Browsing Tag:

period

  • Birth Control, Health, Photography, Puberty

    5 Tips All Girls should Know: Periods

    1. Periods. We all have them, and for most of us, we hate them. Periods are hard to track and terribly painful. If your looking for understanding in your period or even just trying to track your period you can use The Flow App. The Flow App is perfect for tracking your period and understanding your body, also gives really cool facts about your body.
    2. Usually, if you have some type of health insurance birth control is free. You can ask your doctor or often at public health clinics. Birth control is not just for sex and does not make you a bad person if you use it. Birth control can also help regulate your period and stop intense stomach cramps.
    3. If you are able to track your period and you have bad cramps try taking medicine a day before your period starts. This way your body will already be prepared to fight the pain. Medicines that usually do the trick is Midol or ibuprofen(DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor these may or may not work for you.)
    4. Its okay not to use a tampon, or even be able to put one in. Pads are just as great! Don’t feel ashamed because many women still use pads in their thirties. What you use is truly up to you and what you’re comfortable with.
    5. Although, it is true to avoid certain foods on your period and you should live a healthy lifestyle you should also give your body a break. Being on your period is stressful and your body is doing amazing things. You’ve earned a donut or cookie. Don’t be ashamed to eat some sweets on your period!

     

  • Puberty

    Puberty: Changes for Females

    Puberty: Changes for Females

    Puberty – it’s a crazy time. Your body’s changing, and so is everything else. But, what is causing all these changes?

    You know how everyone says that puberty is all about raging hormones? It’s kind of true. Hormones that were hibernating suddenly awaken and signal your body to enter puberty. You might think this doesn’t mean a lot, but hormones cause the changes that are associated with puberty.

    Timing of Puberty

    Puberty starts at different times and lasts for different periods of time for everyone. It can start as early as 8 years of age to as late as 13 years of age. The sequence of puberty – from breast development to complete physical maturation – may take a year and a half or last as long as 6 years.

    This is sometimes very difficult for girls as some of their peers may have entered and completed puberty before they have even started. However, there is no way to slow or speed up the process, but puberty happens to everyone, so never fear, it will happen to you!

    You may have heard that girls mature more quickly than guys, and that is somewhat true, since girls usually enter puberty about 2 years earlier than boys.

    Below is a general time line for physical changes that occur during puberty (for girls):

    Growth of Breasts
    8 – 13 Years Old

    Growth of pubic hair
    8 – 14 Years Old

    Body Growth
    9 1/2 – 14 1/2 Years Old

    First Period
    10 – 16 1/2 Years Old

    Underarm Hair
    2 years after pubic hair shows up

    Acne
    Around the same time as underarm hair

    Remember, puberty is not the same for everyone, so some girls will grow pubic hair before they develop breasts, and that is absolutely normal.

    Breasts

    Breast development begins between 8 years of age and 13 years of age and continues through puberty.

    Breast development starts with the flat area around the nipple (areola) becoming enlarged and some breast tissue forming under the nipple. When breast development is complete, each breast is distinct and the areola no longer appears swollen.

    Breast size varies from woman to woman, and there is no way to try to make your breasts larger or smaller other than going through plastic surgery, which is not always a very safe or healthy alternative.

    Pubic Hair

    Pubic hair starts along the vaginal lips, the outer opening of your private parts. The hair becomes darker and coarser and grows like an inverted triangle. Sometimes, the hair spreads to the insides of thighs, as well.

    Growing

    Puberty also causes you to go through a growth spurt, which results in an average growth of about 3.5 inches a year.

    Your head, hands, and feet are the first things to grow. Then you grow in your arms and legs, and finally your torso and shoulders catch up with the rest of your body.

    If it’s any consolation, everyone goes through that awkward phase, so you are not alone! Height growth is, of course, accompanied by an increase in weight.

    This weight gain is perfectly normal and a part of puberty. Without gaining this weight, you cannot grow taller, develop breasts, or get your first period.

    Acne

    Finally, underarm hair begins to grow, and your sweat and oil producing glands also start developing, which eventually results in acne when these glands are clogged.

    In order to avoid breakouts, you should wash your face twice daily. If you still regularly break out, you may want to speak to a dermatologist.

    From: Sutter Health

     

    Having Teen Issues?

    TeenLine

    Facing a problem? Just need another teen to talk with who get’s it? You’re never alone. This is the right place for you.

    Call us at 1-800-852-8336

    www.teenlineonline.org

  • Teen Pregnancy

    Could I Still Be Pregnant Even Though I Got My Period?

    I had sex with my boyfriend without using a condom. I got my period the next day and I’m not sure whether having my period means I’m not going to get pregnant. Is it possible that I could still get pregnant?

    It is possible for some pregnant women to have some light, irregular bleeding during pregnancy. However, the length and amount of bleeding should not be like a regular period. If you are pregnant and are experiencing any type of bleeding, it is best to check in with your doctor right away to make sure that there are no underlying medical issues connected to the bleeding.

    If you are concerned you might be pregnant, but start bleeding around the time you would normally get your period (and the duration and amount of bleeding is consistent with what is it like when you normally get your period), then most likely you have gotten your period and you are not pregnant.

    If you have gotten what seems like your period, but you are still concerned, consider taking a pregnancy test or meeting with your primary care physician, gynecologist, or adolescent medicine specialist to confirm whether or not you are pregnant so you can put your mind at ease.

    Going forward TeenHealthFX strongly recommends that you meet with a medical health professional before continuing a sexual relationship with your boyfriend to learn about different types of birth control and pick the best type for you so that you will not find yourself in this situation again. Doctors generally recommend that teens and young adults who choose to be sexually active use condoms to protect against unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs, as well as a back-up method of birth control such as the pill or birth control shot.

    FX also recommends that you check out our Resource of the Month, Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex. This resource gives links to important topics such as sexual readiness, how pregnancy happens, birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy options, STDs, and more. If you make the decision to be sexually active, it is important to be educated on these different issues.

    From: Teen Health FX

  • Sexual Health

    Recognize Problems in Your Body

    Recognize Problems

    It’s important to know how your body works, and be able to recognize when something isn’t quite right. If something changes or doesn’t seem quite right, get checked by a qualified healthcare provider.

    If you have any symptoms that you’re just not sure about, get evaluated. But you don’t have to have a symptom to get checked, though. All sexually active women under age 26 are recommended to be tested yearly for chlamydia. Older women with risk factors (new or several partners) should also be tested. If you have questions about testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), don’t be shy about talking to your healthcare provider (learn more how to do that here).

    Also, ask about pelvic exams (see more below) and Pap tests. While not designed to detect STIs, these simple exams are an important part of a woman’s sexual and reproductive health. The American Cancer Society recommends women begin Pap testing within three years of first intercourse, or by age 21.
    Learn to Recognize Problems

    Menstrual

    Irregular Cycles
    In a perfect world, women would have their period on a regular cycle of 28 days. In reality, the range is more like 21-45 days. A young girl who is just beginning to have her periods and an older woman who’s at the end of her reproductive life may both have erratic periods.

    Get checked if:

    • You’re sexually active and skip a period. You may be pregnant.
    • Your period still hasn’t settled into a relatively predictable pattern after three years, or if you have four or five regular periods and then skip a period or becomes irregular.
    • Your cycle is less than 21 days or more than 45 days or if you don’t get a period for three months after first beginning your period.
    • Heavy, prolonged periods or no periods at all

    Either extreme can be a sign of trouble. The cause may be as simple as a hormone imbalance or as serious as a structural problem.

    Get checked if:

    • You’re soaking through at least one sanitary napkin (pad) an hour for several hours in a row
    • You have periods that last longer than 7 days
    • You haven’t started your period and you’re three years past the first signs of puberty or 16 years old
    • You’ve had normal periods then suddenly stop having periods for more than six months or for three of your usual cycles

    Painful periods
    Having cramps for a day or two of your period is normal, but if they’re severe enough to keep you from participating in your normal activities, it’s time to get checked.

    Abnormal bleeding
    This could be a sign of many things, such as endometriosis (tissue growing outside the uterus) for example, or other conditions. Get checked.

    Toxic shock syndrome
    This illness is caused by toxins, which create a bacterial infection. While linked with tampon use, it can also associated with the use of contraceptive sponge and diaphragm. If you have a high fever, diarrhea, vomiting or are in shock, get checked right away. Of course, the symptoms may not be related to toxic shock syndrome, but better to be safe than sorry.

    Sexually Transmitted Infections

    If you are sexually active, you have to protect yourself from diseases and infections. Obviously, the best protection is abstinence, but if you are having sexual intercourse, use a condom every time.

    Using a condom doesn’t mean you can forget about sexual health. You still need to be vigilant. Remember, many STIs do not produce symptoms.

    However, if you notice any of the following:

    • pain in the pelvic area
    • pain in the lower abdomen
    • pain when having sex
    • discharge from the vagina
    • a bad smell
    • bleeding between periods
    • burning when you pee

    Or if you notice a problem with the following:

    • painful bowel movements
    • nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite
    • fever or fatigue
    • blisters, sores, warts (or any odd skin change, including rashes and yellowed skin)
    • itching or swelling
    • inflammation (redness)

    …get checked.

    Having a symptom doesn’t mean you have a disease. The symptoms (or lack of) are so many and varied, it’s hard to tell if, for example, bleeding between periods is simply the result of a normal, age-related hormone imbalance or a sexually transmitted infection. Get checked anyway.

    Each year, one of every four sexually active teens will get an STD/STI. By age 25, half of all young people will have acquired one or more infections. If you have any symptoms that you’re just not sure about, get evaluated.

    What to Expect at Your First Pelvic Exam

    Whoever you choose—male or female doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant—let the provider know this is your first exam. He or she will be more apt to explain the procedure as you go along. Your provider will examine your external sexual organs for any changes or abnormalities. They will also use an instrument called a speculum to open your vagina and take a look at your cervix. A Pap test is often done as part of a pelvic exam. While the vagina is open, the healthcare provider will use a small stick or brush to take a collection of cells from your cervix. These cells are then sent to a lab and examined under a microscope for anything that looks abnormal. The Pap test is an important means of preventing cervical cancer.
    The whole exam is quick, painless and necessary.

    Once a baseline has been established, any changes in your body will be noticeable and easier to diagnose. If an abnormality exists, it can be treated.

    Bottom line? Pay attention to your body and how it works. Make sure a qualified healthcare provider is tracking your reproductive health. If something changes or doesn’t seem quite right, get checked.

    From: ASHA

  • Birth Control, Sexual Health, Tough Questions

    Types of Birth Control and Their Pros and Cons

    Which Birth Control Method is Best for You?

    Birth control can sometimes be a taboo subject and can be especially uncomfortable for teens to talk about. It is important to remember that birth control is used for numerous reasons such as helping with regulating periods, treating symptoms of endometriosis, and preventing unwanted pregnancies, which is the primary purpose. It is essential to know your options when getting birth control. Most people think the pill is their only option, but there are several different forms of birth control. Some factors one might consider when deciding which type of birth control to use include its effectiveness for preventing pregnancy, the frequency with which you renew it, and how well or poorly your body reacts to it. Here are the four main types of birth control on the market which one should consider when thinking about getting on birth control.

    1. The Pill

    The pill is the first on the list because it is the most obvious. The pill is good because you can take it just a day at a time, and if you want to quit then you just stop taking it. The downside to taking the pill is that you DO have to worry about it every single day, and if you forget to take it then it can throw you off. While birth control is used for more than just protecting against pregnancy, if you do use it while being sexually active and you miss just one day, it can result in pregnancy. Even if you don’t forget, the pill only works 91% of the time when protecting against unwanted pregnancy, which most people don’t realize. Many people end up taking the pill because they don’t know there are other options available to them.

    2. Depo-Provera aka “The Shot”

    Depo-Provera is birth control in the form of a shot given by your gynecologist every three months. The main pro is not having to worry about it as often as the pill, but you still have to remember to get your shots on time for it to be effective for whatever reason you may be getting it. When using it to protect against pregnancy, it protects about 97% of the time and can protect up to 99% of the time if you get your shots regularly and on time. The shot is a good middle ground because it is more effective than the pill but is somewhat less effective than the implants. It also requires less frequent attention than the pill, but more attention than the implants which can last for years.

    3. The IUD

    The IUD and arm implant are similar. The IUD is placed in the uterus and works by releasing hormones directly into the uterus which keep the sperm from reaching the egg. Most people who have an IUD can also expect to experience no menstruation at all, so it is also great for those who have heavy periods. This option prevents pregnancy more than 99% of the time and can last anywhere from 3-5 years depending on what kind you get. Some people, like myself, tend to avoid this option because they don’t like the idea of having something placed into their uterus. The uterus is a sensitive area, and having something foreign placed there can cause complications every so often. Even though this is not common, there is still the possibility, and it does happen on occasion.

    4. Implanon/Nexplanon aka “The Arm Implant”

    The implant is the birth control which I personally use because, to me, it seemed like the easiest option. However, the majority of women do not know about this option. I did not know about it until I started researching the types of birth control which exist on the market. I did not want to worry about taking a pill every single day and, even though I was using it to regulate my period, 91% effectiveness in pregnancy prevention did not sit well with me, had I needed to use it for that reason. The implant is basically a small white stick about 1.5 inches long and 2mm in diameter. It is inserted into your upper left arm by your gynecologist, and that’s it; you are good for three years. You don’t have to think about it for a while, and it protects against unwanted pregnancy more than 99% of the time. The con to this option is that people are prone to bleed over a period of time after they receive the implant. For me, I had a period for two weeks, but after it finally ended, I didn’t have a period in the two years between then and now. Others aren’t always so lucky. Some women have bled for up to six months and just decided it wasn’t worth it. Basically, some people don’t react well to it. Talk to your gynecologist about the best options for you and the concerns you may have if you are thinking about getting the implant. Every woman is different, and our bodies react differently to different medicines.

  • School, Stress, Video

    High School Female Seniors Created “S.A.F.E.T.Y: (Safely = Accommodating Free Equity with Tampons Yearly)” Campaign

    Young women (especially in the society that we currently live in) have to learn growing up to “hide” their periods. This should never be the case. All females, transgender, and gender-fluid persons need to embrace what we are given and feel supported and comfortable. And in the bathrooms, with accessible female hygiene products, is a start.

    I am a current senior at Somerville High School (MA), whose identity as a woman takes main priority for my well-being. I have had to learn the experiences of being uncomfortable in certain situations as I leave class to use the bathroom for four years. As I was sitting in class trying to look for a tampon in my bag a few weeks ago, I had to ask to get a pass to the nurse’s office so that I could use the bathroom. With the male teacher looking at me—coupled with the rest of the students in class—I had to speak code that I was on my period just so that I could approval to use the bathroom.

    As I was walking down to the nurse’s office, I kept asking myself: Why do we only have tampons and pads stored in the nurse’s office? Why is not openly available in the location we need it right away: the bathrooms?

    At that moment, I felt…ashamed. Uncomfortable. That I needed to tuck away my body.

    Then—as I thought of the recent flow of news of women’s marches, legislation impacting my transgender classmates, older adults contemplating my health care—I began to think about those in my school who probably felt as I did walking down the hallway at that moment.

    I was right. There were many—one too many.

    That is when I, and two other female seniors, decided to take action. We posted petitions in the bathrooms, which were quickly filled up. We researched and shot a campaign video to promote our goal.

    It is a story worth sharing; worth making into a reality. It was always the hope that, such insights and advocacy would educate any human how to empathize. For us, this is our way on how, as young people—optimistic of their self-worth—could show that the necessity of providing readily comfort in the bathrooms for all lives, could not wait. Period.

    Samantha Fillmore
    Senior Class of 2017 at Somerville High School