Health & Wellbeing

Lady Business- It’s that time of the months again


I Saw Lucy Watson post a tweet last week about Periods.
She made a donation to Bloody Good the period charity to help women who don’t have access to sanitary products. which I think is a brilliant cause. 

I know our country is pretty brilliant at its charity work and giving to less fortunate countries etc but I’m sure naturally some of the smaller issues may get overlooked. 

I remember when In my last year of secondary school and we were learning about WWII We were writing an essay on concentration camps. 

I must have been on my period at the time because just remember thinking, what the hell did women do when they were on their period’s. In reality, this was probably the least of their worries, and due to the horrendous conditions, malnutrition and severe stress of the situation, I would imagine a fair few didn’t even have periods. But I was 15 and to me, it seemed like a real concern

“I love My period -said  NO ONE, EVER!!

These days, as Lucy pointed out in her Tweet, we are extremely lucky to have all of the necessary sanitary products, Medication for period pains and there are supplements for hormone disruption available to those who can access and afford it.

I am currently on my period which is why io think this post stood out to me so much. while I am wallowing in self-pity. Snapping at anyone who dares to breathe too loudly ( or look at me). I am reading her tweet while eating a bag of chocolate buttons, drinking a cup of tea watching Netflix and hugging my friend’s adorable puppy. ( Because these are all of my menstruation essentials )

People suffer for different reasons. My complaints are mainly hormonal. My hormones have never fired on all cylinders, THB they are the bain of my life. (I realise the irony in that statement as our hormones are a large part of what actually keeps you alive.) However, Anything in my body that has ever been run by hormones has never run smoothly.

Being on your period reminds me of werewolves when it’s a full moon!

for example
Anxiety – Sometimes I can physically feel an over excretion on adrenaline through my body. If something frightened or shocks me it’s that scene from twilight.
When I was pregnant I had Hyperemesis Gravidium ( Severe Sickness) I’m not sure quite how that works, but I think it is something to do with the pregnancy hormones being too strong. Hense the baby is perfectly healthy but you suffer immensely.
During labour – I didn’t have enough hormones so I needed a drip to encourage my contractions to work. ( and an epidural …because, stuff that )
Depression– not enough Happy hormone ( inc Postnatal depression)
Contraceptive pill – I’m not compatible with any contraceptive pills. I’m sure there are new ones now but I had such bad reactions to the ones I tried I am scared to try them again.
…And of course Periods– Severe levels of monthly Cra-Cra!

It wasn’t until recently that I found out I had a polycystic ovary, I was very lucky that it didn’t affect my ability to conceive but has a huge impact over the control and regulation of my hormones

For a long time, Sertraline has been controlling my hormones and period. But when I realised this was what had caused me to put on a massive amount of weight. I Have stopped taking it – Check out my coming off sertraline post. (Sertraline does not affect everyone this way and you must seek medical advice before you decide to come off an antidepressant )
Since I stopped taking it I have noticed How much it controlled my hormones over my period So have been recently looking into different more natural remedy’s

Now instead, I take
St Johns wart to reduce depression symptoms,
Iron to reduce tiredness,
Camomile tea to help with the anxiety
Echinacea- Your immune system just gives up on me apparently and says I’m dealing with massive blood loss here you’re on your own. I am going to get sick it is always when I come on my period.
But actually like I said these are rather dated remedies, I’m always a bit nervous about trying new things in case I react badly.
My Friends mum has the same issues and she uses evening primrose rose capsules but these gave me a tremendous headache it felt like a gremlin was trying to get out of my head.

Hop on the comments and tell me what’s working for you.
I’m keen to update my supplements to see if there are more effective remedies out there. and sharing is caring. You might be someones, hormonal saviour if you can share something that works for them tooo.

Soya Milk – is supposed to help with oestrogen levels. I have used this for years but the information in somewhat conflicted so I’m not sure if it actually works or not.

It’s hard not to think of it a bit like a werewolf when there is a full moon or Jekyll and hyde   ( That is defiantly what happens to me) during the luna week, ( luna for lunacy) 

 Sometimes no matter how many different types of sanitary products we try, vitamins and supplements we take and painkillers we will always just have to get through that 4-10 days as best we can. And be expected as a woman to just get on with life regardless of the struggle. 

When we’re really struggling, simply saying “ I’m on my period”  or “ I’m Due on” just doesn’t seem enough.

 I  kind of wanna walk around dressed from head to toe in red. Preferably pyjama’s because let’s face it, that’s all you should have to wear with a sign saying 

  • Please keep a safe distance this woman has her period– 

  And tell anyone I cross paths with every symptom and emotions so they know the extent of what I am feeling at that point in time.

“ I’m on my period”  just doesn’t cut it as an explanation for the irrational behaviours and monthly craziness of my body and mind. 

PMS = Prepare to Meet SATAN

 I started my period when I was 13, My friends and I were at ‘over the field’ which was literally a small field across the road from my house.

 The field had a small man nade stream around it – like a Moat you might say, with fewer castles.

I was wearing white shorts and a white polo top. ( Coz it was the 90’s) 

Some of  the older boys had found wooden board and were skating across the river on it, 

Me being, me, I wanted to prove I could do what the boys could do – I ‘m sure you can see where this is going.

My best friend encouraged me to give it and try and said if you fall in “ I PROMISE I will jump in with you.”

 I took a run-up, but as I got to the edge I hesitated then jumped on to the board, it floated to the middle and …. Sank!

My friend who PROMISED to jump in with me was laughing too much to even help me out. 

Luckily cute boy did, but it was mortifying!
My top had gone see-through I was covered in mud and I squelched all the way home completely see-through and covered in pond scum. 

I ran up the stairs saturating each step in an oozy, muddy, footprints all the way up, turned the shower on and stripped out of my stagnant clothes. As I did I noticed there was blood in my pant.

“ periods help you learn how to get blood off stuff – Which is probably why you hear more men getting done for murder”. 

I remember feeling really shocked, I literally hadn’t thought about my period. At all. Ever. 

I don’t think it was talked about much back then. Or maybe it was because I noticed as soon as I told my friends it was all we could talk about like we were old folks moaning about our ailments.

I saw mums sanitary pads in the cupboard across the room they were the big ones, you know, the ones that are like walking around with a single mattress in your pants! 

But I was extremely unprepared. We just didn’t talk about that stuff in our house.  

I remember asking my mum what her sanitary towels were when I was around 9 or 10 and she said I will tell ou hen you are older. She looked so embarrassed, I never dared o to ask again. 

Obviously we went through the basics at school so I had a general idea about what to do. Back then,  you couldn’t just ‘google it’. 

So I pinched one of mum’s MASSIVE sanitary towel and got dressed. Walking out of the bathroom I felt very different to when I walked it was as though I had aged 10 years.

 I remember hearing my dad shouting at me from the bottom of the stairs because of the massive puddles of mud I had left behind me. but I was so consumed with the goings-on in my pants, that I managed to ignore him. But I got an absolute blocking when I emerged from the bathroom. I wanted to say something super teenagery like “Not now dad, time of the months, I can’t even deal!”
– but I was too scared so I explained the river inscident got to bowl and sponge and cleared each step,- I wasn’t getting out of THat.

My uncle was over having a cuppa so I grabbed a snack and hopped of te the fair with my friends. I’m not sure I told my mum until a few days later when we – (She )was running out f the sanitary towels I had been stealing.

I do remember once id mentioned it at school I felt like I was part of a new club .i never knew I wasn’t part of. the girls who had their period were all so proud of themselves but at the same time before I had my period I didn’t realise this secret society of menstrual managers even existed. But I felt super cool once I was part of it. 

Do you ever start your period and think – Well that explains a lot “

Over the years my periods have got worse and worse for a lot of women the pain is excruciating, I used to have a work friend when got excruciating pain during her period . She would plot her menstrual cycle almost obsessively and would really worry when she was due on because she would probably need to call in sick and the manager just didn’t seem to get it. We were only around 17 so didn’t really know what to do, it didn’t seem like a good enough excuse to have time off work for her period, and we worked in retail so they didn’t really care. you could be on death’s door and they would ask when you thought you would be coming back to work. sometimes she would be in tears in the staff room in agony and just didn’t know what to do. I felt really sorry for her because she was hard-working and conscientious and generally sent the sort of girl to wangle time off just coz she had a little twinge she was really in pain, it took her a long time to work together with the doctor to manage the pain but as a scared 17yer old thinking this is what it’s going to be like every single month for the best part of my life must have ben terrifying. 

“When you fart and it bubbles”

For me, it’s like emotional warfare in my body coupled with absolute fatigue.

So it usually goes something like this…………

My body does like to change it up a little bit from time to time. 

I think it is to stop be getting ahead of the game. 

A new symptom will appear or the symptoms will be in a different order from usual. Just to really give me hours of googling fun and anxiety bout it.

But usually. 

It starts the exact week before my period. I will have the mother of all anxiety attacks exactly 7 days prior, I’m usually pretty good at plotting my period so I know when it is coming and this will ease the attack because I am prepared for it. mentally it is already reduced. But if I forget I will just go into a full panic attack.

Sometimes I will even wake up in the night in the midst of a full-blown attack. All the symptoms are coursing around my body before I even open my eyes. 

Then I find it really hard to sleep or become extremely fatigued it would usually be one or the other but sometimes a can find it hard to sleep the week before and then the fatigue will naturally kick in the following week 

 At worse I can stay away for almost 3 days it’s like when I a lying their I can feel the hormones surging through my body. 

My thought process is completely different I feel anxious and almost depressed, snappy and angry. I have to warn my children that I am due on because I know that for that week I am not firing on all cylinders I lose all my patience, get annoyed by things that ordinarily I will laugh off.

 I just lose my shit a little bit, If someone opened a door the wrong way I want to tell them to fuck off. 

“ women are badass –
Coz we can bleed for a week and not die “ 

Then I do fall into a full depression, for anyone who has or has had depression it is literally like when you’re on your worst days . as in the thoughts I’m having actually frighten me. I am self-deprecating, my self-esteem plummets, I can lie there in bed for hours not being able to sleep arguing with people in my head for stuff that happened years ago. This usually lasts for around 2-3 days but can last as long as 5 days. The only way it is bearable and different from actual depression is obviously it lasts only a short time and knowing this is really helpful because you are able to ride it out and use those mindfulness techniques to push all those bad thoughts to the back of your mind.

 Finally, when I am just about to come on  I will cry uncontrollably about anything (everything). I say uncontrollably. only when I’m alone. I think most parents have a gene that doesn’t allow you to cry in front of your children. And I never really cry in front of people. but as soon as / and every time  I’m on my own I can cry because I have run out of teabags because I’m tired, because of something that happened years ago . and once I start sit can last for a couple of days. 

I do find that when my period actually arrives the symptoms ease almost immediately. It’s like I can literally feel the depression lift and I am sort of ok again. 

Except for for tummy ache, an extensive amount of blood, usually still struggle to sleep a bit, but I think that’s because it’s uncomfortable. 

My periods are exceptionally heavy, they always have been. They can last for around 7- 10 days from clear to clear and on around day 3,4 and 5 I will have to change my super tampon around every hour and wear a pad at the same time in case I leak. 

Once at college I leaked on my white beauty therapy dress.

 It was humiliating. Everything is humiliating when you are 16 but this was the cherry on the cake.

I was listening to what I remember was a particularly boring lecture my period leaked straight through my dress and I left the room with a massive red stain on the back of my white dress.  luckily my friends spotted it before I made it out to the hall told me but you know what college kids are like luckily I was able to laugh it off at the time but I remember feeling really upset at home. we had to wash my dress in the loo and one of my friends dried it under the hand dryer and I wor my denin jacket on around y, waist of the rest of e day. 

On my period 

Please share your coping strategies with us, sometimes we just need a little bit more info , and what works for one doesn’t work for another like the time I tried …….? 

And there is always that one person out there no matter how savvy we are that has a better idea than us so lets sare and see if we can ease each other’s menstrual nightmare

Natale Faye xx

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