Category Archives: Women’s Health

Go Green, Even On Your Period


November 12, 2018

These days, most people (we hope!) are making a conscious effort in going green in their daily lives. This means recycling and composting, using reusable bags when you go grocery shopping, kicking styrofoam to the curb (no littering!) and even opting for paper straws over plastic. So how can your period impact the environment for better or worse? Well, the average woman will go through thousands of pads, tampons and liners during the course of their adult lives—so the impact is huge. Over time, each pad or tampon that is disposed of can take a serious toll. So what can you do?

Let’s start with our options. Because both pads and tampons are meant to gather human waste, they can’t be recycled. Generally speaking, most women either discard their tampons in the trash or down the toilet. Neither do much good for the environment—in the first scenario they end up in a landfill and in the second they end up in a city’s sewers and waterways. According to Bustle, “The Ocean Conservancy collected 27,938 used tampons and applicators on beaches around the world in a single day in 2015″. That’s not exactly our idea of a beach day.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a perfect solution. Cardboard tampon applicators can be recycled, while most plastic ones cannot. The tampons themselves are usually biodegradable but can take years to break down. FabLittleBag, a brand out of the UK, has created tiny biodegradable sanitary bags that you can toss your used tampon or pad into. According to their site, the bags are “Made 35% from organic material and biodegradable, and since there’s no need to flush, the keep tampons out of the rivers, seas and sewers”. That’s a win in our book. 

If you’re set on making moves to help our Earth during your monthly encounter with mother nature, there are a few steps you can take. For starters, you may have to ditch the common period products all together. Menstrual cups or reusable pads are an option, and since you don’t have to dispose of them, they are better for both the environment and your wallet. Leak-proof underwear, like Lunapads, are also an option if you usually opt against tampons. These options do, however, require big lifestyle changes. To combat this, a UK-based startup, Dame, has created a reusable tampon applicator and organic tampons. The reusable applicator dramatically cuts down the amount of plastic being tossed each year by women. Even the simplest of changes—going for a 100% cotton, biodegradable tampon—can make a difference! Several brands are on the market today. 

Though there isn’t one easy solution to go green while on your period, making some changes like the ones above will definitely make a positive impact. Society is making huge moves by banning plastic bags, straws and certain kinds of containers, so pushing for eco-friendly alternatives to feminine care products is right on track.

Loving Your Body Through the Noise


October 17, 2018

Last year, the National Organization for Women (NOW) launched a campaign aimed at reminding women of their beauty, value and importance in society. The Love Your Body Campaign fights society’s standard of beauty, one that has been shaped by magazines and ads, photoshopped celebrities and Instagram models.

NOW’s fight sent a message to women to be confident in their own skin and in their womanhood, despite the conventional picture painted by the media and the criticism that comes from it, mainly from social media. That outside noise is LOUD and can be detrimental to one’s self-confidence, a distracting factor on a journey to self-love. This year, we’re breaking through that noise to let you know that you should feel like your best self 24/7. At PRJKT RUBY, our mission includes encouraging self-love and confidence in your own skin. Whether birth control gives you peace of mind, helps with your acne or balances your hormones to make you feel more like yourself, our goal is to give you access to these products in an easy and affordable way in hopes that you’ll continue living healthily, happily and freely.  

We know how hard it is to stay positive when you’re comparing yourself to celebrities, models or the “perfect lives” of your social media friends. The reality is we’re comparing ourselves to standards that aren’t attainable nor realistic; strong and beautiful women come in all shapes, sizes and colors. So we’re here to tell you that you are perfect just the way you are. According to NOW, “As women we can educate each other on what healthy really is, discuss and expose the media’s use of retouching and altering of photos, and remind each other that every body is beautiful.” We strive to create a positive community of women who have each other’s back, so let’s educate ourselves and others, and start loving our bodies and ourselves from top to bottom!

Like NOW, we support women around the world. That’s where our TakeCare, GiveCare campaign comes in. Women in the developing world – women just like you – don’t have access to contraceptives or services to help them live and feel better. Instead, many are stuck in a cycle of unwanted pregnancies, lack of medical care or services, and poverty. With every monthly purchase of birth control through PRJKT RUBY, a donation will be made to support access to both contraceptives and family planning services in developing countries, encouraging women to live freely around the world.

October 18th is Love Your Body day, so feel the love and spread it too — you deserve it. Learn more about PRJKT RUBY and our services here: https://www.prjktruby.com/

Post-Pill Life: What To Expect


September 26, 2018

Whether you want to treat your acne, you have a super irregular period, or you just want to avoid pregnancy, there’s usually a reason one starts taking the pill. And at some point, there’s a reason you’ll want to stop. If you’re ready to become pregnant, or you know you won’t be sexually active for awhile and want to take yourself off of birth control, there are usually some side effects that will accompany the transition.

There are a lot of myths regarding what to expect post-pill life. You may have heard that when you stop taking the pill, you’ll have a much harder time getting pregnant or that there will be permanent effects to your fertility or ability to conceive. Long story short, this is false. The pill contains just enough hormones to take effect for 24 hours — that’s why it’s so crucial to take it at the same time everyday. Dr. Jane Minkin, M.D. at Yale School of Medicine told The Cut, “Almost everybody can take them pretty much forever… there is no long-term association with decreased fertility.” That said, everyone is different and there are always risks involved when taking medication. Though stories of strokes, blood clots, or trouble getting pregnant are rare, they can happen, so stay up to date with your doctor’s appointments to make sure you’re healthy and everything is normal.

However, there are a few things you can expect when you come off the pill. A recent Bustle article highlighted some of the most common side effects that you should be prepared for post-pill:

  • If you were taking the pill to help with an irregular period, odds are that the irregularity will return once you’re off. Best case scenario, it will just take a cycle or two for your period to stabilize. This is totally normal — your body needs to re-adjust to life without a daily dose of hormones. The good news is that there are ways around this! According to the article, “It is best to come off the pill when you finish the pack you are currently on (so after your last set of placebo pills). Stopping mid-pack can cause irregular bleeding, disrupting the happy rhythm the pill brings to your menstrual cycle.”
  • As aforementioned, your body has to adjust to life off of the pill. So hormonal side effects, such as mood swings or headaches could haunt you. Side effects like these usually depend on the kind of pill you were on (they’re all different and contain different amounts of hormones). If things don’t level out after three months, talk to your doctor to see what options might help!
  • One of the most common uses for the pill is to help with breakouts. Unfortunately, once you come off the pill, your acne could be out of whack! Pro tip: follow your cycle. Like we mentioned, if you come off the pill mid-cycle, the side effects can be worse, so try transitioning off at the end of your placebo week!
  • Most importantly, you can get pregnant. As soon as you’re off the pill, you’re no longer protected from unwanted pregnancies. Therefore, if you will still be sexually active, you may want to look into BC alternatives! But we know life does happen — Ella or e-Contra, emergency contraceptives, are available through PRJKT RUBY and are effective from 3-5 days after unprotected sex.

There is nothing to be scared of when hopping off of the pill! Just be prepared to let your body reset and adjust. If you’re looking to find a birth control pill that works for you, speak to one of PRJKT RUBY’s licensed physicians here.

Face Mapping: An Ancient Guide to Reading Your Breakouts


August 8, 2018

Hormonal acne is tough, especially when you’re on your period. Your face is a reflection of your health, and when your hormones are irregular, breakouts happen. According to the ancient Chinese Ayurvedic technique, face mapping,” the area of your acne is correlated to what’s happening inside of your body. For example, “face mapping” reveals that breakouts on your forehead may indicate that something isn’t quite right with your digestive system, whereas acne on your cheeks can be reflective of issues with your respiratory system. Acne on your chin can be correlated to hormonal imbalances, and the nose is said to be linked to the circulatory system. Although there is no foolproof guide to understanding the causes of acne, there are ways to prevent it!

According to Mindbodygreen, there are several areas you may be experiencing acne. Luckily, there are ways to avoid a dreaded breakout:

  • Forehead: This may be a sign your body is having difficulty breaking down certain foods. To fight dreaded forehead breakouts, try eliminating common food allergens to see if you’re experiencing any intolerances. Many have found avoiding dairy, gluten, and fatty foods can be quite effective. Most importantly, aim to drink at least two liters of water per day (this is especially important while menstruating)!
  • Cheeks: Breakouts in this area could be due to pollution –  which is why it’s important to always keep your face clean. To avoid pesky blemishes, wash your skin properly and refrain from touching your cheeks with your hands. It may also be caused by a dirty cellphone or pillowcase, so make sure to always keep your devices and sheets as clean as possible!
  • Chin: The chin is generally linked to hormonal acne and stress, which is why you’re more likely to breakout during that time of the month. Drinking lots of water, getting sufficient sleep, and staying active will help keep your hormones in check and ease blemishes.
  • Nose: Breakouts on your nose may suggest an issue with your blood pressure or circulatory system. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, cutting back on spicy foods, eliminating alcoholic beverages or coffee, and avoiding too much processed food can help prevent excessive breakouts in this area, as well as encourage overall excellent health.

One  of the most common and effective remedies to treat acne is birth control. According to Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, MD, a NYC-based dermatologist, “when women’s hormone levels shift from a more female profile (for example, with estrogen and progesterone) to a more male profile (for example, testosterone) during our cycles, this has an effect on oil production and acne.” When the hormone profile is more male dominant, the sebum glands (which make oil) become more active, causing acne to flare. Taking the pill can balance these hormones and decrease the amount of testosterone in the body – giving you clearer skin!

Every woman’s body is different, and we want to help find what works best for you! If you struggle with hormonal acne, schedule a free consultation with one of PRJKT RUBY‘s U.S. licensed physicians  today to see if the pill is right for you.  

 

Saying No to #Goals


July 11, 2018

In the age of social media and news feeds filled with people living their best lives – it seems you can’t go a day without seeing at least one “#goals” comment. While on the surface it seems like an innocent compliment, it could hold much more meaningful implications to your self-esteem. Studies have shown that one’s self-esteem is directly linked to increased social media usage, which further reflects their satisfaction with life. So, instead of thinking “GOALS,” here are some ways you can stay confident while on social media:

  • Instagram isn’t always reality: While scrolling, remember that you’re seeing the highlight reel of people’s lives – the moments that they have carefully selected to share. If someone’s life seems too good to be true, it very well could be. That’s why we recommend you do your best to stray away from accounts that radiate perfection and perpetuate unattainable goals. Our tip: look for authenticity instead.
  • Don’t be afraid to unfollow: When it comes to staying confident on social media, the “unfollow” button can sometimes be your BFF. If you find envy creeping in when you scroll past someone’s posts, it may be time to take a break from their feed or channel altogether. Your mental health is more important than a like.
  • Think “what would Amy Poehler do?”:  In her book Yes Please, Poehler shares her go-to phrase when she finds herself comparing: “Good for her! Not for me.” Women should celebrate other women for their strengths while recognizing and accepting that they’re different than yours. By using this mantra, you can appreciate others without simultaneously putting yourself down.

It’s crucial to remain conscious of comparison and the self-destructive thoughts it often leads to. Say no to #goals while browsing, and instead celebrate all the beautiful, unique and real people on your feed, including yourself!

Summer Lovin’ with PRJKT RUBY


June 27, 2018

There’s never a bad time to do a little self-lovin’, but there’s just something about summer that makes positive thoughts so much sweeter. If you’re looking to live your best life this season, we’ve got some tips for you, girl:

 

  • Get outdoors: There’s nothing quite like a day outdoors during the warmer months. A casual stroll, a challenging hike, or a beach day offers a healthy dose of vitamin D! Studies show that some time in the sun helps the absorption of calcium,  keeps the immune system functioning efficiently, fight disease, regulates mood and even boosts weight loss, according to the National Institutes of Health. So don’t shun the sun – pack a hat, lather on some sunscreen, and embrace it!
  • Be positive: While the sun can be a major mood booster, it’s easy to fall into negative and diminishing self-talk while hitting the pool deck or struggling through a workout in the heat. We encourage you to step back from these detrimental thoughts and shift your perspective. Instead of comparing yourself to others, acknowledge everything that your body is capable of, and how it gets you through life’s challenges day in and day out. When you start appreciating instead of depreciating, you’ll notice just how much easier it is to love yourself.
  • Eat seasonally: As much as possible, get your hands on fresh summer fruits and veggies while they’re in season to snack on throughout the day. Some of our favorite summer produce include strawberries, cherries, carrots and cucumber! Not only are seasonal fruits and veggies deliciously juicy and hydrating, but they tend to be more affordable, incredibly fresh, and provide lots of natural energy to make it through those long summer days. We recommend filling up on these and other fresh beneficial bites to feel like your best self.

 

Most importantly – it’s crucial to realize that self-love shouldn’t be seasonal! Love and appreciate every part of who you are no matter the month or the weather, because YOU deserve nothing but happiness 365 days a year.

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.

Period Problems: Signs it’s Time to See Your Doctor


April 18, 2018

Periods are synonymous with a handful of less-than-thrilling effects on a women’s body – including mood swings, changes in appetite, lethargy, and much more. Because everyone’s body and cycles are different, distinguishing the line between normal and abnormal is a difficult task.

Luckily, there are three things to look out for during your menstrual cycle that help identify possible health issues in their earliest stages:

Excessive bleeding: The average woman loses between 30ml to 40ml of blood during their menstrual cycle each month. There’s no need to worry if yours regularly brings a heavier flow, as long as it doesn’t exceed 80ml. If you’re experiencing what you believe to be a notable increase in blood loss, it could signify a potential hormone imbalance, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or a number of other health concerns.

Abnormal blood clots: As with blood loss, clotting may be a natural part of your menstrual cycle – it’s the rate at which clotting occurs that could raise a red flag. If you experience abnormal clotting during your period, be sure to see a doctor as it could be a result of uterine fibroids. If ignored, clotting has the ability to create a blockage and lead to serious illnesses and infections.

Severe cramping or back pain: Contrary to popular belief, painful periods are not the norm. While mild cramps come with the territory, they should never be unbearable. When pain is extreme enough to keep you from day-to-day activities, is not susceptible to over-the-counter pain medications, or lasts more than three days, it may be a sign of serious health issues.

Don’t let stigma or shame keep you from addressing possible issues – when it comes to your health, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. At the end of the day, you know your body the best, so be sure to listen to it and seek attention if you fear something isn’t right.

When in Doubt, Ask for Angela


January 24, 2018

 

Online dating has become a conventional part of society in the last few years. Unfortunately, meeting up with your potential match can be awkward, intimidating, and sometimes even scary. Though many dates go off without a hitch, women can feel unsafe and trapped in uncomfortable situations, even while in a public place. In light of this issue, local businesses have joined in on a global campaign known as “Ask For Angela”, a way to help young women who are on an uncomfortable date ask for help discreetly.

So how does it work? Bars, coffee shops, and restaurants, such as this one in Winnipeg, keep a sign in their bathrooms letting women know that if they’re in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation, to ask a staff member for “Angela”. This will alert employees to help her get out of the restaurant, either by calling a taxi or law enforcement if needed.

Many bars have joined the movement, which was launched in Britain in 2016, by having women order an “Angel Shot”, alerting the bartender to either escort her out or call a means of transportation for them to get home safely. The idea has even been adopted by Hooters, and has been backed by many local police departments in participating areas.

If you find yourself in an unsafe or scary situation, ask for help. Planning on meeting up with a guy this weekend? Let a friend know your plans and avoid drinking if possible. Stand up for the women in your life and in your communities — together, we can make the world a safer place for all of us.

New Year, Same You


January 10, 2018

 

We’ve all seen it happen. The “New Year, New Me” posts splattered across social media, the resolution lists of novel length that somehow get misplaced within the first few weeks of January, and that feeling that this will be the year it all comes together — and then it doesn’t.

The New Year is a great chance for one to step back and reevaluate life from all angles – health, career, relationships, and overall happiness. For many, 12:01 AM on January 1st is the first page of a brand new notebook and a starting point for change in the coming year. But here’s a plot twist: you may not need to do that. You are already incredible, and it’s okay to be the same you in 2018!

Don’t give in to what others are writing down as their goals for the year, or to societal pressures telling you that you’re in need of a change. If you’re happy, do YOU! Just because people you know may have plans to change their habits or lifestyle, know that you’re not obligated to follow suit. So try ditching the New Year, New Me motto, and continue being the confident woman that you are!

If you do see room for self-improvement this year, that’s great! Just remember: don’t change for anyone else but yourself. If you’re looking for new ways to better yourself, avoid giving up tangible things, but rather try adding in elements to your daily life such as meditation, physical movement, or volunteering.  These small, but important steps may be just what you’re looking for.

As you look ahead, continue to love yourself, love others, and do good. After all, why would anyone want to change that? Now let’s show 2018 what we got.