Category Archives: Ruby News

Celebrating Friendships


July 25, 2018

It’s no secret that there are a profound amount of challenges happening worldwide on any given day. However, despite all of the negativity, friendship prevails. The most beautiful thing about friendship is that there are no borders or divides, it’s understood and celebrate no matter what language you speak, or continent you’re from. It opens the doors for genuine conversations and understanding, and forms connections with unlikely people. Friendship is common ground, a camaraderie that brings people together, and it’s time we celebrate it!

 

With the International Day of Friendship happening on July 30th, we’re offering some tips on how you can get out there and find genuine connections:

  • Travel: Anywhere and everywhere. The best way to make genuine connections is to break out of your comfort zone and become vulnerable. By taking a break from everyday life to explore the amazing places around the world, you’re becoming vulnerable to the unknown, and crossing paths with people from around the world.
  • Sign up: If you’re looking to meet people, look for hobbies that interest or challenge you, and sign up for classes or leagues in your area. That way you have an underlying thing in common with each person, which could serve a solid foundation for friendship.
  • TakeCare, GiveCare: Actions speak louder than words, and there are infinite ways to show someone you care – even if you’ve never met them! In fact, when you place your order with PRJKT RUBY, you’re helping women in developing countries gain access to birth control and other fundamental family planning methods, as 25 cents of each order goes toward helping women globally. Join the movement and place your order today.

While International Day of Friendship is a great reminder, it’s important to celebrate yourself the ones you love year round! Just as importantly, always remain open to new friendships and authentic connections.

The Effects of Your PRJKT RUBY Purchase


June 13, 2018

Your PRJKT RUBY purchase stretches farther than you may think. In fact, it changes the lives of women around the globe with our TakeCare, GiveCare initiative. Every time complete your order, you’re also helping one of the 214 million women in developing countries receive access to birth control and other family planning methods – and in turn, reshaping lives globally. According to a Stanford University study shared in The Economist, who have access to contraceptives are more likely to:

  • Become more educated: the study shows that those who have access to birth control stay in school for 6 months to a year longer than women who lack access. While there are still ways to go when it comes to educating women in developing countries, birth control has held the largest effect of any outside factor, with zero changes to actual school policies.
  • Earn an income: Unlike the places that lack access to contraception, the chance of a woman to earn monetary income notably increased when they had access to birth control. Women with access to birth control are more likely to obtain paid jobs and careers, with an increased possibility they will assist the family in financial matters and decision making.
  • Have a say: the study recognizes a trend when it comes to locations with access to BC – the wife’s aging parents are taken in by the couple, but the husband’s aren’t. The study associates the power women receive when they have access to family planning to their likeliness to have a say in family matters down the line.

So far, PRJKT RUBY purchases have lead over 1,000 women in developing countries to live more fulfilling lives. Want to join in on the movement and start changing lives across the globe? Learn more about TakeCare, GiveCare, read testimonials. and place your order today.

The Fight Against Photo Manipulation (& Why We’re All About It)


October 27, 2017

The issue of photo manipulation isn’t a new one, but it has recently gained some real traction. A French law passed in 2015 has finally been implemented, and is creating a ripple effect amongst media distributors. In effort to promote body positivity and stray from the overexposure of unhealthy and unattainable body image ideals, the French government now requires photographers and distributors to clearly flag photos that have been photoshopped or altered in any way.

While they could have stopped there, France proved how serious they are by requiring all models to provide a doctor’s note that clearly indicates that they are in good health, paying special attention to their BMI – banning models who fail to uphold a healthy body mass index. According to an article by Independent, anyone who fails to abide by the new mandate could face a fine of €37,500 ($44,100), or 30% of the cost of the advertisement.

Getty Images is also taking strides. Following the French law, the company banned photo submissions in which the shape and/or size of a model’s body has been altered, or if they have failed to require a doctor’s note that ensured the model was in good health. If you thought the punishment was tough before, Getty Images is fining agencies who don’t abide by their regulations a whopping $75,000. This requirement is also enforced for iStock submissions, a branch of Getty Images.

While we are beginning to see companies take a stand against photo manipulation (shout out to Aerie and Dove!), there is still a long way to go before we see widespread embracement of all bodies in the media and advertising sector. Hopefully these new regulations will set the pace for society.

The “Period Brain” Has Officially Been Debunked


August 14, 2017

The jig is up, people! While the “period brain” has had a great run, a recent study shows that there is no real correlation between hormone levels and a decrease in a woman’s memory or cognitive function. The assumption that ladies are somehow less capable of thinking when their cycle comes back around has finally been squashed for good!

“Period brain” has served as a vehicle for harmful stereotypes that women are erratic and unpredictable while menstruating, further leading to the notion that they’re unfit to be leaders or hold influence in their careers.

The study tested a large pool of women and took place over the span of two months, or two menstrual cycles. To track any hormonal changes between women while on and off their cycles, each participant underwent a number of neurophysiological tests to assess each woman’s visual memory, executive functions, and attention spans. The results showed no replicable data that showed a change in cognitive function during the hormonal changes that come along with the menstrual cycle.

Rejoice, ladies – science has spoken! One less harmful stigma and one step closer to the normalization of periods.

Source: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00120/full

A Dose of Good News: The Pill Does NOT Kill Your Sex Drive


January 13, 2017

Oral contraception has come a long way since inception, but like any medication, the pill can come with its share of side effects. However, a recent study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, says that killing your sex drive is not one of them.

For many years, reduced libido as been considered to be a side effect to birth control, although prior research on the matter has delivered mixed results. A group of researchers at University of Kentucky and Indiana University sought to find if there was any truth to the theory.

Researchers had over 900 participants fill out the Sexual Desire Inventory, a survey that assessed their sexual drive on a solitary level and with their partners. Participants then listed what type of birth control they were using, ranging from hormonal and non-hormonal methods to oral contraception. Researchers also factored in if the women were in relationships, relationship length, and their age.

They found that women who were taking the Pill had higher libido with their partners than those using non-hormonal methods (like condoms and the copper IUD). However, when age and relationship length were factored in, the results were not as conclusive, suggesting that relationships and other factors may be more important than what kind of birth control you use.

Turns out, a woman’s sex drive is not so black and white. Lead author Kristen P. Mark, PhD MPH, told Yahoo Beauty, “Yes, hormones play a role in sexual desire, but so do so many other things! So, ignoring the context and trying to pinpoint one thing to attribute low (or high) desire to is shortsighted.” What does this mean for you? You can take your pill with the assurance that you can still have a great libido. If you aren’t in the mood (it happens), just remind yourself of all the amazing health benefits!

When Should You Take the Morning After Pill?


March 18, 2016

Even those who consistently practice safe sex are bound to face an accident eventually.

There are a number of ways that you may experience this lack of protection ranging from a broken condom to forgetting a week of birth control pills.

First, let’s let look at the facts about emergency contraception (better known as the morning after pill).

While often confused with the abortion pill, EC is NOT the same. Let’s repeat that one more time for emphasis…the morning after pill is not the same as the abortion pill!

Essentially EC works by preventing ovulation (or the release of an egg). If there is no egg present then there is no way for a sperm to fertilize it, right?

Did you know that sperm can actually survive in your system 72 hours after sex to 5 days later?

For this reason, there are many different types of EC pills. The two most common are Plan B and ella.

Plan B was one of the first EC pills to hit the market and is effective for up to 3 days after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. In order for it to be most effective, it needs to be taken ASAP. That’s because it loses efficacy with each hour that passes. Plan B is available over-the-counter.

Ella is a newer form of emergency contraception that is effective for 5 days after unprotected sex. Unlike Plan B, ella remains as effective in the last hour as it does in the first. Currently ella is available by prescription only.

If you believe you are at the risk of being pregnant, here are some of the most common situations that lead to morning after pill use.

Keep in mind that while emergency contraception is a great tool, it is not intended as a routine form of birth control and should not be taken more than once in a cycle. 

The Condom Broke
Even when used properly, condoms are not 100% effective. A condom may rip or tear if it is past it’s expiration date (yes, they DO expire), has become dried out during sex or has been stored in a very hot or dry climate (like a glove box or even a wallet).

You Forgot to Take Two or More Pills
If you are on a form of combination birth control and have forgotten one pill (and took it as soon as you remembered), you are likely not at a risk of becoming pregnant. The mini pill is a different story. You will want to speak with the pharmacist if you have missed one or more. If you have missed 2 or more combination pills, you may want to take the morning after pill to be on the safe side.

You Were the Victim of Sexual Assault
We seriously hope this is NOT the case but if you are the victim of sexual assault or rape, you can greatly reduce your chances of an unplanned pregnancy by taking the morning after pill. Be sure to reach out to your doctor or a helpline like RAINN to make sure you are mentally and physically on the road to recovery.

You Didn’t Use Any Protection
Let’s face it, sometimes accidents do happen. Maybe you weren’t aware your partner wasn’t wearing a condom or maybe you were. It doesn’t matter the situation – the fact that you didn’t use any protection makes you a prime candidate for the morning after pill.

If you are unsure if your particular situation warrants taking the morning after pill. don’t be afraid to call your doctor or pharmacist for a consultation. Accidents happen and when they do, emergency contraception is a great thing to have in your medicine cabinet just in case. 

Drone-Delivered Birth Control is First of it’s Kind


February 25, 2016

The word “drone” has become synonymous with the retail giant Amazon’s new delivery system, but now it has struck a cord with U.N. health experts.

The issue of delivering birth control to remote and hard-to-reach areas of Ghana has been one that has plagued experts for years. Now, inspired by Amazon’s drones, Dr. One has come to fruition.

In late 2014, the pilot project was developed in the Seattle.

Naturally, the experiment caught the attention of health organizations including the Ghana Health Service, U.N. Population Fund and Drones for Development, to name a few. Many of the women who need birth control the most are the hardest to reach in Africa.

The drone is a 5-foot-wide remote controlled aerial vehicle and it not only carries birth control pills, but condoms and assorted medical supplies from a warehouse to a drop point. A designated health worker retrieves the package and then distributes the supplies to those in the rural area.  Prior to the drone, it would take 2 days for supplies to come, now it takes 30 minutes.

As if that’s not impressive enough, the flight costs a mere $15.

Other African countries are beginning to take interest as this is an amazing opportunity to deliver supplies exactly where they are needed in a mere fraction of the time.

 

 

 

Condoms 101: Here’s What You Need to Know


December 2, 2015

When used perfectly, condoms are amazingly effective in preventing pregnancy and STD transmission…like 98% effective! So what takes away from their efficacy? Many times lack of proper knowledge and negligence are to blame.

Using a barrier method is the best way to prevent the passing of sexually transmitted diseases (aside from abstinence of course). So follow these simple rules for condom safety and you should be good to go!

1. Putting a Condom on Wrong is the Number One Mistake

Fortunately, the most common condom mistake can be avoided with a little effort. Often in the heat of the moment, haste makes waste and many people begin to put the condom on wrong (inside out) and then turn it over. Especially when pre-ejaculate is present, this is not a good thing. The second and third most common mistakes (according to WebMD) are putting the condom on too late or taking it off too soon.

You likely saw the correct way to put a condom on in one of those cringe-worthy sex ed classes in high school (probably using a banana to demonstrate).  Let’s face it, you were too embarrassed to pay full attention at the time so here is a little refresher course.

Always be sure to put the condom on before your has any contact with your partners genitals. Simply open the condom wrapper along the perforated edge. Ripping it open anywhere else on the package could lead to damaging the condom. Next, check which way the condom is rolled. Test this with your finger rather than trial and error on the penis. After you have determined which way it goes in, simply roll it onto the penis and pinch the reservoir tip. Add lubrication if needed and check frequently to make sure the condom has not become damaged. Add lubrication if the condom begins to dry out as this can lead to tearing from friction.

2. Condom Size is Important

Unfortunately, condoms are not ‘one-size-fits-all.’ While most men are just fine with regular sized condoms, some men need a larger size. If the entire penis is not covered, or it is stretched too tightly over the skin, it’s not going to be as effective as a properly fitting condom. If it’s too short, there is a greater chance that STDs can be spread. According to WebMD, if you or your partner measure more than 7 inches in length or more than 4.5 to 5 increase around, you will likely need a larger condom size.

3. Don’t Use Oil-Based Lubrication that is Not Marketed For Sexual Activity

Using other forms of lube that aren’t marketed for sex can lead to condom failure. Anything oil-based, like petroleum jelly or even baby oil, can break down the latex. Instead, use marketed forms of water or silicone based  lubricants. If you want to skip the step of adding lubrication, get a condom that already has lubrication on it. Many times they also include spermicide as well.

4. Not all Condoms are Created Equally 

A condom is a condom, right? Not exactly. The three main types of condoms you will encounter include latex, polyurethane and animal skin. These are all pretty good at preventing pregnancy but when it comes to STD protection the porous quality of animal skin condoms can allow viruses to get through them. If you don’t have any issues with latex, these are the most common and effective. For those with latex allergies, polyurethane is effective as well but they tend to be thinner and often fit a bit looser than latex.

5. Wearing Two Condoms is NOT Better Than Wearing One

For some reason, there is a rumor that putting two condoms on will add double assurance that you won’t get an STD or become pregnant. This is actually one way to lower the efficacy of the condom. The two condoms actually result in excess friction and makes a rip or tear more likely to occur.

6. Human Error Lowers Efficacy of Condoms from 98% to 85%

As mentioned earlier, putting a condom on the wrong way can cause major problems and increase the probability of a mishap. Always be sure to use caution when putting on the condom and don’t pull it too tight to the tip. Allow room at the end for the reservoir tip to collect the semen.

7. Storage Plays a Big Role in Condom Safety

We see it all the time in movies and TV shows. The guy reaches into his back pocket for his wallet and suddenly a condom appears from within. When exposed to heat for an extended period of time, the condom becomes weak and the chances of it ripping are higher. The same goes for storing condoms in your car’s glove box. Your wallet and your car may seem like good places to stash condoms but they actually can render them practically useless. The best place to put them is in your nightstand.

8. Don’t Open Condom Wrappers with Scissors or Your Teeth

Struggling to get a condom wrapper open can put a damper on things but if you resort to using your teeth or scissors rather than your hands to open the package, you could be destroying the contents within.

Best Methods for Birth Control After Having a Baby


October 15, 2015

Having a baby can be a great and wonderful thing but after all the sleepless nights, diaper changes and feeding times you might be thinking it’s worth waiting a bit to have another child. The good news is that you have many birth control options.

The Pill 
After receiving the go-ahead from your doctor that it’s okay to have sex again, you should be fine to return to using the pill. Typically this is about six weeks after your postpartum checkup. If you are breastfeeding your baby, your doctor will likely prescribe a progestin-only pill which will have no impact on your milk production. It was once believed that you couldn’t get pregnant while breastfeeding (since you don’t get a period) but this has been proven as a myth, you actually CAN get pregnant. This is one good reason to get on the mini pill as soon as you can.

IUD 
Many women are turning to intrauterine devices following pregnancy. The great thing about IUDs is that they are completely reversible and they take away the need to remember to take a pill at the same time each day. You simply have it inserted and forget about it until you are ready to start trying to add to your family.

Condoms
Going back to condoms after childbirth can be a great non-hormonal method of contraception. When used properly their success rate is around 98%.

Withdrawal
While not the most effective method of birth control, the withdrawal method is still widely used by many couples. The withdrawal method is when the male partner pulls out prior to ejaculation. This is best done in relationships were total trust is present.

Rhythm 
The rhythm method essentially uses avoidance of intercourse when fertile to prevent pregnancy. This is one of the less reliable methods, however, as failure rates are as high as 25%. Most women do this by counting days in their cycle and then avoiding those that fall right before, after and during their cycle.

The Importance of Knowing Your HPV Risk


October 8, 2015

While HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. it is often overlooked when it comes to screening. If you are getting a blood test for STDs, you might be surprised to find out that you could still be at risk for HPV.  This is in part due to the fact that currently there is no specific test to check for your HPV status, so to speak. You can, however, undergo HPV tests used to screen for cervical cancer. The current average of those infected with HPV in the U.S. is about 79 million. Roughly 14 million new infections occur each year.

So What is HPV?

HPV is often immediately met with fear due to it’s closeness in name to HIV. The two are in NO way the same. It is also not related to HSV which is the herpes virus. Essentially, HPV is actually so common that almost all sexually active men and women will have it at some point in their lives (according to the CDC). There is not one particular type of HPV so while some people with it may experience health effects, others won’t. The most common health conditions associated with HPV are genital warts and cancers.

So If I Have HPV, Does this Mean I Will Get Cancer?

Being diagnosed with anything outside of the norm can be really scary (especially if you start looking up any condition on the internet) but if you have HPV, this doesn’t mean you need to freak out. Your diagnosis simply means you will need to keep an eye out for any symptoms or changes and may need additional pap smears.

In most cases, HPV will actually go away on it’s own without causing any damage. When the virus lingers, however, this is when health problems can begin.

How Can You Get HPV? 

Just like other STIs, HPV is passed from one partner to another during sexual intercourse. Your partner doesn’t need to be exhibiting any symptoms in order to pass the virus along. It can be challenging to know when you were infected (or by whom) because symptoms can develop years after the initial infection.

So What’s the Connection Between HPV and Cancer?

HPV can cause cervical (and other types of) cancer. The most common HPV related cancers include cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis or anus. In some cases, it can also be related to cancer of the back of the throat, base of the tongue or the tonsils.

Should I Get the HPV Vaccine? 

It’s currently recommended that all boys and girl 11 to 12 years of age should get vaccinated. Because the HPV vaccine is relatively new, those who did not have access at that age may be given a catch-up vaccine for males through the age of 21 and women through the age of 26.