Can a Recurring Box Really Biohack Your Hormones?

There is now a whole sector of the booming subscription box market dedicated to monthly gifts for a very specific time of the month: your period. Many offer more than just hygiene products and snacks: they claim they can help regulate consumers’ hormones to improve menstrual periods, both mentally and physically.

These boxes range from $ 7 to $ 30 per month and have names like Rose War Panty Power, Inevitabox, and DelightfulCycle. Some target people with organic or healthy lifestyles (Tampon Tribe), while others completely share the mood swings stereotypes (Bitchy Box).

They are usually perceived as fun or even inspirational, if not always particularly rewarding (how many people can actually get their periods and box at the same time every month?) Skepticism, however, increases with claims about the box. Tampons and bath bombs are one thing, but specially formulated vitamins and minerals designed to suppress hormones are another.

Healing snacks are a risky way to control your menstrual cycle

Alice Vitti, nutritionist and founder of, introduced Flo Living’s Balance, a subscription box that was touted as a way to ” biohack your periods .” Each kit includes a blend of vitamins and minerals that are designed to help with things like fatigue, anxiety, digestive problems, and acne during PMS and menstruation. The box costs about $ 98 a month. Meanwhile, writer and product developer Devon Loftus recently launched Moon Cycle Bakery, which (thanks to hitting its November Kickstarter goal) is now shipping subscribers baked goods with “hormonal balance” ingredients like primrose and magnesium for between $ 15 and $ 30 a month. … The numbers show that people clearly share this trend, at least for now. We deliver everything else to the door – why not extend that convenience to our periods as well? But the response among target users and experts has been mixed, especially when it comes to claims of hormonal regulation.

Nicole Jardim , a nutritionist and women’s health coach, is skeptical of any company that makes such promises. She noticed one recipe that substituted honey for sugar “to prevent blood sugar spikes” during menstruation, but said that “honey can definitely raise blood sugar.”

“Obviously, food is our foundation for balancing hormones, so I think [these companies] probably have good intentions, especially as they offer healthier alternatives to what women currently tend to consume during this period. cycle, ”said Jardim. “However, I think this new approach, in which companies add potentially powerful herbs to packaged foods, could be problematic. It uses a universal approach, which is the problem of traditional medicine and pharmaceuticals. “

Jardim said her own clients were taking supplements designed to help with menstruation or fertility, which ultimately led to entirely new unpleasant symptoms. While she acknowledges good intentions, she is concerned that this could happen to a lot of women who subscribe to hormone balancing claim boxes.

Moon Cycle Bakery’s Loftus says she thought about it. “Since we cannot know each client’s individual makeup, imbalances and how their bodies will absorb or assimilate the ingredients of our treats, we focus more on the general aches and pains that a person experiences during their cycle,” she said in an email letter. “However, some treats will focus on identifying certain imbalances or relieving certain symptoms. For example, our black bean primrose brownie contains cordyceps, which is especially known for increasing energy, boosting libido, oxygenating the blood and brain, and enhancing a sense of alertness. “

Loftus said Moon Cycle also plans to launch a quiz early next year that will allow customers to answer more specific questions about their symptoms and tailor treats based on their responses. She said the company hopes to expand its offerings to pregnant women, pregnant women, postpartum, premenopausal and menopausal women. Both Flo’s Balance and Moon Cycle Bakery make sure that users talk to their doctors if they have concerns about their hormones or especially difficult periods.

What periods are suitable for

While some people applaud how these boxes help destigmatize periods and help women take control, other potential buyers believe the trend is less about making our lives easier than about making money.

“While I understand that some women, especially young women, may find time to pamper themselves for a few days, it seems to me that recurring subscriptions are just another way to get money from women,” said Emily Hooks. , 29-year-old woman. is a Year-Old Student Affairs Specialist from Raleigh, North Carolina. “The thought of needing ‘special snacks’ at ‘this time of the month’ also strikes me as very demeaning. Women have lived for hundreds of thousands of years without a box of snacks to eat during their period. Women in 2017 do not need this either. “

Hooks made another point that many skeptics of this trend also share: further commercialization of the period could further marginalize people who cannot afford to subscribe to a fun box of specialty tampons and treats. Millions of people living in poverty cannot even afford regular menstrual products , and while some subscriptions for subscription periods do donate money or supplies to people who cannot afford them, Jardim notes that they can create waste as well. when people receive the products they are wearing. I don’t like it or I use it.

Aside from the health claims, there is one category that most people seem to agree with is a good candidate for the subscription period: young people who have their first menstrual period.

“Period subscription boxes are a great idea if they use a positive menstrual cycle that actually supports women,” said Erin Jackson, attorney, consultant and founder of Inspire Santé, a non-profit organization dedicated to pelvic pain and related diseases. … “I love the idea of ​​giving a subscription box to a girl who just started her period. This allows her to identify the foods she feels most comfortable with. “

After all, everyone has different bodies, and their needs and wants during menstruation are also different. The Period Subscription Box can be a fun way to pamper yourself or try out new products, and it can even make you feel better – just listen to your body and don’t expect hormonal changes to change.


Leave a Reply