It wasn’t too long ago that mentioning the word “period” could clear a room in ten seconds flat. Luckily, we’ve come a long way in a few decades. And yet, there’s still stigma around menstruation. Which is kinda ridiculous, considering it’s a totally natural process that happens to half the population and is essential for the continuance of the human race. So let’s bust those tabooed doors open and talk about periods!
Women have a lot of periods. On average, an American girl gets her first period when she’s around twelve, and almost forty years later, goes through menopause at age 51.<1>,<2> That’s a ton of periods. In fact, a gal can expect to have about 450 periods in her life.<3>
They’re still hard to talk about. There are a lot of euphemisms for periods. In the U.S., we talk about visits from “Aunt Flo.” In Germany, menstruation is called “Erdbeerwoche,” which means Strawberry Week. In Australia and New Zealand, women “surf the crimson wave.”<4> These expressions can be fun, but they also show our discomfort with talking about this basic bodily function.
The average age for first period is going down. In the nineteenth century, most girls didn’t get their periods until their late teens; now, many preteens have theirs. This is partly due to better nutrition, but chemicals in the environment that affect hormones — called endocrine disruptors — are suspected to play a role.<5>
Periods don’t coordinate with each other. It’s a common belief that when women spend a lot of time together, their periods will sync up. But this may be a myth. When scientists kept track of the periods of 186 young women living in the same dorm, they found their cycles didn’t match up any more than you’d expect by chance.<6> You may share a lot of things with your bestie, but your period probably isn’t one of them.
You can get pregnant while you have your period. It’s not common, but it can happen. Sperm can survive five or six days in your body, and if you’re sexually active near the end of your period… and you have a short cycle… you get the picture. So, don’t use your period as birth control.
Heavy periods can cause iron deficiency. That’s because your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, the component of blood that ferries oxygen throughout your body. If you lose red blood cells faster than your body can replace them, you can end up low in both iron and hemoglobin.<7> And that can leave you feeling run down on a good day and utterly exhausted on a bad one.
Iron supplements have two downsides. Supplementing with iron can help you feel like yourself again. But iron supplements have two big downsides. First, they can be constipating. And second, they can be hard to absorb. Never fear. Flora has two iron products that are easy to absorb and easy on your digestive system. Why two? We like choices, so we figured you would, too. Liquid or capsule? Low-dose or high-potency? You decide.
Flora’s Iron+ is a low-dose, bioavailable, liquid iron formula that helps prevent iron deficiency anemia and associated tiredness and fatigue, while supporting the formation of red blood cells. This innovative formula features liquid ferrous gluconate — a form of iron clinically proven to quickly and significantly raise iron levels. In fact, in a head-to-head test of four kinds of iron, liquid ferrous gluconate was the best absorbed and tolerated. It caused a 24% boost in levels of ferritin (stored iron) in just one month, with no digestive side effects.
Flora Iron+ capsules feature ferrous gluconate — which is easier on the digestive tract than other forms of iron and has clinically proven absorption. Bonus: Iron+ capsules includes vitamin C for enhanced absorption and B vitamins for extra energy. All in a base of fruit juices and whole foods. You’ll be soaring in no time.
<1> Martinez GM. Trends and patterns in menarche in the United States: 1995 through 2013-2017. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Health Statistics Reports. 2020 Sep 10. #146. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr146-508.pdf
<2> Menopause. Mayo Clinic. 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397
<3> Oerman A. 22 period facts that’ll blow your mind. Cosmopolitan. 2017 Aug 31. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/a12091987/period-facts/
<4> Calderwood I. 12 of the weirdest and worst euphemisms for the word “period.” Global Citizen. 2017 Nov 22. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/weird-period-euphemisms-around-the-world/
<6> Zhengwei Y, Schank JC. Women do not synchronize their menstrual cycles. Human Nature. 2006;17:433-47. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-006-1005-z
<8> Caparis D. Effectiveness and tolerability of oral liquid ferrous gluconate in iron-deficiency anemia in pregnancy and in the immediate post-partum period: comparison with other liquid or solid formulations containing bivalent or trivalent iron. Minerva Ginecol. 1996 Nov;48(11):511-8.