DIRECTORY of all topics

COMIC STRIP: "A Visit to the Museum of Menstruation"
DIRECTORY of all topics (See also the SEARCH ENGINE, bottom of page.)
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepage | LIST OF ALL TOPICS | MUM address & What does MUM mean? | e-mail the museum | privacy on this site | who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! | the art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | asbestos | belts | bidets | founder bio | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books: menstruation and menopause (and reviews) | cats | company booklets for girls (mostly) directory | contraception and religion | costumes | menstrual cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | facts-of-life booklets for girls | famous women in menstrual hygiene ads | FAQ | founder/director biography | gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux | humor | huts | links | masturbation | media coverage of MUM | menarche booklets for girls and parents | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | olor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | puberty booklets for girls and parents | religion | Religión y menstruación | your remedies for menstrual discomfort | menstrual products safety | science | Seguridad de productos para la menstruación | shame | slapping, menstrual | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour of the former museum (video) | underpants & panties directory | videos, films directory | Words and expressions about menstruation | Would you stop menstruating if you could? | What did women do about menstruation in the past? | washable pads
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

Continued to next earlier News & Notes

NEW this month (news & letters BELOW):

Is this the first Tampax tampon? - Ad from a 1920 Globe and Mail for Mrs. Pinkham's vegetable compound - "Stanislav Grof's Perinatal Matrixes of the Unconscious and Women's Medicine" by Nelson Soucasaux, Brazilian gynecologist - The Art of Menstruation: Quiara Z. Escobar (Zoey) - Your remedies for menstrual discomfort - Humor
Would you stop menstruating if you could? New contributions
Words and expressions about menstruation: New: U.S.A.: George, I'm suffocating little white mice, Mattress, Mattressi, There are strings attached
What did European and American women use for menstruation in the past?

Speaking of tampons . . .

The gentlelady from Texas who sold me the old Tampax - er, very early Tampax - that I enthusiastically show here sent me this photo from the 4 June edition of The Economist magazine (Web site here) in an article about the Venice Biennale, the huge show of contemporary art. The caption calls it "Bloody good show."

Artist Joana Vasconcelos created the chandelier from tampons.

The gentlelady quotes The Economist: "One of the curators of the exhibit describes the work: 'It is pop and ironic, beautiful and rich in metaphor--and it uses industrial materials in a new way.'"

New for you, but not for us. Look at the Art of Menstruation show on your MUM site, some of whose art work the Italian Marie Claire magazine featured in an article on menstruation.

But it IS a glowing thing! The Texan suggests we commission her to make one for the Museum of Menstruation when it finally opens its own public museum - a great idea.

"Calcium-rich diets may prevent PMS,"

(13 June 2005, news service, by Anna Gosline)

"Encouraging women to eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D could prevent the development of clinical premenstrual syndrome, suggests a new US study. The findings suggest that by consuming four servings of low fat dairy products a day, women can reduce their risk of developing the disorder by almost 50%." Read the story. Read your suggestions for menstrual problems.

The Illiterate Surgeon


"The most amazing thing about Mamitu Gashe is not what she endured but what she has become."

You must read this story about a formerly illiterate African woman who mastered repairing bladder and other fistulas caused by childbirth and is teaching others her skill. She herself suffered ostracism for years because of this common African affliction. The American physician Marion Sims essentially founded American gynecology in the 19th century by successfully treating childbirth fistulas, which lead to body waste constantly running free. And he developed the operation on American slaves. What a subject.

Letters to your MUM

Was the bustle's purpose to conceal menstrual cloth?


In The Sins of Scripture (2005) John Shelby Spong writes (p. 45), "In the twentieth century, however, many new things coalesced to produce a dramatic sexual revolution. First, there was the development of the sanitary napkin, which did more to free women from the old stereotypes than has yet been fully understood. The inhibiting "bustle," designed to keep the bulky clothing worn during menstruation from being obvious, was doomed once the sanitary napkin gained ascendancy. Such cover-up styles were quickly replace by the form-fitting dresses worn by the flappers of the 1920's when they celebrated this new style by doing the Charleston.

I've never heard that the bustle was designed to hide menstruation. Is that true?



[I'd never heard this explanation either. I had always believed the bustle enhanced a woman's buttocks in order to attract men. But the Wiki encyclopedia ( and from which the lady at left was taken) says this, in part:

["Bustles were originally worn (in the period from 1825 to 1867) under the skirt in back, just below the waist, to keep the skirt from dragging down, especially if the fabric was heavy. Heavy fabric tended to pull the back of a skirt down and flatten it, so a petticoated or crinolined skirt would be out of shape from sitting down or just from moving. The bustle later developed into a feature of fashion on its own after the overskirt of the late 1860s was draped up toward the back and some kind of support was needed for the new draped shape. Fullness of some sort was still considered necessary to make the waist look smaller and the bustle eventually replaced the crinoline completely."]

Bustle drawing from

Raw food, no protein = no periods?

Viktoras Kulviskas, founder of the Hippocratic Health Institute (with Ann Wigmore) and author of the 1975 cult classic Living into the 21st Century claims that women on no protein, raw food diets eventually cease menstruation (sometimes simply producing a clear discharge). He points to the that fact most (all?) undomesticated and wild animals do not menstruate and that's because they eat suitable diets and live healthy natural lives. He regards menstruation the consequence of toxic build up in the body and thus, unnecessary (quite unlike current arguments against menstruation, I think).

I did a little research on this book, the raw food movement and Kulviskas and there's quite a vigorous following to this day.


[As we all know, not eating enough food can stop menstruation. I had never heard the raw food angle. And not eating protein - is that a misprint? - well, you can't live without protein. Sure, sickness and death will stop menstruation.

[I'm no expert, but I believe only certain animals - some primates (humans included), a bat and a lemur - menstruate. Other mammals (and other animals) have strategies for reproducing not involving blood leaving the body. Why do all animals have to be like humans, which they obviously aren't? As far as I know this has nothing to do with toxic build up (unless you consider the uterine lining, the blood from ruptured vessels and vaginal secretions toxic). This theory smacks of the menstrual toxin idea (read about it) that has been around for thousands of years. I think it's been discredited.]

Your MUM lengthened her pain-free life! And Harry Finley will not be the future MUM museum director

Hi Harry,

I wanted to thank you for all the time and effort you put in your museum as it has helped restore a week of every month back to my life. In our U.S. culture, that "time of the month" is a secretive thing, and I would have never found out about cups and other alternative paraphernalia if it hadn't been for your Web page. I used to be horribly sick for several days each month when using traditional brand name tampons and pads, to the point of being bedridden. I switched to the Divacup and Lunapads after seeing them mentioned on your site by other women. Now, I barely notice when that time is around and can function like a normal human regardless of what day it is. I calculated that the information on your site has added at the very least 2-3 years of usable pain-free time to my lifetime at the very least.

And don't listen to all the women who say you can't run MUM and make comments like "Well, since you are a man... :-)" One of the crown jewels of science is being totally objective, and since nature has made it so men don't have periods, I'm sure you're a lot more objectivity up your sleeve than the women in the audience who have already formed a love/hate emotional relationship with their menstrual periods.

Thanks again,


[No, I didn't write this letter.

[By the way, when the permanent, physical museum opens I will not be the director unless it's as a transitional position. I want to help design it, help create exhibits and sit on the board as founder, but someone younger needs to be the boss. Read my ideas for the museum.]

Judy Blume updated "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret," and Do animals menstruate?

Hello, Mr. Finley,

I find your Web site and museum totally interesting and long overdue. I had the idea of doing a book on menstruation for teenage girls about the history of menstruation, especially about how women have dealt with it in the past compared with today (still might do it but no time in the near future, probably a few years off at least). I'm 35, born in 1970, and I remember reading "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" by Judy Blume when I was about 10 years old. In case you've never read it, it deals with a young girl and her friends coming into puberty, very concerned about being "normal" as they develop into young women, particularly about when they get their periods. It was my introduction to the word "period" and what it meant.

I'm the youngest of four. I have only older brothers, and my mom had a hysterectomy when I was born so there were never pads or tampons around the house and I knew absolutely nothing about it. I remember asking my brother what "period" meant and having him laugh and tell another brother so I had to go research all this for myself (my mom was never open about things like this so I had to learn it on my own). 

The book was written in about 1974 and it talks a lot about using belts [see some here]. I first got my period when I was eleven and by that time there were self-adhesive pads. I had never seen a belt and could only imagine what it looked like or how it was attached to a pad.  Actually, until I looked at your site just a few minutes ago I had never seen one or knew exactly how it was attached or worn (I had sort of guessed but it was interesting to see).

Funny thing about the "Margaret" book is that I recently picked up a copy at a bookstore and was flipping through it and it had been rewritten to take all mention of belts out of it - when Margaret gets her first period and is trying on the pad it just talks about her pulling off the backing and sticking the pad to her panties - I distinctly remember how she had practiced trying on the belt and then had to attach it from the original book. I guess it was too confusing for this generation - it was confusing enough for me.

What I was writing about was something I never have seen much information about and I was talking to my friend and we were both curious. Don't think I'm weird or anything because I'm really not, it's just something that has bugged me for a long time and I have not seen anything about it much. I am curious about other mammals.  All mammals produce eggs that must be fertilized and if they're not, do other female mammals have their periods like humans do and if so, what happens to the blood? I've never spent a lot of time observing any animal for a whole month or having it in my full sight for the entire time to know what happens but I have never seen anything to indicate a menstrual flow from the pets I've had. Just a topic to consider in the future.

[See also my answer to a letter above. I'm no expert but as far as I know only a few other primates, a bat and a lemur menstruate. Other animals have different strategies for reproduction. And dogs aren't menstruating when they're in heat; that fluid is not menstrual blood. I once wrote the Smithsonian Institution asking if someone would write a few paragraphs on the subject for MUM but no one responded. I'd still like an expert to write the article.]

Thank you for your site and your consideration of this subject.

Sincere Regards,


A Floridian used Spanish moss for her periods

I have just been introduced to your Web site I can remember my grandmother, born 1882 in Texas and coming to South Florida in 1922, telling me that she used Spanish moss, boiled and dried to kill the chiggers [certain mite larvae that burrow into the skin and cause maddening itching. Can you imagine having a colony on your you-know-what?], wrapped in cloth that was washed and reused, to absorb her menstrual flow.

Just thought I would add that to your items of interest.



Okeechobee, Florida

Does anyone know where to find these Tampax charts?

I have been researching the life of a man, deceased in 1975, who claims he was paid by Dickinson or Polak to make some drawings for Polak's 1913 obstetrics text. He continues to say that these were later used in advertising by the Tampax corp. The firm was later bought by Procter & Gamble, whose archivist tells me not a lot of information was transferred to them and suggested I try your Web site.

In a letter dated 1971 the man describes this art work as "sagittal sections of female reproductive and other pelvic organs" and says Tampax distributed a plastic laminate, double-sided chart showing it.

Have you any Tampax ads or literature that show something like this?

[I don't but I believe Tampax used them at the 1939 World's Fair in their booth to demonstrate how tampons work. Anyone have any idea where to find one? Write me.]

I appreciate your attention.


In spite of cheesy videos, she's trying Instead

I found MUM quite some time ago and recently found it again, thanks a lot for starting such an interesting museum. I hope its around when I have kids and they grow up because this site explains things better than I would.

Anyways, I've read most of the reviews of Instead [menstrual cup; read a history here] on this site because I recently found them in my local Rite-Aid. A lot of people have commented about the 1-800 number being disconnected and the Web site shutdown; while I'm not sure about the number, I can tell you that they now have a new Web site:

Anyone with questions about the product can go there for a surprisingly cheesy set of video clips that actually were somewhat helpful. Anyone who wants to try them and can't find them should go to to order them. It's actually cheaper to get them online than in the stores.

Now I just have to see how well it works.

Blessed Be


Continued to next earlier News & Notes

Grab the new edition of the famous book about women's health
Read about the new edition (pdf).
Take a quiz about women's health (pdf).
Buy the books through the books' home pages for the English and Spanish editions.
Click on the covers to go to the books' Web sites, where you can learn more about them and get 'em for yourself!


"[Barr] fails to mention frequent and sometimes substantial bleeding, the FDA . . . said"

Barr Pharmaceuticals makes Seasonale, a hormone drug that allows women to have only four periods a year - at least that was the plan. But read on . . . .

"FDA Warns Barr Over Seasonale Commercial

"Fri Dec 31, 2:49 PM ET Health - Reuters

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A television commercial for Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Seasonale misleads consumers by excluding risk information to make the birth control pill seem safer, U.S. health regulators warned in a letter released on Thursday.

"The commercial suggests use of the oral contraceptive leads to only four menstrual periods a year but fails to mention frequent and sometimes substantial bleeding, the FDA (news - web sites) said in the Dec. 29 letter.

"Barr's advertisement plays down the risk of irregular menstrual bleeding that can be as heavy as a regular period by suggesting it would subside with continued use of the pill, the letter said.

"The FDA posted the letter Thursday on its web site at" (a pdf from December 2004)

Results of a trial of the new pill to suppress menstruation, Seasonale: "effective, safe and well tolerated"

Christine L. Hitchcock, Ph.D., Research Associate, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR), Endocrinology, Dept. of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada (URL:, sent this to members of the The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (which includes me).

Here is the first article from the Phase III trial of the higher dose extended schedule pill (Seasonale).

In Contraception. 2003 Aug;68(2):89-96.

A multicenter, randomized study of an extended cycle oral contraceptive.

Anderson FD, Hait H.

The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical

School, Norfolk, VA 23501, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of Seasonale, 91-day extended cycle oral contraceptive (OC). METHODS: A parallel, randomized, multicenter open-label, 1-year study of the OC Seasonale [30 microg ethinyl estradiol (EE)/150 microg levonorgestrel (LNG), and Nordette-28 (30 microg EE/150 microg LNG)] in sexually active, adult women (18-40 years) of childbearing potential. Patients received either four 91-day cycles of extended cycle regimen OC, or 13 cycles of the conventional 28-day OC with daily monitoring of compliance and bleeding via electronic diaries. RESULTS: When taken daily for 84 days followed by 7 days of placebo, the extended cycle regimen was effective in preventing pregnancy and had a safety profile that was comparable to that observed with the 28-day OC regimen that served as the control. While unscheduled (breakthrough) bleeding was reported among patients treated with the extended cycle regimen, it decreased with each successive cycle of therapy and was comparable to that reported by patients who received the conventional OF regimen by the fourth extended cycle. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that Seasonale, 91-day extended cycle OC containing 84 days of 30 microg EE/150 microg LNG followed by 7 days of placebo, was effective, safe and well tolerated.

PMID: 12954519

Press release from the maker of Seasonale, Barr Laboratories

(Kathleen O'Grady, of the Canadian Women's Health Network, kindly sent this to The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research members)

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Barr Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:BRL) today announced that it has begun promoting SEASONALE(R) (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) 0.15 mg/0.03 mg tablets directly to physicians and other healthcare providers. SEASONALE is the first and only FDA-approved extended-cycle oral contraceptive indicated for the prevention of pregnancy and designed to reduce periods from 13 to 4 per year. The Company has initiated physician detailing and promotional activities using the 250-person Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Women's Healthcare Sales Force. Duramed is a wholly owned subsidiary of Barr Laboratories, Inc.

The Company began shipping SEASONALE in mid-October. Promotional Programs directed to physicians include a variety of patient education initiatives, various medical education programs and a publication plan that includes journal advertising. Women and healthcare professionals who would like to learn more about SEASONALE, including full prescribing information, should visit or call the toll-free number 800-719-FOUR (3687).

"We are excited to begin marketing this new choice in oral contraception to healthcare providers and patients through extensive promotional activities and an education campaign," Bruce L. Downey, Barr's Chairman and CEO said. "Our market research indicates that the extended-cycle regimen represents a substantial opportunity with patients and we believe that the already high awareness of SEASONALE will be even higher among target physicians and patients following the launch of our promotional activities and detailing by our Women's Healthcare Sales Force."

"SEASONALE is a 91-day regimen taken daily as 84 active tablets of 0.15 mg of levonorgestrel/0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol, followed by 7 inactive tablets and is designed to reduce the number of periods from 13 to 4 per year," explained Dr. Carole S. Ben-Maimon, President and Chief Operating Officer of Barr Research. "With SEASONALE, women now have an FDA-approved, safe and effective alternative to the traditional 28-day oral contraceptive regimen."

Clinical Data

The clinical data supporting FDA approval of the SEASONALE (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) 0.15 mg/0.03 mg tablets product resulted from a randomized, open-label, multi-center trial that ended in March 2002 and an extension to that trial. In the trials, SEASONALE was found to prevent pregnancy and had a comparable safety profile to a more traditional oral contraceptive.

In the trial, the most reported adverse events were nasopharyngitis, headache and intermenstrual bleeding or spotting.

SEASONALE(R) has been formulated using well-established components, long recognized as safe and effective when used in a 28-day regimen. SEASONALE offers 4 periods per year as compared to 13 per year with traditional oral contraceptives. When prescribing SEASONALE, the convenience of fewer planned menses (4 per year instead of 13 per year) should be weighed against the inconvenience of increased intermenstrual bleeding and/or spotting.

Important Information About Oral Contraceptives

It is estimated that more than 16 million women currently take oral contraceptives in the United States. Oral contraceptives are not for every woman. Serious as well as minor side effects have been reported with the use of hormonal contraceptives. Serious risks include blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects, especially in women over 35 years. Oral contraceptives do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Use of SEASONALE provides women with more hormonal exposure on a yearly basis than conventional monthly oral contraceptives containing similar strength synthetic estrogens and progestins (an additional 9 weeks per year). While this added exposure may pose an additional risk of thrombotic and thromboembolic disease, studies to date with SEASONALE have not suggested an increased risk of these disorders. The convenience of fewer menses (4 vs. 13 per year) should be weighed against the inconvenience of increased intermenstrual bleeding/spotting.

Barr Laboratories, Inc. is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals.

Forward-Looking Statements

The following sections contain a number of forward-looking statements. To the extent that any statements made in this press release contain information that is not historical, these statements are essentially forward-looking. Forward-looking statements can be identified by their use of words such as "expects," "plans," "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "should," "intends," "estimates" and other words of similar meaning. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified and, consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include: the difficulty in predicting the timing and outcome of legal proceedings, including patent-related matters such as patent challenge settlements and patent infringement cases; the difficulty of predicting the timing of U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approvals; court and FDA decisions on exclusivity periods; the ability of competitors to extend exclusivity periods for their products; the success of our product development activities; market and customer acceptance and demand for our pharmaceutical products; our dependence on revenues from significant customers; reimbursement policies of third party payors; our dependence on revenues from significant products; the use of estimates in the preparation of our financial statements; the impact of competitive products and pricing; the ability to develop and launch new products on a timely basis; the availability of raw materials; the availability of any product we purchase and sell as a distributor; our mix of product sales between manufactured products, which typically have higher margins, and distributed products; the regulatory environment; our exposure to product liability and other lawsuits and contingencies; the increasing cost of insurance and the availability of product liability insurance coverage; our timely and successful completion of strategic initiatives, including integrating companies and products we acquire and implementing new enterprise resource planning systems; fluctuations in operating results, including the effects on such results from spending for research and development, sales and marketing activities and patent challenge activities; and other risks detailed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: Barr Laboratories, Inc.

CONTACT: Carol A. Cox, Barr Laboratories, Inc., +1-201-930-3720,

Free documents from Women's Health Initiative to celebrate its one-year anniversary

To mark the one-year anniversary of the Women's Health Initiative Study, which highlighted possible health risks associated with long-term hormone therapy use for menopausal women, the Canadian Women's Health Network has now made the following documents available online and free of charge:

Frequently Asked Questions, answered in plain language:

What is Menopause?

What is Hormone Therapy (HT)?

What are the Alternatives to Hormone Therapy?

Menopause and Heart Disease; What are my Risks?

How do I Stop Taking Hormone Therapy?

In-depth articles:

*The Pros and Cons of Hormone Therapy: Making An Informed Decision

*Health Protection Measures from the Women's Health Initiative

*The Medicalization of Menopause

*HRT in the News: The Women's Health Initiative

*Challenges of Change: Midlife, Menopause and Disability

*Natural Hormones - Are They a Safe Alternative?

*Perimenopause Naturally: An Integrative Medicine Approach

*Thinking Straight: Oestrogen and Cognitive Function at Midlife

*The Truth About Hormone Replacement Therapy

*Menopause Home Test: Save Your $$$

*Recent Studies on Menopause and Pain

*What The Experts are Saying Now: A Round-Up of International Opinion

*Women and Healthy Aging

... and many more!

Check us out at
The Canadian Women's Health Network
Women's Health Information You Can Trust

Many thanks to the Women's Health Clinic, Winnipeg, and A Friend Indeed newsletter, for making many of these documents available to the general public.


Kathleen O'Grady, Director of Communications
Canadian Women's Health Network/Le Réseau canadien pour la santé des femmes
Suite 203, 419 Graham Ave.
Winnipeg MB R3C 0M3
Tel (204) 942-5500, ext. 20


Jobs, conferences, prizes, etc.

Book about periods needs your input, MEN!

Kaylee Powers-Monteros is writing a book about women's periods called "Bloody Rites."

"I consider a woman's period her rite of passage. . . . My book is focusing on the language we use about periods and how that impacts our perceptions of it," she writes.

She has a chapter about men's first learning about menstruation and would like to hear from men in response to the question, "When was the first time you ever heard anything about a period and what was it?" I already sent her mine: when I was in sixth grade the kid next door said his sister had started bleeding from you-know-where. I didn't know anything about you-know-where, actually, having grown up in a prudish military household with two bothers, no sisters and a mother who must have felt very alone.

E-mail her at

Women's Universal Health Initiative

Women's Universal Health Initiative

Women's Universal Health Initiative is by women for women - if you have ideas, events, information, or comments to share, send them to

In these difficult times, all advocacy groups are struggling financially. WUHI is no exception. Please consider becoming a member to support the continuation of the web site and our work on universal health care.

You become a member of WUHI with a tax-deductible donation of any amount. Go to the WUHI website to join online, or send your donation to WUHI, Box 623, Boston, MA 02120.

Health Care Reform: a Women's Issue

Anne Kasper

Anne Kasper, a long time women's health activist, discusses why health care reform is a women's issue. Anne is an editor, with Susan J. Ferguson of Breast Cancer: Society Shapes an Epidemic, a powerful and informative book on the politics of breast cancer.

To read the complete article: <>

Health care reform has long been a women's issue. Since the beginnings of the Women's Health Movement in the late 1960s, women have known that the health care system does not work in the best interests of women's health. When we think of the health care system and its component parts ­ doctors, hospitals, clinics, and prescription drugs, for instance ­ we are increasingly aware that the current system is not designed to promote and maintain our personal health or the health of others. Instead, we are aware of a medical system that delivers sporadic, interventionist, hi-tech, and curative care when what we need most often is continuous, primary, low-tech, and preventive care. Women are the majority of the uninsured and the under insured as well as the majority of health care providers. We are experts on our health, the health of our families, and the health of our communities. We know that we need a health care system that must be a part of changes in other social spheres -- such as wage work, housing, poverty, inequality, and education -- since good health care results from more than access to medical services.

Featured Site

UHCAN - Universal Health Care Action Network

UHCAN is a nationwide network of individuals and organizations, committed to achieving health care for all. It provides a national resource center, facilitates information sharing and the development of strategies for health care justice. UHCAN was formed to bring together diverse groups and activists working for comprehensive health care in state and national campaigns across the country.

Their annual conference, planned for October 24-26, 2003 in Baltimore, MD, is one of the best grass-roots action conferences available. They consider universal health care justice from many perspectives.

Visit UHCAN's website for resources, analyses of health reform issues, and more information on their campaigns for health care justice.

Proposals, Policies, Pending Legislation

Health Care Access Campaign - the Health Care Access Resolution

Health care in America is unjust and inefficient. It costs too much, covers too little, and excludes too many. As the economy deteriorates, it is rapidly getting worse.

One in seven Americans, 80% of whom are from working families, lack health insurance and consequently suffer unnecessary illness and premature death. Tens of millions more are under insured, unable to afford needed services, particularly medications. Health care costs are a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Communities of color endure major disparities in access and treatment. Double-digit medical inflation undermines employment-based insurance, as employers drop coverage or ask their employees to pay more for less. State budgets are in their worst shape in half a century. Medicare and Medicaid are caught between increases in need and a financial restraints.

In the 108th Congress, the Congressional Universal Health Care Task Force will introduce the Health Care Access Resolution, directing Congress to enact legislation by 2005 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. Legislators, reacting to the urgency for health care reform, will likely introduce several proposals in this Congress.

Check out the link to learn more about the resolution and how you can contribute to it.

Proposed Health Insurance Tax Credits Could Shortchange Women

Commonwealth Fund report, reviews federal policies designed to help low-income adults buy health insurance, which have focused on tax credits for purchasing coverage in the individual insurance market. This analysis of premium and benefit quotes for individual health plans offered in 25 cities finds that tax credits at the level of those in recent proposals would not be enough to make health insurance affordable to women with low incomes.

Time for Change: the Hidden Cost of a Fragmented Health Insurance System

An excellent overview by Karen Davis, President of The Commonwealth Fund, of factors in the US health care system that lead to it being the most expensive health system in the world.

A Place at the Table: Women's Needs and Medicare Reform

By Marilyn Moon and Pamela Herd

This book, published by the Century Foundation, shows that women have different retirement needs as a group than men. Women are more likely to require long-term care services because they live longer and are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases. Suggests guidelines that would make Medicare reforms work for women, including how to deal with comprehensiveness, affordability, access to quality care, and the availability of information.

Women in the Health Care System: Health Status, Insurance, and Access to Care

Report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) focuses on women in the United States in 1996. Health insurance status is examined in terms of whether women are publicly insured, privately insured, or uninsured, and whether insured women are policyholders or dependents.

Health Insurance Coverage in America: 2001 Data Update

Although not specific to women, this resource contains valuable information about women and health insurance coverage and provides valuable information and facts for general presentations on universal health care. The chart book provides year 2001 data on health insurance coverage, with special attention to the uninsured. It includes trends and major shifts in coverage and a profile of the uninsured population.


Health Care Links

Links to state, national and international organizations working for single payer health care and universal health care. A resource of Physicians for a National Health Program - check out the site for many other resources and excellent factual information on a single payer health care system [ <> ].

Universal Health Care Organizations in Your State

A list of state organizations working for universal health care. Resource of Everybody In, Nobody Out [EINO: ]. Not all states represented.

Families USA New Online Service .

Families USA online service to provide registered users with the following benefits:

Free bimonthly newsletters with articles on health policy issue.

Announcements about organization events.

Discounts on publications

Kaiser Network for Health Policy - Publications and Reports <;hc=806&amp;linkcat=61>

Reports and publications on health policy, access, uninsured and insurance. Supported by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Good source of information.


May 8 - 9 2003

Health Policy and the Underserved

Sponsored by the Joint Center for Poverty Research, looks a social, economic, and outcomes of policies for the underserved.

May 14-16, 2003

2003 Managed Care Law Conference

Colorado Springs, CO

Co-sponsored by American Health Lawyers Association and American Association of Health Plans. Presents legal issues facing health plans and providers.

October 24-26, 2003

National Universal Health Care Action Network [UHCAN] Conference

Baltimore, MD

One of the best grass-roots action conferences available. Considers universal health care from all its perspectives. Check out their website for an overview of their orientation.

November 15, 2003

Physicians for a National Health Program Fall Meeting

San Francisco, CA

November 15 - 19, 2003

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting

San Francisco, CA

Meeting of professionals in public health. Has many sessions on health care reform and women's health, including universal health care.

January 22-23, 2004

National Health Policy Conference

Washington, DC

Wide-ranging discussions of health policy, including health care reform and universal health care.

Women's Universal Health Initiative

PO Box 623

Boston, MA 02120-2822

617-739-2923 Ext 3 <>


Canadian TV film about menstruation Under Wraps now called Menstruation: Breaking the Silence and for sale

Read more about it - it includes this museum (when it was in my house) and many interesting people associated publically with menstruation. Individual Americans can buy the video by contacting

Films for the Humanities
P.O. Box 2053
Princeton, NJ 08543-2053

Tel: 609-275-1400
Fax: 609-275-3767
Toll free order line: 1-800-257-5126

Canadians purchase it through the National Film Board of Canada.

Did your mother slap you when you had your first period?

If so, Lana Thompson wants to hear from you.

The approximately 4000 items of this museum will go to Australia's largest museum . . .

if I die before establishing the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health as a permanent public display in the United States (read more of my plans here). I have had coronary angioplasty; I have heart disease related to that which killed all six of my parents and grandparents (some when young), according to the foremost Johns Hopkins lipids specialist. The professor told me I would be a "very sick person" if I were not a vegetarian since I cannot tolerate any of the medications available. Almost two years ago I debated the concept of the museum on American national television ("Moral Court," Fox Network) and MUM board member Miki Walsh (see the board), who was in the audience at Warner Brothers studios in Hollywood, said I looked like a zombie - it was the insomnia-inducing effect of the cholesterol medication.

And almost two years ago Megan Hicks, curator of medicine at Australia's Powerhouse Museum, the country's largest, in Sydney, visited MUM (see her and read about the visit). She described her creation of an exhibit about the history of contraception that traveled Australia; because of the subject many people had objected to it before it started and predicted its failure. But it was a great success!

The museum would have a good home.

I'm trying to establish myself as a painter (see some of my paintings) in order to retire from my present job to give myself the time to get this museum into a public place and on display permanently (at least much of it); it's impossible to do now because of the time my present job requires.

An Australian e-mailed me about this:

Wow, the response to the museum, if it were set up in Australia, would be so varied. You'd have some people rejoicing about it and others totally opposing it (we have some yobbos here who think menstruation is "dirty" and all that other rubbish). I reckon it would be great to have it here. Imagine all the school projects! It might make a lot of younger women happier about menstruating, too. I'd go check it out (and take my boyfriend too) :)

Hey, are you related to Karen Finley, the performance artist?? [Not that I know of, and she hasn't claimed me!]

Don't eliminate the ten Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor

The Bush Administration is planning to propose, in next year's budget, to eliminate the ten Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor. This decision signals the Administration's intent to dismantle the only federal agency specifically mandated to represent the needs of women in the paid work force.

Established in 1920, the Women's Bureau plays a critical function in helping women become aware of their legal rights in the workplace and guiding them to appropriate enforcement agencies for help. The Regional Offices take the lead on the issues that working women care about the most - training for higher paying jobs and non-traditional employment, enforcing laws against pay discrimination, and helping businesses create successful child-care and other family-friendly policies, to name only a few initiatives.

The Regional Offices have achieved real results for wage-earning women for eighty-one years, especially for those who have low incomes or language barriers. The one-on-one assistance provided at the Regional Offices cannot be replaced by a Web site or an electronic voice mail system maintained in Washington.

You can take action on this issue today! Go to to write to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and tell her you care about keeping the Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau in operation. You can also let E. Mitchell Daniels, Jr., Director of the Office of Management and Budget, know how you feel about this. You can write a letter of your own or use one we've prepared for you.

If you find this information useful, be sure to forward this alert to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to sign up to receive Email Action Alerts from the National Women's Law Center at

Thank you!

I'm decreasing the frequency of the updates to make time for figuring out how to earn an income

I can retire from my graphics job in July, 2002, and I must if I want to continue developing the site and museum, because of the time involved. But I can't live on the retirement income, so I must find a way to earn enough to support myself. I'm working on some ideas now, and I need the only spare time I have, the time I do these updates on weekends. So, starting December 2001, I will update this site once a month rather than weekly.

Book about menstruation published in Spain

The Spanish journalist who contributed some words for menstruation to this site last year and wrote about this museum (MUM) in the Madrid newspaper "El País" just co-authored with her daughter a book about menstruation (cover at left).

She writes, in part,

Dear Harry Finley,

As I told you, my daughter (Clara de Cominges) and I have written a book (called "El tabú") about menstruation, which is the first one to be published in Spain about that subject. The book - it talks about the MUM - is coming out at the end of March and I just said to the publisher, Editorial Planeta, to contact you and send you some pages from it and the cover as well. I'm sure that it will be interesting to you to have some information about the book that I hope has enough sense of humour to be understood anywhere. Thank you for your interest and help.

If you need anything else, please let me know.

Best wishes,

Margarita Rivière

Belen Lopez, the editor of nonfiction at Planeta, adds that "Margarita, more than 50 years old, and Clara, 20, expose their own experiences about menstruation with a sensational sense of humour." (publisher's site)

My guess is that Spaniards will regard the cover as risqué, as many Americans would. And the book, too. But, let's celebrate!

I earlier mentioned that Procter & Gamble was trying to change attitudes in the Spanish-speaking Americas to get more women to use tampons, specifically Tampax - a hard sell.

Compare this cover with the box cover for the Canadian television video about menstruation, Under Wraps, and the second The Curse.

An American network is now developing a program about menstruation for a popular cable channel; some folks from the network visited me recently to borrow material.

And this museum lent historical tampons and ads for a television program in Spain last year.

Now, if I could only read Spanish! (I'm a former German teacher.)

Money and this site

I, Harry Finley, creator of the museum and site and the "I" of the narrative here, receive a small amount of money from Google-sponsored ads on this site; I have no control over which ads Google sends. I'm hoping this Google money will cover what I pay for a server to host this site and the cost of the site-specific search engine. Otherwise, expenses for the site come out of my pocket, where my salary from my job as a graphic designer is deposited. Sometimes people donate items to the museum.


What happens when you visit this site?

For now, a search engine service will tell me who visits this site, although I don't know in what detail yet. I am not taking names - it's something that comes with the service, which I'm testing to see if it makes it easier for you to locate information on this large site.

In any case, I'm not giving away or selling names of visitors and you won't receive anything from me; you won't get a "cookie." I feel the same way most of you do when you visit a site: I want to be anonymous! Leave me alone!

Help Wanted: This Museum Needs a Public Official For Its Board of Directors

Your MUM is doing the paper work necessary to become eligible to receive support from foundations as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. To achieve this status, it helps to have a American public official - an elected or appointed official of the government, federal, state or local - on its board of directors.

What public official out there will support a museum for the worldwide culture of women's health and menstruation?

Read about my ideas for the museum. What are yours?

Eventually I would also like to entice people experienced in the law, finances and fund raising to the board.

Any suggestions?

Do You Have Irregular Menses?

If so, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome [and here's a support association for it].

Jane Newman, Clinical Research Coordinator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine, asked me to tell you that

Irregular menses identify women at high risk for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which exists in 6-10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is a major cause of infertility and is linked to diabetes.

Learn more about current research on PCOS at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University - or contact Jane Newman.

If you have fewer than six periods a year, you may be eligible to participate in the study!

See more medical and scientific information about menstruation.

Is this the first Tampax tampon? - Ad from a 1920 Globe and Mail for Mrs. Pinkham's vegetable compound - "Stanislav Grof's Perinatal Matrixes of the Unconscious and Women's Medicine" by Nelson Soucasaux, Brazilian gynecologist - The Art of Menstruation: Quiara Z. Escobar (Zoey) - Your remedies for menstrual discomfort - Humor

Would you stop menstruating if you could? New contributions
Words and expressions about menstruation: New: U.S.A.: George, I'm suffocating little white mice, Mattress, Mattressi, There are strings attached
What did European and American women use for menstruation in the past?


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