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Although exceedingly rare, toxic shock syndrome is a serious, life-threatening, condition that has a higher occurrence during menstruation, particularly among teens and young adults. It isn't always associated with menstruation, but it can also occur in men, women and children, especially if there is any type of skin injury or wound. But, TSS became really well known in the 1970s after a surge in cases was tied to a super absorbent tampon called Rely which was quickly removed from the market. But TSS, being more well-recognized, was found to occur with other brands of tampons, and to date, has even been reported with the use of pads and a menstrual cup. 

TSS is not caused by tampons or other menstrual devices; it’s caused by a...

Menstrual cramps or period cramps (also known by the medical term “dysmenorrhea”) are that nagging ache that creeps up on you before or during your period. They usually last for 1-3 days. For some menstruators, cramping is barely noticeable, but for others, it can be a real pain in the pelvis (or lower back, or vagina, or upper thighs!). Sometimes cramps can be so painful, they cause nausea, vomiting or even fainting. The good news is that they tend to get less severe with age or after childbirth, but until then, they often require some treatment to prevent them from preventing YOU from having your usual fun!

But WHY?

Remember that your uterus is like a hollow muscle with a nice fluffy lining on the inside (called the...

We must get at least a dozen comments and emails every week from girls asking the question, “When will I get my first period?” It’s obvious that every girl has put a lot of thought into how puberty is progressing and what’s up next because we get all sorts of details. We hear about when breasts budded, how long pubic hair has been around, whether there’s discharge or not, when mom started her period, and how many friends have already started. Some girls seem worried, while others are clearly excited and impatient!

So how do you know? There are definitely some things that should happen BEFORE you start your period, but the timing is a bit of a mystery. Wouldn’t it be cool if you got a “reminder” that popped up on your cell phone?...

"One of my friends recently posted an article on her personal Facebook page about how to protect your kids from sexual abuse. I had chimed in originally with some abbreviated answer, and she wanted to have me delve into the subject a little bit deeper. Here was my response from my experience as a pediatrician and a mom.

Without going into graphic details, I probably get about 1-2 kids a month in my office who have been sexually abused or molested. I will address several points in light of the most common scenarios I've seen.

1. The location of an incident is likely to be at a place where you are familiar. Places where I've heard of this happening: known family members and friends are far and away the most...

When your crush finally notices you and things start looking like they might become “official,” there are usually lots of warm and fuzzy emotions floating around. You may find yourself wanting to text or talk to that person all the time. You might get butterflies when you see your boo. You might create an emoji sequence with special meaning that you use to end every text conversation. It can be really fun to be someone’s “special someone.” 

In the teen years, the hormones that make you go through puberty also play a big part in driving feelings of attraction. Your hormones (you’re making more than ever before) can also affect emotions, making them feel bigger and stronger. For some people, when attraction and big emotions come...

Wonder what your teen really NEEDS? We've got you covered! There's nothing to wrap and it's all FREE and PRICELESS. DOWNLOAD our list!

We don't usually promote products (and we're not being paid by any of these folks...) but we love great gifts! We talked with some of our Girlologists across the country and found out what they are giving some of their own daughters. We believe these gifts will spark creativity, boost confidence, support healthy habits or just create special times with friends and family. Let us know what other gifts you find that do the same for your girls!

Have you lost the balance between owning your weaknesses and celebrating your strengths? Wait, what? Did you forget that you can actually focus some of your attention on what’s going right? You are the first in line to shout out your shortcomings and insecurities, yet you minimize your strengths. It happens to the best of us. Learn to embrace the intimidating journey to becoming confident by accepting and owning that there are certain qualities that don’t come easy for you while there are other qualities that DO come easy. You have positive qualities that you ignore… and those qualities want your attention! Practice what makes you smile. Practice what makes you curious. Practice what uniquely shines in you when you’re NOT overthinking....

It's LET'S TALK MONTH, so, first, Let's Talk about The Talk with a guest blog by Kim Cook. Learn more about her below.

The Talk. Just the mere thought of starting the conversation with your child can send quivers of anxiety through your body. Panic sets in: What if they ask me something I don’t know? What if I tell them something wrong? Aren’t the schools teaching them what they need to know? What if they see the fear in my eyes?

Yes, indeed. What if? 

 

How did your parents approach “the talk” with you?

Take a moment to reflect upon your experience as a youngster. Many parents share their stories about talking with their own parents about sex and relationships— or...

Ah! The smell of adolescence.

There’s nothing quite like the end-of-the-day funk that wafts from a pubescent kid. Some of them (younger ones usually) have no idea they stink or they just don’t care because their friends haven’t noticed. But as kids head into middle school and beyond, body odor is a common cause for teasing, exclusion, and shaming. Besides the usual body odor from sweaty pits and stinky feet, there are also new and strong odors from their morphing private zones. For girls, in particular, those private odors often become an embarrassment and even a source of anxiety, but some reassurance about normal healthy odors and details about basic hygiene may be all they need.

First, let me stress that there’s already...

In my last blog, I considered whether sexting is liberating for girls or if it’s just making them think they’re liberated as they’re plunging right into the cultural pressure to show up as sexualized objects for others’ pleasure. We live in a culture that packages self-objectification as liberation for girls and women. But exactly what does that mean? How is someone an object or a subject?

Self-objectification is the act of treating oneself as an object instead of a subject. Objects don’t really do things. Instead, their value comes from how they look or how they are used. Subjects do things to objects; their value comes from what they do. So here lies...

Even when you aren’t saying a thing, the way you stand, your expression, and your movements are telling others around you how you feel. That’s called body language, and it’s your non-verbal voice.

What does your body language say about you? Does it pull people towards you or push them away? In the previous blog, we discussed the importance of learning to communicate verbally, but messages you communicate non-verbally impact your relationships, too.  People notice body language (whether they are trying to or not), and they make assumptions based on your cues and movements.

A better understanding of your own body language can let people know when you’re serious, or prevent you from seeming standoffish or bored when, in fact...

Girls receive so many messages telling them to prove their hotness through media, and these messages are reinforced by peers and rarely combated by parents. Youth grow up marinating in sexualized imagery without even being conscious of it. Sexualization is when you take something that is not overtly sexual and you make it sexy. For example, we do this a lot with food: Carls Jr. commercials, anyone? And we certainly do this with girls through making their toys and clothes sexy but not boys’. ...

What does your voice say about you? It depends, right? It depends on your mood, thoughts, and the audience. Some audiences get the quiet voice. Some get the loud, over-reactive voice. Some get the confident expressive voice, and yet others get the intimidated (almost non-verbal) voice.

Did you know that as your thoughts constantly circulate in your mind with traces of both fiction and non-fiction; your voice is formulating a plan of action? What if THIS happens? What if THAT happens? And what if THIS and THAT change my life as I know it? Worry begins to bubble up and your voice is on standby to help you stay true to what you really want.

Sometimes it’s hard to “find your voice” to speak up for yourself, but did you know...

Recently, our middle schooler, a rising seventh grader, casually mentioned seeing some of her classmates vaping in a parking lot. I found myself in one of those moments as a mom for which I was unprepared to talk but knew that is exactly what I needed to do: have a solid, but brief conversation with facts.  

I went straight to the FDA to do a little research, and just as I suspected, the newest and attempt to be cool is definitely a harmful choice.  

The facts

In recent years, vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), and e-pipes, all types of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), have become increasingly popular among young people. In 2015, more than 3 million...

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