How To Enjoy Periods
This article was co-authored by Rebecca Levy-Gantt, MPT, DO. Dr. Rebecca Levy-Gantt is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist running a private practice based in Napa, California. Dr. Levy-Gantt specializes in menopause, peri-menopause and hormonal management, including bio-Identical and compounded hormone treatments and alternative treatments. She is also a Nationally Certified Menopause Practitioner and is on the national listing of physicians who specialize in menopausal management. She received a Masters of Physical Therapy from Boston University and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 22 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 360,762 times.
Periods are usually dreaded because they can be stressful, depressing, painful, and sometimes even embarrassing. You dont have to always suffer, though. Its possible to learn how to enjoy your period so you hardly even notice its that time of the month.
Ease Up On The Exercise
There’s no denying the benefits of exercise, but overdoing it at this time of the month can actually cause you damage. A study of professional female athletes found they were more likely to experience injuries at this time of the month. You’re also more likely to strain your adrenals and send yourself into exhaustion. Too much intense exercise is also a leading cause of irregular cycles, and can cause your period to stop altogether.
This doesn’t give you the green light to just veg on the couch all day though! It’s important to keep moving, with gentle exercise known to improve menstrual flow and reduce pain. Exercise such as gentle yoga, stretching and walking are perfect. Or just bring your favorite exercise down to a more relaxed pace.
Pms Is Still A Mystery
Itâs 1 or 2 weeks before your period starts, and here come the breakouts, sluggishness, cravings, bloating, and mood swings. Sound familiar? Every woman is different, but for many, PMS is a fact of life.
But doctors donât know exactly why that is. It seems to be a mix of hormone changes during your menstrual cycle, chemical changes in the brain, and other emotional issues you might have, such as depression, that can make PMS worse.
Whatâs more, once you get your period, the rollercoaster may continue. One study found that period-related pains such as cramps, bloating, backaches, and headaches can cloud your thinking, because the pain may make it harder for you to focus on the tasks at hand. Not that you canât still do them — you can. It may just feel like it takes more work.
Lifestyle changes are usually the best way to take control of PMS. Aim to get about 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, get 8 hours of shut-eye per night, and donât smoke. Your diet makes a difference, too, so fill up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains while you limit salt as well as sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Let your doctor know if PMS keeps you from doing what you normally do, or if you have symptoms of depression or anxiety. You may have a more serious condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder that needs medical attention.
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Light Walking Or Other Light Cardio
Keep your cardiovascular or aerobic exercise at a lower intensity or back off on the amount you do. Consider light cardio, walking, or shorter bouts of aerobic exercise. Theres supporting the idea that your lungs work better later in your cycle, so consider keeping that type of training for the end of your period.
What Types Of Exercise Are Best Across My Cycle And Why
If youre someone with a period, you might have heard a lot of different information about when to exercise and what types of exercises are best across your cycle.
Feeling a bit confused? So are most people. Lets simplify it!
Basically, studies have found that whilst changing hormone levels across your cycle can affect your energy levels and exercise performance, theres nothing to say dont exercise. Also, keeping physically active can help to reduce symptoms of PMS.
Heres some ideas to help you get the most out of your workouts and nurture your body across your cycle.
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Do Skip Your Usual Latte
A good coffee can be one of the greatest joys in life, but go easy on caffeine when youre on your period, advises Tania Adib, consultant gynaecologist at tampon and towel brand . Caffeine can make your cramps worse as it can constrict your blood vessels.
Eat A Lot Of Pineapple
What does it do:
Pineapple again induces body heat, especially in the pelvic region. It dilates capillaries and induces shedding of the uterus lining which prepones the periods when consumed in large quantities.
How to use pineapple to get your period early:
Consume a bowl of pineapple everyday in the afternoon. Make sure it is at room temperature and freshly cut. You can also include pineapple in salads.
What If My Period Doesnt Come Or If It Starts When I Am Very Young
If you have not had a first period by the age of 15, or its been more than two to three years since your breasts started developing and you have not had a period, its best to talk to your doctor. If you get your period very young, at nine or ten it is usually just simply that you developed early. However, its a good idea to see your doctor to rule out other underlying medical conditions.
How Do I Know If My Period Is Coming
Some people get signs that their periods are coming like bloating, pimples, sore breasts, and feeling emotional. Many people get cramps in their belly, lower back, or legs before their period. These symptoms are called PMS. Not everybody has signs that their periods are about to start. And sometimes the signs change month-to-month. As you get older, it usually gets easier to tell when your period is coming.
Many people mark the days they have their period on their calendar or on an app. Keeping track of your periods will help you know when your next period is coming. It can also tell you if your period is late or early. Its really common to have periods that dont come at the exact same time every month especially when youre a teenager.
Keeping a tampon, period underwear, or a pad in your bag can help you be prepared for your period, no matter when it shows up. If you start your period and don’t have a tampon or pad, you can ask a parent, friend, teacher, or the school nurse for a tampon or a pad. Some bathrooms also have vending machines where you can buy a tampon or pad. If youre REALLY stuck somewhere without a tampon or pad, you can fold up a bunch of toilet paper or a clean sock or washcloth and put it in your underwear to soak up the blood.
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When You Have Your Period You May Experience Back Pain
Its not uncommon to experience pain during your menstrual cycle, whether its in the form of abdominal cramps or pain somewhere else. Still, some pain is harder to manage, and that can be a sign of something bigger. However, back pain is a pretty common symptom when you have you period, though extreme back pain isnt.
According to Medical News Today,primary dysmenorrhea, or pain caused by your period,is common. In fact, the website reported, Most people who menstruate experience some form of primary dysmenorrhea, be it cramping, aching, or lower back pain. However, if that back pain becomes severe, it might be a sign that something bigger is going on. Severe back pain during your period can actually be a symptom of endometriosis, which can cause health complications, as noted by Healthline. Lower back pain associated with cramps is normal, but if the pain becomes unbearable and you cant take it, you should go see a doctor.
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Drink Raspberry Leaf Tea
Since caffeine should really be avoided when you’re menstruating, raspberry leaf tea is the perfect warm drink for period time. This vitamin and mineral rich tea has been used to promote women’s health for centuries. It contains fragrine, which helps to tone and strengthen the uterus, and has been shown to reduce cramping and discomfort during our periods. It also contains manganese and magnesium, which are key to promoting good fertility.
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You May Break Out A Lot More When You Have Your Period
Though getting a pimple or two isn’t the end of the world and it certainly isn’t as painful as cramps or back pain acne due to your period can still suck. For starters, it’s hard to control period-related acne, and it doesn’t really matter how old you are, either. When you get your period, it’s common to break out.
Dermatologist Audrey Kunin, MD, of DERMAdoctor.com told WebMD, “As levels of progesterone increase, skin swells and pores are compressed shut.” However, when your pores are shut, it can cause “sebum to build up beneath the skin’s surface,” which then leads to acne, as Kunin added.
Additionally, breaking out when you have your period is hard to avoid, and you can’t just put on a face mask and wish it away. OB-GYN Elizabeth Gutrecht Lyster, MD, told WebMD that “menstrual-related acne is not a matter of hygiene it is an internal effect.” That said, you should continue to wash your face and stick to your regular skin care regimen to help prevent acne from potentially getting worse.
Tampons And Pads Arent Your Only Choices
You have more options to help you manage that time of the month.
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.
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How Do You Clean Them
Once theyre full, wring them out with cold water until the water runs clear and hang them to dry. Once theyre dry, you can throw them in your hamper to be washed with the next load of clothes, but do not tumble dry!
I upcycled my bedroom trash can into a delicates hamper! This way all of the clothes that shouldnt be put in the dryer are kept in one location.
Wash the Thinx with cold water in your washing machine and then hang to dry. Because there are four layers in the crotch area it takes a little longer for them to dry. I like to set mine out in the sun and theyll dry in a flash!
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 youll have your next period.
If youre 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 bodys 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.
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What To Do When You Get Your Period
Before you start getting periods it is good to be prepared for when it eventually comes. Hopefully you will have an opportunity to talk with your mother or sister or someone else in your family who can help you to prepare. Meanwhile here are some tips for when you do start bleeding.
- Keep a period kit somewhere handy. This is because you might get your period unexpectedly or forget its due. Keeping some painkillers, period products and a spare pair of underpants in your bag, at school or at work can be a lifesaver.
- Enjoy life as much as possible. Its safe and often possible to do all the things you would normally do. Its also okay to have sex when you have your period, but if youre using a tampon youll need to take it out first.
If you have period pain you can take painkillers that you can buy over the counter at the chemist. If your pain isnt relieved with regular painkillers, visit your GP .
In A World Full Of Misinformation And Confusion On Menstruation We Have A Scientifically
Dark chocolate is rich in iron and magnesium and is a great snack for when you’re on periods
On average, a woman menstruates for roughly 7 years of her lifetime. That is a lot of time spent experiencing cramps, body soreness, fatigue, and so on. Adding to this, misinformation or lack of correct information might make these days of the month even worse. In this article, we discuss some do’s and don’t’s that can make this time of the month easier.
Here are our scientifically-backed, do’s and don’t’s for your menstruation cycles:
Warm showers are a great way to unwind and have proven to help ease pain from cramps. For years now, taking a shower or washing hair during periods has been frowned upon. However, according to studies, there are no negative effects linked with doing so.
Exercising has proven to be a great way to release stress and boost happy hormones in the body. Furthermore, it might also help release some pain from your period cramps. Engaging with some yoga focused on reducing cramps may be even more helpful.
Drinking ample water and water-rich fruits and vegetables is healthy no matter period or not. However, menstruation can cause dehydration, headaches, and discomfort. You can try to pick healthier foods, like curbing sugar cravings by indulging in fresh fruits instead of eating a cake or pastry.
Eat dark chocolate
Eat more protein
Why Do You Get Cranky During Your Period
Few women look forward to their monthly period. But if you regularly experience mood swings, irritability, and crankiness as your period approaches, it can make you dread that time of the month even more.
If you find yourself struggling with anger, moodiness, or other symptoms that interfere with your life every time you get your period, dont wait to seek help. Our gynecology team at The Womens Center specializes in treating premenstrual syndrome and other menstrual problems.
Many women notice changes in the way they feel in the days before and during their periods, but were here to help you recognize when your symptoms could be a sign of a treatable medical condition like PMS.
You Might Work Out Better When You Have Your Period
For a lot of people, the thought of working out while on their period sounds like pure torture. And honestly, who could blame them? When your period starts, you may be experiencing pain and feeling pretty uncomfortable. But as it turns out, not only will working out help your period symptoms, but your period might help you work out better.
First of all, if you have been avoiding working out during your period, you might want to rethink that. OB-GYN Alyse Kelly-Jones, MD, told Shape, “Higher-intensity exercise can release more endorphins, which are the feel-good chemicals released in our brains when we exercise.” So, a workout might help with your period-related mood swings, and endorphins can also help with pain, according to Shape. So basically it’s a win-win.
Additionally, exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist Stacy T. Sims, Ph.D., told Health that your body performs better when on your period. “When your period comes, your hormones are at their lowest. You end up with better intensity, higher fatigue resistance, and better recovery,” Sims explained. Though it might not sound appealing when you have your period, Sims advised that you “go hard on the workouts.”
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When You Have Your Period Your Body Is Preparing For Pregnancy
As obvious as it may sound, the biggest thing that happens to your body when you have your period is related to fertility. In fact, the only reason women even get periods is to prepare their bodies for a possible pregnancy. Obviously, not everyone wants to get pregnant, but still your period comes for that exact reason.
“The menstrual cycle has one purpose and one purpose only: reproduction,” Lauren Streicher, M.D., a Northwestern University associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology, told Self. “The entire menstrual cycle is set up to prepare your body for possible pregnancy.” In fact, Streicher added that when you start your period, you also start the proliferative phase of your menstrual cycle. “The goal of the proliferative phase is to start to prime the uterine lining to make a nice, fluffy bed for a potential fertilized egg to rest in,” Streicher said. So, when your period starts, as painful as it might be, it’s just your body getting ready to make a baby.