Monday, August 26th 2019

Season 3 Episode 27 – Toxic Shock and “Technologies of Passing”


Show notes: Join Kate as she talks to Dr. Sharra Vostral, Associate Professor of History at Purdue. Her research centers upon the history of technology, specifically gender, and histories of medical devices and health. Her book, Under Wraps: A History of Menstrual Hygiene Technology examines the social and technological history of sanitary napkins and tampons, and the effects of technology upon women’s experiences of menstruation. Her latest book Toxic Shock: A Social History shows “how TSS became a ‘women’s disease,’ for which women must constantly monitor their own bodies. Further, Vostral discusses the awkward, veiled and vague ways public health officials and the media discussed the risks of contracting TSS through tampon use because of social taboos around discussing menstruation, and how this has hampered regulatory actions and health communication around TSS, tampon use, and product safety.”

I really enjoyed this interview, both the history that Dr. Vostral uncovered and her insights into the cultural meaning of menstrual products. Have a listen!

Dr. Sharra Vostral
Dr. Sharra Vostral

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Subscribe to PERIOD so you don’t miss an episode! Subscribing, especially on iTunes, helps us a ton with promoting the podcast and getting the word out to more people. So does leaving a review, so please do that too!

Call or write me! I am collecting two things right now: your period questions, and first period stories. Leave me a voicemail with either or both at 262-PERIOD-2 (262-737-4632). Don’t forget to tell me how to contact you if you don’t mind my following up.

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I can’t wait to hear what you think! Thanks for listening!

Direct download: here

Permalink: here



Monday, August 19th 2019

Season 3 Episode 26 – Pregnant Citizen Science!


Show notes: Join Kate as she talks to Dr. Caroline Signore, Deputy Director of Extramural Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health. We talk about Dr. Signore’s path to obstetric and gynecological research. And, we discuss PregSource, a very important program at the NIH designed to involve pregnant women in research understanding the normal experience of pregnancy. Too often we think whatever we are experiencing is normal when it isn’t, or is abnormal when everything is fine, and that’s because there is so little data on pregnant women at all.

PregSource currently has over 700 people enrolled. If you are pregnant you should consider signing up today! The NICHD is also releasing a Spanish-language version of PregSource in September.

Guest Bio:

Caroline Signore, M.D., M.P.H., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and serves as the Deputy Director of the NICHD’s Division of Extramural Research (DER). As of January 1, 2019, she is also serving as acting chief of the Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch (PPB). 

She joined NICHD in 2003, first in the Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research (now the Division of Intramural Population Health Research), and then as a program official in the PPB. She was appointed as Deputy Director of DER in 2013. 

Dr. Signore completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency at the University of Florida, and later received her master’s in public health at The George Washington University. Dr. Signore is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Caroline Signore of the NIH.

Do you want to be a patron, or is there someone in your life who would want to be? Check out my Patreon page for ways to support this podcast. Help me make beautiful things!

Want a better PERIOD?

Subscribe to PERIOD so you don’t miss an episode! Subscribing, especially on iTunes, helps us a ton with promoting the podcast and getting the word out to more people. So does leaving a review, so please do that too!

Call or write me! I am collecting two things right now: your period questions, and first period stories. Leave me a voicemail with either or both at 262-PERIOD-2 (262-737-4632). Don’t forget to tell me how to contact you if you don’t mind my following up.

Other ways to contact me:

I can’t wait to hear what you think! Thanks for listening!

Direct download: here

Permalink: here



Monday, August 12th 2019

Season 3 Premiere of Period Podcast – Are We Defined by Our Cycles?

Show notes: Join Kate as she talks to Dr. Annaliese Beery, professor and member of the Psychology, Biology, and Neuroscience programs at Smith College. I wanted to talk to Dr. Beery because of her work on sex, gender, and estrus cycles in animal research. People often avoid studying females because they believe we are all too variable because of the effects of the menstrual cycle on physiology and behavior. Dr. Beery tells us how that isn’t at all true! She also tells us about the research that shows that males are often the ones who are more variable.

It turns out that menstrual/estrus cycles don’t mean you are suddenly at the whim of your hormones any more than any other gender. So one of the main reasons for gender inequity in research – that when studying females you have to control for menstrual cycle phase, and that is just so hard – is rendered moot. I have been chewing on this interview for months, because it turns upside down so many ways that menstruators are taught to think about themselves. I loved this episode, and I hope you do too!

Guest Bio: Dr. Beery is a professor at Smith College, where she integrates ecological, evolutionary, and neuroscience perspectives in her work. One branch of her research is focused on the neurobiological mechanisms supporting life in social groups. She also studies sex bias in the use of female and male research subjects—both from literature based surveys of prior research, and through empirical studies of sources of variability in males and females. She is the recipient of grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and other organizations.  

Picture of Dr. Annaliese Beery
Dr. Annaliese Beery

Do you want to be a patron, or is there someone in your life who would want to be? Check out my Patreon page for ways to support this podcast. Help me make beautiful things!

Want a better PERIOD?

Subscribe to PERIOD so you don’t miss an episode! Subscribing, especially on iTunes, helps us a ton with promoting the podcast and getting the word out to more people. So does leaving a review, so please do that too!

Call or write me! I am collecting two things right now: your period questions, and first period stories. Leave me a voicemail with either or both at 262-PERIOD-2 (262-737-4632). Don’t forget to tell me how to contact you if you don’t mind my following up.

Other ways to contact me:

I can’t wait to hear what you think! Thanks for listening!

Direct download: here

Permalink: here

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