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Scented Products – Pads, Tampons, Liners, Wipes & Sprays. Why?

So now it sucks that I have to point out this brand in particular, but, it’s right-on-topic with what I want to speak about. Being an avid fan of periods, perhaps I may not be as bothered by the idea of menstrual fluid, the sight, smell or even presence of it – but others may be, whether male or female. I can understand the fear that some girls may be self-conscious about their own smell or might even feel disgusted about their own smell that they would consider using scented products. This doesn’t just have to do with scented tampons or pads, but there is also quite a market out there of women who feel that they need to “feel fresh” by using things like vaginal wipes or sprays. My question is, “is it really necessary?”

Yes, our body does not emanate the most beautiful smells. Even those who use fragrance soaps and perfume – let’s face it, WE do not naturally smell good, we are only masking our own natural body smell. Suffice to say, it doesn’t mean we should discard hygiene and let ourselves smell like crap, but our body, especially our sensitive areas like our pubic region don’t need to smell like flower petals. Furthermore, we all know that these scents are just chemicals, so why on earth would we even consider putting chemicals near our private areas? If you don’t wash your face regularly with acid, then you probably wouldn’t want to stuff a scented tampon in your vagina. Sure, the chemicals in those aren’t as harsh as acid, but the bottom line is… that they’re still chemicals.

For many women who still continue to use conventional feminine hygiene products, disposable pads and tampons – they’re already subjecting themselves to many foreign materials and using scented products is just like adding salt to a wound. I’ve managed to persuade most of my girls who uses scented products to stay away from them or for ones who are self-conscious to only use scented products when they feel that their period smell may be exposed easily. We all like to smell good, I’m not sure how many people on this world enjoy smelling bad if they had a choice, but scented feminine hygiene products aren’t the way to go. Honestly, even a pad or tampon that has been worn to the maximum and leaking, menstrual fluid smell would still be minimal. As a female, ask yourself, how many people would even be close to your vagina? Unless you work in the sex industry or as a stripper, would there be that many people close enough to your vagina where they’d be able to smell you? It’d be perhaps, your partner or at least someone whom you are comfortable enough to be so intimately close to – so is covering up the smell that important?

 

 

Let’s consider scented tampons for a moment. A tampon goes inside the vagina and stays there until it’s withdrawn and then thrown away. Please feel free to justify the reasoning of why a scented tampon is necessary because once you pull it out, it goes right into the garbage or down the toilet. Would the smell of menstrual flow for the 2 seconds prior to disposal be so bad where it’d be necessary to have a scented product? Also, I’ve seen my fair share of scented products and really, even the most scented product isn’t enough to completely mask the smell of the menstrual fluid. Don’t believe me? If you have the guts, try it yourself. Scented pads are pretty bad because the pad is already rubbing against your pubic region the whole day and with tampons, it’s sitting inside your body for up to 8 hours a day, times the number of tampons you use per day. We may enjoy the idea of our outer regions smelling good and thus, we use heavily scented soaps or feminine wipes, but why does the inside of the vagina need to smell good? Douching has been a long-standing practice, especially for some cultures or backgrounds – but did you know that douching should be something that’s done only on the recommendation of a doctor? Douching can be bad for the vagina because it may upset the delicate pH balance of the vagina.

As I mentioned, I don’t know of too many of my girls who use scented products so for those who do or have used them, for what reason do you prefer scented products? I know some products don’t come with a choice, for instance, Stayfree pads used to have both scented and unscented versions – but not anymore as the all come slightly scented. I can understand if you’ve used a certain product for so long where you don’t feel persuaded to change products, but for those who are using a product such as Playtex tampons where they do have scented and unscented products – why would you opt to use the scented, especially knowing that it truly is unnecessary (or unless you have reasons to deem it necessary)? This is not meant to entice an argument or to say that those who uses scented products as “wrong” – but rather, let us discuss the pros and cons and weigh them as to whether using scented products is a sound idea.

For the women who use liners on a daily basis to stay fresh, then perhaps I can under that manufactures want to add scent to it to encourage the idea that a good smell is the way you stay fresh. You can’t stay fresh just by relying on a scented pantiliner, but also with proper hygiene and changing of underwear on a regular or daily basis. I understand that some women get discharge regularly or have to deal with overactive vaginal lubrication, which sometimes doesn’t have the most pleasent smell or causes that “damp” feeling against your vagina, but yet, isn’t that the point of underwear? Underwear was meant to provide us with a buffer between our bodily fluids and the rest of the world. I looked up the “purpose of underwear” and one important point that came up is that underwear is to “support and protect your genital“. With that said, a bit of gunk on your underwear isn’t going to cause major issues unless you have a very heavy discharge or soaking issue, then, I can see the necessity of wearing a pantiliner regularly.

The vagina, just like any part of our body requires “breathing space” and using a pantiliner every day prevents that. Pantiliners, as part of a pre-menstrual and post-menstrual application is reasonable, but every day is almost excessive. Beyond the consideration of having your vagina stuffed up by products, also consider wearing underwear that’s more air permeable. Wearing breathable articles of clothing may make you think that just exposes your “smell” more, but by improving the OVERALL HEALTH of your pubic area, you are helping it, not hindering it.

Remember the reasons why you chose scented products in the first place, review it and see if it still really makes sense to stick with them! If you want to smell good, consider all your other healthier options.

Post-Pregnancy Information for Men

Hi Again,

Time again for another round of period-related information… or maybe rather, it’s not exactly menstruation, but you may call it a “related-topic.” Today’s topic is on post-pregnancy. This is probably one of the topics that I do not have a large knowledge-base on, however, I always try to do research before making a post, so I hope this information will be accurate and informative. As usual, if there are any mistakes or considerations you would like me to make for this post, please let me know!

After child-birth, it is especially important for men to become involved in your partner’s health. After all, pregnancy is a very body-intensive process and therefore, you should definitely be a man and spoil your girl as if there’s no tomorrow. After all, the creation of this baby should be a testament to your loving relationship and your child is a production of your commitment to each other for life. Holy, do I sound like an old fart with an old mentality or what?! Of course for us flow-lovers, what joy is there to hope that your partner’s period returns soon as we’ve been missing the fun of it for 9 months already! (Although I doubt your partner misses it, lol) – Following pregnancy, resuming regular periods are a mystery for every woman.

It’s important for men to understand that after a normal delivery of a child, your partner will go through post-natal bleeding (or discharge) known as Lochia. Lochia generally lasts for 3 to 6 weeks and contains mucus, blood and placental tissue. There are 3 stages of lochia, each respective stage with a corresponding medical-name. Following 3 to 5 days after childbirth, your partner will go through Lochia rubra (cruenta) typically red to brownish-red due to the large amount of blood being expelled (expect heavy-flow) and contains a “fleshy odour.” After lochia rubra has taken place and up to approximately the 10th day post-delivery, she will undergo Lochia serosa where thinning of lochia occurs and where it usually becomes brownish or pink and is lochia flow is lessened compared to before. Finally for the remainder of discharge turns to a whitish or yellow-white colour lasting anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks post-delivery referred to as Lochia alba (purulenta).

During this time, it is advisable to use maternity pads to deal with lochia as post-natal bleeding is generally a lot more than your average menstrual period. The first 6 to 12 hours after delivery is generally when most women expect the heaviest lochia discharge but it’s hard to say how often a woman will need to change her pad as the lochia flow is change based on the “phase” it is at, physical movement/position and bodily changes. At first, most women should expect to change their pad at least once every 1-2 hours and later, every 3-4 hours as lochia lessens – similar to managing ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ flow days of her regular period. In general, maternity pads are longer, softer, thicker and thus, more absorbent than the common maxi pad. Most maxi pads will not stand up well against lochia flow, therefore it is suggested that you purchase (or expect to purchase) 2-3 packs of “12’s” which should last for the duration of the heavier lochia discharge days.

In general, lochia should have the same odour as regular menstrual flow. If there is a foul or offensive smell from the lochia, the best practice would be to contact your medical professional as it may indicate a vaginal contamination. This contamination by organisms (thus the smell) may result in lochioschesis (spelled lochiostasis by some) which is the retention of lochia that should normally be expelled from the body.

Picture of a maternity pad

For convenience, you may also want to buy disposable panties for the first 2 weeks post-pregnancy as leaks may occur frequently and certainly you would not want to stain both of your favourite panties! Using well-fitting underwear is important as maternity pads require a large area on the crotch to support it. It is horribly uncomfortable and embarrassing to wear small, tight panties while harbouring a gigantic pad underneath! This is especially important if your partner has required stitches or undergone bruising to use comfortable-fitting underwear. By the end of the first and second week, it is likely your partner will be able to return using common maxi pads so maternity pads are no longer required.

As you may have noticed (sorry to the guys n’ girls who love them :|) that I have made no mention of tampons for lochia. Most medical practiontioners recommend that women do not use tampons while lochia is still present or flowing. As I’ve mentioned over and over again, the female anatomy is a beautiful and wonderful thing (much more exciting than us guy’s, har har). After pregnancy, the female body goes into a state of of involution where the uterus attempts to return to its pre-pregnancy size and condition. This process is to ensure that (under normal circumstances) allow pregnancy to occur again and thus an intricate process occurs which results in the above mentioned, lochia. During the first 6-8 weeks after delivery, consider the uterus as a recovering wound and therefore using tampons may introduce foreign bacteria into the reproductive system, heightening the risk of infection. It is suggested that resuming tampon use not be done until a postnatal check-up is performed and receiving the OK from your medical practitioner – after all, they are the experts and will know whether your body is prepared to have a tampon inserted.

It is normal for your partner to not have irregular or absent menstrual periods for a while after pregnancy. Other than your partner’s body to return regular menstrual activities, carrying out breastfeeding may interrupt the menstrual-cycle to return to normal. Breastfeeding may interfere with the ovulation process, thereby causing periods to be irregular or completely missing. Even for women who resume their normal menstrual cycle will experience more unusual period patterns which is pretty typical and there should be an expectation of heavier flow, more pain/discomfort and more lethargic than usual. Now’s the time to show some love to your woman who have spent 9 months bearing your beautiful child (or children)!!!

As a general guideline, your partner should expect to resume her regular menstrual-cycle within 9 months post-delivery. Many women do not go through regular menstruation until they cease to breastfeed. Apparently this is your body’s attempt to disallow conception of another child while your just-born child is still in his/her infancy – however, this is not to say that this is the case for ALL women. In fact, I must make a note that it does not mean your partner cannot get pregnant soon post-delivery! A lot of people make the assumption that if their partner does not show signs of menstruation that equates to a period (haha, what a great pun) of infertility. Oddly enough, your partner may actually be even more fertile than when she becomes “regular” again. You and your partner should both be aware that unprotected sex may lead to another pregnancy (if that’s not your plan). Necessary precautions should be taken if pregnancy is not your intent and the use of a condom with spermicide is recommended. Birth control or other hormonal-altering drug should not be used at this time, unless specifically authorized by a health professional. On that note, my Dad and his younger brother is only apart by 9 months and few days – so it’s quite possible to get pregnancy VERY SOON after delivery!

Here are some cases where you should contact your medical practitioner or emergency assistance immediately if your partner experiences:

  • lochia has an unpleasant smell
  • fever and/or chills
  • bleeding stays heavy and bright red after the first week
  • feel faint or dizzy
  • heartbeat starts to race or become irregular
  • soaking through a pad more than once per hour
  • large clots (> 28mm)
  • tummy feels tender low down on one or both sides

So there you guys go, hopefully this will give you some menstrual facts post-pregnancy! It’s such an exciting time so enjoy it. Think about how great it is to see your partner have to put on a pad or tampon again 😛 Hrm… maybe I’m having that flow-loving side in me kick in again! If you’re reading this for your partner, then I want to congratulate you on the new life you’ve brought to this world! I’m sure he/she really appreciates it 🙂

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