Women's Health|PeriodHacks http://periodhacks.com Women's Health and Fitness. Embracing The Journey Of Womanhood Together Sat, 13 May 2017 12:48:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 http://periodhacks.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/facebook-profile-150x150.png Women's Health|PeriodHacks http://periodhacks.com 32 32 What It Means To Be A True Friend http://periodhacks.com/what-it-means-to-be-a-true-friend/ http://periodhacks.com/what-it-means-to-be-a-true-friend/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:00:05 +0000 http://periodhacks.com/?p=961
friends

Finding a true and faithful friend is akin to finding your soulmate. There are some people that we just click with immediately. We can let our guard down and share our hopes and fears without being ridiculed or judged. Quality is more valuable than quantity - having one true friend is better than having five fake ones. But before we can attract real friends, we must first become a true friend to the important people in our lives.

 

Be A Source of Encouragement

We all struggle with self-confidence at some point. A good friend knows how to lift you up when you’re feeling down. They shine a light on your good qualities and give words of encouragement to help calm your fears.

In a world surrounded by people who love to point out our faults, true friends become the counterbalance by filling our lives with positivity.

 

Communicate

friends talking

Communication in the relationship needs to be two-sided. It’s easy to become self-involved with the events in our lives. Make the effort to find out what is happening in your friend’s life. Maintaining a connection through open communication leads to a stronger friendship that stands the test of distance and time.

 

Apologise & Practice Forgiveness

Disagreements will arise, and the way we handle them can either make or break the friendship. Avoid saying hurtful things in the heat of the moment. While words can act as a healing balm, the wrong words can cut like a sharp knife.

Whatever you do, don’t gossip behind one another’s backs. Solve the disagreement together. Take the time to listen to each other’s side of the story. Try to put yourself in their shoes and consider how you would feel. Only then can you apologise and forgive each other. Don’t throw away the trust and respect you have developed over petty quarrels.

 

Defend Their Honour

Stop anyone in their tracks who decides to gossip about your friend in your presence. Remaining silent or joining the conversation is disloyal. True friends always stand up for each other and choose to say nice things behind one another’s backs. If you have a friend like this never let them go; loyal friends are few and far in between.

 

Call Them Out When They Are Wrong

Truly loving someone means accepting the good with the bad. Sometimes it becomes necessary to pull your friend aside to address certain negative behaviours. To soften the blow, suggest how they can use some of their positive qualities to stop the negative behaviour.

We all have flaws; a friend who is willing to keep us accountable for our actions shows that they really care about our well-being.

 

Be Present Through The Good and Bad Times

friends crying together

Good friends know how to cheer us on in the good times and in the bad times offer up a shoulder to cry on. The relationship should be built on a level of trust that encourages us to share our most vulnerable sides.

 

Provide A Listening Ear

Sometimes we just need to vent about the pressures of life. Good friends know how to provide a listening ear without giving unsolicited advice. Just being able to voice your concerns is a great stress reliever. Take the time to be selfless and put your friend’s needs above your own.

 

Spend Time Together Just Because

true friends

Life is hectic and before you know it a few months have passed since you’ve spent time with your friends. Make it a priority to schedule time to catch up with each other. Whether it’s a phone call or a fun outing, strengthen the bond of your friendship by making time for each other.

Being surrounded by good friends and family leads to a more fulfilling life. In fact, some friends are closer to us than our blood relatives - treasure those friendships. We are all human and at one point or another, you may find yourself slipping in one of the areas discussed above. That’s ok, it’s never too late to implement the changes needed to strengthen your friendships.

 

Let us know what you think:

What qualities do you look for in a true friend? Do you think you are a good friend?

 

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The Mystery of Cervical Mucus – what you should know http://periodhacks.com/the-mystery-of-cervical-mucus-what-you-should-know/ http://periodhacks.com/the-mystery-of-cervical-mucus-what-you-should-know/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:04:44 +0000 http://periodhacks.com/?p=902

 

The human body is an amazing thing, and unless you spent four years studying biology then chances are you might not be on top of what is happening within you right now. Without proper sex ed in many places, it can be difficult to get a grasp on a lot of stuff, so we grow up with very little knowledge about our bodies. One of the least appreciated things in the body is cervical mucus.

Cervical mucus is quite literally, fantastic. It does so many jobs, like a handyman for your downstairs lady area. Mucus is one of the three main components in the Fertility Awareness Method, and while it has a load of amazing properties, it's usually viewed upon with disgust, treated as though the vagina has the audacity to sneeze into your underwear.

Like we said before, cervical mucus is brilliant and really, really useful. It can be the first step in letting you know if something is wrong, like an STD or even a yeast infection. It's actually the mucus that can keep sperm alive for up to five days. This means a woman could have sex on Sunday, but conceive on Thursday when the egg is released. Mind. Blown.

Warning: You can't see any changes in mucus if you happen to be on any type of hormonal birth control, like the pill or the bar, but if you ever go off them, then this is pretty cool stuff to know.

Venomous Vagina!

Have you ever wondered why your lovely dark underwear, usually your really expensive black lacy numbers, end up stained, almost as if they were bleached? (We’re looking at you, white patches on black underwear!) Well, that's the result of, what I like to call, the venomous vagina!

Most of the time, thanks to all of the good bacteria growing inside, the vagina is coated in a nice layer of lactic acid. DON'T PANIC! Don't worry you're not going to dissolve from the inside out (I don't think so anyway...)

It's the vaginal equivalent of one of those fancy self-cleaning ovens. Of all of the parts of your body that you want to ensure is sanitary, the vagina is one of them. Just ask anyone who's ever suffered a UTI or a kidney infection. Eep. Not only does the acid helps keep the vagina clean, it also kills the sperm, like water with the witch in the Wizard of Oz.

E is for Excellent

E-type mucus is practically the opposite of the aforementioned G type mucus. For one thing, you can actually see it! I mean with enough effort you could see G mucus, but that would involve a flashlight, paper clips, and an extremely thin periscope. Or some remarkable MacGuyver-like skills.

During the fertile part of your cycle, the E mucus counteracts the vaginal acid and helps balance the PH level out, making the journey just that little bit less treacherous for the tiny tadpoles.

This type of mucus actually helps keep sperm alive for up to four or five days. Due to the fact that the fertility window is very slim, this is extremely useful if attempting to conceive.

You could say that the estrogenic mucus is a lifesaver, well, for the man-gravy at least. Not only does the mucus work as a protective barrier between the sperm and the acidic typhoon inside your vaginal canal, but it extends its life in other ways. The mucus acts like a jelly (or jello, depending on whatever consistency makes you feel better at night) providing necessary nutrients by feeding the sperm. Thus ensuring that it has an extended lifespan and yet again helping your chances of conception.

Plus the mucus acts as a conduit for the sperm, aiding in their tumultuous journey towards the egg.

The mucus is produced in the cervix and has nowhere to go but down, this means you can observe it. This is especially handy for use in fertility awareness methods, the color and texture of the mucus will help you be able to determine whereabouts you are in your cycle. (In conjunction with other FAM methods.)

Plug it Up

What can we say about the mucus plug? It does exactly what it says on the tin. Okay so during the non-fertile part of your cycle the opening in the cervix shrinks and changes positions. In addition to this a mucus plug, made from G mucus, blocks the opening of the cervix to stop sperm getting through. The mucus plug is like a very tight net, like mesh, and it has a high acidity level itself, which also helps destroy the sperm up there too. During pregnancy the mucus plug gets even thicker and stronger, keeping everything where it should be until the baby is due.

Effectively the vagina is like the Rambo of the vulva, killing sperm for the majority of your cycle, blocking them from the uterus and zapping them like those blue fly lights that electrocute anything that buzzes by.

 

The Cervical Mucus Cycle

Effectively, if you can see any kind of mucus in your undercarriage then congratulations, you are most probably fertile. However, it is the really slippery, sort of viscose type that means that your oven is definitely pre-heated and ready for a bun or two. This can be clarified if you notice the days before and after that you have dry or sticky mucus.

After menstruation, the mucus has its own cycle and it tends to fall into its own pattern, for the most part, it will go something like this.

cervical mucus cycle

When you're charting, or at least trying to chart your cervical mucus cycle, don't be alarmed if you're having trouble figuring it out. It's not exactly tea leaves here, and there is every possibility that you might be having split peaks, which is the result of low estrogen levels, which can make ovulation tricky.

If you are checking out your magical lady ectoplasm and you notice any strong, unusual odors, textures, or colors (like yellow) then go see your healthcare professional, just to make sure that you are okay and free from infection.

 

Women Should Know Their Own Bodies

Cervical mucus still manages to be one of those taboo topics that no-one wants to talk about, with it often being portrayed as unclean. Not only that, but doctors don't seem to have a great knowledge of something that is so very important.

We really need to give this stigma a good boot up the backside. As women, we deserve to know and understand how our bodies work, especially with regards to our (often overlooked) reproductive system. If you want to more about your lady parts, you can read more about that here!

So when it comes to cervical mucus, what are your thoughts? Have you ever checked yours? Do you use it as part of your birth control plan? Let us know in the comments down below.

 

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10 Doctor Appointments You Should Make (But Probably Don’t) http://periodhacks.com/10-doctor-appointments-you-should-make-but-probably-dont/ http://periodhacks.com/10-doctor-appointments-you-should-make-but-probably-dont/#respond Thu, 26 Jan 2017 17:29:07 +0000 http://periodhacks.com/?p=889

Okay, okay, so you're not even sick. You're as strong as a horse and you make sure that you eat an apple a day just to keep the doctor away, but as everyone knows prevention is better than cure. So instead of waiting for something bad to happen, take your health into your own hands and take note of all of the doctor appointments you should make.

 

Primary Care Physician

general practitioner

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At least once a year you should take the time to see a primary care physician, like your general family doctor or someone trained in internal medicine. This is for a general check up including a physical exam and questions about your health and lifestyle. Your primary care physician will have access to your medical history, assessing risks and looking out for any changes that might need attention. If necessary, they can request particular tests or exams and can refer you to a specialist.

This visit should also include a blood test to screen for other underlying issues, from vitamin deficiency to gastritis, diabetes and even cancer. It is much better to get tested by a professional, instead of looking up your symptoms on Web MD and causing yourself unnecessary stress and trouble.

 

Gynecologist

gynecologist visit

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From the age of 21, it is recommended that women should visit a gynecologist every 1-3 years, regardless of whether they are sexually active or not. During a routine check-up, you'll get a pap smear, clinical breast exam and pelvic exam. When conducting a breast exam the OB-GYN will check for unusual growths, textures, and discoloration. The pelvic exam consists of searching for signs of growth, infections, and abnormalities within the reproductive organs.

If you have a new sexual partner (or partners) you should have regular STD tests and Pap smears. An HPV test is not necessarily included in a Pap smear, so be sure to ask your gynecologist to perform an HPV test along with the regular check for abnormal cervical cells.

 

Optometrist

eye exam

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Just over half of all Americans with eye problems are women and as a result, it is highly recommended that your optometrist, ophthalmologist or eye doctor should be visited at least every two years. Although, if you have a family history or suffer from poor eye health, then you may have to visit annually.

In general, your optometrist will perform an eye exam to determine whether you need glasses. If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, an eye exam will keep your prescription up to date. With many eye diseases developing after the age of 40, it has been suggested that early testing for glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy in your twenties may be one of the best preventative measures.

 

Radiologist

breast exam

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Breast cancer is the main cause of cancer-related deaths in women between the ages of twenty and sixty, so just being aware of your breast health could make all of the difference. The United States' Preventive Services Task Force advises annual mammograms once you hit forty, however, you should schedule yearly appointments, regardless of your age, if you have a family history of cancer.

Breast cancer, although prevalent, has a five-year survival rate of 93% - 100% when discovered at, or before stage two. The thing is, there is a much higher risk to women who have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. These risks can be discovered via gene testing, but there's no reason to worry about that unless you or a family member has a history of cancer.

 

Dentist

dentist visit

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You would be surprised by the number of people with an unnatural phobia to going to the dentist. Whether it's the drill, the chair or that weird pink stuff they keep making you spit, dentists tend to be the healthcare professionals that more people are actively trying to avoid. It's a funny sort of irony, everyone wants pearly whites, but they're too scared to keep their mouths in check.

Unbeknownst to most, good oral health can be extremely beneficial for overall health. For instance, did you know that gum disease in pregnancy can lead to premature births?

Sometimes even trying to register with a dentist is a pain, however, once you are a patient, every six months you should schedule an oral exam and cleaning. The Mayo Clinic suggests that oral health may have an effect on a variety of issues including osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease.

 

Dermatologist

dermatologist

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There are plenty of reasons to see a dermatologist. The skin is the largest organ in the entire body and as such deserves more care than you are currently giving it. An annual checkup is recommended if skin cancer runs in the family or if you happen to have a fair complexion. Explains why Snow White stayed inside cleaning most of the time if she was as pale as the Brothers' Grimm said she was.

A skin cancer screening is performed by your dermatologist, they inspect your body for irregular moles, spots, and lesions.

If you suffer from periodic rashes, acne, or dermatitis, it may be time to schedule a visit with your dermatologist.

 

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Coconut Oil – Personal Lubricant & Yeast Infection Cure http://periodhacks.com/coconut-oil-personal-lubricant-yeast-infection-cure/ http://periodhacks.com/coconut-oil-personal-lubricant-yeast-infection-cure/#respond Wed, 11 Jan 2017 20:50:14 +0000 http://periodhacks.com/?p=931

At some point in our lives, every woman will come to know the dreaded itching, burning and discomfort that goes hand-in-hand with yeast infections. For some of us, things get so bad that yeast infections become a monthly occurrence. A week of itching and burning followed by a week of cramps and bleeding… oh the joys of being a woman.

If you’ve had enough of expensive, chemical-laden over the counter meds then it may be time to turn to your kitchen for the cure.

How Coconut Oil Kills Yeast

First time for a little bit of chemistry. Coconut oil contains the following naturally occurring fatty acids:

  • 48% lauric acid
  • 18% myristic acid
  • 8% caprylic acid
  • 7% capric acid
  • 0.5% caproic acid

And of these fatty acids, research has proven that lauric acid and capric acid are effective at killing Candida albicans, a.k.a the fungus that causes yeast infections. Coconut oil provides nature’s highest source of lauric acid, with the runner up being breast milk.

baby breastfeeding

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Lauric acid being present in breast milk is no coincidence either. After studying breast milk, microbiologists have found that of all the fatty acids present, lauric acid provided infants with the greatest protection against illness. When we ingest lauric acid, the body converts it into monolaurin which is very effective at destroying viruses and bacteria.

Let’s not forget about capric acid. Although it only makes up 7% of the fatty acid content of coconut oil, capric acid has been shown to have the fastest and most effective at killing C. albicans. Think of capric acid like a bomb that causes mass casualties, while lauric acid is the sniper that finishes off the job.  

 

How To Treat Yeast Infections With Coconut Oil

If you are experiencing a full-blown yeast infection, your first line of defense should be right at the source.

1. Coconut Oil Infused Tampon

  • Soak a tampon in melted coconut oil until fully saturated
  • Insert the tampon for a few hours, then remove and discard it
  • Repeat for 3-5 days

Note: It is recommended that tampons only be used during menstruation. If you are concerned about the risks of TSS, then you may prefer the second method of application discussed below.

 

2.  Coconut Oil Suppository

  • If solid, melt 2-4 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • Pour the oil into a popsicle silicone mold
  • Place in refrigerator until solid, 15-20 minutes
  • Remove a suppository from the mold and insert
  • Wear a pad to catch the oil as it melts
  • Repeat as necessary

The coconut oil suppository will provide a much needed cooling effect to your irritated lady bits as the lauric acid and capric acid attack the yeast cells. If the frozen suppository is too large, feel free to use a knife to cut it down to comfortable size after removing it from the mold.

Now to the fun part!

 

Preventing Future Yeast Outbreaks

Usually, advice for preventing recurrent yeast infections involves avoiding excess sugar, eliminating white flour and white rice from the diet, and avoiding trapping heat and sweat by wearing breathable clothing. Well, with coconut oil in the mix preventing yeast infections is suddenly about to become a lot more fun.

 

Coconut Oil In The Bedroom

After your yeast infection has cleared, you can toss that popsicle tray into the back of the cupboard and use your partner’s swizzle stick to administer future applications of coconut oil. According to gynecologist Dr. Alfredo Nieves, it is safe to use coconut oil as a personal lubricant once it is used in small amounts.

 

How To Use Coconut Oil As Lube

Always use organic, cold-pressed coconut oil. Some brands label their coconut oil as “extra-virgin” but this is simply a marketing tactic. Olive oil has an industry standard which regulates whether the oil is labeled as “virgin” or  “extra-virgin”. A similar standard does not exist for coconut oil.

As long as the brand you choose is food-grade, organic, and cold-pressed, you’re all set. At temperatures below 24 C, coconut oil should be solid and white as snow. Above 24 C, the oil will liquefy and should be clear as water.

Do not use coconut oil as a lubricant is you are allergic to coconut products. Always test a small patch of skin first before applying liberally over the body.

For hygienic reasons, it is best to keep the coconut oil intended for kitchen use, separate from the one intended for more pleasurable uses.

 

If solid at room temperature:

  • Use a clean dry spoon or knife to break off chunks of the oil and place it in a separate screw-top container that can be stored in the bedroom for easy access.

 

OR

 

  • Break off a few chunks of the oil, place in a microwave safe bowl
  • Microwave the oil for 20-30 seconds or until it liquefies
  • Pour the oil into an ice tray to and allow to solidify into individual pleasure cubes

 

If liquid at room temperature:

  • Use a funnel to pour the oil into a squeeze-top bottle

 

And voila! Now you have a natural, organic, personal lubricant that also doubles as a yeast infection cure. When in liquid form, use the coconut oil as you would any other lubricant. If in solid form, simply grab one of the cubes and rub it between your hands, or over your partner… until it warms and melts. Don't be surprised if the scent of coconut suddenly becomes an aphrodisiac 😉

Note: * Do Not use coconut oil with latex condoms, as it will degrade the condom and cause it to break.*

It should be safe to use coconut oil with polyurethane condoms like Trojan Supra BareSkin. However, to be on the safe side, always contact the condom manufacturer to verify that their product can be lubricated with coconut oil.

 

 

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6 Rules for Using The Fertility Awareness Method http://periodhacks.com/6-rules-for-using-fertility-awareness-methods/ http://periodhacks.com/6-rules-for-using-fertility-awareness-methods/#respond Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:01:42 +0000 http://periodhacks.com/?p=900

 

The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) has fallen back into fashion somewhat recently, women are becoming more attuned to their own bodies and are already shedding the shackles of the taboo opposed upon the female form.  Everything takes time, and practice. The same can be said for the FAM. You don't just pick up a brush one day and are suddenly embodied with the abilities of Picasso.

If you want to use the Fertility Awareness Method there are 6 basic rules that you need to follow if you want to do it properly.

 

1. Be Patient

If you do take the plunge and decide to get stuck into the Fertility Awareness Methods, you do need to make sure that you are aware, and that means taking your time. Understanding the signs of your fertility is the first step and it is going to take at least two or three cycles to really get a grip on things.

Before you start getting footloose and fancy free, you should wait until you've gone through two or three cycles, just to make sure that you feel that you know what you're doing and have a better understanding of and interpreting your signs.

 

2. Hormonal Control is a No No!

If you want to start charting or using the Fertility Awareness Method as a form of birth control, you can use additional forms of contraception too. Most barrier types are fine, like condoms, the cervical cap or the diaphragm.

However using hormonal forms of birth control doesn't really work because it messes with your system a bit. The hormonal fluctuations caused by these contraceptives can alter your temperature and stop the production of cervical mucus, which means that it seriously affects your ability to chart your cycle.

 

3. Three Day Safety

If you have been charting and recording your signs properly, you will have been able to confirm ovulation has occurred. The distinct and sustained change in temperature that has been observed is a key factor in determining ovulation.

Furthermore, this shows that you are in fact menstruating and not just dealing with spotting or "false periods". False periods, also known as withdrawal bleeding, is what occurs when using the pill (mini or combined). It is the result of the hormone drop in your body for a week, which explains why it tends to be lighter and less, well, excruciating than usual.

The Three Day Safety rule means that you cannot get pregnant during the first three days of menstruation. That's right, during the first three days you are infertile and you can get all up in those sexy times without a worry.

Just remember though, that you are only in the safe zone for those first three days and then it is open season for the rest of the cycle.

 

4. The Sahara

Cervical mucus is a magical thing, it really is, and whenever you see it, you are fertile. We'll say it once again for the people in the cheap seats, any cervical mucus is a sign of fertility.

Mucus goes through a cycle, from dry to stretchy, tacky to slippery, each with its own important meaning, none of which you should worry your doctor about. Unless it's yellow, definitely go see your health care professional if it's yellow!

Dry days are... well they're pretty self-explanatory. During these dry days, there are absolutely no signs of mucus. This does involve checking throughout the day, especially before and after going to the toilet.

In the evenings of these particular days, you are infertile. Just like the mere presence of mucus shows fertility, the absence of it shows the opposite.

 

5.    Temperature Spike

Okay, so this is another three-day rule. When using the Fertility Awareness Method for a while you will have been gotten the hang of recording your basal body temperature. You'll notice this either in your personal graph or whatever app you're using.

As you know, ovulation only occurs once a month and once the egg is released, the store is only open for business between 12 and 24 hours before closing up for another month. Your basal temperature spikes and stays high consistently after you ovulate.

On the third day of this high and sustained temperature spike, that is a consecutive spike, you are infertile in the evening. The reason that it's a three-day rule and not a two-day rule is because we are taking into account the possibility of multiple ovulations. That's how you get non-identical twins y'all.

Occasionally you may observe after a dip in temperature after ovulation has occurred. This is usually due to a final spike in estrogen. Once you observe three consecutive high temperatures above the coverline, you're in the clear. 

On the other hand, if your temperature is fluctuating quite a bit, then continue using extra precautions as you learn to understand your cycle.

 

6. Peaking Luck

The peak day is the last day of your cycle that you have peak cervical mucus. Cervical mucus changes in color and texture throughout the cycle, peak mucus is clear, slippery and stretchy. Effectively it's the same consistency as egg white. So the last day that you observe mucus with these qualities is your peak day.

Word to the wise, you won't know that it is your peak day until the day after when you don't see any more of the peak mucus.

Four days after the peak day, you are infertile, this is because sperm needs the cervical mucus to survive. The mucus changes the PH balance within the vagina, thus protecting the sperm from the corrosive cooch!

Waiting three days gives the vagina enough time to build back up the necessary acidity levels needed to keep sperm at bay. This ensures that you are safe to start your hanky panky without worrying about those sneaky sperm.

 

FAM Isn't Foolproof

If you are using FAM as your preferred method of birth control then you do need to use your head and keep on top of things. The Fertility Awareness Method isn't completely foolproof, especially if you aren't paying enough attention.

If you follow these 6 basic rules for FAM then you will have a great success rate, remember discipline is key! Just to be safe, make sure you have charted at least two or three cycles before you start putting this into practice.

If you have any questions or comments about Fertility Awareness Methods, charting, rules, etc, then let us know in the comments below, we can't wait to hear from you.

 

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How to Use the Fertility Awareness Method For Natural Birth Control http://periodhacks.com/how-to-use-the-fertility-awareness-method-for-natural-birth-control/ http://periodhacks.com/how-to-use-the-fertility-awareness-method-for-natural-birth-control/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:07:13 +0000 http://periodhacks.com/?p=898

 

Natural birth control and family planning have been around for, well, as long as history has been a thing. Calendar based contraceptive methods, like the rhythm method, have been in use since the 4th Century, that we know of anyway. However, there is a huge difference between the fertility awareness method and the rhythm method. The rhythm method is based on the concept that every woman's menstrual cycle is a set period of time. Whereas the fertility awareness method (FAM) is based on personal observation and analysis. If FAM is a game of scrabble, then the rhythm method is baby roulette.

There are plenty of reasons to use natural methods of contraception and/or family planning, maybe you've had a reaction to the pill, perhaps the use of prophylactics goes against your religious beliefs, whatever the case, it's always good to have a better understanding of your own body.

natural family planning

Fun Fact: In a year of perfect use fertility awareness methods are 95-98% effective and in one year of typical use are 76% effective.

BUT the effectiveness method does depend on your age. The thing is, in order for FAM to work, you will have had to have regular cycles for a while, and by a while, we mean at least five years. Yes, five years might seem like a long time, but that's how long it takes for menstrual and fertility cycles to regulate. You'll also need to chart and document your fertility signals each and every day, and if you are in a relationship, your partner needs to be on the same page as you, making sure that they are also practicing the method correctly.

As women we are naturally programmed into thinking that we all have a perfect 28-day cycle, well that is certainly not the case. Surprisingly enough on day 14, the conveyor belt of eggs that is your uterus does not magically pop out an ovum.

The point is, you need to pay attention to what is happening today, not last month.

So grab your smartphone, planner or journal and start paying attention. Today we'll teach you what you need to know. Basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and cervical position are the three major signs of fertility that you should be paying attention to.

 

Understanding Your Basal Body Temperature

Everyone's favorite hormone estrogen is what keeps the basal body temperature nice and low from menstruation to ovulation. Then after ovulation, the progesterone hike that follows forces the temperature to rise. This basal body temperature is one of the more efficient ways to establish the fact that ovulation has taken place.

How to check your basal body temperature.

·       Get your hands on a decent digital thermometer, you'll need it.

·       Take your temperature when you wake up, at the same time every day.

·       This has to be the first thing you do, before eating, drinking or emptying your bladder.

·       You need to get at least five hours of sleep, otherwise the temp won't be accurate.

·       If you are late in checking, or your sleep has been disturbed, make sure to note it.

Generally, a woman's basal body temperature has a pattern of a group of at least six low temperatures, which precede a bunch of high temperatures. These high temperatures should last for three days in a row. The temperature shift should also be one to two-tenths of a degree above what the highest temperature was for those previous six days.

Standard BBT Chart

basal body temperature chart

The three days in a row is important, reason being that there are a number of factors which can cause a random fluctuation in temperature, including waking up at a different time, drinking alcohol and being sick or ill. The actual day that the thermal shift from low to high happens is the day that you ovulate.

The post-ovulatory phase (try saying that ten times fast) consists of twelve to sixteen days of the term of ovulation to menstruation. If you're taking your notes right and you can see that this time is eleven days or less, then pencil in your new info. This makes it much easier to predict your menstrual time.

Usually on the first or second day of your period the basal body temperature drops, however, if the temp stays up for eighteen or more consecutive days then it's highly likely that you are pregnant!

Remember, if you are trying for a baby, don't dilly-dally waiting around for your temperature rise to do the no pants dance, because by then it's too late and you're ovulation window has closed. Basal body temperature is great for telling you when you were fertile, but for predictions, it's better to check out the cervical mucus.

 

Memorizing Mucus

Cervical mucus is pretty neat stuff, yes it might seem a bit weird at first, but come on, we all know that you look in the tissue after you sneezed. You probably recognize mucus from those stains in your dark underwear. Depending on whereabouts you are on your menstrual cycle your mucus can be tacky like old glue, thick like, well, PVA glue, thin like an egg white, or non-existent.

There are several ways to observe the cervical mucus. Wiping the vagina with a clean piece of toilet paper is one, sticking two fingers into the vagina to grab a bit of mucus is another, and finally getting right up in there and swiping some from the cervix. No matter what method you use, it needs to be consistent, as different ways produce different results and skew your data. The best way, however, is the ink blot toilet paper method.

How to check your cervical mucus

·       Wash your hands, you don't want dirty digits near your nether regions.

·       Do it before you pee, otherwise it can obscure the mucus.

·       Check it at least three times a day

·       Fold a piece of toilet paper and wipe from front to back

·       Check the color, consistency, and amount

·       Make a note in your FAM chart on the biggest, wettest sample that day.

 

Color - Is it yellow, white or clear?

Consistency - Is it thick, stretchy, slippery, dry or gloopy?

Amount - Is there a little or a lot there?

What you need to remember is, if you see any mucus at all, you are fertile for that day and three days afterward.

Any sign of mucus means that you are going to be fertile for at least four days, however, it's always good to be able to read the fluid, like tea leaves but for your vagina. All mucus gets split into two types, peak, and non-peak. Peak fluid looks like an egg white and appears when you are most fertile and non-peak is creamy and pasty.

egg white cervical fluid

Peak Cervical Fluid

non-peak cervical fluid

Non-peak Cervical Fluid

So if you are trying to conceive, get your groove on any day that there is mucus, but especially when there is peak quality cervical fluid. If you're trying to avoid conception, then maybe use a barrier, engage in other activities that don't involve the penis going anywhere near the vulva, or you can just abstain.

 

At Your Cervix Ma'am

Throughout your cycle the cervix will alter position, shape, and feel. It is affected by hormones, estrogen softens and raises the cervix, while progesterone lowers and hardens it. So at the beginning of your period the cervix is firm and gets progressively softer in the lead up to ovulation.

The os (the opening of the cervix) opens up in preparation for ovulation, a teeny tiny gate for the sperm to pass through. Then after ovulation, the os closes again. If you do ever birth a child, the os stretches amazingly wide for the birth!

Unless you've got a speculum and a mirror handy, or a miniature periscope, then you're just going to have to get right up in there and check out your cervix.

How to check your cervix:

·       First things first, you wash those hands, you don't know where they've been!

·       Get into the optimum position and either squat, put a leg up, or sit on the toilet.

·       Insert one or two fingers into your vagina. This should be painless.

·       Feel around for the cervix. It should feel smooth and round with a little dimple.

·       How does it feel? Is it firm like a chin or soft like your tongue?

·       Where is it, high or low?

·       Check at different parts your cycle to get a better understanding of it.

You don't need to check your cervix every day, but it is really useful for confirming what is going on, especially if you're not quite sure about the other fertile signs. However, making a note of all of the signs together can give you a much greater understanding of your cycle.

There you have the basics of the Fertility Awareness Methods. Are you thinking about or currently using the FAM? Do you use it in conjunction with any other contraceptives? Let us know in the comments down below, we'd love to know!

 

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Top Ten Gifts For Him This Christmas http://periodhacks.com/top-ten-gifts-for-him-this-christmas/ http://periodhacks.com/top-ten-gifts-for-him-this-christmas/#respond Sat, 26 Nov 2016 21:29:51 +0000 http://periodhacks.com/?p=911

They say that women are hard to shop for, however getting the perfect gift for the men in our lives isn't exactly a walk in the park. Especially considering that they aren't exactly forthcoming with letting us know what it is they want each year.

Instead of talking to a brick wall, or trying to decipher your conversations for hidden hints, take a look at this list of the best presents for him this year, and take the stress out of shopping. Go on... you deserve it!

man opening gift

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1. Amazon Echo

The future is here! This little baby is on the top of most guy's letter to Santa this year. This 360-degree speaker is without a doubt the next generation of speakers. It plays all of your music, from Spotify to Amazon Music, it reads audiobooks, answers questions, get's traffic reports, etc.

This thing is almost like a personal assistant, it can call you an uber or even a Domino's pizza, it controls your thermostat and your light switches, it's amazing. It connects to a bunch of smart home devices, with more being added. Oh and it can read your voice from across the room, even if music is playing.

The only thing it can't do is make coffee, but we think it might only be a matter of time before that happens!

Regular Price: $179.99

Cyber Monday Deal: $139.99

 

2. Vans Sk8-Hi MTE Skate Shoe

Vans really do know how to make a pair of comfy shoes! The authentic skate shoes are made from canvas, making them durable and breathable. Trust us, that's something you'll be glad of in the long run. These shoes get constant rave reviews on how comfortable they are, they really are a foot favorite.

Vans are synonymous with skating, as they well should be, so they are fit for purpose. It takes an awful lot of effort to make a pair of these look rough let us tell you. Even if he's not a great skater, he'll look super fly as he falls off the board.

Price: $24.99 - $169.99

 

3. Cozmo

Okay, so it's a toy BUT it's not just any toy, say hello to Cozmo! Cozmo is the cutest robot you've ever seen, although we can't be the only ones who think it looks a bit like that other robot from Wall-E right? Cozmo learns as it lives with you, yes really, but think about it this way, it's like a pet that doesn't poop or die. Which means that he has all of the joy of a pet, without you being forced to walk it, in the rain, in the middle of Winter.

Price: $179.99

 

4. Invicta Men's Pro Diver Watch

This analog, pro diver, Swiss chronograph watch is both beautiful and useful. The gold and black are so stylish, working so well together. The analog clock is definitely for the purists with its trio of subdials.

Although referred to as a pro-diver timepiece, it is better used while swimming and snorkeling, as it is only water resistant up to 330 feet and after that, the warranty is definitely voided. This is a great watch for out and about, he'll love it!

Price: $118.07

 

5. Converse All Star Low Top

A classic pair or sneakers, these All Stars are just the thing of the man who loves the simple things in life, or has just worn out all of his other shoes and couldn't be bothered to buy another pair. They do it all the time and think we don't notice.

These come in a huge range of colors, so he'll always be able to match his favorite hoody. Chucks are the go-to shoe for most guys, stylish, while still being that nonchalant cool but not trying to be cool thing. These are a definite must, especially when the weather is warm, as these are fantastic at keeping feet cool.

Price: $29.94 - $114.25

 

6. Yanni Voyager Drone

If your man doesn't currently own a drone then either a) he's expecting one or b) he accidentally crashed the other one as he was distracted by an over-zealous seagull. This drone is the dreamboat of drones, it has a 720p HD camera and can be controlled with either a remote controller or a smartphone, both iOS and android.

This quadcopter not only has a gorgeous design, it really looks like a UFO, but it can be charged anywhere, even with a power bank. The man in your life will probably cry tears of joy as he unwraps this present Christmas morning!

Price: $79.98

 

7. Fossil Q Touchscreen Smartwatch

What do you get the man who has a smartphone, smart TV, tablet, laptop and gaming console?

Answer: A smart watch!

The Fossil Q touch screen smartwatch is one of the best out there today, it connects with both android and ios, meaning that no matter what device he uses, he'll be able to connect to this. Plus with its voice controls he can talk to it James Bond style, which all of us have fantasized about doing at least once in our lives.

Price: $220.99

 

8. Playstation VR Headset

Remember when we said the future is here, well we weren't kidding. Virtual reality is the in-thing this year, with everybody clamoring to get a piece of the VR pie. While there are cheaper alternatives out there, the PlayStation VR headset is an amazing piece of kit.

It's getting rave reviews from all over the globe and if your guy happens to own a Playstation, then you can bet your booty that he is dying to get his mitts on one of these bad boys.

Price: $399.99

 

9. Amazon Fire Tablet

The brand-spanking new Fire HD 16GB tablet is a sight to behold. We know what you're thinking, that he already has a tablet, however, it's probably time to upgrade!

This little number has the Alexa cloud-based voice service, up to 12 hours of battery life and thousands of free apps at the touch of his fingertips. Whether he's reading, writing or just playing Candy Crush or skimming through instagram, this is one present that you can be sure that he will love!

Regular Price: $89.99

Cyber Monday Deal: $59.99

 

10. GoPro HERO5 Black

You can have it in any color, as long as it's black! GoPros are the cream of the crop when it comes to action cameras, they really are fantastic little things. Not only is the HERO5 extremely durable, it's also waterproof, shockproof and almost-everything-else proof!

This beauty shoots 4k video and 12MP photos in single, burst and time-lapse modes, so he will be able to film whatever he likes(within reason) wherever he likes in absolutely amazing quality!

Price: $397.99

 

Shake Your Jingle Bells!

So there you go, and you're welcome. We hope we were able to take some of the stress out of Christmas shopping this year. Now that the hard part is out of the way, just sit back, shove on a movie and knock back some eggnog, go on, you deserve it.

Merry Christmas!

 

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Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Her http://periodhacks.com/top-10-christmas-gifts-for-her/ http://periodhacks.com/top-10-christmas-gifts-for-her/#respond Sat, 26 Nov 2016 14:55:40 +0000 http://periodhacks.com/?p=905

'Tis the Season to be jolly, or so they say... however some of us are less carol singing and more panic buying novelty socks and crying as we drink mulled wine from mugs covered with hilarious Winter puns. Yes of course, it's the thought that counts, BUT that does not give you a carte blanche to buy your Mother another pair of tartan slippers this year.

Gift-giving can be really tricky, but it can also be extremely gratifying. There is nothing quite like watching someone's eyes light up as they open your present with glee. If you are struggling to find the perfect present for the women in your life, look no further, help is here!

woman opening gift

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1. USpicy Oval Make-Up Brushes

Thanks to the growth of Youtube beauty tutorials, every woman who wants flawless foundation or eyebrows on fleek now has the power right at their fingertips. They do say that a poor craftsman always blames his tools, however having the best tool for the job can hardly hurt, right!?

This 10 piece professional brush set is  super soft, which means they can be used both dry and wet! With a great selection of brushes for nearly every job, it's no wonder that these are favored by leading make-up artists.

It's not just seasoned professionals that will fall in love with this set, it is perfect for novices and those unsure of where to start their brush collection. This Uspicy oval brush set even comes with an instruction booklet that shows you how to use them. All in all, this is a must-have for all beauty lovers.

Price: $39.99

 

2.) nOir Jewelry Crescent Moon and Starburst Drop Earrings

These crescent moon earrings from nOir Jewelry are the perfect stocking filler for the lady in your life! You can have all of the studs in the world but sometimes a girl just wants a pair of fun, fashionable earrings.

Every gal deserves a bit of sparkle during the festive Season and these stars really do shine. So whether you're looking to treat your gal pal to some frosting, or getting your sister some something glam for her gladrags, then these are exactly what you are looking for.

Price: $50.00

 

3. Vintage Style Big Bow Heels

Yes yes yes, we know the age old adage that women are obsessed with shoes and well, in this case it is decidedly so. These vintage style platform shoes are absolutely gorgeous, with a big beautiful bow right on the front. They come in three colors, nude, black and red, which are all of the options that you need!

These four-inch heels are classic and definitely suit the rockabilly/pin-up style. In recent years, shoes have been made narrower and narrower, which makes these the saving grace for shoe lovers who are sick of cutting off their circulation just to get into a pair of pumps!

Price: $15.99

 

4. Fitbit Flex Accessory Bangle

This Fitbit flex 2 bracelet is absolutely amazing, it holds the Fitbit securely and the bangle blends in brilliantly with other jewelry. It comes with a tracker too so no matter where it is placed, it will be easily found.

Whether you're buying for a fitness fanatic, or looking for a fun accessory for her wearable tech, then this is what you are looking for. It comes in gold, silver and rose gold, with three different size options, it looks less like a fitness band and more like a lovely piece of jewelry.

Price: $20.20

 

5. Refresh Combat Boots

These boots are made for walking... and hiking, and maybe even some dancing, why the heck not!? The lace up combat style boots are the perfect combination of durable, comfortable and stylish. They are warm, waterproof and are even useful for trekking through the snow. These are more than worth their money, especially to the girl who likes a useful gift!

Price: $10.56 - $45

 

6. Dearfoam Memory Foam Sweater Knit Booties

Well isn't that a mouthful!? Christmas seems to be the time of year that suddenly makes people want to buy slippers, from novelty elf slippers with jingle bells, to those slip-ons like your granny used to wear.

Although considered both an indoor and outdoor shoe, these cozy slippers are just the thing to keep the little piggies toasty on a cold Winter's night. They are cushioned with memory foam so that every step is like walking on air. A definite win.

Price: $24.99

 

7. Bath Bomb Gift Set

When in doubt toiletries are always a safe bet and if Snapchat is anything to go by, girls do love a bath bomb, or six! While other bath bombs dye the water and leave glitter and other traces, these natural bath bombs do not, which means they are safe for those of us with sensitive skin.

To top it all, she can relax without having to worry about the ethical side of things because they are cruelty-free and vegan too!

Price: $19.97

 

8. Hairbuff Straightening Brush

If she has hair that is curly, wavy or frizzy, then this straightening brush by Hairbuff is just the ticket! This tourmaline bristled slim brush like tool comes with 6 different temperature settings so it works on a variety of hair types.

This brush manages to straighten the hair with a more natural finish than straighteners would, without the damage caused by regular hair straighteners. This is the next step in the hair styling evolution.

Price: $29.99

 

9. Qianse Heart of The Ocean

If you really want to show her your undying love this Christmas, then this present will certainly do the talking for you. This bold and beautiful blue heart-shaped Swarovski crystal is wrapped in its own  crystal studded bow.

This little number just screams opulence and it really does sparkle. The sapphire colored heart has such clarity, like you wouldn't believe. The best part is, it gives you every opportunity to sing "My Heart Will Go On" whenever you like!

Price: $35.98

 

10. W7 Ultimate Eyeshadow Collection

This eyeshadow collection consists of four complete W7 color palette tins, each containing 12 shades of shadow. The four palettes are In the Buff, In the Nude, In the Buff Lightly Toasted and In the Night. These are like the affordable alternative to Urban Decay and they have a nice variety of finishes in pearl, matte and metallic.

The colors are rich and pigmented, so much so that they work on a range of skin tones, from fair to dark. If you are really looking to treat your girl but have no clue when it comes to shades, finishes, etc, then this is great as it covers so many bases that she will absolutely love it.

Price: $27.59

Go on, give a little!

Now that you've finished the list what are you waiting for? Get shopping, you know what they say, no time like the present!

 

 

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How Having Children Made My Marriage Better http://periodhacks.com/how-having-children-made-my-marriage-better/ http://periodhacks.com/how-having-children-made-my-marriage-better/#respond Mon, 31 Oct 2016 14:05:26 +0000 http://periodhacks.com/?p=878
adorable baby

Studies have shown that more and more couples are waiting longer and longer before they start families. While waiting until you are financially stable enough to have kids isn't a bad idea, it's actually the added strain babies might put on a marriage that is keeping young couples on birth control. I'm here to tell you that yes, having kids can stress you out more than you could ever imagine, but it can also enrich your life and strengthen your marriage. Let me tell you how.

 

1. You'll never laugh more than you do when you have kids

family smiling

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Over the summer while visiting my in-laws, we spent a stressful day at the zoo. The kids were cranky; the adults were tired. Afterward, we went back to my brother in law's house where we were staying. My four-year-old niece had been "howling" all evening and telling everyone that she was a wolf. When it came time to get ready for bed, her mom sent her upstairs to brush her teeth and put on her pajamas.

She immediately started arguing about why she shouldn't have to brush her teeth. When her pleas garnered no sympathy, she loudly pouted, "But wolfs don't brush their teeth!" and then proceeded to stomp up the stairs. All of us adults just looked at each other and then burst out laughing. The tension was suddenly gone. Kids do say the most absurd things, and it can be refreshing just to take a break and laugh together at what your child has decided to come up with that day. Believe me; they will ALWAYS surprise you.

 

2. Babies make you value time spent alone with your spouse

couple eating ice cream

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I got pregnant with our daughter after my husband and I were married for only a couple of months. We didn't even have a year of marriage under our belt before she came along, but I still remember how we took for granted being able to spend time together. The freedom to do whatever we want, when we want to do it, is long gone. I would never change having our daughter, but I do recognize how precious our alone time is, and it definitely makes it more exciting.

Recently we had a date night, and we went to a local "haunted trail." It was exhilarating, going somewhere just the two of us. We held hands as we made our way through the forest filled with masked monsters, laughing like teenagers when a sound machine blasted a train horn, making me jump. After that, we went to an ice cream parlor and had sundaes and spent time just talking to each other, with no distractions.

We both feel like it's important to have these dates, and luckily my sister loves to babysit for free. Even if you don't have a free childcare option, it's still important to work date nights into your budget. Studies show that children of parents who are still together often obtain high levels of education and income. So make time for fun with your spouse!

 

3. Babies can make tension disappear

father and daughter

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Babies can add stress to a marriage. It can be hard to keep your cool when you haven't slept in what feels like years, and you don't understand why your husband's hearing seems to get so bad at night that he doesn't notice the baby wailing in the other room. I promise you, though, that even if you didn't have kids, your husband would still find a way to irritate you. Having a cute baby around can actually make you like him a little more!

Sometimes, I'll be in the kitchen doing dishes, and I will be on the verge of yelling at my husband. (Because really how hard it is to scrape the food off of your plate before you put it in the sink?) Then I'll turn around and see him holding our daughter, telling her a story while she gazes lovingly at him with a huge smile on her face, and my anger melts away. It's hard to stay mad when I'm feeling so much love, looking at this beautiful, happy girl that we made together.

 

4. Babies teach you how to care better for each other

husband bringing wife breakfast in bed

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Bringing home a newborn pushes new parents to rely on one another. You have this precious, vulnerable, tiny human that you have to take care of, and you're looking at each other like, "Okay, what do we do now?" To be successful, you need to be a team. When it's ten pm, and you still haven't showered, and you're not sure if that spot on your shirt is food or spit up, you're going to cherish having a spouse that takes the baby and lets you take a relaxing bath.

The other day I woke up at nine am in a panic because our daughter usually wakes me up before seven am wanting breakfast. It was my husband's day off, and he had let me sleep in, while he made our daughter breakfast and watched cartoons with her. Then when I woke up, he made me breakfast. An extra two hours of sleep may seem like a small thing to some people, but I felt refreshed and renewed. Just that little amount of stress that he relieved me of that day was a godsend.

 

5. Babies teach us to appreciate each other

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No one else but my husband understands what I have gone through in our journey raising our daughter. She was born prematurely with complications, and at one point the doctors told us she might not make it. I remember my husband and I clinging to each other, crying together. It was the worst time of our lives, watching helplessly as our baby fought to survive. Luckily she made it through, and hopefully most parents won't go through a situation as dire as ours was. Still, raising children together, loving them together, will bring you closer to each other than anything else will. You will feel your love for your spouse grow as you watch them love the tiny people you have made together.

Raising children is hard, but it's also rewarding. I know one day I'll be old and gray, and look back on this life that I've had with my husband and children as the greatest adventure I could have ever gone on, and I won't regret it one bit.

 

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5 Tips from Highly Successful Couples http://periodhacks.com/5-tips-from-highly-successful-couples/ http://periodhacks.com/5-tips-from-highly-successful-couples/#comments Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:30:25 +0000 http://periodhacks.com/?p=865

In the digital age, it always seems like couples are competing to see who has the most perfect relationship. It can be discouraging to scroll through your newsfeed and see those friends that always seem to be happy and in love, with no conflicts or petty arguments darkening their horizon. You don't know how it is so easy for them, and so hard for you and your significant other.

Well, I can promise you that it's not easy for them either. That couple that is smiling contentedly at their favorite restaurant was probably arguing about where to go to eat not fifteen minutes before that picture was taken. Those are not the couples you need to be watching to find your way to wedded bliss.

Honestly, it takes a lot of years and a lot of practice to get great at marriage. You should be watching and learning from those couples that have spent a good twenty to thirty years together; those are the ones that know their stuff. If you sat some of these people down and asked them for tips on stable marriages, these are some of the things they would tell you that help build a strong foundation.

 

1. Be yourselves

normal couple

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It's okay that you're not that "perfect" couple. Stop looking around at other people's relationships and comparing them to yours. If you look for problems, you're always going to find them. It's okay to be who you are, a real couple facing real issues. Every relationship has its quirks, and no relationship is perfect. Even those people on social media that look like their life is a dream come true don't have it all figured out, so you shouldn't put unreasonable expectations on yourselves.

 

2. Step outside of yourself

older couple in love

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When you're married, it can be easy to fall into a rut. Life can be full of stress and frustration. You're dealing with the same stuff day in and day out, and it feels like it's never going to end. It's important to take a step back and take the time to consider what you could be doing differently.

Observe the marriages of your friends and family, and ask them about ways they have improved their relationships. They might have suggestions and advice that would work for you and your spouse, or maybe it will just give you a better idea of things to avoid. Either way, putting yourself in someone else's shoes is a great way to gain perspective on your life and marriage.

 

3. Have the good outweigh the bad

happy couple having fun

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As mentioned above, no marriage is perfect. There are going to be bad times, and if you're going to weather the storms that will inevitably happen, you will have to make sure there are good times also. Experts have a theory that if for every bad moment, you also have five good moments, you will be on your way to a thriving relationship.

Happy couples are always contributing to their own success. They are seeking out quality time with each other, making an effort to build a solid foundation for their life together. They are kind to one another, expressing love and speaking encouraging words. When you do all of these things, it isn't as difficult to stay together during tough times because you have all of the positive memories and love to fall back on.

 

4. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want

couple talking

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A big problem in relationships is one person often expects the other person to "just know" what they want without having to tell them. This is never going to happen, and it's always going to cause conflict. You cannot expect your partner to read your mind, and it's not okay to get mad at them when they don't. People don't ask for what they want for a variety of reasons, but the three most common are because they are afraid to, they don't know how to, and they assume.

As justified as you may feel in having these reasons not to ask for what you want, not one of them is a good excuse. Bottom line, if you want to be great at this whole marriage thing, you're going to have to learn to ask for what you want. Asking your partner for what you want, and them responding to your desires and vice versa will only help your relationship in the long run. It will build trust and aid you in better understanding each other.

 

5. Remind your partner that you like them

couple sharing a moment

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If you've been in a relationship for any significant amount of time, then you know how easy it is to love someone and not like them. Your partner is going to do things that just downright get on your nerves, and that's okay. It's a part of life; you're not going to like anyone one hundred percent of the time. It is important though to tell them that you like them.

It's a given that you love them, and they love you. That's why you're together; that's why you put up with all of their little idiosyncrasies. Not that we're saying to stop saying "I love you," just sometimes try something a little different. Tell them that you have a crush on them, or that they still give you butterflies when they give you that little half smile. Just because you're in a long-term relationship doesn't mean you have to stop having fun with each other.

Marriages require a lot of work and dedication. Like anything in the world worth doing, it's not going to be a piece of cake. As long as you remember to act with love and be honest with yourself and your spouse about your feelings, you're on the right path.

 

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