Let’s talk about menstruation.
Got your attention? Good.
I’ve been off the radar this week, not posting blog content and not engaging a lot on Instagram. Which I have to remind myself that it’s perfectly okay to take breaks from my internet family. Especially when the reason I’ve been MIA is my cycle restarting left me subject to my bed at every moment possible. The pain became so severe that I couldn’t leave my bed to pour myself a glass of water without worrying my cramps might cause me to throw up or collapse from dizziness.
Yeah, those 7 days were rough. But to be honest, EVERY period is rough. It’s become unsettling and I know I’m not the only one who deals with terrible symptoms.
I have visited multiple doctors about my menstruation symptoms.
However, my OBGYN suggested daily birth control pills with hormones that altered my entire cycle (not just my period). Another doctor suggested it might just be the flu brought on monthly due to a fragile immune system. It was clear that these were solutions given to me because they honesty didn’t know what else to say or do. So I figured it’d be best to figure this out on my own. Since, I’ve been experimenting with natural ways to relieve my symptoms.
You would think that after more than 10 years of bleeding from my vagina that my body would have this thing figured out but NOPE! Bodies are weirder than I will ever understand and I’m still surprised by my period just about every month. But being the versatile and resourceful lady that I am, I GOT THIS.
So here are some things that happened during my latest menstrual cycle and some new things I tried that helped me.
1. Going with the flow…
Like everything else during this week, the blood flow is no joke. This time, I embraced it by using my hot/cold gel pack from MYTAGALONGS and it worked wonders. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without this. The heat increases blood flow which can cause heavier bleeding. The way I see it, all of my uterine wall has to shed throughout the week no matter what so why not let it happen faster? Okay, it didn’t actually shorten my period (worth a shot…) but it made my flow MUCH LIGHTER on the second day. Also this easy flow helps keep cramps manageable to nearly unnoticeable.
2. Crazy cramps up in here
My craps officially reached a new level of awful. In the early stages of menstruation, they will often be painful enough to bring on feelings of nausea, lightheadedness and chills/fever. Common over-the-counter pain relief products don’t work fast enough or are effective enough to be worth it so I’ve stopped using them entirely.
Turns out light yoga poses work better! I’ve been experimenting with this the last several months now. I’m happy to say that child’s pose is the ultimate tool to relieving my cramps. This combined with deep breathes, I can feel a difference almost immediately! The only downside to this is my hips will get sore after being in child’s pose for a while so I do have to stop and take breaks. This means my pains will return a little if they’re bad.
3. Weird food cravings
This cycle, I had strange cravings for fish and almonds. (No, not together!) Turns out both are great to eat to ease period symptoms. Wild! I love knowing I can listen to my body and know exactly what it needs during this time. Almond milk and tuna gave me a surge of strength and power I was missing. I adored drinking up my new favorite beverage, an almond milk and matcha green tea blend pictured below. I plan to try this again next time to see if it works as well.
4. Change of mindset
I really focused on altering my mental perspective. Periods can easily be seen as a time in which my power is taken away from me. After all, I can’t do physically demanding activities and I don’t feel like socializing or contributing to the outside world so I must be useless. At least, that’s sincerely how I’d feel during every period and sometimes still feel. I know this thinking is false but it’s hard to change my attitude about it when I’m already feeling so down.
Instead, I looked at it as a time to understand my inner power. And not just the obvious power that I share with others. During this fragile time, I can pick up on everything my body is going through very easily. How amazing that a wall is stripped away (theoretically and literally 😉 ) and exposes me to every emotion and tiny physical sensation and I’m able to not only handle it but have the potential to understand it. That is real power. And it made a huge impact! Also once I tuned in to all the signals, I could take care of myself much better.
So there you have it!
That got really personal but I strongly believe this is something we ladies should all be talking about more. I will continue to experiment and hopefully one day figure out the magic recipe for a fairytale period. But not this month. It’s a learning process just like everything else.
Keep in mind, I am not an expert and professional advice is always the way to go. But maybe you have experienced similar symptoms during your cycle. Maybe these solutions that worked for me might work for you too. Wow, I hope so because I can feel your pain in a far too literal sense.