What Your Period Is Trying To Tell You About Your Health
When we talk about menstruation in our culture, we tend to focus on all the ways it can be seriously unpleasant and gross, with lots of attention paid to the emotional effects of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS , and almost none to whats actually happening in your body every month. Board-certified reproductive acupuncturist Kirsten Karchmer, founder of Viv Wellness, believes that for most women, PMS is a critical tool in deciphering overall healthand it doesnt have to come with every period, or at all, if you pay attention and learn to pull the right levers. Ive been working with women in my clinics for almost twenty years, and while a lot of them come in with PMS and cramping, by the time theyre done with treatment, a significant majority are symptom-free, she says.Below, Karchmers take on period health, and her advice on how to gain controlplus, our round-up of items to make periods a little more comfortable, including 100 percent organic tampons delivered straight to your door.
Tips On Controlling Pms
- Eat complex carbohydrates , fiber, and protein. Cut back on sugar and fat.
- Avoid salt for the last few days before your period to reduce bloating and fluid retention.
- Cut back on caffeine to feel less tense and irritable and to ease breast soreness.
- Cut out alcohol. Drinking it before your period can make you feel more depressed.
- Try eating up to 6 small meals a day instead of 3 larger ones.
- Get aerobic exercise. Work out up to 30 minutes, 4 to 6 times a week.
- Get plenty of sleepabout 8 hours a night.
- Keep to a regular schedule of meals, bedtime, and exercise.
- Try to schedule stressful events for the week after your period.
How Do I Use A Tampon
Inserting a tampon for the first time can be a bit of a challenge. Its hard to know exactly how to position your body and at what angle to put the tampon in. After a few tries, you will figure out what works best for you. Its best to use slender size tampons when you are learning. If you arent exactly sure where your vaginal opening is, use a mirror to have a look at your vulva .
To insert a tampon that has an applicator:
To insert a tampon without an applicator:
Recommended Reading: Having A Period For A Month
Tampons And Pads Arent Your Only Choices
You have more options to help you manage that time of the month.
A menstrual cup is a flexible cup that fits inside your vagina and collects blood during your period. Period panties are super-absorbent, and you can wear them on their own on your lighter days or with a tampon during heavier times. Reusable cloth pads can be washed and worn again.
These products can be cost-savers, since you can reuse them, and they also create less waste. In some cases, they give you more time between changes. For example, you need to change a tampon every 4 to 8 hours, but you may be able to go up to 12 hours with a menstrual cup before you empty it.
There are pros and cons to all these options, just as there are with tampons and pads. But you can find one that works best for you with some trial and error.
What Are Signs Of Period Coming Discharge
Vaginal discharge before period is thick white discharge.
During your menstrual cycle, your vaginal discharge may change from time to time. At the beginning of your cycle, after menstruation ends, vaginal discharge is thick white. Some women may experience vaginal dryness just after period ends.
At the middle of your cycle or just before ovulation occurs, vaginal discharge becomes stretchy and egg white. After ovulation occurs and before your period, vaginal discharge is thick white again.
Changes in vaginal discharge are due to hormone changes during menstrual cycles. Thick white discharge is a sign your period is coming. It occurs due to low levels of progesterone and estrogen.
Recommended Reading: How To Know When Your Period Is Coming Again
Managing Menstrual Cycle Symptoms And Bleeding
Keep a calendar and mark the day you start your menstrual period each month. If your cycle is regular, it can help you predict when you’ll have your next period.
If you’re trying to figure out whether you have a pattern of premenstrual symptoms, it may be helpful to keep a premenstrual daily symptom diary .
You can improve your body’s ability to handle menstrual changes by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake, and reducing stress. Non-prescription pain relievers can also help reduce some symptoms.
What Is A Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is the series of changes a woman’s body goes through to prepare for a pregnancy. About once a month, the uterus grows a new lining to get ready for a fertilized egg. When there is no fertilized egg to start a pregnancy, the uterus sheds its lining. This is the monthly menstrual bleeding that women have from their early teen years until menopause, around age 50.
The menstrual cycle is from Day 1 of bleeding to Day 1 of the next time of bleeding. Although the average cycle is 28 days, it is normal to have a cycle that is shorter or longer.
Girls usually start having menstrual periods between the ages of 11 and 14. Women usually start to have fewer periods between ages 39 and 51. Women in their 40s and teens may have cycles that are longer or change a lot. If you are a teen, your cycles should even out with time. If you are nearing menopause, your cycles will probably get longer and then will stop.
Talk to your doctor if you notice any big change in your cycle. It’s especially important to check with your doctor if you have three or more menstrual periods that last longer than 7 days or are very heavy. Also call if you have bleeding between your periods or pelvic pain that is not from your period.
Also Check: Can I Get Pregnant 6 Days After My Period
Additional Ways To Relieve Menstrual Cramps
- Apply heat to your abdomen with a heating pad or hot water bottle, or take a warm bath. Heat improves blood flow and may decrease pelvic pain.
- Lie down and elevate your legs by putting a pillow under your knees.
- Lie on your side and bring your knees up toward your chest. This will help relieve back pressure.
- Get regular exercise. This improves blood flow, produces pain-fighting endorphins, and may reduce pain.
- If you have vaginal pain with cramps, try using pads instead of tampons.
For more information on managing menstrual cramps, see:
Thinking About Going Hormone
We hope you learned to look out for some of the key signs your period is coming! Besides learning about period symptoms, there are many advantages to choosing a non-hormonal birth control option. From wanting to avoid side-effects to wanting to get to know your bodys natural cycle, what motivates you to go hormone-free is highly individual. Natural Cycles is designed to be with you every step of your fertility journey and can also be used to plan pregnancy if and when you want to start a family. Ready to get started?
Recommended Reading: What Drinks Help With Period Cramps
What Ingredient In Perfume Causes Headaches
Ethers are confirmed triggers for chemical sensitivity specifically migraines. Ethers are a broad class of compounds that contain an ether group. An ether group is the connection of one oxygen atom with two alkyl groups: R-O-R.
Here are a couple of widely used ethers:
Anisole or methoxybenzene
Anisole has a phenolic, ethereal anise scent, reminiscent of anise seed. It does occur in nature but is mostly synthetically made. It is used to obtain more machinery/gasoline like notes.
1,1-dimethoxyethane has a sharp, sweet, alcoholic, green hay odor.
1,4-dioxane is not listed on labels as an ingredient but can be present as a trace contaminant, as its used as a solvent in the making of fragrance. Its a by-product of commonly used derivatives such as Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulphate, PEG compounds, ceteareth and oleth, which in themselves are not necessarily dangerous.
1,3-dioxane, 25-methyl-5 is marketed under the trade name Karanal and is widely used in fragrances. It has become recently heavily restricted in the EU.
Tetrahydrofuran can be used to create a tobacco-like scent.
Aside from these triggering components that may be found in perfume, there are additional odors that you might be sensitive to. While you may not experience any problems with these scents, it is always best to test your reaction to them first.
What Causes Morning Headaches
As you transition from sleep to wakefulness, parts of your brain start to wake up too. Your brain becomes more responsive to changes in your body position, touch, and sound. During this period of heightened sensitivity, you may be more susceptible to pain.
Additionally, the hypothalamus in the brain is involved in both sleep and pain processes. The hypothalamus regulates your natural circadian rhythms and sleep cycles and modulates sensation and pain. Disturbances in the hypothalamus during sleep affect your ability to tolerate pain. As a result, while you may not have felt pain as you slept, you may feel it in the morning.
Sleep disorders commonly trigger morning head pain, but there are numerous possible causes for waking up with a headache.
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What If I Forget To Remove My Tampon
If you forget to remove your tampon, it can turn sideways or become compressed at the top of your vagina. This can make it difficult for you to pull it out. If you think you’ve left a tampon in and you can’t get it out, go to your GP or nearest sexual health clinic. They can remove it for you.
Read the full answer to What if I forget to remove my tampon?
Using Tampons And Pads
Tampons and pads are available at many stores. There are a few types and, with all the choices, it might be hard to know what is right for you. Generally, it is recommended to begin with a sanitary pad because they’re easy to use. Tampons are a popular choice, especially for active people.
Each product offers different levels of absorbency, which indicates how much blood it can hold without leaking. Try to match your normal flow and your need for absorbency with the product label.
Be sure to read any special recommendations the company has for how to best use their product. After trying a few different types, you will likely find a product that works well for you.
Pay attention to your flow so you get a sense of how often you need to change your pad or tampon. With either option, it should be changed at least every four to eight hours. With pads, this is primarily for sanitary reasons. For tampons, it is also to prevent health conditions such as toxic shock syndrome .
Using tampons labeled extra absorbent is not a good idea. It’s better to use a tampon designed for a lighter flow and to change it more often. You can also wear a mini-pad while using tampons to protect your clothing in case of any leakage.
Also Check: Signs To Know Your Period Is Coming
Medicine For Menstrual Pain And Bleeding
Try a non-prescription medicine to help relieve your pain and bleeding. Start taking the recommended dose of pain reliever when symptoms begin or 1 day before your menstrual period starts. If you are trying to become pregnant, talk to your doctor before using any medicine. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen , reduce menstrual cramps, pain, and bleeding by lowering the level of the hormone prostaglandin.
- If NSAIDs do not relieve the pain, try acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.
- Take the medicine for as long as the symptoms would normally last if you did not take the medicine.
Be sure to follow all labels and directions. Do not take aspirin if you are younger than 18 because of the risk of Reye syndrome.
What Causes Your Period Top
Natural body chemicals, or hormones, cause your ovaries to release one egg about once a month. Most months, the egg and the lining of your uterus come out of your vagina as your period. This is part of your .
This cycle is what makes it possible for a woman to have a baby. During sexual intercourse, the egg can get fertilized by a males sperm and then attach to the lining of the uterus and grow into a baby.
What Causes A Period
A period happens because of changes in in the body. Hormones are chemical messengers. The ovaries release the female hormones and . These hormones cause the lining of the uterus to build up. The built-up lining is ready for a fertilized egg to attach to and start developing. If there is no fertilized egg, the lining breaks down and bleeds. Then the same process happens all over again.
It usually takes about a month for the lining to build up, then break down. That is why most girls and women get their periods around once a month.
How Early Can You Tell If Youre Pregnant
Again, youll need to take a pregnancy test at the right time to confirm your hopes or suspicions. But when it comes to the first symptoms of pregnancy, everyone is different. Some people start to notice changes within a week after conception. Others might not notice anything until they miss their period.