Entries in menstrual cycle (2)


Subscription Services Look to Automate Tampon Delivery to Women

HelloFlo | Juniper(NEW YORK) -- It's a routine women know all too well.  At that time of the month, it's off to the drugstore to buy a box of tampons, and perhaps some Advil or Midol as well.  The next month, the cycle repeats.

We order food, taxis, personal assistants, even Girl Scout Cookies using the web and mobile applications.  But why not even the most intimate of products, like tampons?

It's certainly an idea -- an idea that now a few women have had.  Three companies -- Juniper, HelloFlo, and LeParcel -- have set out to improve the tampon-buying experience with monthly subscription services.

"This entire experience is so last-century.  You go to the store, you buy your stuff and you come home and you run out," Lynn Tao, the founder of Juniper, told ABC News in an interview.  "You can pay $35 in San Francisco and find a start-up to do almost anything for you -- clean your house, get you a car.  Why not for something like this?  This should be automated too."

All three of the services work in a similar way.  You pick your tampon brand, tell the service when you get your period, enter your payment information and the tampons are delivered to your house five to six days before you begin your cycle.

But the services are certainly not identical.  Juniper was one of the first tampon subscription services to hit the Web, and it also happens to be the priciest.  Tao launched the site in October 2012 and began charging $28 a month.  You pick your preferred Tampon brand, go through the "calibration process," which requires you put in the start date of your period, and decide if you need some Midol or backup protection (panty liners, pads, etc.).

Tao says the premium price gives you a premium experience.  The packaging is nice and included with each set of tampons (you can request anywhere from 10 to 40 tampons) are a selection of teas and chocolates.  If you opt to include Midol or panty liners, they're all included in the $28 flat fee.  

While a box of 36 tampons usually costs $8.00, Tao says its service "provides a lot more value."  Each subscriber is also paired with a Juniper BFF, someone who helps customize the experience.

However, HelloFlo, which launched earlier this week, offers similar services for half the price.  Naama Bloom, the founder of the service, said it is all about convenience and making it fit into the way you are already talking about your period.

"I thought of how I think about my period and how do I talk about it," Bloom told ABC News in an interview.  "We focus on the one decision and that's whether you have a low, medium or heavy period."

There are three flow (or flo) options.  The $14-a-month deal is for those whose periods are on the lighter side and only last for 3 to 4 days.  Then there are the $16 Medium Flo and the $18 Heavy Flo packages.  The size and number of tampons included depend on your flow level.  When you select the plan, you input the day of your last period and the frequency of your period as well as your birth date.  Included with the package is a small treat.

And because three is never a crowd, there is Le Parcel, started by Megan Hollenback.  Le Parcel fits in between the other two.  For $15 a month, you get 30 tampons or pads or panty liners of your choice.  And yes, included in each Le Parcel package is a piece of chocolate and a small gift.

Women absolutely now have a choice of subscription tampon services, but the question is whether there is even a demand for this sort of service.

As of this writing, Le Parcel had 1,500 subscribers and Juniper 100 subscribers.  HelloFlo would not comment on its subscriber numbers.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Study: Weight Loss Surgery Can Regulate Menstrual Cycle, Improve Hair and Skin

Hemera/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- New research indicates that weight-loss surgery can help women regulate their menstrual cycles and reduce excessive hair growth and skin problems that go along with extra weight, Health Day reports.

During the study, conducted at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, scientists monitored 126 women ages 18 to 49 who were planning to undergo bariatric surgery, which reduces stomach size to make it easier for patients to decrease their food intake. All of the women involved were not yet approaching menopause. Researchers looked at the women's body mass index, since a high BMI creates hormonal changes, such as production of more male hormones, that lead to disturbances in the menstrual cycle.

The average BMI of the women in the study was 46, much higher than the average range of 18 to 24. Before surgery, 52 percent of women had regular periods, 39 had irregular periods and 22 percent had no periods. After surgery, the average BMI of the women dropped to 33, and 99 percent of the women who previously had irregular periods began menstruating on a regular basis again. Nearly 82 percent of the women who had reported no periods also began getting regular periods as well, according to Health Day.

Additionally, many women experienced less excess hair growth, hair loss, acne and a skin condition known as acanthosis nigricans that causes darkening of the skin, after the surgery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio