0.03 mg tablets directly to physicians and other healthcare providers. SEASONALE is the first and only FDA-approved extended-cycle oral contraceptive indicated for the prevention of pregnancy and designed to reduce periods from 13 to 4 per year. The Company has initiated physician detailing and promotional activities using the 250-person Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Women's Healthcare Sales Force. Duramed is a wholly owned subsidiary of Barr Laboratories, Inc.

The Company began shipping SEASONALE in mid-October. Promotional Programs directed to physicians include a variety of patient education initiatives, various medical education programs and a publication plan that includes journal advertising. Women and healthcare professionals who would like to learn more about SEASONALE, including full prescribing information, should visit or call the toll-free number 800-719-FOUR (3687).

"We are excited to begin marketing this new choice in oral contraception to healthcare providers and patients through extensive promotional activities and an education campaign," Bruce L. Downey, Barr's Chairman and CEO said. "Our market research indicates that the extended-cycle regimen represents a substantial opportunity with patients and we believe that the already high awareness of SEASONALE will be even higher among target physicians and patients following the launch of our promotional activities and detailing by our Women's Healthcare Sales Force."

"SEASONALE is a 91-day regimen taken daily as 84 active tablets of 0.15 mg of levonorgestrel/0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol, followed by 7 inactive tablets and is designed to reduce the number of periods from 13 to 4 per year," explained Dr. Carole S. Ben-Maimon, President and Chief Operating Officer of Barr Research. "With SEASONALE, women now have an FDA-approved, safe and effective alternative to the traditional 28-day oral contraceptive regimen."

Clinical Data

The clinical data supporting FDA approval of the SEASONALE (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) 0.15 mg/0.03 mg tablets product resulted from a randomized, open-label, multi-center trial that ended in March 2002 and an extension to that trial. In the trials, SEASONALE was found to prevent pregnancy and had a comparable safety profile to a more traditional oral contraceptive.

In the trial, the most reported adverse events were nasopharyngitis, headache and intermenstrual bleeding or spotting.

SEASONALE(R) has been formulated using well-established components, long recognized as safe and effective when used in a 28-day regimen. SEASONALE offers 4 periods per year as compared to 13 per year with traditional oral contraceptives. When prescribing SEASONALE, the convenience of fewer planned menses (4 per year instead of 13 per year) should be weighed against the inconvenience of increased intermenstrual bleeding and/or spotting.

Important Information About Oral Contraceptives

It is estimated that more than 16 million women currently take oral contraceptives in the United States. Oral contraceptives are not for every woman. Serious as well as minor side effects have been reported with the use of hormonal contraceptives. Serious risks include blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects, especially in women over 35 years. Oral contraceptives do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Use of SEASONALE provides women with more hormonal exposure on a yearly basis than conventional monthly oral contraceptives containing similar strength synthetic estrogens and progestins (an additional 9 weeks per year). While this added exposure may pose an additional risk of thrombotic and thromboembolic disease, studies to date with SEASONALE have not suggested an increased risk of these disorders. The convenience of fewer menses (4 vs. 13 per year) should be weighed against the inconvenience of increased intermenstrual bleeding/spotting.

Barr Laboratories, Inc. is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals.

Forward-Looking Statements

The following sections contain a number of forward-looking statements. To the extent that any statements made in this press release contain information that is not historical, these statements are essentially forward-looking. Forward-looking statements can be identified by their use of words such as "expects," "plans," "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "should," "intends," "estimates" and other words of similar meaning. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified and, consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include: the difficulty in predicting the timing and outcome of legal proceedings, including patent-related matters such as patent challenge settlements and patent infringement cases; the difficulty of predicting the timing of U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approvals; court and FDA decisions on exclusivity periods; the ability of competitors to extend exclusivity periods for their products; the success of our product development activities; market and customer acceptance and demand for our pharmaceutical products; our dependence on revenues from significant customers; reimbursement policies of third party payors; our dependence on revenues from significant products; the use of estimates in the preparation of our financial statements; the impact of competitive products and pricing; the ability to develop and launch new products on a timely basis; the availability of raw materials; the availability of any product we purchase and sell as a distributor; our mix of product sales between manufactured products, which typically have higher margins, and distributed products; the regulatory environment; our exposure to product liability and other lawsuits and contingencies; the increasing cost of insurance and the availability of product liability insurance coverage; our timely and successful completion of strategic initiatives, including integrating companies and products we acquire and implementing new enterprise resource planning systems; fluctuations in operating results, including the effects on such results from spending for research and development, sales and marketing activities and patent challenge activities; and other risks detailed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: Barr Laboratories, Inc.

CONTACT: Carol A. Cox, Barr Laboratories, Inc., +1-201-930-3720,

Free documents from Women's Health Initiative to celebrate its one-year anniversary

To mark the one-year anniversary of the Women's Health Initiative Study, which highlighted possible health risks associated with long-term hormone therapy use for menopausal women, the Canadian Women's Health Network has now made the following documents available online and free of charge:

Frequently Asked Questions, answered in plain language:

What is Menopause?

What is Hormone Therapy (HT)?

What are the Alternatives to Hormone Therapy?

Menopause and Heart Disease; What are my Risks?

How do I Stop Taking Hormone Therapy?

In-depth articles:

*The Pros and Cons of Hormone Therapy: Making An Informed Decision

*Health Protection Measures from the Women's Health Initiative

*The Medicalization of Menopause

*HRT in the News: The Women's Health Initiative

*Challenges of Change: Midlife, Menopause and Disability

*Natural Hormones - Are They a Safe Alternative?

*Perimenopause Naturally: An Integrative Medicine Approach

*Thinking Straight: Oestrogen and Cognitive Function at Midlife

*The Truth About Hormone Replacement Therapy

*Menopause Home Test: Save Your $$$

*Recent Studies on Menopause and Pain

*What The Experts are Saying Now: A Round-Up of International Opinion

*Women and Healthy Aging

... and many more!

Check us out at
The Canadian Women's Health Network
Women's Health Information You Can Trust

Many thanks to the Women's Health Clinic, Winnipeg, and A Friend Indeed newsletter, for making many of these documents available to the general public.


Kathleen O'Grady, Director of Communications
Canadian Women's Health Network/Le Réseau canadien pour la santé des femmes
Suite 203, 419 Graham Ave.
Winnipeg MB R3C 0M3
Tel (204) 942-5500, ext. 20


Jobs, conferences, prizes, etc.

Book about periods needs your input, MEN!

Kaylee Powers-Monteros is writing a book about women's periods called "Bloody Rites."

"I consider a woman's period her rite of passage. . . . My book is focusing on the language we use about periods and how that impacts our perceptions of it," she writes.

She has a chapter about men's first learning about menstruation and would like to hear from men in response to the question, "When was the first time you ever heard anything about a period and what was it?" I already sent her mine: when I was in sixth grade the kid next door said his sister had started bleeding from you-know-where. I didn't know anything about you-know-where, actually, having grown up in a prudish military household with two bothers, no sisters and a mother who must have felt very alone.

E-mail her at

Women's Universal Health Initiative

Women's Universal Health Initiative

Women's Universal Health Initiative is by women for women - if you have ideas, events, information, or comments to share, send them to

In these difficult times, all advocacy groups are struggling financially. WUHI is no exception. Please consider becoming a member to support the continuation of the web site and our work on universal health care.

You become a member of WUHI with a tax-deductible donation of any amount. Go to the WUHI website to join online, or send your donation to WUHI, Box 623, Boston, MA 02120.

Health Care Reform: a Women's Issue

Anne Kasper

Anne Kasper, a long time women's health activist, discusses why health care reform is a women's issue. Anne is an editor, with Susan J. Ferguson of Breast Cancer: Society Shapes an Epidemic, a powerful and informative book on the politics of breast cancer.

To read the complete article: <>

Health care reform has long been a women's issue. Since the beginnings of the Women's Health Movement in the late 1960s, women have known that the health care system does not work in the best interests of women's health. When we think of the health care system and its component parts ­ doctors, hospitals, clinics, and prescription drugs, for instance ­ we are increasingly aware that the current system is not designed to promote and maintain our personal health or the health of others. Instead, we are aware of a medical system that delivers sporadic, interventionist, hi-tech, and curative care when what we need most often is continuous, primary, low-tech, and preventive care. Women are the majority of the uninsured and the under insured as well as the majority of health care providers. We are experts on our health, the health of our families, and the health of our communities. We know that we need a health care system that must be a part of changes in other social spheres -- such as wage work, housing, poverty, inequality, and education -- since good health care results from more than access to medical services.

Featured Site

UHCAN - Universal Health Care Action Network

UHCAN is a nationwide network of individuals and organizations, committed to achieving health care for all. It provides a national resource center, facilitates information sharing and the development of strategies for health care justice. UHCAN was formed to bring together diverse groups and activists working for comprehensive health care in state and national campaigns across the country.

Their annual conference, planned for October 24-26, 2003 in Baltimore, MD, is one of the best grass-roots action conferences available. They consider universal health care justice from many perspectives.

Visit UHCAN's website for resources, analyses of health reform issues, and more information on their campaigns for health care justice.

Proposals, Policies, Pending Legislation

Health Care Access Campaign - the Health Care Access Resolution

Health care in America is unjust and inefficient. It costs too much, covers too little, and excludes too many. As the economy deteriorates, it is rapidly getting worse.

One in seven Americans, 80% of whom are from working families, lack health insurance and consequently suffer unnecessary illness and premature death. Tens of millions more are under insured, unable to afford needed services, particularly medications. Health care costs are a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Communities of color endure major disparities in access and treatment. Double-digit medical inflation undermines employment-based insurance, as employers drop coverage or ask their employees to pay more for less. State budgets are in their worst shape in half a century. Medicare and Medicaid are caught between increases in need and a financial restraints.

In the 108th Congress, the Congressional Universal Health Care Task Force will introduce the Health Care Access Resolution, directing Congress to enact legislation by 2005 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. Legislators, reacting to the urgency for health care reform, will likely introduce several proposals in this Congress.

Check out the link to learn more about the resolution and how you can contribute to it.

Proposed Health Insurance Tax Credits Could Shortchange Women

Commonwealth Fund report, reviews federal policies designed to help low-income adults buy health insurance, which have focused on tax credits for purchasing coverage in the individual insurance market. This analysis of premium and benefit quotes for individual health plans offered in 25 cities finds that tax credits at the level of those in recent proposals would not be enough to make health insurance affordable to women with low incomes.

Time for Change: the Hidden Cost of a Fragmented Health Insurance System

An excellent overview by Karen Davis, President of The Commonwealth Fund, of factors in the US health care system that lead to it being the most expensive health system in the world.

A Place at the Table: Women's Needs and Medicare Reform

By Marilyn Moon and Pamela Herd

This book, published by the Century Foundation, shows that women have different retirement needs as a group than men. Women are more likely to require long-term care services because they live longer and are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases. Suggests guidelines that would make Medicare reforms work for women, including how to deal with comprehensiveness, affordability, access to quality care, and the availability of information.

Women in the Health Care System: Health Status, Insurance, and Access to Care

Report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) focuses on women in the United States in 1996. Health insurance status is examined in terms of whether women are publicly insured, privately insured, or uninsured, and whether insured women are policyholders or dependents.

Health Insurance Coverage in America: 2001 Data Update

Although not specific to women, this resource contains valuable information about women and health insurance coverage and provides valuable information and facts for general presentations on universal health care. The chart book provides year 2001 data on health insurance coverage, with special attention to the uninsured. It includes trends and major shifts in coverage and a profile of the uninsured population.


Health Care Links

Links to state, national and international organizations working for single payer health care and universal health care. A resource of Physicians for a National Health Program - check out the site for many other resources and excellent factual information on a single payer health care system [ <> ].

Universal Health Care Organizations in Your State

A list of state organizations working for universal health care. Resource of Everybody In, Nobody Out [EINO: ]. Not all states represented.

Families USA New Online Service .

Families USA online service to provide registered users with the following benefits:

Free bimonthly newsletters with articles on health policy issue.

Announcements about organization events.

Discounts on publications

Kaiser Network for Health Policy - Publications and Reports <;hc=806&amp;linkcat=61>

Reports and publications on health policy, access, uninsured and insurance. Supported by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Good source of information.


May 8 - 9 2003

Health Policy and the Underserved

Sponsored by the Joint Center for Poverty Research, looks a social, economic, and outcomes of policies for the underserved.

May 14-16, 2003

2003 Managed Care Law Conference

Colorado Springs, CO

Co-sponsored by American Health Lawyers Association and American Association of Health Plans. Presents legal issues facing health plans and providers.

October 24-26, 2003

National Universal Health Care Action Network [UHCAN] Conference

Baltimore, MD

One of the best grass-roots action conferences available. Considers universal health care from all its perspectives. Check out their website for an overview of their orientation.

November 15, 2003

Physicians for a National Health Program Fall Meeting

San Francisco, CA

November 15 - 19, 2003

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting

San Francisco, CA

Meeting of professionals in public health. Has many sessions on health care reform and women's health, including universal health care.

January 22-23, 2004

National Health Policy Conference

Washington, DC

Wide-ranging discussions of health policy, including health care reform and universal health care.

Women's Universal Health Initiative

PO Box 623

Boston, MA 02120-2822

617-739-2923 Ext 3 <>


Canadian TV film about menstruation Under Wraps now called Menstruation: Breaking the Silence and for sale

Read more about it - it includes this museum (when it was in my house) and many interesting people associated publically with menstruation. Individual Americans can buy the video by contacting

Films for the Humanities
P.O. Box 2053
Princeton, NJ 08543-2053

Tel: 609-275-1400
Fax: 609-275-3767
Toll free order line: 1-800-257-5126

Canadians purchase it through the National Film Board of Canada.

Did your mother slap you when you had your first period?

If so, Lana Thompson wants to hear from you.

The approximately 4000 items of this museum will go to Australia's largest museum . . .

if I die before establishing the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health as a permanent public display in the United States (read more of my plans here). I have had coronary angioplasty; I have heart disease related to that which killed all six of my parents and grandparents (some when young), according to the foremost Johns Hopkins lipids specialist. The professor told me I would be a "very sick person" if I were not a vegetarian since I cannot tolerate any of the medications available. Almost two years ago I debated the concept of the museum on American national television ("Moral Court," Fox Network) and MUM board member Miki Walsh (see the board), who was in the audience at Warner Brothers studios in Hollywood, said I looked like a zombie - it was the insomnia-inducing effect of the cholesterol medication.

And almost two years ago Megan Hicks, curator of medicine at Australia's Powerhouse Museum, the country's largest, in Sydney, visited MUM (see her and read about the visit). She described her creation of an exhibit about the history of contraception that traveled Australia; because of the subject many people had objected to it before it started and predicted its failure. But it was a great success!

The museum would have a good home.

I'm trying to establish myself as a painter (see some of my paintings) in order to retire from my present job to give myself the time to get this museum into a public place and on display permanently (at least much of it); it's impossible to do now because of the time my present job requires.

An Australian e-mailed me about this:

Wow, the response to the museum, if it were set up in Australia, would be so varied. You'd have some people rejoicing about it and others totally opposing it (we have some yobbos here who think menstruation is "dirty" and all that other rubbish). I reckon it would be great to have it here. Imagine all the school projects! It might make a lot of younger women happier about menstruating, too. I'd go check it out (and take my boyfriend too) :)

Hey, are you related to Karen Finley, the performance artist?? [Not that I know of, and she hasn't claimed me!]

Don't eliminate the ten Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor

The Bush Administration is planning to propose, in next year's budget, to eliminate the ten Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor. This decision signals the Administration's intent to dismantle the only federal agency specifically mandated to represent the needs of women in the paid work force.

Established in 1920, the Women's Bureau plays a critical function in helping women become aware of their legal rights in the workplace and guiding them to appropriate enforcement agencies for help. The Regional Offices take the lead on the issues that working women care about the most - training for higher paying jobs and non-traditional employment, enforcing laws against pay discrimination, and helping businesses create successful child-care and other family-friendly policies, to name only a few initiatives.

The Regional Offices have achieved real results for wage-earning women for eighty-one years, especially for those who have low incomes or language barriers. The one-on-one assistance provided at the Regional Offices cannot be replaced by a Web site or an electronic voice mail system maintained in Washington.

You can take action on this issue today! Go to to write to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and tell her you care about keeping the Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau in operation. You can also let E. Mitchell Daniels, Jr., Director of the Office of Management and Budget, know how you feel about this. You can write a letter of your own or use one we've prepared for you.

If you find this information useful, be sure to forward this alert to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to sign up to receive Email Action Alerts from the National Women's Law Center at

Thank you!

I'm decreasing the frequency of the updates to make time for figuring out how to earn an income

I can retire from my graphics job in July, 2002, and I must if I want to continue developing the site and museum, because of the time involved. But I can't live on the retirement income, so I must find a way to earn enough to support myself. I'm working on some ideas now, and I need the only spare time I have, the time I do these updates on weekends. So, starting December 2001, I will update this site once a month rather than weekly.

Book about menstruation published in Spain

The Spanish journalist who contributed some words for menstruation to this site last year and wrote about this museum (MUM) in the Madrid newspaper "El País" just co-authored with her daughter a book about menstruation (cover at left).

She writes, in part,

Dear Harry Finley,

As I told you, my daughter (Clara de Cominges) and I have written a book (called "El tabú") about menstruation, which is the first one to be published in Spain about that subject. The book - it talks about the MUM - is coming out at the end of March and I just said to the publisher, Editorial Planeta, to contact you and send you some pages from it and the cover as well. I'm sure that it will be interesting to you to have some information about the book that I hope has enough sense of humour to be understood anywhere. Thank you for your interest and help.

If you need anything else, please let me know.

Best wishes,

Margarita Rivière

Belen Lopez, the editor of nonfiction at Planeta, adds that "Margarita, more than 50 years old, and Clara, 20, expose their own experiences about menstruation with a sensational sense of humour." (publisher's site)

My guess is that Spaniards will regard the cover as risqué, as many Americans would. And the book, too. But, let's celebrate!

I earlier mentioned that Procter & Gamble was trying to change attitudes in the Spanish-speaking Americas to get more women to use tampons, specifically Tampax - a hard sell.

Compare this cover with the box cover for the Canadian television video about menstruation, Under Wraps, and the second The Curse.

An American network is now developing a program about menstruation for a popular cable channel; some folks from the network visited me recently to borrow material.

And this museum lent historical tampons and ads for a television program in Spain last year.

Now, if I could only read Spanish! (I'm a former German teacher.)

Money and this site

I, Harry Finley, creator of the museum and site and the "I" of the narrative here, receive a small amount of money from Google-sponsored ads on this site; I have no control over which ads Google sends. I'm hoping this Google money will cover what I pay for a server to host this site and the cost of the site-specific search engine. Otherwise, expenses for the site come out of my pocket, where my salary from my job as a graphic designer is deposited. Sometimes people donate items to the museum.


What happens when you visit this site?

For now, a search engine service will tell me who visits this site, although I don't know in what detail yet. I am not taking names - it's something that comes with the service, which I'm testing to see if it makes it easier for you to locate information on this large site.

In any case, I'm not giving away or selling names of visitors and you won't receive anything from me; you won't get a "cookie." I feel the same way most of you do when you visit a site: I want to be anonymous! Leave me alone!

Help Wanted: This Museum Needs a Public Official For Its Board of Directors

Your MUM is doing the paper work necessary to become eligible to receive support from foundations as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. To achieve this status, it helps to have a American public official - an elected or appointed official of the government, federal, state or local - on its board of directors.

What public official out there will support a museum for the worldwide culture of women's health and menstruation?

Read about my ideas for the museum. What are yours?

Eventually I would also like to entice people experienced in the law, finances and fund raising to the board.

Any suggestions?

Do You Have Irregular Menses?

If so, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome [and here's a support association for it].

Jane Newman, Clinical Research Coordinator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine, asked me to tell you that

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.

Learn more about current research on PCOS at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University - or contact Jane Newman.

If you have fewer than six periods a year, you may be eligible to participate in the study!

See more medical and scientific information about menstruation.

A bowl for soaking used washable menstrual pads (New Cycle, about 1991) - Humor

Would you stop menstruating if you could? New contributions
Words and expressions about menstruation: Australia: I've got the flags out; Spain: El inquilino comunista, La berza, La regla; U.S.A.: Attracting the lesbian vampires; Being touched by the Goddess; Blessings of Lady; Blood is fighting its way out of my vagina; Bringing forth life to pass; Cherry drink [Milk, milk, lemonade . . .]; It's time; Moon's blood; Moonblood; Moonflow; Rusty beaver; Thank god/the gods the pills/condoms/diaphragm/etc. worked (again)!; That thing with the lady parts; The lady parts problem. SEE ALSO a letter at the end of the American section with too many contributions (hundreds?) to put on at one time - or two or three times; I tried.
What did European and American women use for menstruation in the past?


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