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The Bloody Truth, feminine hygiene and the menstrual cycle

Today is day 1 of Women's Week and this essay comes to us courtesy of guest blogger Bellgene Chung. Bell, as the community knows her, made her debut on WLIR last May when she openly shared her cancer story, and later her cancer victory. Bell's latest essay focuses on feminine hygiene and the ovulation process and the myths associated with the female period.

The Bloody Truth, feminine hygiene and the menstrual cycle

Period. Rag. Bloody annoyance! Most people are absolutely disgusted at the mere thought of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Females talk about their “rag” in code, while males shudder at the feminine hygiene product commercials advertised on television. Generally, any kind of dialogue surrounding the subject of menstruation is either swept under a rug or is covered up by some kind of facetious remark. What a lot of people do not realize is that ovulation and the menstrual cycle are crucial indicators of a woman’s true health.

In theory, the fewer toxins a woman has in her body, the less discomfort she will experience during her menstrual cycle. Technically, ovulation is the periodic production and discharge of eggs from the ovaries. Even the term “menstrual cycle” is misleading, because menstruation (bleeding) is NOT a necessity during ovulation. I am fully aware that the thought of unnecessary menstruation may sound odd. We have been conditioned to believe that menstruation goes hand in hand with ovulation; the normalcy of these two concepts being intertwined is engrained in our minds by the very language we use. Thus, so many women assume that their monthly aches and pains are unavoidable, but this is simply not true.

I cannot stress enough how truly amazing Nature, and the human body, really is. Our bodies are constantly adjusting to the abuses that we entrench upon ourselves – both consciously and unconsciously. Most women, including myself, experience menstruation because they are not truly clean on the inside. Menstruation is the body’s desperate attempt to free itself from toxins, and many females experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in addition to the needless bleeding. Abdominal pain (cramping), headaches, fatigue, and irritability do NOT signify an optimal state of health, yet most of us brush these symptoms off as the norm. If you feel such symptoms, this is how your body is communicating that it wants you to change what you are doing; we must listen to Nature’s messages.

For twenty-one years I ate the “Standard American Diet” (SAD), and accordingly, I experienced the “standard” symptoms associated with PMS – I thought I was normal. Unfortunately, I did not realize that “normal” does not equate to “healthy” until after my experience with a nearly fatal health crisis, cancer. After my body grew accustomed to a vegan (and mainly raw) diet, I no longer experienced any discomfort during ovulation. For almost six months in 2006, I ate a completely raw diet, and I only experienced two menstrual cycles. Presently, on a mainly raw diet, I do not even realize that I am menstruating until I feel moist and decide to take a peek. The flow of my cycles is very light, and I never experience any change in mood. Perhaps the best benefit is that my menstrual cycle only lasts for a maximum of three days. After my own experience, and after reading the anecdotes of extremely healthy women, the possibility of completely eliminating my menstrual cycle is a goal I strive for yet again.

Undoubtedly, diet affects menstruation, and I encourage those of you who are interested in this topic to seek out supplementary information. Chuck Bluestein’s “Diet and Menstruation” is an excellent article with a wealth of invaluable information. In addition to educating ourselves, taking action in the right direction is the best thing we can do for our well being. We must not beat ourselves up if we occasionally fall victim to temptation – this is bound to happen during the healing process.

For those who continue to menstruate, the issue of feminine hygiene products is of acute concern. Most feminine hygiene products on the market are laced with harmful toxins and chemicals, like chlorine, that poison our bodies and the environment. While menstruating, the last thing our bodies want is to be suffocated with harmful substances (keep in mind that anything that touches our skin goes directly into the bloodstream within seconds).

I am delighted that there are healthy options available, like the Diva Cup, and I have no reservations in recommending it to anyone. I have been using the cup for a year, and I guarantee that once you get the feel for how to position it properly, you will never go back to using disgusting pads or tampons. Not only does the cup keep you dry, but it is very ecological and cost effective (they run for about forty dollars, and they can last for many years); disposable products are severely detrimental to the environment and wasteful in all respects. Choosing to use products that do not facilitate a further poisoning of the body will prove to be beneficial for true health.
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Bellgene Suzanne Chung is a 24 year old school teacher who works and lives in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). At the age of 18 she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and her life was forever changed. Since that diagnosis, Bell has been on a mission to teach as many young women as possible about true health. On October 19th, 2007 Bell shared with the world that she was officially cancer free.

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