It seems like it’s almost impossible to know someone on her period without hearing of the horror that comes with each menstrual cycle. While the uncomfortable parts of your cycle are actually highly avoidable (the cramps, bloating, moodiness, ALL OF IT), many people don’t realize this fact, leaving them stuck in a new type of cycle - one of pain and frustration.
In honor of getting rid of all of these things we so often associate with just being a woman, it’s time to talk about all of them for what they really are – symptoms we think we have to put up with when we actually don’t. What’s normal for you (and common for many women), isn’t necessarily part of a normal, healthy cycle. All of the symptoms you’ve associated with your period actually root from hormonal imbalances, which start in the endocrine system but show up in so many unwanted ways across your body.
While hormones are usually on our side, they can end up messing with our bodies in a huge variety of ways when they’re not properly balanced — causing problems ranging from cramps to acne — which definitely aren’t the norm. Let’s take a look at my top four common, but not normal, period problems.
NOT Normal: Letting Your Period Cramp Your Style
In 7th grade, I heard stories from my friend about being hospitalized (yes – hospitalized. wtf?) every month due to the crazy pain she experienced every time her beloved Aunt Flo came to visit. I was surprised to hear of it happening to not just older girls, but to my fellow twelve and thirteen year olds as I saw my friend pass out from the pain and the bleeding. Her mom later explained that it was normal for her and that I shouldn’t worry about it because it “was what it was.”
When we’re talking about real life pain, the ‘get over it’ attitude isn’t really relevant. We aren’t toddlers crying over every scratch anymore; we’re women and we’re allowed to feel pain and take the steps necessary to fix it. Even if you’re not passing out or crying or hospitalized or feeling like you’re getting punched in the uterus over and over, your cramps still shouldn’t be there and definitely can be fixed.
NOT Normal: Bloating. No Thanks.
I only have one thing to say for this one: If our period is a sign that we’re not pregnant, why the heck do we need to look or feel like we are in the days leading up to it? Ugh. PMS tends to attack our bodies where they’re weakest. If your digestive system isn’t as strong as it could be, the bloat is coming for you. Fight back by eating healthy, and not going nuts on the ice cream — but don’t surrender your chocolate under any circumstances :).
NOT Normal: Shedding Tears Along With Your Uterine Lining
Moodiness from your period can oftentimes seem indistinguishable from your typical moodiness, your stress moodiness, your seasonal moodiness, etc. etc. What has always made it different from the rest of my drastic mood changes, though, is the frustration that comes with feeling so bad for absolutely no reason.
If you’ve seen New Girl, it’s hard to think about the feelings associated with your monthly period without then thinking of the episode where Jess cries over almost everything.
While I’m always a fan of a good cry, the tears shed unnecessarily while on your period shift from good to super annoying really fast. Don’t worry, you aren’t crazy, it’s just your old friend hormonal imbalance playing tug of war with your heart strings. No fun.
NOT Normal: PMS (in any form)
You know PMS is really bad when there’s 150 ‘small things’ — ranging from insatiable cravings to fatigue — that combine to create a downright frustrating experience.
No one wants 150 possibilities that your body can choose from when deciding on a special means of torture for your time of the month.
Give your body one option, and make it the lack of any PMS. Trust us, we’ve looked at all of your choices. This is the best one.
Making Your NEW Normal
If you’ve made it through this semi-organized rant on everything you shouldn’t have to deal with, I don’t doubt there’s at least something you’ve experienced or related to. If you didn’t, congratulations. You’re either in perfect health or a robot. Either way, we all envy you.
For those of you that did get reminded of your own experiences of days of pain or regular annoyances, we hope you realize your experiences with these can end. For real. (I repeat: this is not a joke. It’s real life.) While some may believe that cramps, PMS, and every other symptom you’re experiencing is normal, those symptoms are actually results of hormonal imbalances that are throwing your whole body off whack - which is definitely not what’s supposed to be happening. Correcting these imbalances, though, is simple with a few lifestyle changes (think along the lines of more sleep, less stress - honestly, who wouldn’t want to make these changes??) and maybe even a trial run of supplements.
With a healthy diet, proper amounts of sleep, stress management, and Viv’s supplements, your ‘normal’ can become drastically better! We hope this is a surprise for you that’s greeted with cheers and applause and a body that is very excited for its next blissful 28 days.
That’s what The Monthly is all about. Subscribe to our blog, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about how you can make your period better than you ever thought possible.
While some things we can’t control, here’s one thing you can. And, if I were you, I’d do it.