Thought you knew everything there was to know about periods? Read on for some interesting – and sometimes surprising – “current affairs”…
1. No need to bleed!
More and more women are giving periods a hard pass by regulating their hormonal birth control.
Use this news: Going without the flow is totally safe. Women on the Pill can skip placebo-week tablets, eliminating the oestrogen drop that triggers bleeding, says Dr Alyssa Dweck, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynaecology. Hormonal IUDs, patches and implants can also get you out of the red – they release a synthetic hormone that thins the uterine lining so there’s little or no blood to shed.
2. Wonky cycles find spicy fix
Columbia University research suggests cinnamon could help women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common endocrine disorder that can cause infrequent bleeding and fertility issues. Scientists suspect the spice helps lower insulin levels, which, in turn, may help balance the hormones responsible for menstruation.
Use this news: Consume a teaspoon a day. Mix some with coffee grounds when brewing a cup or sprinkle on oats.
3. Weight-loss wonder, revealed
A new study from the American Society for Nutrition found that harnessing your cycle’s hormonal shifts could actually help you lose weight. Women who ate fewer carbs but more protein and fat as their cycle progressed lost about four kilos more over six months than those who just cut kilojoules.
Use this news: When hormone-driven hunger pangs hit (usually the week before your period), satisfy them with peanut butter instead of slap chips.
4. First day of period leave
India made news last year when media company Culture Machine’s Mumbai office offered female employees leave for the first day of their period. And in a Twitter poll, 70% of WH readers said women should get time off for period pains.
Use this news: If your periods are rendering you woman down, chat to your doctor about meds. Then, approach your boss about taking sick leave – per SA’s labour laws, you should be allowed.
5. Life-saving vaccine discovered
Scientists in Vienna say they’ve developed the first vaccine against toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare, but potentially fatal illness linked to super-absorbent tampons.
Use this news: Until the vaccine arrives, stay on the safe side by changing your tampon every four to eight hours and using the lowest absorbency for your flow.