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):

Polish ad for Libresse pads (c. 1998) - Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Co. letter to a Canadian (1918) - "Hypermenorrhea and/or Menorrhagia (Prolonged and/or Excessive Menstrual Bleeding)" by Dr. Nelson Soucasaux, Brazilian gynecologist - Olor, Traducido por María García (Translation of the MUM odor page into Spanish by María García) - Did your mother slap you when you started?: an e-mail - Humor
Would you stop menstruating if you could? New contributions
Words and expressions about menstruation: New contributions: Canada: Is your crotch bleeding again? There's a massacre in your pants, You're rebooting your ovarian operating system, Your endometrium is shedding; England: I've got the decorators in, I've got the rellies (relatives) round to stay, Liverpool are playing at home; U.S.A.: My ovaries are shedding, Red flow of misery, Scott
What did European and American women use for menstruation in the past?

Volunteer for a research study

A new research study is examining the experiences of women with headaches who are between 40 and 56, and have had hysterectomies. If you are interested in learning more about this study, please contact: Dr. Peggy Moloney, RN, PhD, at Georgia State University (U.S.A.). Office phone: (U.S.A.) 404-651-1717; Email

Maclean's magazine publishes cover story about stopping menstruation for a looooong time. See part of printed article, read the whole online story.

The Canadian weekly news magazine's cover story of the 5 December issue concerns the hormone pill for which Wyeth is seeking FDA (the American Food and Drug Administration) approval. Whereas the Seasonale pill stops all but four menstrual periods a year, this one would stop menstruation indefinitely. Read the online version of the story.

Besides interviewing many people for the account, including me, the magazine asked for (and got) dozens of images of menstrual products and ads from this museum to illustrate the piece. See the cover and opening pages of the article.

The magazine also quoted from your responses on the "Would you stop menstruating if you could?" page. The New York Times and the British New Scientist magazine have also quoted from your comments in the past. Send yours - they're important!

So, speaking of a pill to stop menstruation . . .

Anthropologist Nesrine Bessaïh presented a paper at the New View conference in Montreal last July that she summarizes:

There has been a time where the pill has meant freedom of choice. Many women have fought to gain legal access to it. These women believed they should learn how their bodies worked. They claimed the right to have control over their own bodies. They worked in order to develop access to sexual education through literature, school programs, tv shows, etc. This feminist movement has challenged our western societies and allowed women to gain power over their sexuality.

Decades later, who gains from the existence of hormonal devices like the pill? If it is true that women still benefit from the freedom the pill allows, the control over its use and its significance is slowly shifting into the hands of pharmaceutical companies. Their discourse to promote the pill, and the string of hormonal suppression of menstruation devices they are patenting, brings along much more losses to women's rights than benefits. Moreover, those lords of the industry are now coining a problem when they already have a solution they wish to sell. What has happened with the feminist values women have once fought for when they were campaigning for the pill? [Read women's comments about stopping menstruation.]

She works as a coordinator in a feminist organization in Montreal (Regroupement Naissance Renaissance). Her job is to advocate for the demedicalization of hospital birth and the recognition of the midwife profession.

Look at The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research site

The new Web site for The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research is online, at

Your MUM - me, the writer - belongs to the society, which I think is the only one of its kind in America.

Letters to your MUM

Her mother didn't slap her when she started menstruating

I've bookmarked for further browsing - what a blast to see some of the ads and pamphlets from my youth. (I'm a veteran of a mid-60s showing of the film "Molly Grows Up," which I think was produced by the makers of Modess. [See a Modess pamphlet for girls.] I hope the boys in my class, who weren't allowed to watch the film with us girls, eventually found out what it was all about.)

BTW - it's not only Ashkenazic Jews who have/had the custom of slapping girls in the face at menarche. It's an old Slavic custom, although in Slavic tradition it was the father and not the mother who did the slapping. I suspect the Ashkenazic custom derives from that, although among Jews it would have to be a woman doing the slapping because of the laws of niddah.

My Slavic mother, who converted to Judaism, never slapped me, nor was she slapped by her father, but she was the one who originally told me about this custom. As it was explained to me, the purpose of the slapping (at least among Slavs) was to bring a rush of blood to the girl's face and thus to keep her from bleeding excessively at the lower end of her torso. I've observed during extensive travels through Eastern Europe, mostly in small towns and rural areas, that there are a lot of Slavic folk customs are quite similar to those of Ashkenazic Jews, so this explanation makes at least as much sense as any other, if not more, considering that as far as I know there isn't a belief about menstrual "uncleanliness" among Slavs (Christian or Pagan) which compares to that in traditional Jewish belief and practice.

Here's to cultural anthropology in all its glorious forms!

[Read an essay about menstrual slapping.]

I told you so! Her grandmother wore nothing close for menstruation

My Pennsylvania Dutch/German Gramma Kate, born 1872, informed me that as a young girl she always wore six petticoats, and a quilted one was added if she had her period - and a "jimmy" worn on her upper torso. (It took me until I was 62 or so to figure out a jimmy was a chemise in her dialect.) She never answered my questions about pads or cloths - just a padded petticoat, so German culture as your site mentions seems to have been brought to this country early - 1737 for Kate's ancestors. [Read why I believe a certain percentage of women in Europe and America wore nothing special to absorb menstrual blood - at least nothing close fitting such as a cloth.]

In Kate's youth, her older sister Emmaline worked all day with the family in their fields, frequently complaining of a stomach ache. This was ignored because she had her period. Emmaline died that night; the cause at the time thought to be "due to eating ice cream when she had her period." We, today suspect a burst appendix.

Certainly enjoyed your site!

Thank you


And related to that is this e-mail:

Not wearing anything? My daughter, granddaughter and I would just go "Ewwww!"

In the book(s) of the "Clan of the Cave Bear" did mention a type of moss, but again, no explanation as to how she kept it there.

I did have two odd sources of info, one from my grandmother, who blushed furiously as she described what she did. She had white cloths which were laundered many times over. They were wrapped around the raveling from her sewing. Again, she didn't explain how it was held on.

I stayed with my mother-in-law for a few years, one winter [she means this]. By the second month, she came up, gave me a dirty/sly elbow, and said, "Well now, you must be pregnant."

I looked puzzled and said, "No, I'm not."

She replied, "But you got no Kotex, and there weren't no rags in the bucket!"

She then proceeded to show me a bucket in the bathroom, with white cloths soaking in cold water.

I said, "Oh, I use Tampax."

"Whut's thet?"

I showed her the package, with the anatomically correct drawings.

She called me a "fallen woman"! [This took place in Kansas, scene of an Intelligent Design vs. evolution battle.]

[See some old but fancy washable pads from Norway and Italy. And see an 1914 American sanitary apron, which protected women's clothing from leaking menstrual blood.]

MUM artist makes good

Hi, Harry,

Hope everything is going well for you!!! Just wanted to let you know, I will be a guest artist at the SUNY University at Buffalo "Music is Art" live event on Nov. 8th 2005. I was asked to display my menopause painting [here]. It is a live music and art event filmed for TV broadcast. I participated last year and was asked back. Go to for info. 

Best wishes,

Coni Minneci

Buy a protective barrier for pads or incontinence

I am writing to you today to request information on advertising or being listed in one of your registries/databases.

Both my business partner and myself are disabled, retired women who have come together to meet the needs and simplify the lives a rapidly growing sector of our world community. What we developed is a product that is can be used by people of all ages.

Originally designed as incontinence barrier this has proven equally effective as protection for women during her menstrual cycle.

Ours is an anti-bacterial, taffeta-lined and water-repellent pouch in which the wearer can place the protection/pad of choice.

What makes this so effective is that all the major companies that produce protective pads have concentrated on improving the "wicking away" of the liquid from the wearers skin unfortunately nobody has addressed what happens when the liquid is successfully pulled away and the pad is soaked.

With the pouch, which is washable and reusable, a person is given much more time in order to change as well as having the danger of damp spots or odors removed.

Another positive is that the pouch only encompasses the pad and does not cover totally so it allows skin surfaces to breathe helping to maintain its integrity and resist breakdown.

The cost is minimized due to the fact that it is reusable and protects clothing from the breakdown of the caustic effects of urine or menstrual discharge. Also, no belts or other accessories are needed in order to use these.

People who have felt that they could not work, play sports, travel or participate in public recreation at certain times can now do so in complete worry free comfort.

We have done the homework and this product has been successfully tested as well as legally protected. We are now ready to introduce it.

If you feel that you might want to either know more or could direct us in educating others about this new product we would be most grateful.

We have a site (which needs some work to improve graphics etc.):

We were recently featured in an article in The New Mobility Magazine!

Thank you,

Mary Halligan Montgomery



Puberty workshops, women's retreats in New Zealand

Hi there,

I'd like to congratulate you on your site, such a valuable resource for women. I have linked to your site from my own . Though not essential I would greatly appreciate a reciprocal link. I run small puberty workshops and women's retreats and seek to support and empower women.

Keep up the good work,


Claire Wallwor

Surprise! He found a printing plate for an old patent medicine ad

Read the interesting story at

And see some interesting patent medicine in this museum.

Make endometriosis a topic

A suggestion:

Possibly a little research into endometriosis. The history of the disease goes quite far back (before it was named). It used to be believed that the pain associated with it was just a normal part of menstruation, and all in our heads. I assure you as a woman with that disease, it's not my head that hurts!!! Anyhow, I think that and maybe a collection and history of diseases (and problems) that can affect menstruation would be a nice additive to the collection. Also, I wanted to say job well done, for what you are doing! Thank you for your time.


Reverse a tubal ligation (in Spanish)

While browsing I have come across your website and I was impressed to read the content on your website, and I think that it would of great resource to the visitors of my website.


Título: Reversión de ligación tubárica por el Dr. Berger

Descripción: Información completa sobre la cirugía de reconstrución tubal.

Let me know if you have any questions, or if you'd like more information.

Thank you for your consideration.


Jitendra Saxena

She sings of Mrs. Lydia Pinkham

Oh, how happy this Web site has made me!

I have been thinking about the Lily The Pink song [the verses are here] on and off for the last 30 odd years. [Mrs. Pinkham was possibly the first successful American businesswoman, having created a patent medicine vegetable compound - more here - in the late 19th century.] Since I was 10 years old (well, maybe not quite 30 years then), when Mr. Hunter, my much loved teacher, taught us this song in class. Oddly enough, my brother, being one year older does not remember this song.

Then one day I was in our local fruit market when this song came on the air. I decided that I had to find the words so I could sing the whole lot to my children as I used to only sing the first verse to them and they have become sick of hearing it.

I can't wait until they get home from school today because I am going to sing the whole lot to them. But first I am going to read about Lydia Pinkham. [See a letter her company sent, top of this page.]

Have a great day.



Try washable pads - and a way to cure urinary tract infections

Dear Harry,

Hello again, I hope this quick letter finds you (and your cats, [here]) well.

Just visiting MUM tonight and ran across the "Glad Rags" Web link for the washable pads [see the MUM page on washable pads] and then lightly smacked myself in the forehead because I can't believe I forgot to tell you about this other site that also sells washable pads that I can personally recommend. I've been using them for several months now and I'll never go back to anything else!

The company is called Lunapads and here's the link if you'd like to put it on the site:

Also, since this site is for the benefit of all women, I wondered if you'd have room anywhere for this link from a site called Wellness Partners. Here's the link:

They sell a variety of "natural" health products but I can also personally recommend this one product called UTI SLIP D-Mannose.

It helps prevent and can also help cure certain types of urinary tract infections which some women are particularly prone to getting. I have personally suffered from a great many UTI infections in my younger years and they are extremely miserable. I have personally gotten rid of a UTI infection using only this product without antibiotics - which are greatly overused by the way - and while it only works for one particular type of infection (the type caused by a particular type of E. coli that is natural to everyone's intestines), this is the cause of 80-90% of UTI infections in females young and old so while it doesn't work for all it might work for many. I can't bear the thought of anyone going through that pain unnecessarily. So if you can find a place for this information and link, maybe it will help someone.

I hope you are quite well.

Take Care,

She uses the Diva menstrual cup

Your site is fascinating.

I love the Diva cup. I have a slightly tipped uterus, too. I stick my Diva cup up and to the left and that works great! I haven't bought a box of tampons in over a year and I'm loving the savings! I actually find it less clotty and gross then the cotton products. Now it's often like red Kool Aid. In a stall bathroom situation, I have wiped it, put it back in and then hid my hand when I went out to a sink. But now I bought an extra one and carry a Ziploc snack bag if I am going to need to empty it in a public place. I put in the clean one and pack the messy one home in my pocket. Piece of cake! Tampax is a rip-off and all those dioxins go right against your mucous membranes (speedway to the bloodstream!)

[Read an incomplete history of the menstrual cup.]

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!

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!

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.

Polish ad for Libresse pads (c. 1998) - Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Co. letter to a Canadian (1918) - "Hypermenorrhea and/or Menorrhagia (Prolonged and/or Excessive Menstrual Bleeding)" by Dr. Nelson Soucasaux, Brazilian gynecologist - Olor, Traducido por María García (Translation of the MUM odor page into Spanish by María García) - Did your mother slap you when you started?: an e-mail - Humor

Would you stop menstruating if you could? New contributions
Words and expressions about menstruation: New contributions: Canada: Is your crotch bleeding again? There's a massacre in your pants, You're rebooting your ovarian operating system, Your endometrium is shedding; England: I've got the decorators in, I've got the rellies (relatives) round to stay, Liverpool are playing at home; U.S.A.: My ovaries are shedding, Red flow of misery, Scott
What did European and American women use for menstruation in the past?


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privacy on this site

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