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FreeFlow Fast Facts - Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

  What is it?   TSS is a rare but serious and life-threatening condition that is caused by toxins released by two specific bacteria  Streptococcus pyognes  or  Straphylococcus aureus , that enters the bloodstream. It often occurs from tampon and menstrual cup use.   What are the symptoms?   §    A fever above 39C §    Flu-like symptoms, such as muscle ache, chills, headache §    Widespread sunburn-like rash §    Low blood pressure §    Nausea and/or vomiting §    Dizziness  §    Confusion §    Diarrhoea §    Redness of eyes, lip and tongue §    Seizures §    Peeling of the skin on palms and soles of feet §    Decreased urine output §    Bruising   See a doctor immediately if you have symptoms, especially if you have recently used tampons or have a skin or wound infection.   What causes it?   As already mentioned above, it is caused by bacteria that enters the bloodstream. Around half of reported cases have been linked to tampon use in menstruating women, with the remaining cases occurr
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Period Poverty Among Refugee Women

According to the UNHCR there are at least 82.4 million people in the world who are displaced. Of these 20.7 million are refugees and 4.1 million are asylum-seekers. Women make up half of these people. In their struggle to leave their homes for safety, sanitary products are often an after-thought. However, these specific need not be overlooked in emergencies by aid organisations as women do not stop menstruating in a crisis and their needs must be met. Although according to research there is an improvement in the matter, there is still more that can be done, especially with the fact that most decision-makers are men.   A study by Global One found that in camps in Syria and Lebanon, almost 60 percent of women didn’t even have access to underwear, with more yet lacking access to period products. This leads to these women resorting to use alternatives such as old rags or tissue to manage their period. However, the issue is not limited to the lack of access to sanitary products. In such cam

Sustainable period products to try

  Periods do not need to cost the environment. This blog post will guide you through the different types of sustainable products you can try. With the many options out there, you don’t have to settle for products that you don’t feel comfortable with. See what works for you!     Period Pants   First up we have period pants. They are, as the name indicates, pants you wear while on your period. Although they may look like normal underwear, they work to soak up the menstrual blood into the absorption layer and lock it away, keeping you dry and preventing any leakage onto your clothes. They are designed to replace pads and tampons so you would use them on their own and they may feel more comfortable. They are also perfectly hygienic and can be machine-washed on a delicate or gentle cycle.   Menstrual Cup   Menstrual cups are a very eco-friendly and safe alternative to tampons and pads. A menstrual cup is a soft, flexible cup usually made of medical grade silicone that you insert into your v

Sea sponge tampons – are they safe?

  As we talk more and more about the importance of sustainability, reusable and natural period products gain on popularity, among them sea sponge tampons.  What are the sea sponge tampons?  Also called menstrual Sponges and Period Sponges, they work exactly like traditional tampons. They are worn inside the body to absorb menstrual flow. They are made from sea sponges, which are living organisms, that grow in the oceans. Depending on the flow, one sponge can be used for up to 8 hours.  How to use them?  Always sanitize a sea sponge tampon before the first use and wash your hands before inserting it. Put the tampon in warm often so it gets softer and then squeeze it to get rid of water. When the sponge is soft squish it and carefully insert it.  The sea sponge tampons are easy to put in for majority of menstruating people, but you can add a small drop of organic oil on a sponge to make the process even more comfortable.  How to clean and store sea sponge tampons?    You should always ri

Transgender Awareness and Period Inclusivity

  Transgender Awareness week is celebrated between the 13 th   and 19 th   of November, culminating in the Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20 th   of November. It is always a great time to shed light on the topic of period inclusivity, but it is especially so now. Period inclusivity is defined as ‘the recognition that while periods are a biological process, gender isn’t fixed and assigned at birth’. One of the issues that the transgender community faces is exclusionary language and attitudes when it comes to menstrual hygiene, even if this is unintentional.   It is important that we are able to separate gender identity from the strictly biological process of menstruation. Whatever gender an individual identifies as has no bearing on menstruation. The fact is that it is not only women who menstruate and not all women do menstruate. Transgender males, non-binary people, and ciswomen may also menstruate. Transgender women and nonbinary people may not menstruate. The current terminol

Periods and the impact on girls education.

<a href=''>Background vector created by pikisuperstar -</a> This blog post is dedicated to the International Day of the Girl Child, which takes place every October 11. In addressing challenges faced by girls, an important one to overcome is unequal access to education for the girl child. To achieve a more inclusive educational environment, one of the barriers that needs to be tackled is periods - because menstruation should not be a barrier to education! To illuminate just how periods are currently affecting girls' education around the world, here are some statistics from MHDay ( ) : In the United States, 1 out of 4 students have struggled to afford period products. In Pakistan, 3 out of 4 girls don't receive education about menstruation in school. In Bhutan, 1 in 3 girls miss school during menstruation because they're afraid others will make fun of them. In South Africa, 1

Freeflow Fast Facts - Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

  September is here and you may not know that it is also PCOS Awareness month! PCOS is a very common yet under-diagnosed condition. This is partly due to the lack of awareness of what the symptoms are and how they can be treated, and there are some misconceptions floating around too. So, this PCOS Awareness Month, we at Freeflow want to help bridge the gap on awareness. This month's blog, you guessed it, will be all about PCOS and you'll you'll get the answers to some common questions people have about the condition. What exactly is PCOS? First thing's first, for those who don't already know, PCOS is the abbreviated form of polycystic ovary syndrome. It is characterised with: high levels of androgens (male hormones) such as testosterone, which contribute to male pattern hair loss/thinning, and hirsutism (excessive facial and body hair growth irregular periods , which may lead to fertility problems as ovulation is irregular polycystic ovaries , they cysts are fluid-