Look away boys! We're going to be having a chat about the big P word today! Yes: PERIODS. Periods periods periods. I have no shame in saying it and am going to have a talk about it in the hope that I help a few girls out.
For some it can be quite a personal subject, but I hope I can be of some help. I have no doubt in my mind that I have an absolutely horrendous time of the month, but over the years I've discovered different ways of dealing with the problems I encounter. Here are the things that I have to deal with each and every month:
- Stomach/Pelvic Cramps: This usually occurs a day or two before my period is due and lasts for about three days.
- Heavy bleeding: Medically known as Menorrhagia, heavy bleeding for me lasts from day one until around day 4. I hate to be so detailed but I feel it's the only way I may help people, but for me this is an absolute pain and causes me so much inconvenience, sometimes to the point where I have to take a day off work because I can't even sit down for more than 10 minutes without needing to go and 'clean up', if you will.
- Mood Swings: Things that don't usually bother me well and truly make me an emotional wreck. The other night, for example, I saw pictures of people enjoying themselves on holiday and got really upset that I couldn't go on a holiday this year. I had a bite on my hand on got upset when it wouldn't stop itching. My dog wouldn't stop barking and I cried for about an hour....you get the picture. This lasts for around three days from the start of my period.
So that's basically what I suffer with. I understand that there are going to be people who are in far worse positions, and also people that have completely different symptoms, but I hope that those can relate to the above may take away a few of these tips:
- If you're in the house and can spend the day, or maybe just an hour or two relaxing, I find a hot water bottle/hot flannel, does absolute wonders. Team this with a feminax tablet, or another brand that says it deals with period pain on the back of the packet and that may help.
- Exercise. Yes, going for a walk whilst your dealing with your period doesn't sound like the most attractive of things, but it's one thing that I've found to help with the pain.
- Having to work or study? Take a pain relief tablet and drink plenty of water. The pain will only usually be around for a couple of hours at a time, but if you feel like you can't cope then you should have every right to have a break. However I find that keeping myself busy can often distract from the pain, on some occasions.
- Double up: wear two pads so that they make an extra long pad. I personally don't use tampons, but another thing you can do is use a tampon as well as a pad.
- Double up on knickers!: Wearing two pairs of knickers will help you feel a little more secure. If it's not too warm outside then you can always wear a pair of leggings on tights under your trousers too.
- At night sleep with an old bath towel on your bed. There's nothing worse than tossing and turning throughout the night worrying that you're going to leak onto your bed. Put down a towel, use a special pad designed for the night and relax.
- See your doctor. If things are still bad there are medications that can help but they do have to be prescribed.
- The pill can help. Microgynon 30 is the contraceptive pill that you take for 21 days, then stop taking for 7 whilst you bleed. I have taken this pill for 18 months now and my periods have been made much better.
- Keep an eye on what you're eating. If you're anything like me then you love scoffing down chocolate, but after advice from my doctor I began to keep an eye on the amount of sugar I was consuming. I'm not as bad to be honest, but I just find that when I'm feeling down I just want to eat everything going, which takes us to:
- Have a good chat with yourself. My chat is usually 'Steph, eat that whole fudge cake and you'll regret it. Pull yourself together and go have a nice shower'. Just sit down with yourself, count to ten and tell yourself it'll be over in a couple of days.
- Treat yourself. Get rid of your family, friends, boyfriend, husband...whoever it may be for one afternoon and give yourself a good pampering. Have a shower, moisturise, paint your nails, watch a film with a cup of tea and just relax.
So there's a little guide for you that you may or may not find useful. Some things you might ignore or disagree with, but they may be useful to others. I hope I've helped at least a couple of you anyway.