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Goodbye Pads & Tampons – Hello Menstrual Cup!

You’ll find this title picture very amusing after you read the entry… (or at least if you know what’s in the theme of the picture)

So yesterday I participated in a grand celebration of a one-year anniversary of Bepreparedperiod tweet chats! It was a fantastic party, again, reminding us that the menstrual cycle is a perfectly natural bodily process and we should not be ashamed to speak about it. It’s also important that both guys and girls have equal opportunity to be educated through books and dialogue. During the tweet chat, I mentioned the excitement of introducing a menstrual cup to one of my girls which @bpreparedperiod suggested I blog on. What a wonderful idea, it totally didn’t cross my mind to write about it! It only happened less than a week ago so it’s still fresh on to my mind on how it happened!

So pretty much the highlight of this entry is that I managed to convince one of my girls to try a menstrual cup, although it was definitely an interesting method… one I would not recommend you employing unless you really know the person is comfortable with it and can take a hardy joke. Last weekend, I was over at her house and recently, I had purchased a menstrual cup from a nearby “green” store. It was in the trunk so I thought, “Hey, why not try to persuade —- to give it a shot?” As with most of my girls, the idea of reusable menstrual products do not sit well, particularly when it comes to the question of, “How do I clean it?” Unfortunately the second I have to say “dump and wash it” or “throw it in the laundry” I get that exasperated look already. I may be a person who likes to poke and prod here and there to see if they’ll change their minds, but I never force… after all, menstrual products are all personal preference and I hate the idea that one is “superior” to another – each has its own merits.

My friend just got her period the day before, so it was a perfect opportunity for me to give her a prod to try out the product. I know she’s weary of it, but she’s also one of my girls who is the type to be persuaded with a wee bit of pressure. We were about to head out to shop, so she went into her room to change. I snuck upstairs to her bathroom and took the basket where she keeps her pads and tampons. I emptied out the pads/tampons into my laptop bag temporarily because that’d be the last place she would assume I’d hide them! I brought the basket back into her bathroom and in place of the 20 some-odd products she had in it initially, I replaced it with one item – a menstrual cup.

Heck, I could be an Olympian assassin being able to pull that off without her noticing my movements and within record time! I see all this running and exercising of mine is paying off 😆 I ran back downstairs and sat on the couch and waiting to hear her reaction from upstairs. I could hear her room door opening and she trotted toward the bathroom, likely to change herself before we left the house. I could hear her screaming my name and I burst out laughing. I’m sure some of my readers will consider this a cruel act, however, I know her well enough to not cause any hard feelings and in the event she really asked for pads or tampons back, I wouldn’t withhold them from her. I expected her to come rushing down and scrounging for her products back, but to my surprize, she didn’t. She called me upstairs and asked me to help her (through the door) to figure out how to use it. Now obviously I don’t have a vagina and have never inserted a menstrual cup in my life, but I guess conceptually I know it as well as I could. I talked her through it and she managed to get it in after about 15 minutes (or at least what FELT like 15) of fiddling with it and came out smiling.

She did ask for a pad to put on just-in-case the cup leaked since it is her first time using one, so I just gave everything back to her. I asked her if it felt anything like using a tampon and she said, “Not at all – feels even better and more reassuring.” I was really pleased that she took an opportunity to try it out and whether she continues using it, she at least gave herself the exposure to reusable menstrual products. A few hours into shopping, she was worried it would start to spill as it was day 2 for her and she doesn’t exactly flow on the light side either. She asked me to wait outside the “family” washroom for her just in case she ran into some major trouble. It took her some extra time (compared to when she uses conventional pads/tampons), but I heard the toilet flush so I assumed everything was ok. She emerged, smiled and told me everything was fine and that the cup wasn’t even close to full. She even happily touted that she doubted any pad/tampon she used could’ve withstood so many hours without leaking when she’s this heavy! She was so pleased with the cup that she even told me she ditched the pad because she felt secure enough.

She did mention that at first, when she had to rinse out the cup it was rather disturbing to see how much menstrual flow there was because she’s never seen the true amount of flow whenever it was absorbed into disposable pads or tampons. She also had to be quite careful upon removing the cup as to not spill the entire content all over the place. Understandably, there are all concerns that many of my other disposable-loving girls have. I always like to give opportunities for my girls try new products, disposables and reusables. I will never force the issue, though it can be quite fun and amusing (person-dependent) to pull something like this off and end up with a great reward. Now I have one more of my girls who has at least tried using a cup and that may perhaps create a path for her to try other reusable products like cloth pads.

While writing this entry, I exchanged a few text messages with her to see if she had any additional thoughts. She doubts that she will adopt the menstrual cup as a permanent replacement of her menstrual hygiene options, but definitely will be replacing her tampon-use overnight as it prevents the worry of TSS risk when sleeping beyond 8 hours. The cup will also be more convenient at home to use, though that doesn’t necessarily mean she won’t use it outside of the house either… however, using disposables can sometimes prove to be a convenience. On her VERY heavy days, pairing the cup with a pad backup would buy her a lot of time in between changing if needed or would give her a peace-of-mind to sleep in. Finally, she can immensely cut down purchases of pads/tampons since she has an extra option to rotate with and generate less trash every month.

I hope you found as much joy through this entry as I did with my little joke – which turned out great. I have to reiterate that this is not something everyone should try, unless you know your ‘target’ well. Though it sounded like I did this in the heat-of-the-moment, there was a lot of contemplation and consideration before pulling this off. Remember that you should never force menstrual hygiene options on someone, but encouraging and providing options through a friendly and helpful manner will bring you a better response. You can never understand another person’s needs, comfort level and feelings, so you should ensure not to press the matter beyond what is reasonable between the two of you! 🙂

Menstruation Through The Eyes of a Typical Male

This weekend, I had the opportunity to get in touch with many of my guy friends. Oddly enough, most of my girls live close to me and it’s only on holidays where I get to see my closer male friends who come back into town. Though we keep in-touch over messaging and phone, it still doesn’t replace that face-to-face contact. More to this, is that I wanted to run some things over discreetly with them, such that I also needed to be able to see their facial reactions and gauge changes in body posture and voice intonation. Now suffice to say, it’s not like I’m some psychology expert, but anyone who communicates regularly with people know that being able to see those factors enhances our ability to detect and sense otherwise undetectable things through other forms of communication.

Yay, I'm part of the 0.5% - lol!

This weekend, having 4 days off (today’s the last day, BOO) – my goal was to collect some ideas from the guy’s about their perceptions of menstruation, or rather, perhaps demystify some of the things guys think or say about menstruation or surrounding topics. Mind you, this isn’t a collection of every “view” of menstruation of all males, but only through contact with a few of my guy friends who “dared” to speak to me about such subjects. To be honest, when I gave them feedback on their statements, it was probably more detail than they were ever hoping for. However, having an opportunity for open dialogue is the start to end the taboo on menstruation, for males and females. If we can’t talk about it, then menstrual negativity is going to perpetuate for years to come. The following is a few of the dialogues I had between my various friends.

The Guys:

“Girls use tampons on their period”

Yes and no. Yes, some girls DO use tampons for their periods. However, ‘tampon’ is not an interchangeable word and only describes one, of the many forms of feminine hygiene products. A tampon is usually a cylindrical piece of cotton or other synthetic materials which is inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual flow. Other notable menstrual protection include disposable pads, cloth pads, menstrual cups, sea sponges, etc. Furthermore, there ARE also women who enjoy free-bleeding and as long as that works with their lifestyle and is considerate of sanitation to those around them, then that’s great!

The Guys:

“She’s angry, it must be that-time-of-month”

I have to say, that’s a pretty nasty statement to make and if you’ve tried that with a less-than-humoured girl, it might result in some kicks to the nuts. Though there are times that PMS may lead to irritability, anger or emotional state changes in a woman, it does not mean her period is around the corner. I believe in 2 things regarding this. 1) Women should not be able to use their period/PMS as an excuse for inappropriate behaviour, 2) Men should not use periods/PMS as a means of attacking a woman’s behaviour. With that said, there have been many articles written by men that essentially says, “PMS is not a valid excuse” and since that would otherwise ruin my point that it’s not coming from the viewpoint of a woman – you can reference an article written by a lady here concerning the topic: PMS is no excuse for acting like a bitch – we should recognize that hormonal fluctuations during a menstrual cycle may be a factor of sharply changing behaviour, but not allow it to justify disrespect. Hell, even if it really is PMS or menstrual temper I can almost guarantee you’d be better off not to point it out, unless you can do it in fashion without throwing oil in the fire.

The Guys:

“The only time that I like knowing she got her period is when I’m worried she’s pregnant”

Well, the sigh of relief may be for both parties I suppose in this case. Menstruation however, is something to love and appreciate. Though I know some of my girls have waited in angst for their period to arrive when they had some “oopsies” – as guys, we should consider that normal menstrual cycle means our partner’s body is functioning well (most of the time). What’s better than your loved ones being healthy? Also, while periods are known to wreak havoc, there are also women out there who experienced heightened libidos are really want their sex! Which leads me onto the next point…

The Guys:

“I hate when her period comes! Means no sex for a week”

Menstrual sex is a personal choice and between the involved participants. Not all girls reject sex during her period. In fact, there are many couples who enjoy menstrual sex. Menstrual sex can be pretty cool, think of all the free lube! As long as you are practicing safe-sex or your partner is healthy, menstrual sex doesn’t pose any significant risks. For those who may be less adventurous with penetrative sex, oral sex or just some sensual time together can just be as fulfilling. After all, they didn’t make sex toys for no reason 😛

The Guys:

“I’m always afraid she’s hurt”

It took me a while figuring this one out because I thought he was talking about cramps. But it turns out that for us guys, we associate “bleeding” (or blood) with pain or injury. True enough, if any part of my body began to bleed, I’d probably freak out. Menstruation though is a normal biological function, so “bleeding” for women isn’t necessarily a sign of injury or pain. Sexual stimulation in/around her vagina during this time isn’t going to hurt her unless she has other complexities. Even if she’s feeling some pain from cramps, a good ol’ orgasm can actually wisp that away pretty quickly!

The Guys:

“Menstrual blood is dangerous”

Menstrual blood is only as dangerous as normal blood contact would be. An otherwise healthy individual without transmittable diseases would not have any major dangers. However, certainly menstrual flow that is expelled from the body is still considered bio-hazardous and may contain bacteria or other forms of germs, but it probably won’t kill you or anything if you come in regular contact with it. If the blood is dried, that’s even a lesser concern as exposure to open air for a period of time already cause major bacterial forms to die. If you’re in a monogamous and know thoroughly the healthiness of your partner, the likelihood of dying in a fiery car crash is probably much higher than a deadly illness arriving from sexual contact from menstrual flow.

The Guys:

“I love being able to ejaculate in my girlfriend when she’s on her period because it’s safe”

I had to ask him what he meant by “safe” – he meant that he’s safe from getting his girlfriend knocked up. I had to break it to him that while conceiving while menstruating is low, it’s also not impossible as conceiving during menstruation has been known to happen. It is quite possible for sperm to stay alive within an optimal environment within the vagina, meaning that pregnancy can occur just before/after active menstruation. Also bleeding may potentially be mistaken as full out menses which may mean fertilization is still possible. If conceiving a child isn’t in your line of responsibilities at the moment (or never), then practicing safe-sex at ANY time is necessary.

The Guys:

“I don’t get it. How can she lose so much blood regularly without dying?”

With the number of pads and tampons that are used and the way they appear when they’re saturated, it may appear there’s a lot of blood loss. The reality is that the amount of menstrual flow per period is not that great (sans medical conditions). At an “upper estimate” of 9 tbsp of menstrual flow per period, it’s not exactly cause for concern of massive blood loss. According to my very quick research, the body begins to have adverse medical reaction at 15% of total blood loss. Given that the human body contains about 5 litres of blood, 9 tbsp is about 0.133 litres of blood – or about 2.66% per period. What is necessary to note is that during menstruation, “flow” that is lost is not entirely composed of blood alone. Barring any medical conditions, a normal menstrual cycle isn’t going to drain your girlfriend’s blood supply low!

The Guys:

“Does she have to change her tampon every time she pees?”

Nope, not unless she wants to or needs to. The urethra and vagina are two different holes (I’d be impressed if you could get your penis in her urethra) and furthermore, most girls usually will hold/tuck the string while peeing to avoid it getting wet. Others just simply let nature take its course and then using some toilet paper to mop up the tampon string dry in case it gets wet. Some girls just don’t care at all, because that’s what underwear is for anyway! It’s like magic to guys, but just with a bit of a tug, a girl can check whether her tampon needs to be changed. If it comes out easily, then it’s all saturated and needs to be changed. If there is resistance, then the tampon is still usable, with the exception that her: 1) period is over, 2) she wants to change products, or 3) her tampon has been in for/nearing 8 hours.

The Guys:

“She doesn’t talk to me about her period”

Let’s face it, most guys don’t really want to hear about girls periods, so therefore, girls have been programmed not to divulge anything about it. Right from Wikipedia sources, “Studies have shown nearly all girls in the USA believe that girls should not talk about menstruation with boys, and more than one-third of the girls did not believe that it was appropriate to discuss menstruation with their fathers. The basis of many conduct norms and communication about menstruation in western industrial societies is the belief that menstruation should remain hidden.” That’s not to say I’ve never met girls who’ve approached the topic of menstruation with me openly (without knowledge of my interest), but in general, I really have to be the one to broach on the topic and show that I’m “accepting” to converse about it before they come comfortable with speaking about it. Unless the girl is particularly open with her bodily functions or that the relationship has progressed to an intimate level, it’s likely you will have to be proactive and show her that she can speak to you about such ‘private’ matters. It might not even be that she doesn’t want you to know, but that menstruation is generally regarded with shame and is indecent to talk about, particularly with a male. If you two ever plan on moving forward with a successful relationship, talking about menstruation is probably to least of challenges.

The Guys:

“I’m so grossed out by periods”

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Honestly, I find semen much more repulsive if anything. The menstrual cycle and the female anatomy is so beautiful. I can only hope to educate you about menstruation to help you change your mind about it, but I’m not going to try to turn a stone into gold.

The Guys:

“Why does she like to ask me to buy her pads/tampons?”

I don’t think most girls “like” asking you to buy it, in fact, most do it only when they really need to, like when they’re clumped over on the couch. Because pads/tampons are very personal choices, most women like to shop for it themselves. However, there are also guys I know who get it as part of their grocery list, but I don’t it’s a really ‘unique’ thing. She has every right to ask you if you guys are involved in a committed relationship and if she has ever bought anything for you in your life, then she can expect you to buy this for her. As long as she equips you with enough information to buy it, it should be fair game. For some women, it can be used as a ‘test’ to see if you’re man enough to do it or they don’t really think anything of it. You’re out getting those apples anyway, why not a box of tampons or a pack of pads?

The Guys:

“It’s amazing, how does she even keep track of how often to change or when it gets full?”

With pads it’s fairly simple, because a visual inspection will allow a girl to know whether her pad is getting full or not. Also, as pads get saturated, the pad will usually become heavier and there may be a damp feeling. With tampons, as I explained above, usually a quick “tug test” will already reveal whether changing is required. For most girls though, it’s just a matter of timed washroom breaks to do a check-up. Some girls may change ahead of time if they’re planning travel which does not give them accessibility to washrooms. I know with most of my girls, they opt to change later when they’re at home as they can get to a washroom any time. However, if they’re heading for a several hour road trip they change before they leave the house or double-up protection. Despite a girl being an expert on her body and diligent on her feminine hygiene needs, leaks may sometimes still happen and that’s ok. It’s like sneezing. Try as you might, but doesn’t stop it from coming out!

The Guys:

“Girls can’t swim on their periods”

Whether the girl ‘can’ swim is subjective on her own skill, not whether she has her period or not. However, if you’re talking about methods to control menstrual flow, they can opt to use internal forms of feminine hygiene, as pads would be out of the question. Feminine products worn within the vagina will offer a chance for the girl to swim while maintaining hygiene for herself and other swimmers. If a girl knows how to swim and doesn’t have debilitating menstrual pains, swimming is great exercise which may help alleviate cramps and maintain a healthy body overall. I do know however, that Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM] usually frowns upon swimming while menstruating (because the body is considered ‘weak’ during that time).

The Guys:

“Girls get their period every 28 days”

This is something I admit that I was pretty ignorant about until I started learning about menstruation from female experiences and stories. To me, the “books” tell you that menstrual cycles are 28 days in length, however, that is not true for many women as bodies aren’t clockworks. Many of the girls I’ve dated before just happened to have a fairly regular cycle every month, but even tracking with bebe for the past 2 years I’ve known her, I can say for sure almost every month she has a different monthly cycle. While she’s perfectly healthy, it does come down to the fact that women do not always have exact 28-day cycles, but rather, vary between 21-35 days and whether or not a woman falls within a 28-day cycle doesn’t necessarily represent overall health. Because I happened to date girls who fell in the 26-29 day ranges, it was awkward for me to start tracking bebe’s to find that hers was much longer (lucky her, unlucky me… LOL). I know a few of my girls don’t really track at all and tell me they just “feel it” when it’s about to come! That’s really cool 🙂

The Guys:

“The washroom stinks when she’s on her period”

I suppose it’s something you really need to bring up with her. Dried menstrual flow does have an odour but is not easily detectable. I know girls who use “open” trash bins who visibly have wrapped tampons and pads in it and the smell is hardly obvious. Unless the girl has very rancid menstrual flow odour, it should not be very strong and only detectable if you plan on sticking your nose in the trash. What makes menstrual flow smell is actually when it comes in contact with open air and begins to fester bacteria. When the bacteria is trying living/decomposing the menstrual flow and pad, that is what emits the stench, not so much the actual flow itself. Proper sanitary practices should already be sufficient to stem the smell. I’ve been to my girl’s house before who hadn’t emptied the trash for 3 weeks and she had pads piled to the top and still the air was pretty clean. I’d broach lightly on the topic with her since it’s rather insulting to be told her menstrual flow smells, but rather, talk about maintaining welcoming environment for guests who use the bathroom as a softer approach.

 

It has definitely been a while since I’ve had the time to write this much! Hope this helps shed some light on what your typical (which I’m not) guys think about periods. I’m glad they offered me an opportunity to trade what I know about menstruation for their personal growth and also that I could share it with the world-at-large here. It’ll also help the girls see things through our eyes and that sometimes we just don’t know any better. Furthermore, I grew up in a conservative family meaning menstruation wasn’t talked about much. Lucky for me I didn’t run into a bunch of misinformation communicated to me from my peers, but certainly I can see why it happens when boys aren’t educated properly about menstruation. They begin to pick up things from their friends and see/hear negativity about periods from other sources. Best to teach them at an age-appropriate level so they develop respect for the female anatomy and a beautiful & natural bodily process!

 

A Moldy Kotex Security Tampon? No Problem!

Yes… it is exactly what you think it is (well, probably at least)

Today, an article posted up by a lady seems to be spreading like wildfire throughout the menstrual-interest communities. I’ve seen it posted up in at least 6 menstrual-related sites and uncountable tweets/retweets in my twitter feed.

Since I don’t know the blog owner, I’m not going to risk reposting and running into copyright issues, so if you’re interested in knowing the full story by her, please read it here:

http://www.parrforthecourse.com/2012/03/tale-of-moldy-tampon.html

Apparently, the blog owner was about to use a Kotex Security tampon and by chance, she discovered that the tampon had formed mold when accidentally popped the tampon out of the applicator. Given that applicator-tampon users know that the tampon usually goes from inside the applicator directly in the vagina, one would have never seen the mold on the tampon until removal or maybe never if it had been covered by menstrual flow or dropped right into the toilet bowl/wrapped in toilet paper. Now I’m not saying that this type of stuff doesn’t happen with any tampon or to other brands, but certainly when it is publicized like this, it sure as hell gets attention. If you read through some of the comments on the blog entry, you’ll see quite a few individuals who recommended going to awareness groups and the media about this!

If you’re not aware of what effects mold has on humans, here’s a snippet from Wikipedia:

Molds are ubiquitous in nature, and mold spores are a common component of household and workplace dust. However, when mold spores are present in large quantities, they can present a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

Some molds also produce mycotoxins that can pose serious health risks to humans and animals. Studies claim that exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and in some cases death. Prolonged exposure, e.g. daily workplace exposure, may be particularly harmful.

Suffice to say, in my opinion, even though I recognize nothing in this world is “really clean” – knowing that the Kotex representative made this sound like a common occurrence really makes me think whether I ought to try even harder to pull my girls off from using tampons – or at the very least – use non-applicator tampons such as O.B. where at least you can get a visual inspection of the tampon before putting it in! I know people who follow my blog know me to be pretty pro-pad, but seriously speaking, at least if mold was forming on a pad, it’d be something you’d notice before it touches sensitive female parts.

I’ve seen saturated tampons, pads, sponges, menstrual cups, cloth pads, etc. and it doesn’t even trigger a reaction from me – but when this picture caught my eyes, I could feel my gag reflexes already. I know this doesn’t exactly affect me in the way it affects tampon-using women, but I don’t think I can ever see tampons the same after seeing this. I know within the menstrual community, it seems like there have been talk of people giving up Kotex-brand tampons, not just the “Security” line of them. Whether or not this will have a severe financial impact is one thing, but a customer lost, whether one or many is less revenue.

Times like these, it makes me really glad bebe doesn’t use tampons. I know I’ll usually leave a few in her drawers just-in-case she ever decides to try or really needs them for something like swimming – but I think I ought to start pulling them out and maybe just gift her a menstrual cup instead! Hell, I think the last tampons I dropped for her were U by Kotex tampons. I’m not saying those particular tampons would encounter the same issue (and yes, I do realize that EVERY product in this world has a chance for ‘defects’ or ‘unforeseen contamination’ but I just can’t accept that risk of her potentially sticking something like that into her vagina and NOT KNOWING. It’s kind of like when you use conventional tampons, you know there is a risk of TSS. Knowing and continuing to use them means you implicitly accept the risk. However, I don’t think it passes through the mind of women that they could potentially be injecting a molded wad of cotton in themselves!

What I can say for sure is that there ARE safer alternatives out there such as menstrual cups and cloth pads which can not only help reduce the likelihood of mold forming (with proper cleaning and storage of course), but a host of other healthy and environmentally-friendly benefits!

I was just about to send a comment response to the blog owner’s entry, but it seems like she has turned comments off for that particular thread.  I wonder if Kimberly-Clark representatives (or lawyers rolleyes) caught up with her or perhaps that she just wanted to bring closure to the issue. Nevertheless, I know some people will definitely scrutinize whether they want to continue using Kotex tampons (of any line/series) or tampons all together! I’m definitely going to have a talk with my girls whenever I can get a hold of all of them. Their health is important to me and I’ll have to definitely let my bebe know about this craziness should she ever go down the road of considering tampons! I definitely think I ought to start getting her some non-applicator tampons so she can at least get a visual surface inspection on the damn things!

I seriously hope that they will be, “diligently reviewing our manufacturing process to ensure this problem does not recur.” as they’ve promised, rather than giving that as a canned and politically-correct response. My stash is empty of Kotex products (just by coincidence) now and I think it’s going to take a while before I can get over this. Customer confidence is hard to gain, but easy to lose. Suffice to say, I’m not saying their whole business will collapse or anything because loyal customers, will be loyal customers… and who knows, maybe this incident is just blown out of proportion, but unfortunately with the world of the internet, “news” can travel quite fast… particularly BAD news. But what I do know is I wouldn’t mind investing in emptying out Kotex products from my girls’ cabinets and restocking them with stuff of other brands. Better yet, I can prod some of my girls a bit more to return to the good ol’ world of pads or even try shifting them onto reusables! Maybe in a couple months I’ll look into Kotex products again, but for the time being, it’s going to be pretty hard to get my girls or I back on their brand for a while!

Periods/Menstruation For The Single Dad

I thought this might be a very useful post, though I have to admit I’m not a parent nor someone who has had to raise a child with no female support. Before embarking on this post, I have done my research as well as talk to fellow single-fathers, including one of my gay male friends who has adopted a young girl. At some point or another, most of these men will have to explain the intricacies of menstruation to their little (but growing) girl. With menarche beginning at an earlier age than ever before, these men will be challenged ever so much with handling their daughter(s) period, particularly when their daughter is too young to even fully grasp the concept. Also, never having periods ourselves, it only makes our job that much harder and not even able to have experienced what periods feel like. Nevertheless, not having the experience, doesn’t mean we still can’t be prepared. Rather than concentrate this post on saying, “What is the wrong action to take” or “How to do it the right way” I hope this entry will provide some tidbits on how I would feel if I were stuck in such a situation. Every person is different so while one method may work for one, others may not. With the age of which girls are starting their periods, it might be hard for us now to rely on schools to provide the education. In our province, the revised Sexual Education curriculum was dropped due to objections from religious groups (don’t even get me started on this), so you’re much better off as a parent (or parents) to provide your own and proper education.

Part of making your own job easier as a father having to talk to your daughter about menstruation is to foster a close enough relationship with her where she feels comfortable talking to you about it. This type of relationship is not something that builds overnight, but something that must start from day one with your child. I understand in situations where a man has suddenly lost his female companion that he would not have thought about having the bear the responsibilities of a single dad, but certainly, why would you not want to build a strong relationship with your own daughter anyways? It is my hope that should I have a daughter(s), that they will not only feel comfortable talking about their bodies and menstrual health with their mom, but also myself. Being a part of their well-being from birth will stress to them that daddy is also available to talk just because we have not experienced the same thing. I understand some people will argue that as a male who has never experienced menstruation, what place would we have to be a part of educating a female on menstruation… but just because you’ve never been shot before, doesn’t mean you don’t know a bullet is painful (that comparison wasn’t meant to denote the relationship between a gunshot wound to menstruation, that was strictly a coincidence).

The next point is about educating yourself. Whether you had a female partner or not at some point in your life, menstruation may still be a very abstract thing for you. With the world of the internet, you no longer had to be like me, hide in the corner of a library and read up on the female body and menstruation and turn red as people walked past me. There are plenty of resource articles (many which are more professionally written than this) on menstruation which you can learn from. Before you can really make your little girl feel comfortable expressing her own worries to you, you must at least know a bit about her body as well! If you show discomfort, it will only convey to her that her body is something to be shameful over and that a natural bodily function like menstruation is not something “normal”. I’m sure that as a single father, there must be at least some sort of female support you may have, friends, family or whatnot who you can turn to for help should you want some anecdotal knowledge. I’m also sure a medical practitioner would also be able to assist should you not be capable of assisting your daughter fully.

Periods aren’t a curse nor something “bad” – and periods happen for a reason. One of the single dads I talked to told me that when his daughter grows up, he’ll try to persuade her into “getting rid of her period” either by surgery or through hormonal control. I was really taken aback by this because it almost seemed like because he didn’t want to deal with his daughter’s period that he wanted to simply make it a non-issue. Something also seemed unusual that he would be making such an important decision on behalf of his daughter, even though it isn’t like she has a disability where she wouldn’t otherwise be able to make an informed decision. Getting rid of menstruation is a very big thing and I think it should be something up to the girl to decide on, unless she’s incapable of doing so. The start of your daughter’s period is something to be happy about, she’s becoming a grown woman and it indeed provides an extra opportunity for father-daughter bonding. Yes, it might come with some pains and tears, but you should always have an open arm and receptive ears for her to come to in time of need. Don’t forget that as uncomfortable as you may be having to do the “period-talk” that it’s only twice as bad for her.

Menstrual education should start young to build comfort and knowledge. I’m not necessarily saying to remove all childhood carefree life, but certainly a slow introduction of reproductive health might help sooth the way to discussing menstruation. In fact, one thing I’d really take advantage of is a “doctor, dad and daughter” talk at a regular visit. With the presence of a medical professional, it will ensure accurate knowledge and it will show that daddy is both learning so that he can teach and be comfortable with menstrual talk. Much of the male disgust behind menstruation stems from generations of misinformation and misunderstanding. Would we rather our future generations live in ignorance or in knowledge?

Parenting is a very difficult thing and though I am not yet a parent, I have already seen many friends and family alike who have sent the fear of parenthood through my spine. One day, I will meet parenthood with both anxiousness and fear, for it is an opportunity to grow, learn and teach all at the same time. I know that teaching children is beyond what I can comprehend right now. In my opinion, I would try to teach my children about sexual education through age-appropriate means (which would vary between child-to-child, some are more knowledge/mature than others). To scare a child into knowing something they’re not prepared for would only cause terror and ruin a carefree childhood. At the same time, not preparing them means they will meet fear face-to-face. Even if I did not go into details about menstruation with my daughter, I would definitely make her aware that should she begin menses, that she should let me or mom know and that ‘bleeding’ from her vagina is not a sign of injury. As with most guys, we consider bleeding to be a source of injury and pain (which is not ALWAYS the case with menstruation), therefore it already makes a “bad association” in our minds. I want to convey to the guys out there that menstruation, while resembling a cut, is nothing even close to it. I actually find that blood from injuries tend to cause more fear and disgust than menstruation does… or rather, I should correct myself and say that I don’t fear or feel disgusted at menstruation at all, but then that’s just me 😆

To be honest, it’s hard to have “sex talk” with your child, let alone something so very intimate such as menstruation. As a single-father, it becomes even harder as a result of the lack of female support. However, know that you are not alone and if you do a simple Google search, there are MANY men out there who are all brave like you to raise a daughter (or even daughters) on your own! Your daughter might even feel embarrassed to talk to you about it, so you must be receptive and at times if you feel she might already have had her period, try to strike up a conversation about it. Your daughter might be more apt to answer “yes I did get my period” than to have to bring the topic up herself.  Of course you don’t want to be the dad that hounds her to see if and when she got her period, but then you also want to ensure the channels of communication are available and that if she’s not going to approach you, that there are telltale signs of menstruation. Unless she’s hiding her disposed feminine hygiene products (including wrappers, applicators, etc), there will usually be some noticeable evidence. If you don’t want to be upfront with your approach of asking her, a simple trip to the supermarket with her could be an opportunity to walk down the feminine hygiene aisle casually and inquire as to whether she needs anything. Sometimes the best conversation is no conversation, if she does need something and she doesn’t look like she’s in the mood to talk, just let her place what she needs in the cart/basket and off you go!

Other than a leak the next embarrassing thing might just be having to purchase your own feminine hygiene supplies. When I asked most of my girls, they sometimes dread buying pads and tampons more than even bleeding through panties! Why? Because at least you can hide leaks, you can’t hide such obvious purchases! For most of my girls, I quelled those fears pretty fast, either with them or without. I have always been around for (well at least most) my girls and I typically will go out and buy their feminine hygiene supplies before/during their period. They were always able to rely on me as an “older brother” or even my bebe lets me buy her stuff for her. With that said, me buying their stuff has actually helped them get over the fear, because hell, if I’m a guy and buying “this stuff” – wouldn’t it be even more natural for a girl to be buying it? Likewise, as a father, buying your daughter’s feminine hygiene products is an essential demonstration to her. First of all, there should be at all times available feminine hygiene supplies in the house AND she needs to know where they are (better yet, even know how to use it). Keeping some in multiple places might be beneficial, in her room, in the bathroom and perhaps in a closet of some sort. Heck, sometimes removing the discreteness of these products in the bathroom help encourage openness. I have been to some of my friends house where they OPENLY have pads or tampons in the bathroom. Depending on how comfortable your daughter is with discussing her menstrual cycle with you, it might even be possible to encourage her to try various brands and types of protection. Again, the internet is a great resource and having some knowledge on these products (such as the differences between pads/tampons/liners, wings/no wings, and proper usage) will truly help her.

Don’t forget, buying feminine hygiene products for your daughter is something to be proud of and that any loving father would do. You’d be surprized how many guys do it and if you actually spend a day in a supermarket, you’re likely to see quite a very occurrences of it. A lot of the time, we just sometimes don’t notice these things and pretend it doesn’t happen, but in reality, I’ve seen many guys buy these items before on their own. The great thing about being a guy and buying feminine hygiene products is that people will never assume it’s for you! So what’s there to be ashamed of right?!

I know I often put a lot of emphasis on disposable products and that’s truly unfair. However, I think certainly disposable pads and tampons are where most women start off anyways. Once your daughter becomes accustomed with taking care of her own body and handling her menstrual cycle, another great option for those who want to penny-pinch is to consider reusable products. Not only do you save a lot of money ($$$), it is also a great way to teach your daughter to become “in-tune” with herself, be eco-friendly and encourage great bodily health. If you’ve never thought of how much you (and your daughter) could really be saving, consider taking a look at this great chart provided by Lunapads (http://lunapads.com/why-switch#cost-savings). In my own opinion, I have found that many women who use reusable products often are much more open-minded about menstruation and female body/health.

For those who live in Canada or the US, you can also consider a great menstrual resource like Bepreparedperiod and particularly their store should you rather be able to purchase pads/tampons for your daughter online or even schedule recurring deliveries. If you or your daughter believes that tampons are going to be part of your menstrual repitroire, ensure that she is aware of the potential dangerous of tampon usage. It is both your responsibilities to ensure that proper usage knowledge is understood, particularly due to the potential of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome), a deadly viral infection. You can read more about TSS and the realities of it at YouAreLoved. I see many forum posts of girls who ask, “How do I talk to my dad about my period?” so make sure you validate your daughter’s concerns as being valid and that you are always willing to listen. A person cannot know everything, so whether you have to turn to the internet, a friend, family member or even stranger (such as a nurse or doctor), your daughter’s well-being and health should be your top priority. There are times when we must set our own shyness or pride aside for our family!

After finishing this post, I realize that some of the information in here might be pertinent to any father, not just single-dads. Nevertheless, this is hardly the exhaustive resource and all the possible angles I could cover, but then there are only so many hours in a day 😛 Anyone who needs more information, please feel free to comment or send me an IM/Email. I am also available on twitter (though it’s publicly viewable so if discussing menstruation is not comfortable for you, you may not want to contact me through twitter) @ http://twitter.com/MenMenstruation

Thanks for reading and don’t forget that your daughter will thank you and love you forever for which you have done for her!

Kimberly-Clark Recalls Kotex Natural Balance* Security® Unscented Tampons Regular Absorbency in United States

Please see the post made by You ARE Loved @ http://you-are-loved.org/918/kotex-tampon-recall/ – credits to them for passing this information to me via twitter. This is important information and thus, something I felt a need to post up on its own entry.

Since I don’t really have any information more than what’s provided from the media, please read below for an important notice IF you, a) Use Kotex Natural Balance Security Tampons and b) purchased these tampons in/from United States.

Kimberly-Clark announced a product recall of a limited number of its Kotex Natural Balance* Security® Unscented Tampons Regular Absorbency distributed to specific stores in the United States.

This recall is limited to two product SKUs (carton codes), 15063 (18 count) and 15068 (36 count). The tampons were manufactured with a raw material contaminated with a bacterium, Enterobacter sakazakii, which may cause health risks, including vaginal infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), pelvic inflammatory disease or infections that can be life-threatening.  Women with serious existing illnesses, cancer or immune-compromised conditions, such as HIV, are at increased risk.  There is limited evidence of transfer between individuals with this bacterium.

Kotex Natural Balance* Security® Unscented Tampons Regular Absorbency Affected Lot Numbers:

Product SKU numbers 15063 and 15068 are the last five digits of the product’s barcode and can be found on the bottom of the package. Specific lot numbers can be found inside the red box located on the bottom of the package.

Kimberly-Clark Kotex Natural Balance* Security® Regular Unscented Tampons
Carton Lot Number Carton Count SKU
AC129321X 18 Count 15063
AC129325X 36 Count 15068
AC129421X 18 Count 15063
AC129425X 36 Count 15068
AC129521X 18 Count 15063
AC129525X 36 Count 15068
AC129621X 18 Count 15063
AC129625X 36 Count 15068
AC129721X 18 Count 15063
AC129725X 36 Count 15068
AC129821X 18 Count 15063
AC129825X 36 Count 15068
AC129921X 18 Count 15063
AC129925X 36 Count 15068

Consumers should contact a physician immediately if they have used the impacted Kotex Natural Balance* Security® Unscented Tampons Regular Absorbency product and experience unusual vaginal discharge, rash, fever, headache, vomiting or abdominal pains, particularly if they are HIV positive, have AIDS, cancer, an existing serious illness or may be pregnant.

The full recall information may be found here. I urge that should you use these tampons and live in an affected area to take extra care to reference the lot number with the ones shown above. It’s for your own safety and health! If you’re a male and know that your partner or family uses these, please let them know of this potentially life-threatening information. If you’re unsure whether a loved-one uses this product, don’t be shy to provide them with the information anyways as embarrassment or awkwardness doesn’t kill, but dangerous bacteria DOES!

DON’T TOUCH That Feminine Hygiene!

So the title is probably bit more “umpf” than the entry that’s to follow… I told Bebe this morning the story and she got a kick out if it – she even gave me one of those really mischievous smirks (which are damn rare) so I thought I’d share with the world if it’s enough to amuse her. For those who are not aware, Shoppers Drug Mart, had Sunday & Monday sale for Stayfree Pads, Carefree Liners or O.B. Tampons for $1.99 (up to a limit of 4 I believe). By the time most people read this, the sale would already be long over, lest places that have time-difference or you’re willing to scrounge a 24-hour one.

Anyways, yesterday night I went with my mom to SDM to buy some eggs and milk, the typical “household fridge necessities” and then as we were lining up for the cash, I noticed one of those “bargain bins” where it listed that any items contained within were either $1 or $2. I started to sift through them and then I picked up a box of the new “Kleenex Cool Touch” tissue. I had ordered some samples in the mail so thought I’d just point it out to my mom that these were the ones I was talking about. She started getting all wound up about it and was like (hard to explain the actual reaction), “What?!! Why are you touching that box? Stop playing with feminine hygiene products! Are you buying it for bebe? If not, put the box down.” Obviously this is a translation since my mom was freaking out at me in Cantonese. I was like, “Umm… what are you talking about? This is tissue.” The funny thing though is when I picked it up, I had already known it was tissue, but when she began to freak out on me, for just a moment, I actually doubted myself whether I actually DID pick up a box of feminine hygiene products (because since I do buy them), but then I double checked and realized I picked up just a tissue box. My mom starts mumbling because I proved her wrong and she got all wound up about nothing.

Now to be honest, the box DOES look rather like a pad or tampon box, but I think she should’ve actually looked closer before raising hell about it. Trust me, it wasn’t just a simple thing she said, I could tell by the tone, loudness and speediness of her voice that she was wondering why I’d be buying feminine hygiene products, but luckily even if I was, now that I have bebe, I can at least put it on her tab and say I’m buying for her 😆 Here’s a picture of the Kleenex Brand – Cool Touch tissue:

Kleenex: Cool Touch (Facial Tissue)

Kleenex: Cool Touch (Facial Tissue)

I was slightly annoyed that she’d get all worked up over that, whether it was feminine hygiene or not, but conservative Asian moms will always be, conservative Asian moms.

On another note, today I had to travel to 5 SDM’s to get the pads and liners which bebe wanted (yes, they are actually for her this time 😛 – not for my girls to test). She wanted 3 packs and I managed to find 2 at one of the initial stores. Finally I went to one by my house, in a “smaller” and “less populated” area of town where luckily the shelves were still very much intact. The other 3 stores ran completely out-of-stock, just for the kind she likes… seems rather popular I guess. It seemed like there was every other Stayfree pad available, all except our fav as there was a huge hole in the shelf where they were placed, bummer… and at this price, it hasn’t happened in like 4 months so time to stock up while we can! I even went to SDM with one of my female coworkers so that was rather fun. She did want to buy some O.B. tampons, but she didn’t really have a place to hide them as she forgot her purse and her car was driven by her husband today. I suppose if she really wanted to, there are tons of places to hide them until the end-of-the-day, but she also had preference towards the U by Kotex tampons so even at such an attractive price for O.B. she still couldn’t take the dive.

Well I accomplished a lot today anyways, got 3 packs of Stayfree pads and 1 pack of Carefree liners to stock up bebe’s pad drawer! Counting down the days already to my sweetie’s period already 🙂 Just wish she had shorter cycles, lol!

Kotex Natural Balance – Replacing Original Lineup LIVE!

So as we expected based on the packaging wording, Kotex has now replaced the entire “original” line with the Kotex Natural Balance pads. As I indicated in a previous blog entry, Kotex’s change actually hit the shelves before the changes were fully made to their site. I suppose this was to incite hype and posts-of-speculation, akin to what they did with the U by Kotex series by “leaking” some information out. Certainly it caused confusion amongst many women when they reached the shelves to find their “usual” product missing. Their site now shows that they’re confirming the disappearance of their original line (other than what’s left in store stocks) which actually affects even their Kotex Security (Tampon) line. So now Kotex has two lines of products here in Canada, their “regular” Natural Balance series and their “premium” U by Kotex series. The changes are shown prominently on their site now, with changes to their “drops” rating using GREEN absorbency symbols and changes to their “features” which include: Soft on your skin, Keeps you comfy and pH aligned

 

Kotex Natural Balance - Site Changes

Kotex Natural Balance - Site Changes

Because the above picture needed to be shrunk to fit to this column, you will need to click on the picture thumbnail to get a better view. The good thing is that unlike when Stayfree moved from their original line to their Thermocontrol line is that Kotex decided that the Natural Balance pads are a full replacement of their original line and thus, it didn’t affect their offerings of wing, no wing and tampon choices. The LONG maxi still retains a non-winged version only for some odd reason – who knows why. Also, the replacement of the original line of pads and tampons ALSO include pantiliners.

Kotex Natural Balance - Tampons!

I think the “made in cotton” feature will be particularly nice for their tampons and I’m glad they thought about NOT including aloe in the tampon (as far as I know based on the marketing information) as that gets put up the vagina and would be introducing something foreign up there (besides the tampon itself). It’s also nice to know that they’re not adding artificial fragrances to the tampon, as I still can’t wrap my head about why someone would want a SCENTED tampon when it doesn’t really get smelly since it won’t contact with air until removal and disposal. Vaginas smell like vagina – not pretty roses.

I suppose I am really happy they decided to change their normal line and without hindrance to consumers in terms of not raising the cost or making “comfort” and “security” a PREMIUM thing. These changes are indeed body-positive with the inclusion of Aloe, vitamin-infusion and pH alignment (being very important for the prevention of vaginal infections or irritation). The aloe makes a great difference for prolonged pad-wear, even after saturation. Now with “prettying up” pads and tampons in mind, I see now they’re concentrating on making a better product without an increased cost to us!

O.B. Ultra Tampons in Canada – Returning Soon to a Store Near YOU!

Do you love O.B. Ultra Tampons?

For all you O.B. Ultra Absorbency tampon lovers out there, you’ll be happy to know that according to O.B.’s site that they’re trying to bring this product back to Canada! For those who recall the news of the O.B tampon shortage at the start of this year, they had some major shortages of these tampons and in particular, when they suddenly discontinued sale of their Ultra absorbency here in Canada. This was a huge concern to many women who use O.B. tampons because they offer such a high absorbency to go about their daily lives.

When you go to the O.B. Canada site, in a little overlay window they state:

The o.b.® Brand continues to work towards bringing o.b.® Ultra back to the market.

We are committed to listening to the needs of our consumers and keeping them apprised of our plans. Your patience is appreciated.

Now there seems to be some kind of media blackout on the reason why O.B. decided to pull the Ultra absorbency tampon off-the-shelves or at least, I haven’t been able to find much on it other than hearsay or rumours. Some say they violated tampon regulations in Canada for material composition or that they were just “too absorbent” and posed a greater risk of TSS. For all that matters though, conventional tampons all cause TSS so I don’t see why if that was the reason, they’d care so much as to pull it off the shelf. For the women who are afraid of TSS, maybe they should be considering other alternatives like pads or reusable products such as cups, sponges and cloth feminine hygiene options. If you’re using a product that knowingly could be damage, don’t bitch about it after or come down on the company for making a product that has such effects. Analogy: If you smoke cigarettes, don’t complain against the cigarette company that their product causes cancer.

But really, to put into perspective how serious that some women were against Johnson & Johnson for removing their O.B Ultra Tampons, there were lots of petitioning and boycotts in place. Ohhh, yes, these women are damn serious about their stance, such as:

On the side of smart marketing, some people also managed to sell Ultra absorbency O.B. tampons over eBay and other transaction-sites for $70-150 a box for the desperate women who were willing to pay such prices for their life-saving products. The worst part of all this was the fact J&J and McNeil declined to really give the public any information as to why it was discontinued. At least if they gave a plausible reason, it would make someone say, “Oh ya, that makes sense… well, ok…” rather than, “Nope, we’re just not selling it anymore.” Big companies like these DO have a right to control what they sell and their marketing tactics, BUT, they also have a corporate responsibility to their consumers. Can they pull a product off their shelf without “reporting” to the consumer? Sure. Should they? No.

Now on to the good stuff again with their “plan to return” their Ultra absorbency (or some kind of equivalency) tampons to the market, luckily, the “option” still shows up on their site so women can start praying and still have hope that something good will come of this. It’ll be nice for women to be able to buy these tampons for $3-7 again a box now, right?

Get ready to plug her up again 😆

Andie, one of our regular reader deserves credit for letting me know of this turn-up on this news!

Why Your Tampon/Pad Needs to Last – Ryanair now to remove toilets from its planes

I think we always want a pad or tampon (whether disposal or reusable) to last a reasonable amount of time. After all, a menstruating woman probably doesn’t want to spend every 30 minutes checking to see if her product is already full. However, a new airline is going to put your feminine hygiene product to the test! Ryanair, according to the article below, is planning to greatly reduce or eliminate on-board bathrooms. Hell, even someone who is not menstruating, has weak bladder issues or any other medical condition that would be critical to ensure that toilets be available would find this a cause for concern. Even a healthy human needs to expel their bodily byproducts once in a while, so how could someone even think about removing something like washrooms – as limited as they usually are already on flights – from their planes? This almost sounds like it’s inhumane, as legal and as much of a right they have to do so on their aircraft.

Of course not having this carrier here in Canada, it’s of little concern to me other than the amusement factor, but what about for the places who DO have Ryanair as a carrier, how receptive will customers be for a mere few dollar discount on their flight ticket to have a basic human amenity removed from them? Yes, there are countries who don’t have fancy washrooms or an actual commode to sit on, BUT at the very least, they have some spot they can go to do their business. Being up in the air, there doesn’t leave much room to take care of one’s personal business, so that‘s even worse than 3rd world countries. Short-haul flight, an hour or two without having to go to the washroom? Sure, MAYBE. But anything longer than 4 hours and I think that pushes people’s threshold of comfort to go urinate, defaecate or change their incontinence or menstrual products. Although I suppose considering the savings on the washroom, they may need to begin offering fecal-incontinence supplies for all passengers as compensation.

I could understand airlines cutting costs by making food/drinks an on-board paid purchase, pillows and blankets a paid luxury or even asking fliers to bring their own toilet paper to the washroom – but the availability of washrooms on a flight is crucial and I think is highly unfair to those whose needs for washroom relates to a medical condition. Even if your pad or tampon could absorb for a period (heh) of time, I know that sitting on one’s menstrual blood or having a tampon plugged up there continuously can be uncomfortable, so being able to change a saturated product is not just to prevent leakage, but for an overall feel of freshness. Sooner or later, there will be a charge for a life-jacket in the event of an emergency on a plane. Didn’t pay for your life-jacket ahead of time or don’t have cash on you when the plane is sinking? Well too bad, go die.

Official article and comments located @ http://www.everydaymoney.ca/2011/10/ryanair-now-to-remove-toilets-from-its-planes.html || The article below is NOT written by me nor owned by me in any way.

Ryanair now to remove toilets from its planes

We’ll admit, we kind of have a fascination with Ryanair here at EverydayMoney.ca.

Stock-photo-15643861-toilet-in-the-planeWhy? Well, can’t say for sure. Not only does Ryanair not fly to Canada, it doesn’t even fly to North America, meaning only backpackers and Euro travellers have ever sat on one of the outfits Boeing 737-800’s.

But much in the way that Entourage  is considered “lifestyle porn,” Ryanair is a kind of airline porn, in that the headlines it makes are irresistible to anyone that’s ever flown on a plane.

Now, after a laundry list of budget saving initiatives we’ll discuss below, Ryanair is proposing its latest strategy to slash fares for budget travellers: removing  toilets from its planes.

About a year-and-a-half after the Dublin-based airline sparked controversy with its move to charge passengers to use its washrooms, bombastic Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary now just wants to do away with his loos, nearly altogether.

O’Leary says he’s in talks with Boeing to remove two of the three toilets found on-board Ryanair’s planes. Doing so would allow adding six more seats to its cabins.

Ryanair, which carries 75 million passengers a year, flies as many as 189 passengers each flight. If three toilets (or one toilet per 63 people) are brought down to one, and six more seats are included, that leaves just one can for 195 travellers. Legally speaking, according to the Independent, there is no legal stipulation for an airline to provide even one washroom on its aircrafts.

In O’Leary’s defence, once more, he always brings these wild ideas public for the benefit of the passenger. No matter what he proposes, he always insists, at least, it’s all for lowering fares.

“(Removing two of three toilets) would fundamentally lower air fares by about five per cent for all passengers,” he says, noting that about three bucks of a typical $65 ticket might be saved if more seats can be added to Ryanair’s cabins.

In previous bids to bring down airfare, or at least cater to Ryanair’s idea of what travellers want, the airline has floated the idea of flying with just one pilot per flight, adopting standing-room only trips and even child-free flights, which Ryanair says are coming this fall.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

Posted at 12:31 PM in Consumer News, Current Affairs, Travel

You may need to start working your menstrual schedule around the next time you want to take the plane. This might also be a good opportunity for pad/tampon makers to start using this airline as a test of their product(s). I guess with this airline, men wearing pads won’t be such a foreign idea anymore…

If anything, I’d fly on this carrier just so I can make a point by shitting and pissing all over their seat or in any spot I can find so that they can enjoy the cleanup and smell.

Stayfree, Carefree & O.B – Save.ca (Mailed) Coupon & Stayfree Printable

Do You Love Stayfree Like I Do?

Buy 2 Save $5.00 Checkbox

Buy 2 Save $5.00 Checkbox

If so, you’ll be happy to know that Stayfree not only has a printable coupon located @ http://stayfree.ca/sampling/en/coupon-print.asp — but also a “Save $5 when you buy two Stayfree, Carefree or O.B. Feminine Hygiene” and you can request it @ http://www.save.ca/livewellsavewell/choose_province (This offer available to Canadian provinces only). In the middle of the page you should see the box similar to the image as shown to the right of this text (hopefully they don’t randomly place the coupon on the site). I don’t know whether there are limits that SAVE.CA is offering before it closes off the offering, so get it while it lasts! Don’t forget though however, SAVE.CA coupons often have a much shorter expiry date than the printable version. Don’t waste a great coupon by having it sit in your drawer and if you’re not going to use the coupon, don’t order it so that someone else who NEEDS it can!

The great thing about Stayfree over the other 2 major pad/tampon company is that their coupon has been around for a long time and they continue to have a good standing reputation with retailers honouring the coupon. I’ve used the printable coupon many times off of the Stayfree site and not once have I been rejected by retailers. Mind you, I don’t go crazy like some abusers I hear about who bring in 20 coupons and hoard every package or box on the shelf, so it’s used responsibly. The other two companies only offer coupons sparingly and you tend not to get as deep of a discount from their coupons or offers. Although the printable coupon has restrictions on when you can use it, I think the restrictions are quite understandable and that the discount of $2 on any Regular-Priced Stayfree Product is a very generous offer! The printable coupon also lasts quite long and is extended by J&J each time the 6-month period (hehe) elaspses, the current coupon expiry date is: December 31, 2011.

According to Stayfree’s Coupon Offer

Whether you’re busy raising your new family, working out at the gym, rushing around the office, or just out for a night on the town with friends, the wide range of STAYFREE® products are designed to protect you no matter where the day may lead.

STAYFREE® Cottony Dry Cover Ultra Thin Pads help you stay free from:

• Leakage – STAYFREE® has a Leak Protection Ring to help block leaks in all directions providing maximum protection against embarrassing leakage.

• Wetness – An Anti-leak core effectively uses fast-absorbing technology to help lock wetness in quickly for added protection against leaks. Helping to keep you feeling drier all day long.

• Discomfort –STAYFREE® has a new ultra-soft Cottony Dry Cover to provide maximum comfort.

• Odour – Double-odour protection not only actively prevents embarrassing odours but neutralizes them as well so you can stay confident no matter where your day takes you.

With so much research and engineering behind STAYFREE® products, it’s the ideal solution for all your feminine hygiene product needs at a price that fits your budget.

In fact, we’re so sure you’ll love STAYFREE® products that we’re going to give you $2.00 off on any STAYFREE® Product so you can experience for yourself just how great STAYFREE® is.

If you’ve never tried Stayfree products, the coupon is quite enticing! Heck, even the mailed-coupon by SAVE.CA might be a good way to test some new pads at minimal cost. If you’re interested in knowing more about the Stayfree products available in Canada, check out http://stayfree.ca/sampling/en/products.asp – although their site still hasn’t been updated to reflect the new Thermocontrol pads that have already replaced much of the “ultra thin” line of Stayfree pads. The other thing that makes Stayfree great other than the fact that they have enticing coupons is that their products are simply amazing! I’ve seen Stayfree grow a lot, from the days they had huge “Stayfree Prima” pads, all the way to today’s ultra thin Thermocontrol! While I have some small gripes about the fact they stopped offering separate “scented” and “unscented” products, I can’t deny that they still provide great comfort, absorbency and have a great reputation in my books.

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