If you are anything like me, your period can be a real pain… literally. Cramps, cravings, moodiness… did I mention irritability? One second, I want to be held and coddled; the next wishing to be isolated in a quiet room- hibernating. Do we really have to do this every month? Well, yes. But the good news is that we have some choices.
Here are some ways to make your period suck less:
Tampons, pads, cups, oh my!
One of the things we have control over is what type of products we use during our period. When making the decision we have to think about comfort, convenience and practicality. These days there are as many different types of tampons and pads as there are sugary cereals in the aisles of Kroger. Menstrual cups and reusable, absorbent underwear are becoming exceedingly popular these days. Not only are they easy and convenient, but they’re also reusable and environmentally friendly. It is important to be an informed consumer. Many of us just use pads or tampons by default, but there are many options out there that may be a better fit for you and your life. Take a look herefor a great rundown of all things period protection!
If your period symptoms are severe you need to consult with your gynecologist. Hormonal birth control can help make your period lighter, shorter, and sometime stop it altogether. Many people are uncomfortable with the thought of not having a period, others don’t react well to hormonal birth control. In these cases, it is important to find something that fits your beliefs and body. Take a look at some of your options here. I recommend working with your Gynecologist and try as many forms you need in order to find something that works well for you.
This is the time of the month to do whatever you need to get comfy and cozy. Don’t feel guilty about curling up on the couch in sweats and watching bad tv… for a while. Do what you need to do to feel better. Often, the first day or so requires some good quality R&R and pain relief. Heating pads, anti-inflammatories, baths, and orgasms are the most effective in fighting period-related cramps. (Yes, orgasms!) Towards the middle of your cycle, a good yoga flow (no pun intended) or a hike might feel really nice and get your energy levels back up. The last day or so should feel pretty much business as usual. Take the time to check in with your mind and body in order to decide what is going to nourish you.
This is not the time of the month to weigh yourself or try and wear your skinny jeans. Be kind! Instead of letting your period be, yet another reason, to make your body the enemy, let’s be friends. Women in this day and age tend to hate anything that makes a woman a woman. Think about it. Many women hate their hips or their breasts or their tummies. All of these things are what makes a woman’s body different from a man’s. “To really know self-love as women, we need to partner with our bodies. We need to stop pretending that our cycles are at the peripheries of our lives, and acknowledge that they live at the very center of us,” (Sara Avant Stover).