Let’s Discuss…Punctuation (Periods and Question Marks)

First let me warn any male readers that may be visting here today.  You really probably want to stop reading now and go…I don’t know…hit a few golf balls or something.  This discussion is sort of “for girls only, boys not allowed”. 

Okay, ladies…have they all left?  Would someone in the back please close the door?  Alright now…everyone come closer.

I’ve been wanting to have this discussion for a while.  About  punctuation.  Periods to be exact. 

I kind of thought I was the crazy one.  The only one.  Until I had a discussion with some girlfriends of mine several months ago about…punctuation.  They were experiencing the SAME things I was.

I never really thought that the brand of “punctuation products” I used mattered very much so I would just use coupons and get regular ol’ Kotex at the store for a pretty good deal.

Then I started developing a minor irritation which month after month turned into an incredibly horrible itchy miserable rash.  And it wasn’t on my elbow if you know what I mean.

Not only that, but my uh…punctuation was lasting forever.  A long time.  Seemed to be longer each month.

I thought it was just me.  Not so…according to some of the people I talked to.

According to one of my friends (and I’m really sorry that I can’t find the research to back this up) some companies are actually putting chemicals on their products to make your punctuation last longer and be heavier so that you will go through lots more of their products and buy more.  Are you kidding me?  (Again, I have no official research to back this up.)

BUT…I immediately ordered the Natracare brand to test it out for myself.  They are chemical and additive free.  They are biodegradable and contain organic materials.

I noticed a difference right away.

First, the miserable rash went away.  Hallelujah!

Second, the very first month I switched over, my punctuation was several days shorter and quite a bit lighter.  The second month…same thing.  Third month…same thing.

Uh-huh.  Amazing.  If at all possible I will NEVER use regular punctuation products from the store again.  The Natracare products have made a huge difference for me each month and I love it.  (Well, as much as you can love monthy puctuation that is.)

I don’t even care that they cost a little bit more.  Actually…I bought a whole case at once and considering that I go through less of them each month…I’m actually not spending more.  Hah!

Here’s what I got:

Natracare Natural Ultra Pads with Wings, Long, 12-Count Boxes (Pack Of 12)

Natracare Pads Ultra With Wings 14 ct ( Six Pack)

Natracare Natural Pads, Slender, Case of 12- 20 Count Boxes (240 Pads)

There are tons of other varieties…those just happen to be the ones that work best for me.  (Wow, do you know way too much about me or what?)

Now, eventually I’d like to look into cloth cotton pads (Sckoon Organic Plus Cloth Menstrual Pads with Leak Resitant Sheet Mini Daisey) in order to save money in the long run and prevent waste.  Anyone have any experience with these that they can share? 

I realize this sounds like an infomercial.  Really it’s not.  Natracare is not paying me to tell you these things.  It’s just that they made a big difference for me and well…I like all of you an awful lot and wanted to tell you about it just in case they can help you too. 

Because it is not fun to have question marks about your periods.
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This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday.

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Comments

  1. Maralena says

    Thankyou so much for this info. Your site is exactly what I have been looking for! I recently have had this same problem(.) I made myself cloth helpers a few months back and have only used them once. I guess if I want to feel healthy all over, I better make some more!
    Thankyou for the menus and recipes! I have enjoyed reading them!
    http://homeschoolblogger.com/heritageofhome

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  2. Barbara says

    At first, I thought you were going to tell us you were pregnant – - you’ve been tired, you didn’t plan a menu one week, you visited friends/family and mentioned crying…

    Then I thought, “I hate it when someone criticizes bloggers about their grammar; I hope someone hasn’t done that to Laura.”

    Then I read your post! I switched to NatraCare about 6 months ago. I really like them and my periods are lighter – the 2 that I’ve had in 6 months! Maybe that’s a little bit too light?

    My neice makes and sells the cloth pads. I’m just not there yet. I’ll let you try them first, Laura, and give us all the nitty gritty details, then I might give it a try!

    Thanks again for the daily laugh – it keeps me healthy!

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  3. says

    I’ve been using a Keeper cup for about 7 yrs, same one too. I love it. I also wear it when I run, stops the leaking! It has saved me sooo much money!

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  4. says

    I’ve been using cotton ‘products’ since I first tried them when I was 14. I really wasn’t a hippie then, but they don’t give me a rash, so that’s what I use. I make my own now, and they work really well (I have instructions on my blog too). When I swam I’d use organic tampons, but a box would last me quite a while.

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  5. says

    The only brand of pads I’d had this issue with was the Always pads with that green stripe down the middle! I buy a Dutch brand now that work great, but I’ve bought supplies to make cloth ones and will give that a try and see if it works for me.

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  6. says

    Well Laura, you have made this old lady laugh! I have loved all the responses. Had a hysterectomy in my mid 20′s so I have not had to pay attention to any grammar lessons :)
    I am SO glad there is a forum that can be so open especially with such class!
    Way to go Laura

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  7. says

    I personally have not seemed to have this problem. Or at least, I just chalked it up to not having kids yet. I used OBs though, which were great, so easy to hide in the palm of my hand or in the waistband of my skirt (in a pinch). However, when I though about not having to worry about TSS or changing out several times a day or spending money every month or running out or carrying a box around the store by itself while blushing beet red, I jumped a the opportunity to try the cup option.

    I just learned about the diva cup shortly before my first pregnancy. I determined to try it–later, when I could get a size 2 and not worry about wasting money. When my grammar lesson came back sooner than I wanted, it was a little “reward” for me to have my cup in my dainty little purple bag to use. I am so proud to say that I did not use one disposable anything through my most recent punctuation! I had to tell SOMEONE so I bragged to my poor husband. :) I did learn, for me, that I do need to change it more than AM and PM the first two days, but I think I will try adding a comfy cloth pad or two to those days to make things extra secure, but I am sticking with the diva cup! I tried Insteads, once, by the way, that was a disaster! I was lulled by the money back guarantee, but then too embarrassed to send the box back!

    Go Diva cups! There is lots of useful info on the web too. Different folding methods, etc. Sorry, I seem to have lost my links right now.

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  8. Jennifer says

    About five or six months ago I switched to some pads that I made for myself. What a difference! I also recommended it to a friend whose daughter was horribly sick every month. They tried it with great results. I have also heard that companies are putting things in their products to make us bleed more. My sister actually read that somewhere.

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  9. Jennifer says

    You have started quite a discussion with this one! I’m a little skeptical of the claim that companies are putting chemicals in pads to make your period last longer. But, at the same time, I’ve had some of the problems you’ve mentioned. We have a Whole Foods nearby, so I’m going to see if they carry Natracare or a similar brand. It’s worth a shot! I just don’t think I could do the cloth thing, but kudos to those of you who are:)

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  10. Greta says

    First of all, LOL, “punctuation?” “Grammar Lessons?” You ladies are really funny– crack me up! : )

    Secondly, this is really scary stuff. Can’t get much more intrusive than that, can you?!

    Thanks for sharing.

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  11. says

    I’ve not had the bad punctuation since I started having kids — and I have not changed to using all natural products either. I have continued using o.bs. but suddenly my punctuation is much easier than it used to be, so I can almost fool myself that it isn’t happening at all! (I did try cloth pads briefly but they didn’t seem to STAY PUT on me so I was ending up with more mess and I hate pads in the first place)

    I’m not brave enough to try the diva. Not yet anyway. esp when my punctuation is fine.

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  12. says

    I wonder if this could be the reason my son has been having such terrible diaper rash since we have been using the cheap diapers. He is about ready to potty train so I hate to invest in cloth diapers.
    I am about 5 weeks pregnant so I don’t have to worry about this problem for awhile. I can say that when I do need these items again I will be switching to either cloth or a more natural brand. Thanks Laura

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  13. Lois says

    Well, I haven’t seen such a debate on this site since you all discussed what type of mop you use! Very interesting! I need to show my ignorance here, but being a woman, I’m trying to imagine what a “cup” is. With indoor plumbing, how does one, er, install a CUP??? Anyway, for economy, I switched to cloth pads about 10 or more years ago. The ones I use are called Gladrags. Catchy, huh? I ordered mine through United Co-op. I haven’t had to replace them, and they don’t slip like disposables. They have liners, so for heavy flow you can put another one in the “envelope” holder. I honestly can’t remember what I paid, but I’ve never had to buy another package.

    Those of you who use “internal” items (with dangling participles), do you have trouble with leakage? I always did and had to supplement with panty liners anyway.

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  14. Rebecca says

    When I first read this post, I thought “Maybe that’s why my periods have lasted longer lately.” Then I started to wonder if companies could really get away with deliberately adding chemicals to make periods last longer. So I did a little Google searching. I found on Snopes.com that this is mostly urban legend and that the email that started it has a mystery author. I also found a statement on the FDA website that explained a little further. It seems that the bleaching process and the rayon that is used in tampons to help reduce Toxic Shock Syndrome can emit some chemicals – dioxin is one. They seemed to feel that the dioxin was a safer alternative to the cotton remaining inside causing TSS. So it sounds like there are chemicals that could be harmful, but that there may not be a conspiracy to keep us buying more. It would seem that tampons are the greatest hazard and that the safest choice would be natural or cloth pads. Thanks for bringing this up and prompting me to think about better choices in this area.

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  15. says

    I adore reusable cups and cloth pads!!! Click on my name for a very detailed post on the subject–but I must warn you, it’s not as discreet as Laura’s! :-D It includes a link to my page with lots of Websites where you can buy both reusable and natural-disposable feminine products. There are organic cotton unbleached tampons, too.

    About getting a new Diva Cup every year: This is just a “manufacturer’s recommendation” and you can easily use one longer if it’s still working well. I’ve had mine almost 3 years. Previously I had a Keeper brand cup that lasted 7 years, and my friend has had hers for 10!

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    Kika Reply:

    Thanks – good to know that others really do keep their Diva cup longer than one year. I’d suspected it could be true but didn’t have anyone to ask. Did you have any issues with the cup not staying in place?

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    'Becca Reply:

    The only problems I’ve had with the cup sliding out were when I was using my original Keeper (the “before giving birth” size) again after having given birth. It did not actually fall out, but it would move uncomfortably low and leak dramatically if I left it in while using the bathroom, did a lot of bending over or crouching, or sneezed. So when I got the Diva, I got the “after giving birth” size, and it’s been great!

    Kegel exercises are good for any problems with muscle tone.

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  16. Janet says

    I wonder if it would help my “Clotting” issue, to use cloth pads. I don’t think a cup would be good if I’m clotting.

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    'Becca Reply:

    The cup reduces clotting because it helps the flow come out faster and keeps it away from the air.

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  17. says

    I hear ya, Laura! I started using cloth pads (and add some cloth diapers at night for extra security). It does make a difference in comfort to be sure!!

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  18. Kirsten says

    I LOVE MY CLOTH!!! I switched to all cloth pads several months ago. The last time I used a tampon was 2006 when I had an ovarian cyst rupture an hour after I put a fresh one in. I’ve tried a few different brands of cloth pads and so far my absolute favorite is from Party In My Pants (http://www.partypantspads.com/). They are not bulky AT ALL and have a leak proof liner on the bottom. I have NEVER leaked with these. They will even send you a free liner if you’re curious to try them out. (I am not affiliated with this company)

    Cleaning instructions can be found almost on every cloth pad website. You can soak them in a jar/tupperware/whatever till you’re ready to wash them. Just don’t be lazy and leave them soaking in the same water for a month – you’ll almost never get the nasty smell out.

    Oh, the clotting issue: mine has improved greatly since switching to cloth. Some of mine had gotten to be the size of my palm! ick Not anymore now that I use only cloth. My cramps are manageable now. I’m not layed up in bed for 2-3 days anymore.

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  19. says

    Actually Janet, The DivaCup is the ideal product to use if you are clotting. It catches anything and everything that comes out of your cervix. Tampons won’t absorb a clot and they just sit on top of most pads, but with a cup it just goes inside the cup until you remove it and empty.

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  20. Gina says

    Laura, I have never posted a comment before – but i just had to tell you thank you for this post!!! November 08 I quit using all mainstream beauty products and cleaners – no more shampoo/cond, deodorant, lotions, soap, etc – so I am shocked that I never thought about my tampax tampons at all!

    I have a 7 day sometimes as much as 9 day drawn out cycle!! So Monday was day 1 and I used the Natracare tampons and I am soooooo excited – looks like my cycle is pretty much done and it’s only day 3. I used a total of 5 tampons for the whole duration so far – YIPEE!!!!!!!!!! I am going to tell every female I know and hubby! thank you thank you!!

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  21. says

    Whoa. That’s seriously disturbing. Hmm…well, I just had my first baby 6 weeks ago today…been using regular old pads (Always)until my postnatal bleeding stopped…then, “Dot” came for a visit (that’s what I call her). A little early, I supposed. But, nonetheless, I was back to “Always”…maybe that’s why they’re called that…b/c you’ll “always” be using them! ;) Anyway, I couldn’t tell you if any itching or discomfort was caused by the disposables – a lot of weird stuff happens after baby #1! BUT, I will take your “call for cloth” seriously! I WAS going to use cloth diapers for my little one, but the adjustment was so drastic, the last thing I needed to worry about was what she was pooping on! Haha! Are there similar problems shown w/ disposable diapers with diaper rash, etc? Hmm. I do wonder.

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  22. Michelle says

    I doubt anyone will read this far, but as one who wanted to try cloth for years but couldn’t because (1) I could never afford to make the initial purchase (organic ones were $10 apiece!) and (2)I’m not sewing-skilled, here’s what worked for me: I took my baby’s small chinese prefold diapers that were heavily used and worn, and cut them in half. I fold these 1/2′s in 1/3′s and they are the perfect pad size and density. I’ve used these for years, and when they need replacing, I’ll just buy a few organic newborn diapers and make more. I absolutely love cloth over paper, and really love saving the $$ every month. Cost: free. Sewing skill needed: None.

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  23. says

    I am completely with you on the whole irritation/yeast infection thing. I think today’s pads are meant to last for hours and hours and I think that is part of the reason they cause so much discomfort.

    As for the chemicals and bleeding, that is a COMPLETE and absolute urban legend. I heard it in the 7th grade and I’m shocked people still believe it – although I don’t blame you. I suffer from heavy periods so I totally know where you are coming from.

    This myth has been de-bunked here: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/tampon.asp FYI.

    I am dying to try more natural feminine products, however. Will definitely be looking into this.

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  24. says

    I have a condition that makes it so I can’t use normal tampons or pads…they basically dry me out super fast and cause vaginitis (similar to a yeast infection at first…but then gets a lot worse and causes fissures which are tiny cuts all over your…ahem.) I have been around the block with doctors and they said “stop using tampons”. I switched to pads only and it still happened. Eventually, I discovered Instead (the disposable menstrual cups) and I LOVE THEM! I have not had any problems at all. Better yet, no one has EVER gotten TSS while using them. Tampons suck all of the natural moisture out of you, but because this is “collecting” the fluids and not absorbing them, its better for you. I have never had a leak with these and you can leave them in for up to 12 hours! I eventually want to switch to a reusable method of the cup, but I’m newly married and my DH is still very weirded out by punctuation and would not appreciate me having to sterilize it by boiling it in a pot once a month. lol. I strongly encourage women to try it if they’ve been considering it…I was really nervous at first, but it’s made such a huge difference!
    Good luck!

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  25. Laura says

    Actually, my experience was different. I used the brand, Always, for a very long time and always had itch irritation and discharge. My lady-doctor strongly urged me to stop using Always, in fact to use anything except Always. So, I switched to Kotex. My cycles have actually gotten shorter since the switch, and the itch and discharge have subsided.

    I’m intrigued by the cups though.

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  26. Kathleen says

    I started my switch from the national brand about 3 years ago and used products from Seventh Generation. I figured something THAT close to my reproductive system should be free of toxins. However, I would still get that rashy feeling. But about 2 years ago I discovered Glad Rags. A local Portland company. I too discovered that the itchy rash and length of my periods decreased.
    Now I have a truly wonderful husband in MANY ways, but he is so awesome that he actually made me more. He is the one who sews in this house. His machines hate me. So it was pretty cool that 1)he’s not in the least apprehensive about dealing with the parts of me that are all ‘woman’ but 2) he’s willing to make my products for me. How awesome is that!
    Some women I know cringe at the thought of re-using menstrual products, but we re-use our underwear right? It is sad that as a society we are so far removed from our own natural bodily functions and therefore make everything disposable. When actually it isn’t disposed of, it’s just removed from our sight and left for someone else (namely our children and their children) to deal with.
    Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. :)

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  27. says

    I’m a DIVA Cup fan too!!!!! I’ve tried Lunapads (http://www.lunapads.com/) organic cotton pads before that and loved them too. In fact, I still do. I wear them everyday to keep my underwear clean. As I travel some for my job, the Diva Cup is SO practical!!! Discreet, always on hand, and safe when you visit not so clean places.

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  28. Linda says

    I’m gonna try a Diva Cup, as well. I just want to say, Laura, that you are totally stinkin’ awesome. I’m so thankful for your blog and stoked to see a woman of God pressing on. I need inspiration today, and all your blog posts have done much to accomplish that.

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  29. Jennifer says

    I am certainly interested in using more natural feminine products, and I usually prefer to use pads over tampons as much as possible. However, when I looked at some reviews of the Natracare products, the reviews for tampons were good, but the pads/pantiliners supposedly don’t “stick” well. Can anyone speak to this? And if this is true, do any of the other ones stick better? I have 3, soon to be 4 little ones, and I have already switched to using washable diapers, but I’m not sure that I’m ready to switch to cloth myself. Maybe someday…

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    Laura Reply:

    I’ve never had trouble with getting them to stick…they’ve always done just fine for me.

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  30. Ceilidh says

    Hi Laura,
    Just wandered onto your blog and wanted to comment on this post. Not sure if you sew, but I made some cloth pads for myself (from my own design) and have found them to be MUCH better than any purchased unnatural ones. I also have a pad that I was given (new of course!) from a friend which is a similar design to mine, but (and you can call me bias) I think mine work better. They seem to dry faster. I just soak them overnight in a bucket with a little nappy soaker (oxygen bleach, but you could use vinegar) and then wash them on cold in the machine and hang them on the line. The sun helps to sterilise them, as would vinegar in the soak (or final rinse).

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  31. Christy says

    I’m another who loves my diva cup! I only was able to use it for a few cycles before getting pregnant & haven’t gotten my period back since my baby was born. But it’s so comfortable & no waste or chemicals!

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  32. says

    I looked up the slender pads and that’s not a bad price per box. I may have to give those a try. It would be nice to have a large supply on hand and have to purchase them less often.

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  33. Nicoe says

    Thanks for this post! I get yeast infections and regular products I really ca see making them worse (perhaps even contributing to them being there in the first place). I am really going to have to look into some of these products. Thanks for the info!

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  34. Cheri says

    I’m glad I found this post. My daughter is 11 and has not yet started her “punctuation”, but she did start using liners because she was always feeling “wet”. She started burning and itching after using the liners for a few weeks and ended up getting bacterial vaginosis. I was surprised that an 11 year old would get that and wasn’t sure how, but I told her to stop using the liners for now. Not having read this post, I would have had her using the disposables when she finally does start. Now perhaps I will look into these cloth alternatives, so that she doesn’t experience that pain again. I did try the diva cups a long time ago. I just had the hardest time getting them in because I would have leakage and they wouldn’t fit properly, so I stopped trying. Also, getting them out when they are full of fluid seems like a messy job.

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    Cheri Reply:

    Correction: I tried the Instead cups, not the diva cups. Instead
    was very difficult to put in correctly and take out. Felt like I
    was digging to get it out. The diva looks like it has a handle
    or something. May consider it.

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    'Becca Reply:

    Cheri, there are flannel liners that are SO comfortable and come in cute colors, too!
    I like the ones from tlc-pads.com–good value and very well made.

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  35. says

    I’ve been using a lunette menstrual cup for a few months now and it’s great. I bought it online and it came with some free cloth pads too. You can’t use the cups immediately after giving birth though, so I’ll have to look into getting some heavy duty cloth pads next time I have a baby.

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  36. Sarah says

    After reading this blog and a few others, I decided to jump in and try it. I purchased the Moon cup and I LOVE IT! It really wasn’t that hard to get used to and I never want to wear a tampon again! I’ve used it for one full cycle and couldn’t be happier.

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  37. kristin says

    I have been using a Diva Cup for several months and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! I can literally leave it in all day and not worry about leaking. LOVE!!! No waist, not washing, just put it in it’s little bag until next month.

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  38. Sharon says

    I found this info helpful as I too was having that itchy rash and didn’t understand why (since I used only unscented products). I choose the organic versions now and have no more problems and my punctuation lasts only 3 days!

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  39. says

    You’ll find tremendous advantages by training your kegel muscles, I have observed a huge improvement in my muscles since i have started off performing exercises two or three months back.

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  40. littleladylove says

    I just made the switch to cloth pads and I love them! People think they’re dirty?
    They are so much cleaner than regular pads! I’m finding my periods to be much shorter since switching!!!! Very excited. I would love to
    recommend Blossom Pads whom I am not affiliated with. I have bought several of her cloth pads and they are amazing! Soft, no leaks, no bulk. Great customer service. Highly recommended.

    [Reply]

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