Out Run Aunt Flow! – Exercising on your Period!

periods

Running is one of my favorite things to do. But it can be even more challenging when you’re on your period. If you’re anything like me, your period can leave you feeling bloated, crampy, and irritable. Ugh! Exercise is often the last thing women want to do feeling like that! However, exercising on your period is not only safe; it’s actually GOOD for you!!!

Menstrual Cramps:

Exercising on your period has all kinds of benefits! Exercise releases endorphins (chemicals in your brain) which naturally reduce pain!!! Yes, exercise can actually make cramps less painful! That’s because the endorphins help break down the hormone that causes menstrual cramps!

images

However, if you feel really ill or have extreme cramps, don’t force yourself to exercise. Sometimes when your body is asking for rest, it’s because all it really needs to recover is a bit of rest.

Protection:

Okay, so exercise is good for cramps but many women still worry about “springing a leak.” Fortunately, you can keep your period a secret by using the right tools!

Try using a tampon or menstrual cup rather than pads or panty liners; these options will trap the blood before it even leaves your body. If you’re still worried, double up your protection by using a panty liner with a tampon or menstrual cup.

Tampons:

A tampon is a cotton insert or other absorbent material placed into the vaginal canal to absorb menstrual flow. They come in all different sizes and with different (or no) applicators so you may want to try a few to see what feels most comfortable. And contrary to popular belief, tampons do not have any effect on virginity. I promise. Oh, they can also be worn while swimming!

Blog8

Menstrual Cup:

A menstrual cup is a flexible cup (usually made from medical grade silicone) worn inside the vagina during menstruation to collect menstrual fluid. Unlike tampons and pads, the cup collects menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it and can be worn for up to 12 hours! Menstrual cups are more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly than tampons, most cups are reusable, and can be used for up to 5-10 years. Like tampons, can also be worn while swimming!
CupsPanty Liners:

Super thin pad designed to absorb daily vaginal discharge, light menstrual flow, or “spotting.” Also used as a backup for tampons and menstrual cups.

Blog3Clothing:

Wearing the right workout clothes is always important but even more so when you’re on your period. Try wearing loose-fitting clothing; tight clothing can add pressure to an already bloated tummy (definitely not comfortable). Sports bras are the exception to that rule. Sports bras should be snug but not super tight (you should be able to comfortably take a deep breath). The straps should be wider than a normal bra and should not dig into your shoulders. Test the bra’s support by jumping or running in place. You’ll be able to feel whether it’s sufficiently supportive or not.

Sports Bras

For more information, click here to check out some tips to picking the right sports bra! Thanks Runner’s World!

ApixChoose pants that are in a dark color (black always works best). Avoid wearing anything super tight or super short. Also, avoid wearing thongs. Instead, wear boy-short type underwear which not only work great with panty liners but adds an additional layer of clothing in case of a leak. Lastly, throw on a dark sweatshirt or jacket before you head out; if you experience any leaks you can use the sweatshirt or jacket to tie around your waist to hide it! Outfit2

Want to learn more about periods? Check out these previously published posts or send me an email at justaskshawna@yahoo.com!

Aunt Flow’s Monthly Visit

Managing Your Period – Toolbox for Aunt Flow

When Aunt Flow Doesn’t Visit

In happiness & health,

Shawna

Reviewed by Andrea Raider, NP

Success Baby

Happy Holidays!!!

Happy Holidays Banner 120114

Happy Holidays from all of us here at New Generation Health Center!!!

The holidays have arrived and New Gen’s gift to staff is some much needed, and well deserved, time off.

New Generation Health Center will be closed from December 24, 2014 to January 4, 2015 – we will reopen January 5th, 2015.  However, we know that just because we are out for the holidays doesn’t mean your reproductive health needs are too. So we have come up with a plan for what to do while we are away.

Emergency Contraception (otherwise known as Plan B or Next Choice):

ec

Emergency Contraception is now available, over the counter at drugs stores such as Walgreens, without a prescription to ALL AGES!!!!

However, without a prescription it may cost around $50. But with a prescription AND a valid (non-expired)) FPACT card (see below) it is FREE!!!

FPACT Card

If you are 18 years old or older, you can print a prescription from the San Francisco City Clinic website: http://sfcityclinic.org/services/planb.asp

If you are 17 years old or younger, you can call SFGH infor at 415-206-8000 and ask for an OBGYN on-call (they can call in a prescription for you). If you cannot reach an OBGYN on-call, go to the SFGH pediatric urgent care. They are right down the street from New Gen!!!  See below for location and phone number.

Medication Refills:

If you are currently a NGHC patient and need an URGENT refill on a medication, please call 415-502-2337 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and medication needed. Although no one will be in the clinic, we will be checking messages. Remember, this is for URGENT refills only (like, you just finished your LAST birth control pack or you are having a herpes outbreak and need your Acyclovir). If it is not urgent, please call 415-502-8336 and leave a message.

Appointments:

If you need an appointment for a non-urgent matter, please call 415-502-8336 and leave a message with your name and phone number. When clinic reopens we will call you back to schedule an appointment.

Urgent/Emergency Care:  As always, NGHC refers all urgent care needs to San Francisco General Hospital Urgent Care or Emergency Room.

Urgent Care:
Location: 995 Potrero Ave., Building 80, Ward 81 South
Phone Number: 415-206-8052
Hours: We are open every day.  Doors open 8:00 AM daily and close at 9:00 PM on weekdays and 7:00 PM Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.

Pediatric Urgent Care:
Location: 1001 Potrero, 6M (Room 6M5)
Phone Number: 415-206-8376

Emergency Room:
Location: 1001 Potrero Ave., Suite 1E21
Phone Number: 415-206-8111

Okay, I think that covers it. We hope that you have a wonderful holiday. And remember, the holidays are about more than just gifts. Spend some time with friends and family, relax, read a book, volunteer your time, do something nice for some one, give thanks, and most of all, be safe and take care of yourself.

In happiness & health,

Shawna

Two New Faces at New Gen!!!!

I know I’m a little late on my monthly post and I am so very sorry about that BUT I promise I have a good reason. All of us here at New Gen have been really busy training 2 new AmeriCorps health educators (see below for more information about AmeriCorps)!!!! We are so grateful that these two have joined us. They are proving to be great additions to the New Gen team and like all staff, they are extremely comfortable discussing all things related to sex and relationships so don’t hesitate to ask them questions. So without further adieu, here they are!

LizzyHello! My name is Lizzy and I am one of the new AmeriCorps Members serving at New Generation Health Center. I love spending time one-on-one with patients to help them understand how they can live a happy and healthy life, especially when it comes to sex! I graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, in May of 2014 with a degree in biology, community health, and Spanish. This position at New Generation Health Center is teaching me more and more about these subjects every day! Within the next 5 years, I plan to get my Masters in Public Health and hope to continue working with underserved populations around the world. In my free time I love exploring my new home of San Francisco on my bike, hiking, and playing ultimate frisbee. Hope to see you soon at New Generation Health Center!

AlexHey! My name is Alex and I am one of the new AmeriCorps Health Educators here at New Gen. I was born and raised in the East Bay, I went to college in the North Bay, and I spend a lot of time with my friends in the South Bay. So you could definitely say that I love San Francisco and the Bay Area (Go Giants!). I have spent the past 5 years studying psychology and sciences, and volunteering in the healthcare field. I am extremely passionate about helping promote patient wellness which is why I am so excited to be at New Gen while applying to medical school. I enjoy sports and exercise, reading anything from magazines to non-fiction, cooking, and traveling to new places. I look forward to helping you receive the best reproductive healthcare and answering any questions you have!

What are AmeriCorps Members you ask? Check out SF AmeriCorps or email us your questions!!!

In happiness & health,

Shawna

Pearly Penile What???

Hi Shawna,

I just started having sex with my new boyfriend and I noticed he had some small bumps around the head of his penis. I asked him about it and he said that his doctor told him it was normal. He said it was called pearly pimples or something like that. What is that and is it something I should worry about it?

Thanks!
______________________________________________________________________

Great Question! Does it look something like this???

pearly-penile-papules

This is called Pearly Penile Papules, often abbreviated to PPP. They are tiny bumps that form a ring around the head of the penis. PPP is fairly common; about 20%-30% of the male population has them. We don’t know what causes them but we do know that PPP is nothing to worry about. PPP is not a sexually transmitted infection, it is not contagious, and poses no health risks. Although normal and totally not harmful, some men may choose to have them removed for aesthetic reasons (meaning, they don’t know like the way they look).

While PPP are harmless, other lumps or bumps in the genital area may not be. It’s always a good idea to be checked out by a clinician whenever in doubt.

In happiness & health,

Shawna

Reviewed by Kohar Der Simonian, MD

On and Off the Birth Control Train

Hi Shawna,

I’ve stopped taking my pills a month ago because I wanted to try a different method but I changed my mind and want to stick to pills. I still have 3 filled packs. Is it safe if I start again tomorrow?

Questions about the Pill

PrintHi,

This is a great question!!

You can definitely restart your pills tomorrow or whenever you’d like! Just remember to use a backup method, like condoms, for the entire first week. In fact, you should always use condoms if you are concerned about STD’s or HIV. Also, your period might be slightly off for the first pill pack, but that is normal and OK. If you don’t get a period in 4 weeks, come in for a pregnancy test.

01-condom-and-the-pillpill_condom_300x300_istock_7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope this helps answer your question!

In happiness & health,

Shawna

Want more information about the pill, like what to do if you miss a pill, click here!

Reviewed by Kohar Der Simonian, MD

There’s More than One Reason To Use Birth Control!!!

There are a lot of reasons to use birth control including pregnancy prevention, acne, or period regulation. Click here to find out what some women had to say about why they use birth control!

enhanced-buzz-wide-21091-1405469484-23

 

 

keep-calm-its-contest-time-2

Contest Alert!!!! The first 10 people to send me an email (askshawna@yahoo.com) about why they use birth control will receive a $5 gift card to Starbucks or Jamba Juice!

In happiness & health,

Shawna

 

 

 

To bleed or not to bleed?? How to control your period using the NuvaRing!

Hi Shawna,

I am going on vacation soon and really don’t want to be on my period. I am using the NuvaRing and my best friend told me that if I kept it in, I would skip my period. Is that true?

-Anonymous

Swim-when-You-Are-on-Your-Period-Step-5

Hi,

Great question! Your friend is right!

Although I have written about the ring before, I have not written about how to use it to skip periods (which is totally safe). For those who have never heard of the NuvaRing or still a bit confused about it, check out my previous blog post by clicking here.

NuvaRing 1

It’s actually pretty simple to skip a period using the ring. Instead of taking the ring out after 3 weeks and going ring free for a week, simply leave the ring in for 4 weeks and immediately replace it with a new ring when the 4 weeks is up. This means there will not be a time in which you aren’t wearing a ring. Don’t worry; your ring is still protecting you against pregnancy during the 4th week, just don’t forget to remove it and replace it when the 4th week is up. You can do this just once or continually. And remember, it’s totally safe not to have a period, so using your ring in this way is a great option for people who hate having their periods.

grace-period-300x199
Let me know if you have any other questions!

In happiness & health,

Shawna

Reviewed by Kohar Der Simonian, MD