Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Give the Gift of Body Literacy

December 16th, 2013 by Laura Wershler

Photo by Laura Wershler

This holiday season consider giving the women in your life the gift of body literacy. The books, resources and services compiled below support understanding and appreciation of our bodies.

Gifts for teenagers:

* To hold a Wondrous Vulva Puppet is to experience a loving representation of the female body. Dorrie Lane’s vulva puppets are used around the world to spark conversations about our bodies and our sexuality. To quote a testimonial on the website: “The sensual curves, velvety feel and beauty of these puppets seems to disarm people in a way that opens the door to real discussion about women’s sexuality.”

* Toni Weschler, widely known for her best-selling book on fertility awareness Taking Charge of Your Fertility, has also written a book for teenagers. Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen’s Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body makes the perfect gift for your daughter or younger sister, neice or cousin. This book can transform a young teenager’s experience and understanding of her body as it teaches her the practical benefits of charting her menstrual cycles. Available in paperback and Kindle editions.

Gifts for those who want to learn fertility awareness:

* Justisse Method: Fertility Awareness and Body Literacy A User’s Guide by Justisse founder Geraldine Matus is a helpful gift for anyone wanting to learn about fertility awareness based methods (FABM) of birth control. It is “a primer for body literacy, and a guide for instructing women how to observe, chart and interpret their menstrual cycle events.”

For someone who wants to learn fertility awareness to prevent or achieve pregnancy, or to fix menstrual problems, finding a certified practitioner is getting easier. Technology can connect women with skilled instructors who may live thousands of miles away. Check out the practitioners below online and on Facebook.

*   *    *   *   *   *

* Flowers Fertility (Colleen Flowers, Colorado): Facebook.

* Grace of the Moon (Sarah Bly, Oregon): Facebook.

* Holistic Hormonal Health (Hannah Ransom, California): Facebook.

* Justisse Healthworks for Women provides a directory of Justisse-trained Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioners (Worldwide): Facebook.

* Red Coral Fertility (Justina Thompson): Facebook

* Red Tent Sisters (Amy Sedgwick, Ontario, Canada): Facebook

I invite other certified instructors who work locally to leave their contact information in comments.

Gifts for women in midlife

* For women who are in the perimenopausal transition – which can last from six to 10 years for most women, ending one year after the final menstrual period – give the gift of information. Connect friends and family with the website of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research where they’ll find many free resources that offer explanations and treatment suggestions for the symptoms they may experience throughout this transition including night sweats, hot flushes, heavy and/or longer flow, migraines, and sore, swollen breasts.

* To those who love fiction, consider giving Estrogen’s Storm Season, a fictionalized account of eight women’s journey through perimenopause written by CeMCOR’s Scientific Director, endocrinologist Dr. Jerilynn Prior:

They are as different as women can be—yet they share the mysterious experiences of perimenopause, night sweats, flooding periods or mood swings. We follow these women as they consult Dr. Madrona, learn the surprising hormonal changes explaining their symptoms, get better or worse, and try or refuse therapies. As each woman lives through her particular challenge, we begin to see how we, too, can survive perimenopause!

Proceeds from book sales support ongoing research.

From menarche to menopause, it is never too early or too late to acquire body literacy. I invite readers to share other gift ideas that promote menstrual cycle comfort and support body literacy.

13 responses to “Give the Gift of Body Literacy”

  1. What a wonderful gift to give :)

  2. says:

    Reusable menstrual products are also great for teaching body literacy! There are tons of different options to choose from, for menstruators of any age. Since they can be a difficult thing to buy for another person, gift certificates are a great way to go:

  3. Laura Wershler says:

    Thanks Lunapads!

  4. Thanks for this post, Laura! I would have loved this gift as a teenager! To add to your list: I’m teaching the Justisse Method locally in Burlington, VT and online worldwide. I’m certified by Justisse as an HRHP and a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. My website is, and on facebook at
    – Leilani

  5. This is definitely a gift more ladies could benefit from, thanks Laura!

    We agree with Lunapads, reusable menstrual products like cloth pads & menstrual cups can be great educators. We’ve designed Better Your Period Product Packs as well as First Period kits (both include guides)to help girls of all ages learn how to have a “Better Period.” – and of course we also offer gift certificates for those not sure what to give.

  6. ‘Gifts of body literacy’ is such a great idea! What awesome suggestions! Thanks, Laura!

    For the feminist art lover in your life, what about some body art? And, no, I don’t mean tattoos! 😉 I’m referring to my art project, Beauty in Blood. These abstract photographs promote body literacy by displaying menstruation through the lens of fine art. I promise, you’ve never seen menstruation like this before! Explore our gallery at

    Mini-art (4″x6″), notecards and a handful of prints are available through our Etsy shop: Additionally, EVERYTHING in our gallery is available for custom printing. Select your image, choose a size, then email me your order to get the ball rolling.

    Happy bloody holidays everyone! :-)

  7. says:

    We have to agree — reusable menstrual products are a great way to enhance body literacy!

    Gift certificates let the recipient pick out their own products:

    Or why not give our zine, Menstruation Sensation, as a body-positive stocking stuffer?

    You can also give the gift of a happy period to someone who really, really needs it — a girl in rural Africa — with our Empower Kits:

    Personally, I’ve given menstrual cups or cloth pad kits as gifts multiple times and it’s always been a great success! :)

    Thanks for a wonderful post!

  8. These are all incredible gifts to give to women of any age. I am offering my Fix Your Period 4-Week Home Study E-Course for $25 off until Tuesday December 17th.

    This is five information-packed webinars, detailed handouts, and access to my private Fix Your Period Facebook group full of amazing women on a hormone healing journey. Plus the program is yours forever and you can do it at your own pace.

    Happy happy holidays everyone! xo

  9. Laura Wershler says:

    Thanks everyone! If you know of others who offer products and services that support body literacy, please share my invitation to leave ideas and contact information on this post. It’s wonderful to see the response.

    Happy Holidays!

  10. Truly wise to gift others with empowerment and self love!

  11. Marie says:

    Really excellent idea for a post! :)

  12. Love this post – great suggestions for gifts and resources! I’d love to add mine to the mix:

    I offer “Love Your Lady Parts Mirrors” for discovering your intimate anatomy, “Period Positive Pins” for showing your pride, “Moontime Bracelets” to wear when you’re bleeding, and “Moon Cycle Timepieces” hand-on spiral calendars for tracking your cycle in a conscious way everyday.

    They can all be found in my online shop:

    My Mirrors and Moontime Bracelets can also be found at which itself has a great many lady part loving offerings!

    Bigtime appreciation to *everyone* spreading the body literacy love far and wide this holiday season and throughout the year!

  13. […] menstruation and all things period wise. Let’s make it a year of discovery, of excitement, of body literacy, and […]

Readers should note that statements published in Menstruation Matters are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.