#StartAConversation / Menstruation, Contraception, and Gynaecology / Mental Health & Wellbeing

See How Other People Feel About Their Periods

(Image via Planned Parenthood: How To Use Menstrual Products Superpost)

“I mean if there was any justice in the world you wouldn’t even have to go to school during your period. You’d just stay home for five days and eat chocolate and cry.” ~ Andrea Portes

So, you remember how a little while ago I told you how a bunch of people responded in Twitter polls when I asked them questions about their periods and menstrual products?

Well, I thought of a whole new bunch of questions. So, I asked Twitter those as well.

I asked quite a lot of questions; mostly about what people’s periods were like and whether it made a noticeable difference to their life when it came around – particularly when it came to work.

I also asked about how people first learned about what periods were and what attitudes towards their periods people had been brought up with.

Want to know what they said?

First off I asked people about how they experience their periods.

I always, without fail, get a day off in the middle. I have no idea why.

That last question led to some interesting conversations about how hormonal contraceptives and some medications can interfere with the frequency of periods.

Which then led on to:

And some conversations about menstrual cramps.

I got a Mirena fitted a few weeks ago in the hopes that it will mean that I don’t have to spend at least two days a month curled round a hot water bottle, zonked out on codeine.

It’s also supposed to lessen the bleeding so that I don’t become anaemic every time I come on.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

About periods and work more generally.

Their period also has an affect on most people’s mental health or at least moods.

I can nearly always tell when my period is due because I’m always teary and often have suicidal thoughts in the week running up to it.

Then we turned to pre-puberty when we first learned that periods were going to happen.

I was particularly interested in how people were taught to view their periods; as something shameful, embarrassing, totally ordinary?

This curiosity was mainly piqued by my own childhood experience.

I once absent-mindedly left a packet of sanitary towels in the bathroom and my dad had one of the worst tantrums that I can ever remember having.

It was pretty much forbidden in our house to give anyone else any cause to remember that periods are a thing that happen. Even my mum had to keep her tampons hidden under layers of stuff at the back of a shelf in her wardrobe.

Naturally, with this attitude my parents didn’t tell me anything about what to expect. Although my mum did give me a book called ‘Have You Started Yet’ in lieu, I guess, of having to have any sort of conversation about it.

As for anyone else:

This is sad, and one of the reasons I’m going to keep talking and asking about this stuff. I don’t want any more people than we can avoid thinking it’s not okay to feel relaxed about their own bodies.

Fortunately, everyone who responded stated their partners treated their periods as something perfectly natural and unremarkable. Although the reason I asked is that I know of some who wouldn’t, even, in a couple of cases where the partner also menstruates.

I also asked the following question because someone else wanted to know.

How about you?

So, what do you make of that? Does it match up to your own experiences, or what you might have expected to see, or not so much?

And, as I asked last time, is there anything else that you think I missed out that you’d like to me to conduct another entirely unscientific Twitter poll about?

Share your own thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

 

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6 thoughts on “See How Other People Feel About Their Periods

  1. I was on the pill from ages 17-28 To regulate migraines and the period itself and to avoid pregnancy. And also through thoughtless or helpless healthcare. As a result my period was on a tight clock work. 5-6 days, very predictable. The migraines still came at the exact same time each month (day three of my period). The cramps were managable (but inexplicably bedridden every for one day of the cycle every third month). Sometimes I even felt like the cramps were kind of cleansing. A good pain. In the last few years I was simply skipping my period entirely for months on end to avoid the hormonal migraine. The doctor was fine with it and so was I. After a while though, the migraines came back anyway, regardless of whether I skipped my period. I never took pain killers for the cramps, because if I did they might then be ineffective if I need them later for the migraine.

    About a year ago I was in a position to go off the pill entirely (read: I was single). Whole new ball game. The period was much heavier. I went home from work for three periods in a row. Once I had to lay in the car for an HOUR until I was ready to drive. The migraines eased, but they later came back, of course. The crazy part was that I never realised that I hadn’t been getting PMS while I was on the pill…until I got it hardcore when I was off the pill. I was miserable. Angry. Raging. I had never felt like that before and was so glad to not really go through it in my late teens.

    Anyway about 8 months ago I got the Implanon in my arm. After an initial, awfully heavy 2 week period, I haven’t had one since and feel fantastic. No period, no PMS. I still get my migraines, and they are still fairly cyclical but that is being treated separately with a preventative. The female body sucks.

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    • It does indeed. Your experience sounds horrible, I’m sorry to hear you’re still getting the migraines. I wish it didn’t take so long for doctor’s to find fixes for us. I’ve heard good things about the implant but I can’t get on with that many hormones in my system, so I’m hoping the Mirena, which has a lower dose, will have the same effect.

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  2. I’ve had my Mirena for nearly two years and love it. My life no longer revolves around periods and I don’t have to worry about it messing up my travel plans. My period went away for the most part. Every now and then, I’ll have some spotting and occasionally, I’ll feel mild PMS symptoms (almost to the point where I don’t notice them). But what a difference this has made in my quality of life.

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