O menstruaciji

Cathy’s health tips

Cathy Marchand is one of Mooncup Ltd's resident Nurse Advisors and has had over 25 years Nursing experience. These tips are also featured in our e-newsletter. If you would like to receive it you can sign up here

May 2010 - Vaginal Discharge

The subject was selected by the advice nurses for this issue because we regularly get asked questions about vaginal discharge. “Can the Mooncup be used to collect it?” (no-it’s not licensed for this), and other questions that suggest that this daily discharge seems to cause concern for many women. The “conventional” sanitary protection industries also seem pre-occupied about it too-so what’s this all about?

What is vaginal discharge?

Vaginal discharge is the wetness that collects outside the vagina every day, and it varies in colour, consistency and volume. It will appear in the gusset of your underwear or on your inner labia.

Why?

This is how the vagina cleans and regulates itself!!- and is a sign of a healthy, normal vagina and reproductive system. The acidity of the discharge (Ph 3.5 to 4.5) puts most bacteria and viruses off entering and causing infections, such as candida (thrush). The mucous acts like a barrier too, by causing an obstructing any potential pathogens. The vaginal discharge will not cause any illness when it collects outside the vagina like faeces (poo) or urine can do; it is harmless except to invading bacteria and germs. If women did not have the discharge, they would get more infections, find penetrative sex very painful and the vagina would start to smell offensive!

What is normal discharge?

  • White thicker/slightly yellow discharge is usually at the beginning and end of every cycle
  • In between periods it becomes clear and stretchy (at the time of ovulation)
  • It is also clear and stretchy during sexual arousal
  • The discharge continues when on your period, it’s just difficult to tell because of the bleeding too
  • It is normal and healthy to have a daily vaginal discharge during the reproductive years, and this is influenced by hormonal fluctuation, (including pregnancy, menopause and use of the contraceptive pill)
  • Vaginal discharge contains salts, oils and water, all working to maintain the clever balance in this vital area of reproductive health
  • Vaginal discharge is produced by the ovaries, cervix, Fallopian tubes and uterus too

How much is normal?

There has been no conclusive research but an estimated amount, depending on where you are in your cycle, has been put forward as 5ml (about a teaspoon) in 24 hours.

Smells?

Normal vaginal discharge is a natural odour that varies with the cycle. It is a mild and not unpleasant scent. It is normal that the smell changes slightly when a man has ejaculated into the vagina for up to a couple of days later.

How to manage vaginal discharge for optimal health

  • Most doctors will tell you that it is better to wear cotton next to your skin rather than synthetic fibres and plastics, as found it pantyliners
  • If the discharge is uncomfortably wet, it’s healthier to change to a fresh pair of cotton knickers than use a pantyliner
  • Washing once a day with a non-irritating hypoallergenic soap is all you need to clean the area
  • AND many health care professionals advise that using just water to clean the vaginal area is far better for maintaining the vaginal balance and keeping the vagina healthy
  • Do not douche the vagina to try and eliminate the discharge, has this has been shown to increase the chances of infection
  • Fragrances in general (as found in soaps, pantyliners, personal intimate wipes,) are unhealthy for the vagina and its delicate skin, as they can contain preservatives and parabens
  • If you experience an unusual discharge which has changed in colour, smell or consistency, then go and see a doctor, gynaecologist or nearest sexual health service provider
  • Remember a little wetness and scent in the gusset of your knickers is a sign of a healthy, efficient vagina


  • Bye for now, Cathy " x

    Vaginal Health

    "My health tips are all about concentrating on simple habits that can make a BIG difference to the health of the vulva and vagina! I receive a lot of emails from women who describe a history of itching and discomfort, fearing that they may have an illness, so wanted to let you know some of the most important things you can do to keep the vagina and labia healthy and comfortable.

    • Get to know your vagina and labia, so that if there are any changes that occur, you can immediately deal with them-and contact your health provider as needed. The importance of self-awareness can't be overstated!

    • Do not douche! Douching will alter the finely balanced acidity in your vagina, and will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy. Douching can make odour and discharge worse, not better. Remember, discharge is perfectly normal during the reproductive years, and staining in the underwear is completely ordinary. The vulva has many sweat glands, and sweat produces odour-this is to be expected. The vagina is a dynamic organ with its own changing eco-system-do not mess with it!

    • Keep the scents out! Avoid vaginal sprays, scented vaginal deodorants, wipes, tampons and pads-these can cause allergic reactions, irritation and candida., to both your vagina and labia. Your own natural smell is not “bad” or in need of masking.

    • Do not over protect. Repeated used of pantyliners or pads can be irritating and abrasive.

    • Keep the powders off! Talcum powder can make its way into the vagina, again altering the fine balance. When the talc reaches the normal vaginal discharge, it can cause clumps that are uncomfortable and unhealthy.

    • Wear loose, cotton underwear and trousers that do not hug the area uncomfortably. Thongs, bodysuits, tights and underwear made from spandex can cause discomfort and itching, as they do not allow the area to breathe.

    • Bathe with care. Frequent lengthy soaking in hot water can also cause irritation and dry skin. Use simple and pure unscented soaps. Bubble bath can also be very drying and irritating to the vulva and vagina, so keep everything as simple and natural as possible. Pat dry the area gently too!

    Bye for now, Cathy " x


    Vaginal Prolapse

    "There is a network of muscles, ligaments and skin in and around a woman's vaginal area that supports the uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra, small bowel and the vagina itself. Imagine a very strong net that weaves around these organs and helps to keep them stable and in position. Weakening or stretching of the muscles, ligaments and skin causes the net to become slack. This is when a vaginal prolapse can occur - the organs slip from their usual place and cause the vagina to change shape.Although a prolapse sounds very scary, it can occur with no symptoms at all. Also, the treatment does not always require drastic measures.

    Types of prolapse

    • Rectocele (prolapse of the rectum) - This involves a prolapse of the back wall of the vagina. When this wall weakens, the rectal wall pushes against the vaginal wall, creating a bulge
    • Cystocele (prolapse of the bladder) - This occurs when the front wall of the vagina prolapses. As a result, the bladder may move into the vagina. When this condition occurs, the urethra usually follows too
    • Enterocele (herniated small bowel) - The weakening of the upper vaginal supports can cause this type of vaginal prolapse. This can occur following a hysterectomy
    • Prolapsed uterus (womb) - This involves a weakening of ligaments at the top of the vagina. This causes the uterus to fall, which commonly causes both the front and back walls of the vagina to weaken as well

    There are several stages described by doctors according to how severe the prolapse is. Symptoms vary from having none at all to significant symptoms that can affect a woman’s quality of life.

    Who gets vaginal prolapses?

    Approximately 30-40% of women develop some type of vaginal prolapse in their lifetime. Most women who develop this condition are 40 years old or more

    Some factors that could increase the likelihood of vaginal prolapse are:

    • Pregnancy and childbirth are believed to be the main cause of vaginal prolapse. Pregnancy can put a lot of strain on the supportive net, caused by the weight of the baby and the stresses and strains of labour and birth. Multiple pregnancies and births increase the risk of prolapse
    • Menopause is a time when oestrogen levels begin to drop. This fall also causes less flexibility and strength in the pelvic support structures.
    • Obesity –creates extra pressure on the abdominal area
    • Certain genetic conditions that cause dysfunction of the nerves and tissues
    • Chronic coughing or strain. Long term coughing, from smoking, asthma or bronchitis, for example, can increase the risk of prolapse. Strain from ongoing constipation can also contribute to an increased risk
    • Prior pelvic surgery, including hysterectomy and bladder repair

    What are the symptoms to look out for?

    • A feeling of pressure in the vagina or pelvis - of something weighing down and being “out of place”
    • Sexual intercourse becoming painful
    • A lump at the opening of the vagina
    • Recurrent urinary tract infections
    • Stress incontinence

    Some women are reluctant to talk with their doctor because they are too embarrassed by their symptoms. I would encourage them to be brave and get it sorted out! Prolapse is very common and is nothing to be ashamed of.

    What will happen?

    • To find a treatment for the prolapse, the doctor will need to do an internal examination. Having a proper diagnosis to determine which type of prolapse it is is critical in order to select the right cure
    • Many women can treat and help themselves. Some use diet and exercise, for example
    • Kegel exercises can help to increase the pelvic tone and strengthen some of those significant muscles
    • Pessaries (a type of supportive ring) can be placed in the vagina to provide the support needed
    • Surgery may also be needed to correct the problem, if the prolapse is significant and the symptoms challenging

    Please do remember: Prolapse is very common and is nothing to be ashamed of. Help is available and the uncomfortable, difficult symptoms can be eliminated!

    Bye for now, Cathy " x

    Vulval Health

    In November 2007, I had the opportunity of running a Mooncup stall at the Wellbeing of Women Show at the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in London.

    Whilst there, I met Fabia Brackenbury, the founder of the Vulval Health Awareness Campaign (VHAC), and would like to share some of the important information she gave me with you.

    What struck me most was how little advice is given about the vulva. According to Cancer Research UK, 1,022 cases of vulva cancer are diagnosed in the UK every year, with 380 cases being fatal (see their website for more information). Like any other part of the body, being informed and knowing what changes to look for can have a significant impact on health. Still, although the Department of Health have run campaigns about breast self-examinations, the vulva seems to be somewhat of a neglected area. So here are some tips and information to help you learn more.

    What is the Vulva?

    The term 'vulva' refers to a woman's external genitals and includes:

    • The skin directly around the vaginal opening known as the vestibule. The urethra, above the vaginal opening, through which you urinate
    • The inner lips (labia minora), which are hairless and directly surround the vestibule, vaginal and urethral openings
    • The outer lips (labia majora) surrounding the inner lips and covered in pubic hair
    • The clitoris, which is just inside where the labia minora join at the front of the genital area
    • The perineum - the area of skin below the vaginal opening, between the point where the labia and the anus meet

    Vulval self-examination

    Becoming familiar with your vulva and noticing any changes is very important. To carry out an effective vulval self-examination, women are advised to lie down on a comfortable surface and prop their back and shoulders up with pillows. Hold a mirror in one hand and, with the other hand, part the labia majora and take the time to have a good look!

    Check for any lumps, warts, difference in skin colour, or thickening of the skin. If you are experiencing any itching, burning or pain whilst having sex, these can also be signs that need to be checked out.

    Pain, itching, burning and irritation of the vulval area can be the result of an infection such as thrush or bacterial vaginosis, or the result of a non-infectious skin problem such as dermatitis, eczema or lichen sclerosis. There are also vulval problems where the exact cause of pain is unknown.

    You can visit the VHAC website for more information. They run a helpline and here you will be able to discuss this very personal topic with an experienced advisor.

    Alternatively, book an appointment with your doctor, gynaecologist or the nearest genito-urinary clinic.

    Wellbeing of Women is the only UK charity dedicated to solving problems related to womens’ reproductive health. (You can find out more on their website ).

    Bye for now, Cathy " x

    Breast Self-Knowledge

    Did you know that breasts are constantly changing, from puberty to menopause, and also during the menstrual cycle? Familiarity with the normal anatomy and physiology (function) of the breasts is extremely important, so that early signs of possible abnormalities can easily be recognised and then be reported to quickly to your doctor.

    How the breasts change over time

    The breast is made of glandular, fatty and fibrous tissues. A layer of fatty tissue surrounds the breast glands and extends throughout the breast. The fatty tissue gives the breast a soft consistency

    • Breasts start to develop around the ages of 9-11, and sometimes they grow at different rates - it is not unusual for one breast to be slightly different in size from the other
    • Once the breasts have stopped growing, oestrogen and progesterone levels during the menstrual cycle cause changes
    • Breast tissue can have a tendency to swell and the milk ducts enlarge and retain water. Breasts may temporarily feel swollen, painful, tender, or lumpy The changes are usually resolved or become less significant after your period. So, if your symptoms persist or you detect changes in your usual pattern - inform your doctor and get it checked out
    • During pregnancy, the breasts have a tendency to become more tender and sensitive as they prepare for milk production. The aureola, as well as the breasts, increases in size and the nipples become darker
    • With the menopause, lumps become more common and breast tissue transforms, as the milk producing ducts change to fatty tissue. It is important to understand that these changes are normal and that lumps are more common at this time. If in doubt about the significance of these changes, contact your G.P.
    • The NHS Breast Screening Programme provides free breast screening every three years for all women in the UK aged 50 and over, but remember - mammograms don't replace breast self-exams!

    How get to know your breasts - seeing and feeling.

    The Department of Health's policy on breast awareness now encourages women to check their breasts for what is normal for them, and no longer recommends a specific technique.

    Rather than checking breasts in a prescriptive way (which deterred many women), women can now decide for themselves how and when to do this. So to those women out there who have been put off, please re-consider and take charge of your own health!

    • At least once a month take the time to observe and feel how your breasts are. Doing this around the same time each month is a good idea too, because of the changes that occur monthly
    • Many women find that the easiest and most relaxing way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet, so prefer to do this in the shower or bath
    • Always be sure to feel all the breast tissue - just beneath your skin with a soft touch and down deeper with a firmer touch. Also extend your search to under your armpits as the breast tissue extends to here
    • Observe your breasts in the mirror too, and check that they are the usual size, shape, and colour
    • Finally, report any changes without delay to your doctor

    Learning the art of breast examination will, like using the Mooncup, help you to better understand your body’s phases and changes and keep you healthy, too. For more information you can call the Breast Cancer Care helpline free on 0808 800 6000 or visit their website.

    Bye for now, Cathy " x

 

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Stroj za pranje rublja...mobitel... Mooncup. Tri od prvih 10 tehnologija koje su "poboljšalje živote žena i primalja". Mooncup je opisan kao izum koji mijenja život i "riješava problem troška i gnjavaže...higijenskih proizvoda". Cijeli članak na engleskom pročitajte ovdje.
 

Iskustva korisnica

Mooncup je savršen izum!!Oduševila sam se!potpuno sam zaboravila da imam one dane-i lagan je za upotrebu..pruža savršenu zaštitu(u bazenu,tijekom vježbanja)..toplo preporucam!!!
(Ana)

Najrađe bi svima umjesto bok rekla mooncup! I ne znam kaj sam čekala sve ove godine!!!!!!!!! Fala kaj ste se odlučili na uvoz i olakšali nabavu!
(Martina)


Meni je drugi dan kako koristim Mooncup i što reći nego.... OBOŽAVAM SVOJU ČAŠICU I VIŠE NEMA POVRATKA NA STARO! :D
(Katarina)


"Mooncup je za preporuku!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
(Ivana)

"Za menstrualne sam čašice čula davno, ali tek sam se tek u zadnje vrijeme odlučila jednu i isprobati. Odmah mi je bilo žao što to nisam ranije učinila! Korištenje je zaista jednostavno, uredno i spasonosno. Volim ekonomične stvari i ovo me definitivno spašava od četiri (!) vrste uložaka koje sam koristila do sada. Iskreno preporučam svakoj ženi da ga proba... vjerujem da se nikad neće vratiti ekološki neprihvatljivim i zdravstveno upitim oblicima menstrualnih proizvoda!"
(Srebrenka)

"super da ga ima i u HR konačno....ja ga koristim već 4 godine...preporodila sam se...
toplo preporučam svim ženama...izum stoljeća što se mene tiče....:))))"
(Orieta)

“Za mene je Mooncup najprirodnije, najjednostavnije, najčišće i najženstvenije rješenje za ženske dane u mjesecu.”
(Maja)

“Koristim Mooncup već dvije godine i svaki put kad dobijem menstruaciju veselim se što ga imam. Jednostavna, praktična, mekana i lijepa stvarčica uz koju menstruacija prođe bezbrižnije.”
(Renata)

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