So, I'm curled up here on a Sunday morning in a big fluffy jumper, feeling crap, sleepy and sore, craving food that I know is not good for me.....sounds like I'm hungover? Well, I'm not. Welcome to me while having my period :(
I know, mother natures curse. I HATE having my period, but in fairness it has become easier as I've gotten older. I suffered so badly with the pain that at sixteen I had an operation to have the nerves which cause period pain snipped! Thankfully I haven't had to take such dramatic action since; I'm still really tired, I can still eat my body weight in chocolate and I still experience quite an amount of pain. Over the years I have found some things which do help make it more bare able, and I decided to share them, with the hope it might help some other girl currently in pain out there. Ooooow:(
- Fish Oil : This is one of the most effective products I have found for this problem. Fish oil helps keep my hormones regulated, which prevents me from becoming super bitch as I used to, while also helping with hair, skin and nails and general health. I would recommend purchasing this from a chemist or health food shop, rather than supermarkets. They do versions now specifically for women with added ingredients which are particularly beneficial to us. Try get the capsules as the liquids are foul, and you'll wind up not taking it. Most of these capsules are around the €20-25 mark, expensive, but well worth it. These need to be taken continuously.
- Deep Heat Patches : These are great for people who suffer with cramps and find the heat helps, but can't bring a hot water bottle to school or the office!.These patches don't smell and stay attached all day while providing a great source of heat and comfort. I have tried other variations of these patches, but the Deep Heat versions are the best by far. Some other brands I tried even burnt the skin on my stomach! These are available in chemists and some super markets.
- Paracetamol and Nurofen : I recommend having both of these, as a nurse once told me nurofen is much harder on your stomach than paracetamol, so paracetamol may be the better option for people who suffer with nausea and upset stomach in the first few days like myself. A lot of new painkillers specifically for women also contain caffeine and codeine, which I personally have mixed feelings about. If you suffer from anxiety caffeine is one of the first things doctors will generally recommend you cut out of your diet as it can increase the heart rate and make you 'gittery'. I can understand people using caffeine as a boost (I drink coke while I have my period!) but I'd rather get it from coke than from a tablet! This is just my personal preference, however codeine is a highly addictive substance, and should not be taken unless absolutely needed.
- Water : This is simple enough, but staying hydrated will help with the headaches, keeping your skin clear and improve your general over all health.
- Sleep : Again a really basic one, but a lot of women forget that their body is under extra pressure during their periods and most women do need more rest. Try not to schedule any major social events or anything particularly physically demanding during this time if you feel yourself extra tired during this week. Try to take some time to take some deep breaths every now and again too.
- Exercise : Kinda contradicting myself here, but exercising does help with the cramps and stress of having your period. I have never been a major gym bunny, but I do know a gentle walk can be a huge help with cramps. It also helps boost your mood:)
- Thrush : Ok not the nicest topic to talk about, but it has to be said. After their period many women suffer with thrush as the P.H. balance of that area of the body has changed. Discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist who can recommend creams and over the counter products to help with this. Its not unusual, women get thrush all the time after antibiotics also, and its nothing to be ashamed of:)
- Birth control : This can help with period pains and a lot of the problems that come with periods. It can help regulate your cycle so you know when to expect your period also. This is an option you can discuss with your doctor, and there are many different types of birth control out there at the moment.
- Be nice to yourself! This is the best advice I can give!:) Some of us suffer, really suffer with periods and all you can do is try listen to your body and make yourself as comfortable as possible. So go and have that chocolate bar !!!
I hope this post was a help to someone out there. Do any women out there have any other tips for 'surviving' the week? I'd love to know, and thanks for reading:) x