Exercise On Your Cycle

Let’s be honest, during the bleeding stage of your menstrual cycle, we barely feel like moving from the sofa, let alone hitting the gym.

Well there is a scientific reason behind why we’re so adverse to exercise when we have our natural bleed so stop being hard on yourself and work with your monthly cycle instead.

According to hormone experts, our bodies have different needs during each part of our menstrual cycle, and this can affect how we feel about getting active. And instead of fighting against this, we should actually be syncing our workouts to our menstrual cycles.

How to sync your workouts to your menstrual cycle

In order to sync your workout schedule with your menstrual cycle, you need to first understand the four different phases.

The four phases of your menstrual cycle:

The Follicular Phase (lasting 7 to 10 days)

This is when you will tend to feel the most energetic. It’s when your body is getting ready to release an egg from the ovary, so your hormone levels dip. As a result, our energy levels increase, making this the perfect time to try a new and challenging workout.

The Ovulatory Phase (lasting 3 to 4 days)

This phase is where your energy levels peak. It’s in the middle of the menstrual cycle, when the body is churning out the luteinizing hormone that triggers the release of the egg. The body also produces more testosterone and oestrogen during this time. So, if there was ever a time to do really intense workouts like HIIT training, it’s now!

The Luteal Phase (lasting 10 to 14 days)

Not only is this the longest phase, but it’s normally experienced in two halves. In the first half, the lining of the uterus thickens to prepare for a possible pregnancy. As a result, your oestrogen and progesterone levels increase and your testosterone levels peak. It’s a great idea to take advantage of this by doing strength training or other weight-bearing exercises during this phase. However, in the second part of the luteal phase, many people experience an energy dip. This is because the oestrogen and progesterone levels start to decline. You may prefer to do more low-key exercises during this time, like yoga, pilates or a walk.

The Menstrual Phase (lasting 3 to 7 days)

Yep, we all know what this one means! During the menstrual phase, the uterine level starts to shed which leads to us feeling out of sorts. Now is the time to really listen to your body and tailoring your workouts routine accordingly. If you feel like doing some low-intensity exercise during this phase then, by all means, go for it. But if your body is telling you it needs rest, listen to it—as working out on your period can make you feel worse if your adrenals are already under stress.

Article by Emma Norris from Sporteluxe

Does Your Sex Hurt?


Dyspareunia is never discussed in sex education classes, in fact as a woman you might not know that 1 in 10 British women find sex painful.

If you are a man this might be the first time you have ever heard the word but pain during sexual intercourse is really common and women are often are too embarrassed to seek treatment and make sex enjoyable again.

Nearly 1 in 10 British women find sex painful, according to a big study,” BBC News reports. The study’s results highlight the arguably neglected issue of pain during sex, medically known as dyspareunia.

The thing is, sex isn’t supposed to hurt unless you give consent and want it to so what are the causes and what can you do about it?

Pain during or after sex can be caused by many things, such as:

  • illness
  • infection
  • a physical problem
  • a psychological problem

If you get pain during or after sex, your body may be trying to tell you something is wrong, so don’t ignore it.

See your GP or go to a sexual health clinic. Find a sexual health clinic in UK near you.

Painful sex in women

Women can experience pain during or after sex, either in the vagina or deeper in the pelvis.

Pain in the vagina could be caused by:

  • an infection – thrush or a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea or genital herpes
  • the menopause – changing hormone levels can make your vagina dry
  • lack of sexual arousal at any age
  • vaginismus – a condition where muscles in or around the vagina shut tightly, making sex painful or impossible
  • genital irritation or allergy caused by spermicides, latex condoms or products such as soap and shampoo.

Pain felt inside the pelvis can be caused by conditions such as:

  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • endometriosis
  • fibroids growing near your vagina or cervix
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • constipation

What to do

Get advice from your GP or a healthcare professional at a GUM clinic if you have pain during or after sex.

They’ll try to find the cause of the problem and be able to tell you whether you need any treatment.

For example:

if you have pain, unusual discharge, itchiness or soreness around your genitals, they may recommend treatment for thrush or an STI test

if your vagina is dry, you may be advised to try using a lubricant – remember to use a water-based product if you’re using condoms because oil-based lubricants can damage them and make them ineffective

if you have an allergy or irritation around your genitals, you may be advised to avoid using products that could be causing it

if there’s an emotional reason or anxiety that’s causing problems, a counsellor or sex therapist may be able to help – your GP or sexual health clinic can refer you to one

Women going through menopause might also experience pain during sex as a result of vaginal dryness that happens due to low estrogen levels.

People who recently gave birth may also grapple with discomfort during sex. It takes time for the vagina to heal after pushing out a baby, and scar tissue could develop and make sex painful.

There are so many other things that can mess with your sexual response, making sex uncomfortable or legitimately painful.

Any negative emotions—like shame, stress, guilt, fear, whatever—can make it harder to relax during sex, turning arousal and vaginal lubrication into obstacles.

Of course, the source of these negative emotions varies from individual to individual. For some, it’s a matter of mental health. Feeling uncomfortable in your body or having relationship issues might also contribute.

In an unfair twist, taking care of yourself in some ways, like by using antidepressant medication, blood pressure drugs, allergy medications, or some birth control pills, can also cause trouble with lubrication that translates into painful sex.

You shouldn’t use painkillers or a numbing agent to try to get through painful sex.

This might seem like the best way to handle your pain, your body has pain receptors for a reason, and by numbing them, you could end up subjecting your body to trauma (think: tiny tears or irritation) without realizing it—which can just leave you in more pain.

If you’re not ready to see a doctor yet, there are a few things you can try at home, first.

Acording a few DIY methods might mitigate your symptoms:

  • Use lube, especially if you feel like your problem is caused by vaginal dryness.
  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to your vulva to dull a burning sensation when needed.
  • Have an honest conversation with your partner about what’s hurting and how you’re feeling. Let them know what hurts, what feels good, and what you need from them right now—whether that’s a break from certain sex acts, more time to warm up before you have sex, or something else.
  • Try sex acts that don’t involve penetration, like mutual masturbation and oral sex, which may help you avoid some of the pain you typically experience.

It’s totally OK to experiment with these things, especially if they help you associate sex with something positive. But these tactics cannot and should not replace professional care.

If you’re regularly experiencing painful sex, you should talk to a doctor. When in doubt, mention your concerns to your care provider, especially if any of these sound familiar:

  • Sex has always been painful for you
  • Sex has always been painful but seems to be getting worse
  • Sex is usually pain-free but has recently started to hurt
  • You’re not sure whether or not what you’re experiencing is normal, but you’re curious to learn more about painful sex

When you see your doctor, they’ll likely ask questions about your medical history and conduct a pelvic exam and/or ultrasound. It’s important for doctors to ask the right questions and for patients to voice concerns about things.

From there, your doctor should take a holistic approach to treatment to address the possible physical, emotional, and situational concerns.

Many women think that it’s acceptable to experience pain during intercourse but it probably isn’t acceptable. And it can probably be made better.

Article from SELF – 8 Things Doctors Wish You Knew About Dyspareunia, AKA Painful Sex | SELF

Kate Beckinsale Had Ruptured Ovarian Cyst

The actress Kate Beckinsale ended up in hospital two weeks ago with a ruptured ovarian cyst. So what exactly is an Ovarian cysts and what are the symptoms to look out for?

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on a woman’s ovary. They’re very common and don’t usually cause any symptoms. Most ovarian cysts occur naturally and disappear in a few months without needing any treatment.

The ovaries

The ovaries are two small, bean-shaped organs that are part of the female reproductive system. A woman has two ovaries – one each side of the womb (uterus).

The ovaries have two main functions:

  • to release an egg approximately every 28 days as part of the menstrual cycle
  • to release the female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, which play an important role in female reproduction

Ovarian cysts may affect both ovaries at the same time, or they may only affect one.

Symptoms of an ovarian cyst

An ovarian cyst usually only causes symptoms if it splits (ruptures), is very large, or blocks the blood supply to the ovaries.

In these cases, you may have:

  • pelvic pain – this can range from a dull, heavy sensation to a sudden, severe and sharp pain
  • pain during sex
  • difficulty emptying your bowels
  • a frequent need to urinate
  • heavy periods, irregular periods or lighter periods than normal
  • bloating and a swollen tummy
  • feeling very full after only eating a little
  • difficulty getting pregnant – although fertility is unaffected in most women with ovarian cysts

See your GP if you have persistent symptoms of an ovarian cyst.

If you have sudden, severe pelvic pain you should immediately contact either:

  • your GP or local out-of-hours service
  • NHS 111
  • your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department

Types of ovarian cyst

The two main types of ovarian cyst are:

functional ovarian cysts – cysts that develop as part of the menstrual cycle and are usually harmless and short-lived; these are the most common type

pathological ovarian cysts – cysts that form as a result of abnormal cell growth; these are much less common

Ovarian cysts can sometimes also be caused by an underlying condition, such as endometriosis.

The vast majority of ovarian cysts are non-cancerous (benign), although a small number are cancerous (malignant). Cancerous cysts are more common in women who have been through the menopause.

Diagnosing ovarian cysts

If your GP thinks you may have an ovarian cyst, you’ll probably be referred for an ultrasound scan, carried out by using a probe placed inside your vagina.

If a cyst is identified during the ultrasound scan, you may need to have this monitored with a repeat ultrasound scan in a few weeks, or your GP may refer you to a gynaecologist (a doctor who specialises in female reproductive health).

If there’s any concern that your cyst could be cancerous, your doctor will also arrange blood tests to look for high levels of chemicals that can indicate ovarian cancer.

However, having high levels of these chemicals doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, as high levels can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions such as:

  • endometriosis
  • a pelvic infection
  • fibroids
  • your period

Treating ovarian cysts

Whether an ovarian cyst needs to be treated will depend on:

  • its size and appearance
  • whether you have any symptoms
  • whether you’ve been through the menopause

In most cases, the cyst often disappears after a few months. A follow-up ultrasound scan may be used to confirm this.

As post-menopausal women have a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer, regular ultrasound scans and blood tests are usually recommended over the course of a year to monitor the cyst.

Surgical treatment to remove the cysts may be needed if they’re large, causing symptoms, or potentially cancerous.

Ovarian cysts and fertility

Ovarian cysts don’t usually prevent you from getting pregnant, although they can sometimes make it harder to conceive.

If you need an operation to remove your cysts, your surgeon will aim to preserve your fertility whenever possible. This may mean removing just the cyst and leaving the ovaries intact, or only removing one ovary.

In some cases, surgery to remove both your ovaries may be necessary, in which case you’ll no longer produce any eggs. Make sure you talk to your surgeon about the potential effects on your fertility before your operation.

Article from the NHS.

28 Day Cycle? That is 13 Periods!

28 Day Cycle? That is 13 Periods

There are 28 days in the average menstrual cycle. There are also usually 28 days in the month of February.

That means if you have a 28 day cycle, you are having 13 Periods a year NOT 12.

This is why our yearly subscription for your feminine hygiene box is for 13 boxes not 12!

50% of the population will have experienced menstruation in the past or will experience it at some point in the future. That is 800 million women a month having a natural, hormonal change in their bodies.

We can deliver to your door, in a plain white box with no branding or logo, your personal choice of UK branded products, any mix of brand, type and absorbency to make your flow as comfortable and easy as possible.

Most of us are pretty clueless when it comes to what exactly goes on inside our bodies every month, which products would work the best and how to cope with leaks, sensitive bladders and all things feminine hygiene related.

For years, menstruation and women’s feminine health have been hidden.

We have been told that our period pain doesn’t matter, that our blood should be hidden and that even though menstruation is totally normally, it really isn’t something we should be chatting about in public.

Well the Team here at #BM are chatting about it, everyday! ❤️

Covering topics from your first period to your last, Menopause, Sensitive Bladder and everything in between.

Want to get in touch? Want us to cover a topic that matters to you? Got a question? Email us.

Talking Periods

Talking Periods

Do you hide your period from your friends and family? Have you ever wondered why?

When I started to research “all things feminine” in the huge and complicated feminine hygiene market I addressed this subject with Emeritus Professor of Criminology David Wilson.

Periods are blood so discovering where everyone’s general dislike of this red liquid seemed the right place to start.

David highlighted that from birth we are taught that blood means we are “hurt” and in the majority of cases, if we bleed we go to our parents to get ‘soothed‘ and cleaned up and the wound is then “hidden” with a plaster.

These simple actions which when applied to a cut or graze is normal accepted behaviour but when you apply to a woman’s Periods they become the building bricks to why Periods are perceived as “negative”, “painful” and “covered up”.

Plan International UK released a 2017 report where stating that more than half (56%) of 14-year-old girls feel embarrassed about their period, while just one in five young women aged 14-21 feel comfortable mentioning it to school teachers or staff.

I too was an embarrassed 12 year old girl, as a pony obsessed horse rider, trying to hide my bulky sanitary pad under tight fitting jodhpurs,

I remember the dash after the lunchtime bell to the school girls toilets, trying to find a semi clean cubicle which was not either overflowing or blocked to change my pad.

I recall starting my period feeling pride that I was “now a woman” to discover that this amazing female power, now being able to create a baby and give life, was never talked about, completely hidden and silenced except for school playground gossip and terrifying stories of what was to come.

On February 14th we launch a new feminine hygiene business, Bloody Marvellous to change our attitude to our feminine hygiene products and how we buy it.

We offer discreet, monthly deliveries of whichever UK brand you trust and more importantly give product advise and the ability to try other brands, designs, types and absorbency to make your flow (blood or urine) as comfortable as possible.

This stigma and shame of every females natural, monthly, hormonal body changes has to be shattered and all things feminine hygiene related needs to be in our daily conversation.

To help with this, Bloody Marvellous joined in the campaign by Plan International UK that received support from more than 55,000 people. Teaming up with NHS Blood and Transplant they submitted a blood drop emoji to be included on keyboards everywhere – and it’s been included in the February 2019 emoji release.

The use of a blood drop emoji will reduce some of the stigma that exists around periods.

So as one of the 800 million women around the world who “bleed” every month is a huge step towards talking periods and smashing the silence which surrounds them.

Emoji will be included in the February 2019 emoji release.

Article by