Like most women, for 7-10 days a month I am bleeding from my vagina. I don’t particularly think periods are talked about all that much but I’m an open book. From blood clots to leaks, I like to share it all with the people around me. So in honour of my period starting yesterday I had a brainwave to share some of my hacks with you that I have learned throughout the years.
I’d like to begin by saying that I get pretty bad periods. I am an emotional wreck for the few days leading up to it and during the first couple of days I am usually doubled over in pain and trying very hard not to overdose on painkillers or cut my uterus out. My period lasts between 7 and 10 days although for the second half of this it’s not too heavy. I also experience really bad bloating during my period which is not helped by the painkillers I take which I will mention in this post.
Anyway, now that that’s out of the way here are my tips to make your flow easier to handle!
Be aware of your sanitary options : Within the last 6 months I made a change in the type of sanitary product I used. I have always used sanitary towels/pads as I am more comfortable wearing these. I tried tampons before and hated them. Recently my girlfriend made the change to cloth pads so I tried them too and it was the best decision I have ever made regarding my period. My periods are slightly lighter and not as painful due to the lack of chemicals. If you don’t fancy having to wash your own pads then be aware of other options such as tampons whether these are manufactured or cloth, sanitary towels, menstrual cups, period underwear and free bleeding. Give them a go and see what you like best! If cloth pads intrigue you then you can read my review of them here.
Painkillers : Due to my cramps I do have to take painkillers each month for up to 3 days to help with my pain. This has, thankfully, been cut down due to my cloth pads but I still depend on them to get me through a day. I realise not everyone likes or can take medication so for those who do then try out feminax. If you have really bad cramps and have no issues with it then give it a go because it honestly changed my life. They are specifically for period cramps so go right to the source however be very careful with the dosage as they are quite strong. On issue I do have with them is that they cause some stomach issues with me and some bloating. I don’t want to promote medication but be aware that there are specific pain relief out there for periods just please use them properly and read the instructions.
Tea : For the week leading up to my period I try my best to drink Pukka Womankind tea. I saw it online and decided to give it a go and it honestly works for me. If i’m having a particularly bad cramp day I will also drink a couple cups of this and it helps relieve some cramping and bloating. I have no idea why it works as it’s just a fruit tea but I assume it’s to do with the vitamins in the specific fruit.
No Caffeine : I am someone who enjoys a couple of cups of tea every day and I can rarely go without my morning cup. When I’m on my period I tend to avoid caffeinated tea/coffee as it makes me more bloated and worsens my cramps. There is caffeine in the feminax I take on these days which leaves me bloated so I don’t want to add to this either. Try substituting caffeinated drinks for de-caf drinks so you can stay in a routine and stay away from energy drinks.
Hot water bottles : I would highly recommend buying at least 2 hot water bottles. I use one on my lower abdomen and the other on my lower back and the heat really does ease the pain. You could also try heat packs and heat stickers as these may work too.
Sex and masturbation : I am a firm believer in orgasms while on my period..or in general really.. but when you orgasm your uterus contracts which increases blood flow and more natural chemicals are released which in turn helps with cramping. It’s all a great mood booster! If you’re worried about mess then you can always do it in the shower!
Clothing : When I’m on my period I tend to lounge around in trackies with no makeup for the first couple of days if I can. Comfy cloths really help especially if the waistband on the bottoms is loose as it doesn’t press into your stomach. I know some people who hate lounging around on their period as they feel better when they look good so you could also try doing your hair and makeup and picking out a really nice outfit for the day too!
Baths : I personally don’t like bathing on my period as its so heavy in the first few days but the heat of the water can really help cramps. If you are someone who uses tampons this can be particularly handy as you won’t be bathing in your own blood! If not then you could give free bleeding a go and quickly shower afterwards.
Wear 2 pairs of pants : If you have some underwear to spare then stick another pair on. Wearing 2 pairs of underwear keeps everything in place especially pads and decreases the chances of leakage.
Eat dark chocolate : If you like dark chocolate and think you deserve a treat for putting up with unwanted bodily functions then get yourself some 70% dark chocolate. Your body looses a lot of magnesium during your period and dark chocolate helps with this and its a great mood booster too!
Relax : If you don’t have school or work or other commitments that involve leaving the house then have a nap or try some calming exercises. Meditation is a good idea as it relaxes the muscles which is helpful when cramps are caused by tensing muscles and it increases oxygen intake. you could also try some yoga or exercise in general is a pretty good idea.
I hope some of these points help with cramping, pas, bloating, leaks and periods in general. Girls, we’re stuck with them so we might as well make life easier for ourselves and learn to embrace them!
Header image source : here