Lets just really honest today! Periods...... they are not the favorite time of ANY ladies month. But even less so for those who have endometriosis. Men will never be able to truly understand what its like to deal with a periods every 28 days or how often you might be "lucky" enough to get to deal with these awesome body function. We don't have to talk about the obvious, the bleeding. But its a major part of why we all love them, oh so much. Then we are lucky enough to also get to deal with irrational mood swings, cramps that are not easily explained to men or others who don't have to deal with those, and the bloating. Then there is the insatiable hunger. And of course we couldn't want veggies, and fruits and lots of protiens. NO most women want anything sweet, salty or fried!!!!! Which does NOTHING for the ache that comes along with eating crap food. Okay, you may be thinking that I am going overboard. But no...... I think most women would agree that, that one week of the month we would rather not deal with is far from pleasant and is oftentimes just awful.
NO, I am not here to write an ENTIRE blog post on how bad a menstrual period is. Because chances are those of you, that read past that first paragraph are women. Or men in committed relationships with a women so they know the ins and outs as well. What I really want to talk about is what we can do to make that week of every month a little easier. So I went to my friend Mr. Google to help me with information for this post. Below you will find my (and others) recommendations for how to make that wonderful week a little easier for everyone involved.
1. Exercise With Lighter Activities -
If you are anything like me when you read this the first thing you said was "ARE YOU CRAZY, HOW WILL EXERCISE HELP?" But that may be my common response to several things LOL. In all seriousness a lady can increase blood flow which will help cut down on the cramps. So if you decide to do this you need to go light. Do easy exercises like yoga, or stretching or walking, some encourage swimming but that sounds like a disaster to me!!!!
2. Hug A Heating Pad
This is and always has been my go to. For any abdominal or back pain I have during my period. I find a good heating pad and don't let it out of my site for the whole week. The heat can actually sooth your muscles which in turn eases your cramping and overall discomfort
3. Its Important to Drink Plenty of Water and Stay Hydrated
I know some of you are thinking "No way, I am already holding on to three pounds of water weight, why would I choose to drink more water?" I know, it sounds crazy but the more water you intake, the easier it will be to eliminate the extra water building up in your body. We should always try to drink more water, because it really is good for out bodies even when we think it sounds crazy. No matter if we are on our cycle or not we should all really try to drink 10-8ounce glasses of water a day.
4. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine has truly become an issue for many people around the world. But for women its important to remember that caffeine actually makes you hold on to water weight, and definetley contributes to that achjy, crampy, bloated feeling we often feel during out period.
5. Eat The Good-For-You Food
Even though the only things you want are chocolate, ice cream and french fries (okay, maybe that is just me), we should all really try to eat more fresh fruit and green veggies. By eating enough of the good stuff it could potentially help to steer you away from the bad choices. You could try snacking on carrots with hummus, apples with peanut butter (which will give you the sweet and the crunch you make be looking for,) or blend up a smoothing with good fruits.
6. Try To Stay On Top Of Your Sleep
We all need 7-8 hours of good sleep all the time. That is especially important for teens who are on their periods, They really need eight to nine hours of sleep per night. Getting enough sleep will help you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
7. Take Notes
Being prepared is your best defense when it comes to that time of the month.You should start keeping a record of your period each month. You can do this on paper or now with just about everyone having smart phones there are great apps that you can get that help you keep track of not only the dates of your cycle but also the symptoms, and how heavy they flow is. After a few months of doing this you will be able to see a pattern and can talk to your doctor if needed.
8. Use Period Protection That Lets You Stay Active
These days there are pads and tampons for every shape and size. Even special items made who are more active. And completely natural options. But what it comes down to is efficiency and comfort. It doesn't matter what the women in your family has used for 3 generations, or even what your best friend uses. Don't be afraid to jump out of the comfort box and do some research on products that are out there. You honestly just need something that makes you feel less self conscious and takes care of what it is supposed to. And be prepared to be able to change said pad or tampon every 4-8 hours. This is especially important for the younger girls in our life who may not have been told the risks of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Since we are really being open and honest lets talk about a couple of other things. One being at what point should you contact your doctor about your cycle.
The symptoms that you need to be talking to your doctor about quickly:
- heavy bleeding
- extended bleeding (more than 7 days)
- bleeding after sex
- excessive clotting during periods
- abdominal pain
- any odorous discharge
- excess hair growth on face
- unexplained weight gain
Likely Causes of an Irregular Period
Many issues can cause irregular periods, things like changes in the bodies production of estrogen and progesterone can alter the normal pattern of a ladies cycle. This is why young girls going into puberty and women approaching menopause often experience irregular periods.
Other common causes of irregular periods include:
- Having an IUD
- Changing birth control pills or using certain medications
- Too much exercise
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Being Pregnant or Breastfeeding
- Overactive Thyroid (Hyperthyroid) or underactive thyroid (hypothyroid)
- Thickening of or polyps on the uterine lining
- Uterine Fibroids
The hormone estrogen thickens the uterine lining before ovulation, so when estrogen levels become unbalanced the uterine lining sheds irregularly. This may result in heavy bleeding.
The conditions Endometriosis can also cause extreme cramps, very heavy bleeding, pain with intercourse and pain in the rectal area.
If you have any of the above issues or just want to talk to your doctor make an appt to do so. Most of the issues that cause irregular periods can be treated in one way or another.