5 Recent Discoveries About Periods That Could Literally Change Your Life

Did someone say "period leave"?


Meirav Devash |

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.

READ MORE: Here’s Exactly How To Skip Your Period Every Month

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. Try Kalyan Organic Ground Cinnamon (R29 at Faithful To Nature).

READ MORE: Can You Really Get Pregnant While On Your Period?

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.

READ MORE: 9 Side Effects Of Hormonal Birth Control Every Woman Should Know

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 percent 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 doc about meds. Then, approach your boss about taking sick leave – per SA’s labour laws, you should be allowed.

READ MORE: Here’s Why Women Should Be Allowed To Take Menstrual Leave

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 superabsorbent 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.

READ MORE: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome

Heat And Discreet…

Adhesive heating patches are thin, disposable, stick-on pads that you can wear under your clothes to deliver eight hours of warmth directly to the eina spot. Try Deep Heat Heat Patch (R18 for one) or Femagene Soothing Heat Therapy (R117 for a box of five). We tried them – get the low-down here. Also try Earthway Infusions Menstrual Relief Balm (R94 at Faithful To Nature).

READ MORE ON: Health Health Advice Periods

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