Kat A Former Clue Intern Shared Her Personal Experience Of Waiting To Get Her First Period Below
Periods can be frustrating, messy and sometimes downright painful. Nevertheless, I couldnât wait to get mine. When I was nine, my mom taught me about periods, but stressed that I shouldnât expect mine to start any time soon since she had gotten hers later than average. Still, I was determined that that wouldnât be the case for me.
When I was 10, I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, looked down, and finally, a little spot of blood! The wait was over! I was a grownup now, ready to tackle anything! I rushed down the hall to tell my mom who gave me a pad with an unconvinced look on her face. That night I was almost too excited to sleep, knowing what I could tell all my friends in the morning. You can imagine my despair when there was not a hint of red to be seen, only a small cut on my upper thigh. False alarm.
Throughout elementary and middle school I had to sit through various puberty talks and was given countless handfuls of pads and tampons from sex ed teachers âjust in case.â I had to watch all of my friends come into school ready to spill the details of where they were and how they felt now that they were âa real woman.â I wasnât as physically mature as they were but I felt absolutely sure that this milestone would make me fit in again. Days, months and years passed. I watched everyone develop, claim that they had âsynced up,â and relate to each otherâs symptoms. I felt excluded.
Lets support one another.
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 theyre 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. Its 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.
What Causes Leg Cramps In The Middle Of The Night
Night leg cramps, also called nocturnal leg cramps, are painful, involuntary contractions or spasms of muscles in your legs, usually occurring when youre in bed. Night leg cramps usually involve your calf muscles, although muscles in your feet or thighs might cramp as well. Forcefully stretching the contracted muscle relieves the pain. Causes.
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What Causes Menstrual Cramps And Why Do You Get Cramps On Your Period
Menstrual cramps before period usually happen about one to two days before your period. It is a result of the uterine endometrium desquamation and the uterine muscle contractions.
As you know, a menstrual cycle is counted by the number of days between two first bleeding days of two consecutive cycles. The average duration is 28 days long, but it can be as short as 20 days or as long as 45 days in some women.
During the latter half of the monthly cycle, after the ovulation, two ovarian hormones progesterone and estrogen are secreted in large amount. These hormones lead to the significant proliferation of uterine endometrium with highly tortuous blood vessels, in order to make uterine cavity a high nutrient environment, which is rich in blood cells and mucous to prepare for pregnancy if the ovum is fertilized by a sperm.
However, if the ovum remains unfertilized after the ovulation , the ovarian hormones fall to low levels of secretion, leads to the decrease in nutrients to the endometrium and initiate the necrosis of it, especially of the blood vessels. As a result, the hemorrhagic areas grow rapidly in 24 to 36 hours.
Other reasons may lead to stomach pain before period is the movement of desquamated endometrial pieces or the presence of blood clots. The menstrual fluid is normally non-clotting because an enzyme fibrinolysin which dissolves clots, is released along with the necrotic endometrial material.
The Sunshine Of Vitamin D
Cramps associated with dysmenorrhea can be disabling. Painful cramps associated with dysmenorrhea occur due to increasing levels of prostaglandins, which cause the uterus to contract. These contractions cause the shedding of the uterine lining. Vitamin D reduces the production of prostaglandins. In one study of young women who had primary dysmenorrhea and low vitamin D levels, high weekly doses of supplemental vitamin D decreased pain intensity significantly both 8 weeks into treatment and 1 month after the end of treatment. The women taking vitamin D also took less pain medication to treat period pain. You can ask your doctor to measure your vitamin D levels with a simple blood test.
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What Do Cramps A Week Before Period Mean
While cramping before period may not be due to any medical problem, it may be due to pregnancy.
If you have cramps a week before period, then it may be implantation cramps. Did you notice any bleeding before period? Then its likely pregnancy.
Other causes of cramping before period
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
How Do I Know If My Cramps Are Severe
Menstrual cramps feel like a throbbing or cramping pain in your lower abdomen. You may also feel pressure or a continuous dull ache in the area. The pain may radiate to your lower back and inner thighs.
Cramps usually begin a day or two before your period, peaking around 24 hours after your period starts. They typically last for two to three days.
Menstrual cramps can be accompanied by other symptoms, including:
- spotting between periods
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Period Pain Caused By A Medical Condition
Less commonly, period pain can be caused by an underlying medical condition.
Period pain linked to an underlying medical condition tends to affect older women. Women aged 30 to 45 are most commonly affected.
Medical conditions that can cause period pain include:
- endometriosis where cells that normally line the womb grow in other places, such as in the fallopian tubes and ovaries these cells can cause intense pain when they shed
- fibroids non-cancerous tumours that can grow in or around the womb and can make your periods heavy and painful
- pelvic inflammatory disease where your womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries become infected with bacteria, causing them to become severely inflamed
- adenomyosis where the tissue that normally lines the womb starts to grow within the muscular womb wall, making your periods particularly painful
What Causes Cramps 3 4 5 6 Days Before Period
If you have cramps before period, then there is nothing to worry about. Pelvic pain before period is common and may not mean any problem if it occurs 3 to 6 days before your period.
Do you have severe pain before period?
Do you use pain killers to relieve your pains?
If you have cramps before period, it may occur some 2-3 days before period and last until 48 hours after your period starts.
Cramps before period due to pregnancy is mild and short lasting.
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How Can You Tell If The Pain Of Your Menstrual Cramps Is Normal
If you have severe or unusual menstrual cramps or cramps that last for more than two or three days, contact your healthcare provider. Both primary and secondary menstrual cramps can be treated, so it’s important to get checked.
First, you will be asked to describe your symptoms and menstrual cycles. Your healthcare provider will also perform a pelvic exam. During this exam, your provider inserts a speculum . The provider is able to examine your vagina, cervix and uterus. The doctor will feel for any lumps or changes. They may take a small sample of vaginal fluid for testing.
If your provider thinks you may have secondary dysmenorrhea, you may need additional tests, such as an ultrasound or a laparoscopy. If those tests indicate a medical problem, your healthcare provider will discuss treatments.
If you use tampons and develop the following symptoms, get medical help right away: over 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dizziness, fainting or near fainting.
- A rash that looks like a sunburn.
These are symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening illness.
Reason For Painful Cramps: Cervical Stenosis
The cervix is located between the uterus and the vaginal canal it opens into the vaginal canal. Cervical stenosis is a condition where the cervix is really narrow and blocks the passage between the uterus and the vaginal canal. It is a genetic condition or it may develop later as a result of other conditions or procedures.
Cervical stenosis causes cramps because the blood finds it hard to pass through and causes painful pressure in the uterus, so it results in lots of cramps.
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Am I Pregnant If My Period Is 1 Day Late
It is normal to occasionally experience a period that is a few days late. However, a missed period is when the cycle completely changes. A missed period may be a sign of pregnancy or another underlying cause. Early signs of pregnancy can be easy to miss, especially if the person has not been pregnant before.
What Can You Do To Ease The Cramps Before Period
If you usually experience cramps before period, these suggestions below may be useful for you to cope with it .
- Exercise: Getting some exercise like yoga, walking, cycling will help to increase your blood circulation, by that it helps improve your PMS symptoms a lot. Besides, premenstrual cramps are usually worsened by stress, which is easily dispelled by exercise in a natural way so that you may not feel your symptoms much at all.
- Foods and drinks: Staying hydrated actually can help your body avoid painful, especially warm water helps improve cramping before period by increasing blood flow to the skin and relaxing muscle. Always bring with you a bottle of water with some pieces of cinnamon or ginger inside is a good idea. You should also bring watery fruits such as cucumber, watermelon, and berries as you can eat them raw or make delicious salads.
Bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes are rich in potassium which helps boost up your moods, improve your sleep quality and support your bowel movements. Put a banana in your bag for a snack or a few slices of avocado to your lunch or dinner are also great ideas.
Fishes like salmon or tuna are rich in omega 3 and other unsaturated fatty acids which are effective in relaxing muscles that may decrease the severity of your premenstrual cramps.
You can refer to how to prepare these foods into delicious dishes in the following video:
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What Will It Look Like
If a period is made of bloody fluid, you would expect it to look like blood, right? Well, sometimes period flow can look thinner or thicker than ânormalâ blood. First periods sometimes show up as a thick dark âsmearâ in your underwear. Dark? Yep, the color can definitely be different than you expect, ranging from deep red, to maroon, brown or even black. That happens because blood changes color over time. Sometimes your period blood has been waiting in your uterus or vagina for a while before it comes out, so it isnât the color of âfreshâ blood like youâd see if you cut your skin . The color doesnât mean anything about your health, so just know that if you see brown stuff in your underwear , itâs probably your period.
Can Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Cause Menstrual Cramps
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the female reproductive tract that is most commonly caused by untreated sexually transmitted infections. Left untreated, PID can cause inflammation, scarring, painful menstrual cramps, and infertility.
most often occurs because sexually transmitted infections that cause PID can create scar tissue and adhesions in the pelvic region. During menstruation, hormones influence the uterus and surrounding structures including the scar tissue and adhesions which can increase inflammation, bleeding, and pain,” says Shilpi Agarwal, MD, a board-certified family medicine and integrative physician in Washington, DC, and a columnist for Everyday Health. If caught early, PID can be treated with antibiotics, but antibiotics wont undo any structural damage caused by the infection. Practice safe sex, and get tested frequently for any sexually transmitted infections, especially if you have severe period pain, Dr. Agarwal advises.
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Your Daughters First Period: Help Them Be Ready
Many women probably remember when and where they got their first period. A lot of us probably also wish wed been a little more prepared.
If your daughter is approaching their first period, how can you help them be ready without embarrassing them and yourself? Make an action plan so youre both ready.
Confront concerns. Your daughter is probably wondering what her period will feel like, how long it will last, and how she can take care of herself each month. Let her know that asking questions is OK, says pediatrician Cara Natterson, MD.
You can start with the basics: Explain that their first few periods will most likely be light, and they might not be regular in the beginning. The blood might be red, brown, or even blackish, and they should change their pad every 4 to 6 hours.
Dads, if this topic is outside your comfort zone, ask an older daughter or female relative to bring it up. Your daughter might be just as uncomfortable talking with you about their period as you are.
Make a period kit. Many girls fear theyll get their first period at school or when theyre away from home. To help your daughter feel ready, buy a small zippered pouch and stock it with a couple of teen-size sanitary pads and a clean pair of underwear, Natterson says. Tell your daughter to keep the pouch with them at all times, and keep one with you, too, just in case.
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