Know Your Menstrual Resources!
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Having a period is a pain. Between cramps, leaks, and overall maintenance, it can be a chore to deal with the monthly shedding of one’s uterus lining. When it comes to trying to predict when your next period will start or even relaying the details of your flow of the ol’ crimson river at a gynecology appointment, without some sort of aid, period tracking can be difficult and at times inconvenient. Luckily, there are many resources available to menstruating people that help provide relief for cramps, education, organization, and even community. Here is a list of some of the resources I use regularly along with others that you can use to make your cycle experience a little bit easier.
One resource that I use often is the Clue app. Clue is an app that can help you track the days and heaviness of your period along with potential cramps, mood swings, PMS, and even skin condition and energy level among many other things. Clue is convenient with a clear and easy-to-use interface and countless tracking options and is available to both Apple and Android users. It really helps to bring menstrual and reproductive health to the forefront and attention of many menstruators. In addition to being a menstrual resource, Clue also tracks ovulation for users who are potentially looking to become or avoid becoming pregnant. Clue is run by an organization of menstruators; they come out with monthly newsletters where users can track the latest articles and progress the Clue team has made in the fight for greater menstrual education and resources. There are many other period tracker apps out there like P Tracker, Eve, Flo, and Cycles; some of these have varying levels of community and educational resources, but as far as I have found, Clue’s is the most comprehensive and informative.
Asides from period trackers, there are other resources you can go to in order to learn more about your menstrual health, get personal healthcare advice or free products. One obvious place is Planned Parenthood. They have locations nationwide as well as online resources. Whether you are seeking information on sexual, menstrual, or reproductive health or in need of access to inexpensive healthcare, Planned Parenthood can provide you with the resources you need. It is a supportive and safe environment to obtain healthcare and information from certified healthcare providers. Another healthcare resource you can utilize if you are a student is your school nurse. Granted, some are more supportive than others, however, you should be able to find a plentiful stock of period products and a safe space to ask questions about your menstrual health. These spaces are important for all menstruators to be knowledgeable of, get to know your city and school, it is always good to have a backup healthcare option.
Finally, there is a growing number of organizations working to provide free or reasonably priced access to menstrual products. Groups such as Conscious Period, #Happy Period, our friends Bleed Geeks, and many others are striving to make menstruating something that everyone can manage and feel unashamed of. Conscious Period and #Happy Period are organizations that strive to break menstrual stigmas and provide free products for low-income menstruators who cannot afford or access them otherwise. Out friends Bleed Geeks make and sell high-quality cloth pads at reasonable prices so that more menstruators can have access to sustainable and reusable menstrual products. If you are a menstruator in need of free or more reasonably priced products, feel free to check out any of these resources, otherwise, there are plenty more out there that you can use to make your cycle maintenance a little easier.
Thank you so much for reading, if you have any questions, comments, or additional resources you would like to share, please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!