Things I’d forgotten about having periods…

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Disclaimer – This post is for general informational and educational purposes only. Please see my Disclaimers page for further information.

Photo of a woman clasping her stomach with the text "Things I'd forgotten about having periods"

I know what you’re thinking, how can she have forgotten things about having periods? Well it’s pretty easy to forget things when you’ve not had a period in about nine years.

I was very fortunate that for nine years, I had a treatment which controlled the endometriosis and also stopped my periods. Until it didn’t. Now I’m in limbo where I’ve had six Prostap injections and I’ve not started a new hormone contraceptive. Deciding not to start a new hormone contraceptive wasn’t a decision I made lightly. It was a decision I made with my consultant with the condition that I contacted his secretary if things became intolerable.

Over the last fourteen years, I think I’ve tried almost every hormone contraceptive available here in the UK and only had positive results with one of them. At the moment, things are tolerable but I am noticing little things that mean I’ll be talking to my consultant again in the future to find a new plan.

Without further ado though, here are some things I forgot about having periods and some things I remembered too.

  1. It hurts. I’d forgotten just how much it hurts. Even having unexpected periods was less painful than a proper period.
  2. That the day before I will cry at everything and anything. Cute animal rescue story with a happy ending? That’ll do it. An adorable tiny creature? I will coo so much I cry. Just call me Weepy McGee.
A gif of Jess from the TV series New Girl weeping hysterically.
  1. How bloated you get. For a bodily function that means I’m not pregnant, I look pregnant.
  2. Cramps. Not one I’d really forgotten as I’ve had cramps even without having a period. These hit differently though.
  3. Backache.
  4. Over the counter pain meds don’t always cut it.
  5. The tiredness. Menstruating uses up A LOT of energy. I slept more a couple of nights before my period arrived than I normally do. Didn’t think anything of it at the time.
  6. The nausea. Oh boy. The absolute pits. It managed to put me off coffee and I LOVE coffee.
A text image with the words " Behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of coffee"
  1. I can smell EVERYTHING. And some things make me heave. See point 8.
  2. That you can’t sit comfortably
  3. You can’t stand for long comfortably either
  4. The only place I’ve felt comfortable is sitting on the toilet. Comfy, yes. Practical, no. Somehow I don’t think it’s okay to work or have zoom meetings while sitting on the toilet.
A photograph of a woman sitting on a toilet.
  1. That it is impossible to get comfortable in bed so you can’t sleep on the first night of your period. My grandma would have called me a “shuffle bum”.
  2. On the first day of your period headaches.
  3. Day two is always worse.
  4. Sore boobs. Not only sore boobs but an uncanny ability to only walk into things boob first when they’re sore. It’s like I get extra clumsy.
A gif of Lois Griffin from Family Guy grasping her boob in pain.
I may have been in a similar pose the first five times I walked into something boob first…
  1. That you need underwear with a decent gusset. Yes, I used the word gusset. Granny pants are the future! They’ve got a decent gusset and they don’t dig in or ride up.
  2. The hunger. I alternate between feeling so hungry I could eat a horse to feeling queasy.
  3. Leaks happen no matter how careful you are. The less said about that, the better. When it happens though soak the item(s) in cold, salted water.
  4. Egg white discharge…that’s me never eating eggs again.
  5. Period poops. Massive overshare but at least I know I’m not the only one who gets them. We can thank the hormones prostaglandins and progesterone for it happening.
A photo of the poop emoji with text over it saying "Shit Happens".
It’s true, it does.

Prostaglandins are the hormone that causes your uterus to contract. As a result, it can also cause your intestines to contract. It seems that those of us with a uterus can’t escape contractions.

Progesterone affects different people in different ways. Some people will get diarrhoea, others will get constipated.

  1. Your period is never over when you think it is. There will always be that false sense of security until you have one good sneeze/cough/laugh/orgasm and it’s like a murder scene.
An image of red to represent blood.
That the day before I will cry at everything and anything. Cute animal rescue story with a happy ending? That’ll do it. An adorable tiny creature? I will coo so much I cry. Just call me Weepy McGee. Click To Tweet

…And some things I hadn’t forgotten about having periods.

  1. Tea cures all. It’s a hug in a mug and makes me feel better.
A photo of my favourite mug which says " That's what I do I drink tea and I know things"
Quite possibly my favourite tea mug.
  1. Galaxy Minstrels are life. I will fight you on this. And I will win. All chocolate is life. And all salty things. Just give me all the junk food. From a safe distance.
  2. Blankets are also life. You can’t beat hiding under a blanket when you feel properly poorly and you’ve got the menstruation blues.
  3. Cuddles and someone rubbing the bottom of your back helps to ease cramps.

This isn’t just a way to con a massage out of someone. It really can help! If you have someone massage the part of your lower back called the sacrum.

An image showing where the sacrum is on the human body
This image shows where you can find the sacrum,

Depending on where you live in the world, you may even be able to book a period massage which can help to reduce PMS and ease period symptoms. I have not been googling to see if anyone in my local city offers them. Honest.

If you don’t have someone to massage you, you could try following this video on youtube which teaches you how to self massage and ease menstrual cramps.

  1. The burns from my hot water bottle.
  2. That you know the instant your period arrives. You’ll think to yourself “And it begins” followed by “Oh. Well, that explains the tears/angry mood/irritability/inexplicable horniness.” (Delete as applicable)
  3. That I need to remember to check in with myself and figure out if I’m really feeling the way I think I am or not.

I definitely haven’t been my usual, fun self lately. In fact, I’ve been downright grumpy, sad, and irritable. I don’t know if it’s just my body reacting to my natural hormones after fourteen years of different artificial ones or if the Prostap is still on its way out. I need to remember to count to ten when I feel like I’m annoyed and to not immediately react to things but to think first.

I’m sure anyone who has periods can relate to some of the things I’ve listed above. One thing I want to add is if you are struggling with your period or with pre-menstrual tension, please speak to your doctor for their advice.

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