Blush: Period Blood Colours

If you feel that your period is not your normal, it is recommended to see your doctor. You know your body best!

Image from www.monthlygift.com. This blog has no references, but some interesting content.
Image from www.monthlygift.com. This blog has no references, but some interesting content. It was written by an RN.

The colours you are most likely to see during your period are:

Bright red – this shows up for the longest amount of time during most people’s periods.

Dark red – this colour is associated with heavy days, first thing in the morning, and clots. This colour will only be seen at some points during the period, not the whole time. If this colour is the dominant one, get it checked out. Heavy periods might indicate anemia.

Brown or black – this colour is usually at the beginning or end of the period, and it’s just the old blood that has been oxidized the longest. If this colour is the dominant one, get it checked out.

Pink – this colour is mildly unusual. It might mean the flow is very light, that estrogen levels are low, an unbalanced diet, or that a high level of exercise is shortening the period. Not all of this is bad! However, if this colour is the dominant one, get it checked out.

Any other colour (in my research for this, blue, purple, orange, and grey have all been mentioned) should be seen by a doctor asap, as they indicate some health issues.

Any bleeding in between periods should be checked out asap as well, as that could indicate other health problems.


References

Trying to find good, sourced references on this topic was very difficult. I’d find an article that told me all about the colours of the blood, but then there’d be no references in the article, and I’d have to start all over again. Very frustrating!

http://www.webmd.boots.com/women/guide/menstrual-blood-problems-clots-colour-and-thickness

http://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/why-is-my-period-brown#1

http://www.teenvogue.com/gallery/period-blood-colors-what-they-mean


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Blush: Swimming and Periods

Before I get started on the post, I’d like to share a piece of good news I got yesterday from my publisher. The Blush cards have been completed, and the printer has shipped them! They should be arriving at the publisher’s on Monday! I am ridiculously excited about this, as it is earlier than anticipated. Whee!!

Pre-Order your copy!

Fu Yuanhui is a Chinese swimmer in the Rio Olypmics. Image from www.shockmansion.com
Fu Yuanhui is a Chinese swimmer in the Rio Olypmics. Image from www.shockmansion.com

This Chinese swimmer got her period during the Olympics. The day before her race. And apparently she gets debilitating cramps while on her period. Ouch. As someone who (usually) bleeds every month, it surprised me that it hadn’t occurred to me before this point what athletes did about the cramping that (might) come with their periods while during a meet.

Apparently it hadn’t occurred to me because it’s a taboo to discuss it in the sports world. Really? Ok then. Not my place at all to judge. But it certainly surprised me to hear that. But what surprised me even more was what was said as I continued to read the article; only 2% of Chinese people who get their periods use tampons. (In the US, 42% of menstruating people use tampons, for comparisons sake.)

I am a swimmer. Not competitively, but I was a lifeguard. I taught swimming lessons. I love the water. I used tampons from age 14-23. Not always successfully… but that’s a story for another time. Now (when needed) I use a menstrual cup called a Diva Cup.

So to hear that only 2%, TWO PER CENT, use tampons… it boggles my mind. How do they swim? Or do they just forgo swimming one week every month?

Not only do they not use tampons, but a lot of people aren’t even aware that they exist. Or weren’t, until Fu Yuanhui talked about swimming on her period on national television. Apparently someone even accused her of lying about being on her period, because how could she swim?

Hopefully this opens up a healthy discussion about menstruation and the variety of products available, and more menstruating people can have the opportunities that were so long denied to them.

P.S. If you go and read the article, there is more content, including whether menstruation affects sports performance, and whether using a tampon stops the person from being a virgin. The former would be an incredibly long post involving a lot of research that has yet to be done conclusively, and the latter is another post entirely – about what virginity means. I’ve been avoiding talking about this subject because I’m afraid of including too much of my opinions, but I think it’s time for that discussion…in two weeks.

P.P.S. If you are interested in doing a guest post about a topic that would fall under Blush, please let me know! This can be done with credit given, or anonymously. Please contact us at jenericdesigns@gmail.com

Sexism in Gaming

Yesterday I read an Tumblr post that made me deeply uncomfortable. Go read the article but be warned it’s disturbing.

Ok if you don’t want to read it it’s an account of how abhorrently women are treated in the gaming community; specifically tabletop, Pen & Paper, and miniatures/strategy. Not just heckling or general sexism but multiple forms of assault.

It made me sick to my stomach and a little part of me was glad I’d never experienced it. (In case you’re just tuning in; I’m a thirty-something, white, cis, male.) As I sat there thinking how it might turn me off gaming completely, and how sad that would be, I remembered a game I ran once.

It was the mid-2000s and Lost was every geek’s favourite show. Narnia had burst onto the big screen and I was running a game for three other guys. They were my first gaming group and they had a strict no girls policy.

The game was set on an Island (of course) and had Halflings that rode polar bears into battle (what game doesn’t). The overall theme of the game was racism, I’d based the story vaguely on the real life story of boxer Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter. (I was listening to a lot of Bob Dylan at the time.) Only he was a Halfling Colosseum fighter.

The group was ridiculously cautious. They’d spend 20-40 minutes per decision trying to plan for every contingency. (Probably my fault, a polar bear had killed their character in the jungle when they’d foolishly run ahead alone.)

After several sessions of them literally doing nothing and then getting pissed that I wasn’t moving the story along fast enough I introduced a new character; an impulsive human female Ninja, with shady motives. The idea was to have a character that could move the plot forward without a player fearing for their characters’ lives.

I’d done it early with an, “enemy of my enemy” style bad guy and they’d followed him straight into a trap. They still liked him afterwards.

They hated the Ninja from the start. At first I thought it was the impulsiveness (ten years later I think it was the gender). It wasn’t too bad at the beginning but when I started having her assert opinions like, “You’ve been arguing about going through this door for 30 minutes, I’m sure they’ve heard you.” Or “Shut up and stab something.” They started to verbally abuse her both in game and out of game and she was renamed, “The Bitch”.

At one point, in the middle of a puzzle, I tried to give them a hint through the Ninja. One of the players told her to shut up and let them work. I snapped and asked through the character, “What the hell is your problem? I’ve saved your life, fought monsters beside you but you still treat me like shit.”

The answer was, “You’re an NPC.” (Non-Player Character) Which I would believe if they hadn’t had the epic bromance with the last NPC. Then the player added, “Plus I just don’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.”

The rest of the group burst into laughter as if it was the cleverest joke they’d ever heard.

If it sounds familiar, it’s a quote from South Park that specifically makes fun of a character for being sexist.

The game fizzled out shortly afterwards. It had made me deeply uncomfortable. At the time I thought it was because I was doing something wrong in running the game. I thought the hate and vehemence was aimed at me.

I’m sure some of it was aimed at me but most was aimed at the character who dared to be female and not be a love interest, damsel, or incompetent.

It’s the closest I’ve ever come to experiencing the sexism women deal with every day and it sucked. It’s nothing like the stories in the article but my experience does illustrate how deep seeded the sexism in gaming is, that a fictional character played by a man was treated poorly just because I wrote down F instead of M on the character sheet.

Since then I’ve played with dozens of people and have had great experiences. I’ve built up my own community of players that aren’t jackasses and I’ll re-post what I said on my facebook yesterday:

Let me be completely clear: Books End, FADDS, and any game I run is a safe space. If you EVER feel uncomfortable you let me know and it will be dealt with.

This sort of behaviour is unacceptable, deplorable, and will result in being permanantly banned. I also have no qualms with calling the police if things are bad enough.

Gaming is about having fun and imagining other worlds. It’s not exclusive to one gender, sex, race, class, ethnicity, language, etc… It’s meant to be shared and enjoyed by everyone.

 

Be Excellent to each other!

Éric

Blush: Menstruation

So far we have received almost three digits worth of questions, but I’m greedy, and I want more! Ask us your anonymous questions here!

Image from www.bravelittlenib.files.wordpress.com
Image from www.bravelittlenib.files.wordpress.com

Question

What is menstruation?

Answer

To put it simply, menstruation is when the female body sheds the lining of her uterus.

This happens for the first time in between the ages of 10 and 17. Please note that the age you get your first period does not necessarily run in your family. My grandmother was 17, her youngest daughter was 10. I was 2 months shy of 14.

The length of period can vary between 3 days and 1 week. If it is longer than this, please consult your doctor to be safe.

The lining of the uterus is built up over a 28-36 day period, to protect and nourish a fetus. If no fetus is present, the old lining is removed from the body to prepare for a new one.

Participating in continuous strenuous activity may extend the time in between your periods, and might delay you getting your first period. Being under excessive stress might extend the menstrual cycle. Not having enough to eat, or not eating healthy, might affect your period. An imbalance of hormones in your body might affect your period. Being around a group of girls for extended periods of time might cause your periods to sync.


References

www.kidshealth.org
www.always.com
www.webmd.com
www.health.com