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Go with the Flow: Period Power

Join BFFs Asha and Jestine as they try to figure out this wild thing called life. A companion series to the new guidebook from Rebel Girls, Growing Up Powerful celebrates the messiness and milestones of growing up. In this episode, Asha and Jestine find themselves in a game show about how to be good to our changing bodies and appreciate everything they can do.

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls. This episode was produced and directed by Deborah Goldstein, with Joy Smith and Haley Dapkus. It was written and edited by Abby Sher. Sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. Narration by Margaret Ying Drake as Asha, and Imani Parks as Jestine. Fact checking by Joe Rhatigan, and sensitivity read by Schuyler Swenson. Our executive producers are Jes Wolfe and Joy Smith.

Transcript

JESTINE: Welcome to Growing up Powerful with Rebel Girls!

ASHA: I’m Asha.

JESTINE: I’m Jestine. And we’re two best friends trying to figure out this thing called life!

ASHA: And today we are having a celebration!!!

JESTINE: We are?

ASHA: Yes indeedy! (singing) Oh I know a girl who’s named Jestine. She’s a young adult, a full-fledged teen. Her hormones are kickin’ she feels real weir-iod, because she just got her first perio-

JESTINE: Agh! Stop it.

ASHA: (dramatic voice) Oh Jestine, my dear friend. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you into this mighty lineage of menstruators.

JESTINE: Ew. You need to stop. NOW.

ASHA: Sorry. I’m just excited. Your first period! Now we can finally share stories. And supplies. I have to show you my favorite pad. It has wings.

JESTINE: Oh wow…I can’t believe that I’m two years older than you and you’ve already had your period for how many months…?

ASHA: Just one. But whatever. There’s no turning back now! Cuz you’re on…GO WITH THE FLOW! A game show about the absorbent truth of menstrual cycles!
JESTINE: Oh no. Help.

ASHA: Don’t worry, I’m playing along with you. And we have a very special host, Dr. Nicole Sparks! Dr. Sparks is an OB-GYN physician, a lifestyle, beauty blogger and an entrepreneur. Helloooooo Dr. Sparks!

DR. SPARKS: Hi Jestine, hi Asha.

ASHA: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

DR. SPARKS: Sure! Well, I’m a big fan of Rebel Girls. As you said, I’m also an OB-GYN and mother of three children. I’m passionate about empowering women to take charge of their health and…I know a heck of a lot about getting your period. So, are you ready to play a little game and learn some fun facts about our incredible bodies?

ASHA: Yep!

JESTINE: This is so weirdddd!!!

DR. SPARKS: Fair enough. But it’s also normal, natural, and pretty miraculous.

DR. SPARKS: Okay, I’m going to ask you a few questions and I want you to press your buzzer if you know the answer. Ready? First question: Do the people who have ovaries produce eggs every month?

ASHA: (buzz) Yes…?

JESTINE: Wait. I thought we were born with all our eggs in us.

Ding ding ding

DR. SPARKS: Nice job Jestine! Yes, those who are assigned female at birth usually have all of their eggs already produced and stored in the ovaries. We can have up to a million eggs at birth!

JESTINE: Yeesh!

ASHA: I know, that’s a lot.

DR. SPARKS: Okay, next question! When a group of people with menstrual cycles hang out together for a while, is it true their periods wind up syncing, or happening at the same time?

JESTINE: Is that true?

ASHA: I’m really not sure…

DR. SPARKS: (buzz) I’m going to answer for you. The answer is NO!

Ding ding ding

It’s a myth! Or at least, it’s not backed up by science. But the odds are that you will have your period at the same time as your friends at some point, because if someone has a three-week cycle and another person has a five-week cycle…it’s just a matter of time before you overlap.

All right, next question: What is PMS?

ASHA: (buzz) Premenstrual syndrome!

JESTINE: (buzz) Pre – yeah, what she said!

Ding ding ding

DR. SPARKS: Yes. PMS, or premenstrual syndrome is a set of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that we can feel one to two weeks before menstruation.
PMS is different for everyone. You can experience cramps, mood swings, food cravings, acne. It’s a wild ride, most likely caused by all the hormones rushing through your bodies. But it also doesn’t affect everyone, and if it does, it only lasts a few days. So be good to yourself during this time. Make sure to get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. Take baths, listen to soothing music. And If PMS really gets in the way of your life or you’re feeling bowled over by cramps, definitely talk to a trusted adult or doctor about it. Kay?

ASHA: Yes.

JESTINE: Will do.

DR. SPARKS: Okay, next question. What should you do if you have an irregular period?

ASHA: (buzz) Talk to a doctor!

JESTINE: What’s an irregular period?

Ding ding ding

DR. SPARKS: Let me explain. Again, everyone’s different, but we say you have an irregular period if the length of your menstrual cycle, or the gap between your periods starting, keeps changing. Lots of people have irregular periods and they can be that way for a lot of different reasons. Like, when you first start getting your period it may come once a month, it may come once every three months. Or if you’re feeling a lot of stress, that can affect the timing of your periods. Also weight fluctuations or exercise can change your cycle. It’s always a good idea to check in with a doctor about it, but irregular periods are pretty common.

Okay, next question:
What is the best product to use when you are wearing white pants and going to a trampoline party during your period?

ASHA: (buzz) Tampon!

JESTINE: (buzz) Pad!

Ding ding ding

DR. SPARKS: The answer is whatever works for you. Pads, tampons, menstrual cups…there are so many ways to take care of your body as you go through this important process.

JESTINE: Even on a trampoline?

DR. SPARKS: Yep! I personally might not go on a trampoline, but that’s more about my bouncing skills. And final question! Drum roll please….

True or false: Getting your period means you can never have fun ever again!

A & J (buzz in unison) False!

Ding ding ding

DR. SPARKS: Thank you. Yes, it can be painful or exhausting sometimes, but getting your period is also empowering. You’re entering an exciting new phase of your life! And remember, you are not alone. On any given day, there are more than 300 million people around the world menstruating. So, welcome to the club, Jestine!

JESTINE: Uh, thanks?

ASHA: Wow, thank you so much, Dr. Sparks.

DR. SPARKS: Any time! Or, at least once a month. Let’s give it up for this spectacular thing called the human body and don’t forget to go with the flooooow!

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls.

This episode was narrated by ME! Imani Parks as Jestine, and Margaret Ying Drake as Asha, with special guest Dr. Nicole Sparks. It was produced and directed by Deborah Goldstein, with Joy Smith and Haley Dapkus. Sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written and edited by Abby Sher. Fact checking by Joe Rhatigan, and Sensitivity Read by Schuyler Swenson. Our executive producers are Jes Wolfe and Joy Smith.

Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi.

A special thanks to the whole Rebel Girls team, who make this podcast possible!

Until next time, staaaay rebel!

If you like what you heard here and want to learn more, check out the newest book from Rebel Girls! Growing Up Powerful: A Guide to keeping confident when your body is changing, your mind is racing, and the world is…complicated. With stories from rebels all over the world and guidance from some brilliant experts, this book is our newest bff. Order your copy of Growing up Powerful today on Amazon or anywhere you purchase books!