I got my first period when I was 11 years old and have been regular as clockwork ever since. Having a best friend who was a year older than me meant I couldn’t wait to start. It was like an exclusive club that I wanted to be a member of so bad. Of course as soon as I became a member I realised it’s a really crap club and I wanted out. Period problems are real.
I was brought up to know that periods are nothing to be embarrassed about. They were talked about openly in my house and never a taboo subject. I wasn’t embarrassed when the boys at school emptied my bag and found it hilarious when they found a tampon. I didn’t really understand what was so funny about a fact of life.
Still today I talk openly and I married a guy who has no problem going to the shops to pick me up sanitary towels, and knows well enough to bring back some chocolate as well.
But despite feeling no shame or embarrassment about my periods, despite that because of them I have two amazing children. Despite all that, I hate them. I am done with them. Periods be gone. Mother Nature you suck.
Because I have so many period problems…
1 The Blood
As I said, periods are not a taboo subject for me so I am quite comfortable saying I have very heavy periods. You can lose 4 tablespoons of blood in every cycle of your period. Rubbish! I lose that in half an hour! My after birth bleeding was a walk in the park compared to my periods!
I can’t complete the school run without leaking through my sanitary items. Several pairs of underwear get thrown away every month due to leakage. I constantly check the seat when I stand up and check the back of my clothes.
Going to the toilet is disgusting. I often shower several times a day on my heaviest days. Yes, I have seen a Doctor about it, apparently it’s my ‘normal’. But for anyone who does suffer from heavy periods (and that’s one in five, so chances are you know someone who does) it is incredibly debilitating and quite frankly gross.
2 The Hormones
PMT sucks! I have one day every cycle when I am mad at the world and everyone in it. I don’t want to be in anyone’s company. being honest, I don’t want to be in my own company either. I’m horrible. I have no patience, I shout at the kids, my husband can do no right. And what makes it worse is the knowing that you are being completely irrational, yet you can’t to a thing about it.
Then comes day two when my anger turns to sadness and I cry at everything. Adverts make me cry, the fact I shouted at my kids the day before makes me cry, not finding the right shade of cream paint in B&Q makes me cry. Having to make any kind of decision makes me cry. I might as well shove Beaches on and and belt out my best Wind Beneath My Wings rendition and be done with it.
Sometimes I am amazed my husband has stuck by me and my crazy hormones.
3 The Timings
Birthdays, Christmases, holidays, girls night out, romantic get away with the husband. Hello Aunt Flo!
4 Sanitary Products
Towels, tampons, moon cups, I’ve tried them all. My google history will reveal that I have recently been researching period panties. What I find astounding is that in the 27 years I have been having periods, and lets just break that down a moment: 27 years equates to 324 periods, that’s 2,268 days of bleeding.
In all that time there have been very little advancements in sanitary products. We can talk to people on the other side of the world with our smart phones, but we can’t produce a feminine hygiene product that meets a woman’s needs when she is on her period. If that’s not period problems, I don’t know what is.
When I was 12 my Mum took me to the doctors to see if they could do anything about the horrendous period pains I was experiencing. They couldn’t. It was in my (male) doctors opinion “something I had to put up with as a woman”. Sadly some doctors attitudes towards women’s health issues haven’t changed that much.
An article published in The Independent last month revealed that period pains can be as painful as having a heart attack, yet men complaining of abdominal pain are treated quicker then women. Is it any wonder I want done with periods when they just aren’t taken seriously.
Sanitary items are not a luxury item. Period. And if you think shoving in a tampon and wincing in pain is a luxury, then you are probably not a woman and have therefore never had a period, which means you have no right to an opinion on the matter. Especially if you are an idiot.
They walk among us people!
7 The Cravings
Forget pregnancy cravings. Period cravings are full on. I normally have a day where I want all of the carbs, followed by a day when I would kill for chocolate. The chocolate day normally coincides with my tearful day, so yes, I have cried over chocolate. Several times.
Yes dogs are a reason that I hate my period. It’s pretty humiliating going round someone’s house and have their dog constantly sniffing your crutch because he smells your period! #embarassing
Skirts, dresses and light colours are a strict no when it comes to periods. Likewise I can’t wear my really big spanx (you know the knee to neck kind of ones) because I can’t use a sanitary towel with them. And I need my really big spanx because I am so bloated from all the carbs and chocolate.
10 Names For Periods
Can we just call them periods? Do we have to whisper “I’ve got my monthly”? Do we have to mouth the word “I’m on” in a Miranda fashion? Can we just step right away from rag week, shark week, on the blob, and I’ve got the decorators in? Aunt Flo can sod off. And dear god “Surfing the crimson wave”, really?
11 Advertisements For Sanitary Products
Remember we spoke about the blood and hormones, yes? Well that is exactly why adverts of gorgeous girls in skimpy shorts on roller skates whilst ‘enjoying’ their period make me want to punch the TV. Where is her monthly spot breakout? Why isn’t she curled up on the sofa in her oldest PJ’s watching beaches with a box of tissues and a king size bar of Galaxy, whilst ugly crying? Get real people.
12 Women Whose Periods Consist of Two Days Light Bleeding.
You’re the women in the ads aren’t you. I hate you.
Wear White Again
As someone who suffers from very heavy bleeding during my period, the Wear White Again campaign means a lot to me. We don’t very often discuss that actual ins and outs of periods and period problems, so I thought I was alone in suffering from debilitating periods.
I was genuinely shocked when I found out that I am one in every 5 women who suffer. That’s 4 million women in the UK. And maybe, just maybe, if we did talk about it more, there would be more research and more solutions so that we do not have to suffer with our period problems in silence.
I would love for you to get involved with this campaign. Women are painting their nails with one nail colour different to represent the one in 5 women who live with the condition. For every photo publically shared using the hashtag #aminumber5 £1 will be donated to the charities Wellbeing of Women and Endometriosis UK.
You can find out more at wearwhiteagain.co.uk
Tell me your period problems and we can have a hormonal rant together.
After writing this post and the fantastic response I had from you, I went to the doctors and I decided to try the Mirena coil. I am happy to report that my periods are now just a few days of light spotting and the coil has completely changed my life. You can read about my experience here.
Which goes to show that talking about periods really does help, and now I am one of those women I used to hate! Period problems are now a thing of the past.