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Review: MenstruHeat for Menstrual Cramps Relief

The worst thing about getting my period has to be the horrible cramps and aches. Not only does it make me feel uncomfortable and cranky the entire day, the stabbing pain also affects my everyday activities, distracting me from my work. :(

When PSLove provided some packs of MenstruHeat for us to review, I wondered how effective this natural heat therapy could be when even pink Panadols sometimes couldn't ease the cramps. Continue reading for our review!

LENA Menstrual Cup, MenstruHeat Heat Pack, Moon Cycle Tea

How does MenstruHeat work?

It's really simple. When you open the plastic packaging, the ingredients in the heat pack react with the air and start to heat up. There are no medications included in the heat pack, just good ol' natural heat. Peel off the adhesive backing and stick it on your body or clothes, depending on the amount of heat you prefer. 

MenstruHeat Heat Pack for Menstrual Cramp Relief

Packaging

MenstruHeat are most commonly available in 2-packs, with 2 heat packs and an instruction/fact sheet included. It's also mentioned on the fact sheet that MenstruHeat is registered with the HSA, which is another reassurance that MenstruHeat is a safe product!

MenstruHeat Heat Pack for Menstrual Cramp Relief

Each heat pack is individually wrapped, and once you tear open the packaging, it starts to heat up! So don't tear it open until you're ready to use it, as it will heat up within 10 minutes.

MenstruHeat Heat Pack for Menstrual Cramp Relief

Reviews

Personally, MenstruHeat has been awesome. It's been effective so far in easing my cramps and backaches, which in my opinion are the worst things about periods. Not to mention, it's long lasting (up to 12 hours of heat!) so I can just stick it on and go about my day, without having to replace the heat pack every few hours. It's sort of like magic!

You can also stash a pack of MenstruHeat in your bag, since it's so small, slim and convenient, so you can use it any time your cramps hit, be it in school or at work!

MenstruHeat Heat Pack for Menstrual Cramp Relief

I got 2 of my friends with more severe cramps to review MenstruHeat as well, just to see if it works for them. Here are their reviews:

"MenstruHeat totally changed my world when I tried it. Being a fitness professional, sometimes my cramps can be a real pain (pun intended) especially since my work requires me to be active - sometimes it interferes with work and i have to cancel teaching clients or classes. I also have trouble sleeping when cramps are bad at night, and end up missing sleep - but these packs are like warm hugs that help me go to bed with no trouble at all! I found a new best friend for my periods :)"

"Was in great pain yesterday and tested MenstruHeat out by pasting the heat pack on my abdominal area and felt some relief after 10 minutes and fell asleep. It was not too hot for me on my skin perhaps because I have high tolerance for the heat but it tends to get less sticky after the 6th hour as I was sweating. Overall is a saviour!

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Guest Post: LUÜNA - Social Impact & Period Poverty in Asia

LUÜNA is Asia’s social impact period care company. We believe in making periods better; for our bodies, our planet, and those in need. We do this in 3 ways; by providing healthy, planet-friendly period care, hosting taboo-busting period workshops and giving back through our social impact business model. 10% of every purchase funds period product donations to vulnerable communities.

We believe everyone deserves an honest period hence we use every purchase of our products to equip vulnerable communities with access to healthy period products & taboo-free knowledge about their bodies alongside alleviating period poverty in Asia. Here’s how we do it:

1. The LUÜNA Period Collective

We established a global network of social initiatives, whose communities in need we support through donations of healthy & planet-friendly period care and providing taboo-free menstrual health education. These organisations work tirelessly to tackle deeply embedded menstrual stigma, together, we’re combatting period poverty.

2. A better period

In 2020, in response to the impact of COVID-19, we launched a new global initiative called, ‘a better period’. Using a portion of profits from purchases made by our community and corporate partners, we continue to raise period product donations to vulnerable groups affected by the virus including frontline medical staff & low-income families.

3. You Buy, We Give

In 2019, through our You Buy, We Give initiative, we raised over 1,000 cups to be donated to communities in need. alongside the donation of products, we delivered our #NoMoreSecrets workshops to promote safe usage of the cup and break down the menstrual stigmas prevalent within many low-income communities.

In summary, we believe that by incorporating these initiatives to help alleviate period poverty, we are better able to educate and provide essential period products to those in need. Education is the most important thing that can be shared through the generations and we hope to be able to continue to bridge that gap especially within low-income communities. Learn more on the organizations we work with here.

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Hymen - some women may not be born with one

[This article originally appeared on Ferne Health and has been republished with permission.]

There’s a lot of confusion and myths circulated about women’s health, and one common misunderstanding of female anatomy is the hymen.


Illustration by: @justforsensation

The hymen is a remnant tissue just inside the opening of the vagina. It's left over from a vagina formation during its embryonic development. Lots of people associate the hymen with virginity and assume the hymen “breaks” when you have penetrative sex for the first time, but is it true?

Misconception 1: Everyone who has a vagina has a hymen

Many people think the hymen totally covers the opening of your vagina until it’s stretched open, but that’s not usually the case. For most women, it’s a membrane covering the vagina opening that naturally has a hole to allow period blood to come out. But some other women are born with little hymenal tissue or without the tissue at all! Not everyone who has a vagina would have a hymen, so don’t trouble yourself finding it.

Misconception 2: Hymen completely covers the opening of vagina

If you do have a hymen, it would come with a hole that’s big enough to allow period blood and the usage of tampons. In some rare cases, though, some women have hymens that cover the entire vaginal opening, or the hole in their hymens is so small that it would interfere with sex or tampon usage. In these cases, they would need to see a doctor to remove the extra tissue. 

Misconception 3: Hymen indicates a woman’s virginity

Many people believe that the indicator of virginity is an “intact” hymen, and some women would even seek for a hymenoplasty or hymen repair surgery in order to prove their virginity. However, having a hymen and being a virgin is not the same thing. Some people are born with hymens that are naturally open, and many activities, such as cycling and swimming, can stretch the hymen. You can’t tell if someone has had sex by the way their hymens look or feel.

Misconception 4: You will bleed when stretching your hymen

Many people believe there should be blood after the first sexual intercourse. However, the hymen is a membrane that can be stretched with minimal or no injury. It only has a few blood vessels, so even if it's torn, it may not bleed significantly. Forced penetration and lack of lubrication may cause lacerations to the vaginal wall, both of which are most likely to be responsible for the “blood-stained bedsheets,” rather than trauma to the hymen.

Misconception 5: Hymen can be seen or felt

The hymen is a membrane inside your vagina, so it’s impossible to see your hymen yourself even with a mirror and a flashlight. It’s also nearly impossible for your partner to feel it during penetration, or feel it by fingers. Stretching or tearing the hymen might hurt some people, but most people won’t feel it happen at all.

In conclusion, the state of your hymen — or lack thereof — has nothing to do with whether you’ve engaged in sexual activities. On top of it, the idea of virginity means very different things to different people. So there is nothing to worry about!

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Can Virgins Use Menstrual Cups?

“Will using a menstrual cup make me lose my virginity?”

This is one of the most frequently asked questions by young people who are interested in menstrual cups but who are worried about using them if they are a virgin. The following is a guide that will help dispel the most popular myth regarding menstrual cups and their relationship with virginity.

Can a virgin use a menstrual cup?

Yes, absolutely! Virgins can use menstrual cups just like anyone else.

You may find using a menstrual cup uncomfortable or daunting at first, but you can reduce discomfort in a few key ways:

  • Use a smaller menstrual cup size
  • Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable, as tension makes insertion harder
  • Inspect your body before you try to insert your cup so that you are familiar with where things go
  • Use a water based lubricant or water to ease insertion
  • Practice a few times before your period

Remember: it is perfectly normal to feel uncomfortable or awkward when you use a menstrual cup for the first time and it may take a while to feel comfortable using this type of product. The more you practice, the easier it will become.

Do menstrual cups take away your virginity?

No. Menstrual cups have nothing to do with your virginity and using a menstrual cup will not make you lose your virginity.

The hymen has been used in many cultures as the “proof” of women’s virginity, but this is an incredibly flawed understanding of the hymen.

The hymen is a thin tissue that covers the vagina. The hymen may cover the entire vagina or part of the vagina; some people are born without a hymen at all! The hymen can be worn down over months or years due to bike riding, sports, doctor examinations, tampons, and other activities. A person may be a virgin but not have an intact hymen.

Virginity is not a tangible physical barrier that is ‘broken’ upon penetration, such as the insertion of a menstrual cup or even a tampon. Virginity is a social construct related to someone’s first penetration through sexual intercourse; it is not a biological construct.

Inserting a menstrual cup is not sexual intercourse, so even if you stretch or tear the hymen, (if it has not already been worn down), this does not mean you are no longer a virgin. The state of the hymen is not a reliable indicator to prove or disprove virginity.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it is your body and your choice of which menstrual product you want to use. Menstrual cups can be a great alternative to traditional pads and tampons, as they don’t need to be changed as often, can help prevent leaks, and are more sustainable than other options.

If you are considering using a menstrual cup as a virgin, here are some options that may work well for you.

Hello Cup XS (Teen)

 

Lunette Model 1

 

Saalt Soft

 

 

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Why Are My Periods So Heavy?

Periods are not a “one size fits all” experience, which is why some people may naturally experience longer periods, shorter periods, heavier or lighter flow—and so on. However, experiencing regular heavy periods can be a sign of something other than your body’s natural flow. Let’s take a closer look at the signs of particularly heavy periods and what could be causing them so that you can better understand why your periods are so heavy.

What is a “Heavy” Period?

Menorrhagia is the medical term for menstrual periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding, and literally means "heavy periods.” Menorrhagia is categorized by a period flow so heavy that you must change your pad/tampon or empty your menstrual cup every hour for 1 day or more; they may also coincide with debilitating cramps, though not everyone who has heavy periods experiences these cramps.

Reasons Your Period May Be Heavy

There are many different factors and even conditions which can cause your periods to become heavy. Some of the most common reasons why you could be experiencing a heavy period are:

Fibroids and Polyps

The presence of fibroids or polyps in your uterus can also cause heavy bleeding in addition to longer periods which may last for days or potentially weeks on end. Fibroids are small muscle growths within the uterus walls, and polyps are abnormal tissue growths that grow within the inner lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. Fibroids are benign, but they can still cause problems (such as heavy periods) if left untreated.

Hormonal Imbalance

An imbalance in your hormone levels can cause your uterus to develop an unusually thick lining every month, which results in a heavier period flow when the lining begins to shed. A hormonal imbalance can be caused by certain diseases or even due to genetics.

Medication

Some types of medications may cause heavy periods. Examples of medications which carry heavy periods as a potential side effect include: anticoagulants or blood thinners, including aspirin and heparin; antidepressants and antipsychotics; hormonal contraceptives; certain herbal medicines, such as ginseng; and tamoxifen.

Kidney or Liver Problems

In some cases, an undiagnosed problem with your kidneys or liver may be the culprit behind a heavy period. Your doctor will likely want to test your urine if you have heavy periods in order to look for signs of problems with these vital organs.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition which causes the unusual growth of endometrium, a tissue which normally grows inside the uterus. Endometriosis causes the tissue to grow outside the uterus, which causes it to become inflamed. The end result of endometriosis are heavy and painful periods, which can include both a heavy flow as well as severe cramps and even pain during sex.

What to Do If Your Periods Are Heavy?

It is not unusual to have an occasional heavy flow for a day or two on your period. However, if you notice that you regularly have heavy flow for days on end — or even for your entire period — then this is a sign of something abnormal.

If you can't maintain your usual activities when you have your period due to blood loss and cramping, or if you dread your period because you have such heavy menstrual bleeding, consult your doctor as soon as possible, so they can determine the cause and manage your symptoms or condition causing the heavy flow.

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