Updated: Sep 20, 2022
A summary of period related topics that have been in the news.
1. “Below the Belt” Documents Four Women With Endometriosis
“Below the Belt” is a documentary directed and produced by Shannon Cohn. The documentary has several executive producers: former First Lady of the U.S,. Hilary Clinton, former U.S Senator and President pro-tempore, Orrin Hatch, Rosario Dawson, Corrine Fox, and Mae Whitman. The story follows four women with different backgrounds who have endometriosis.
According to Healthline, “It offers a unique snapshot of some of the most intimate moments in the life of someone living with a chronic illness.”
Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial-like tissue grows outside of the uterus. It can be found on other parts of the body, not just the pelvis, and it can cause a lot of pain. It is often confused with other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's disease. Those with endometriosis may receive a delayed diagnosis or be misdiagnosed.
Cohn shared that the major goal of the documentary is to be a catalyst for change in endometriosis and women’s health.
Source: Below The Belt
Source: Cleveland Clinic
2. Changes To Menstrual Cycle After COVID-19 Vaccine
A study showed that 42% of those with “regular menstrual cycles” experienced more heavy bleeding after their vaccination. 44% experienced no change, while 14% experienced a lighter period. Many “nonmenstruating people” had breakthrough or unexpected bleeding after getting their COVID-19 shots. Authors of the study noted however, that the percentages do not necessarily reflect the menstrual changes in the general population, because those who experienced a change were more likely to take part in the survey.
They said, “The survey’s aim was simply to provide evidence for future studies, not to establish cause and effect.”
More studies are needed on how COVID-19 vaccines directly impact menstrual cycles. Candance Tingen, a program director with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), said that knowing how COVID-19 vaccines impact menstrual cycles during vaccine trials may have helped with “vaccine hesitancy.” People may not have been surprised or scared “by this unexpected side effect”.
Source: NBC News
3. Women Speak On How Periods Impact Their Athletic Performance
Dina-Asher Smith, Olympic medalist in sprinting, was unable to perform as she normally would at the 2022 European Championship because of cramping in her calves that were caused by her period. After the competition, she told BBC Sport that more funding is needed to study how periods affect athletic performance.
“I feel like if it was a men's issue, we would have a million different ways to combat things, but with women, there just needs to be more funding in that area."
Other professional athletes also shared their experiences. Lydia Ko, a professional golfer (ranked number four in the world), openly discussed her back pain due to her period in the Palos Verdes Championships. Iga Swiatek, a professional tennis player, shared that the reason she was crying during a losing match at the 2021 Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Finals, was because of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Source: Daily Express
4. A Mother And Daughter Help Fight Period Poverty
Lynette Medley and her 30 year old daughter Nya McGlone are helping to fight “period poverty” through their non profit, No More Secrets Mind Body Spirit Inc. Medley experienced period poverty after her divorce. She and her daughter were forced to use “paper towels or whatever [they] could” for their period.
No More Secrets is a, “grassroots sexuality awareness and consultative organization.”
No More Secrets gives free period products to those in need. Through their organization, Medley and McGlone opened up a community center in Pennsylvania called The SPOT. The acronym SPOT stands for Safety, Programming, and Optimal Transformation. It is meant to “provide a safe space for marginalized women and girls.”
At The SPOT people can schedule an appointment to pick up free period products, have access to clean water and working toilets, receive education about their menstrual cycle, and more.
Source: NBC News
Source: No More Secrets
Disclaimer: Amber’s Care should not replace medical advice. If you have questions about the following statements, please consult a doctor.