Despite previously writing about why I’m thankful for my period, I think most uterus-owners would agree with me… it’s often a pretty crappy time.
My period symptoms have changed (and worsened) over time and I, like you (probably), have developed my own set of tricks for getting through the shedding of my uterine wall.
These might not all work for or suit everyone, or maybe these are things you already do, but these rituals and products are what work for me.
First of all, in the week leading up to my period I always, without fail, break out. Usually on my chin and forehead, and it drives me nuts. However, I’ve found that if at the start of the week before my period is due I apply the Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum before going to bed I can prevent that from happening all together!
If I forget to do this (or more likely forget to keep track of where I’m at in my cycle) the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is a life saver. Just use a q-tip to pop it on over any spots and it fixes them right up! Apart from the fact that they work so well, I love these two products because they’re relatively inexpensive, a little goes a long way and they last ages!
Heat is a big thing for me when I have cramps, but heat packs drive me nuts. I need it to be really hot (probably too hot) and I find that they go too cold for me too quickly and then I end up having to go back and fourth from lying down and the kitchen or I just give up and suffer. Until, that is, I found the heat pack of my dreams. This $30 rechargeable wonder has changed the game for me. I love it for so many reasons, I can plug it in right next to my bed, it stays hotter longer (literally for hours, I can charge it and then take it to uni and it’s still good to go), the cover thick but removable so I’m not going to burn myself, but if it’s not feeling hot enough after a while I just take the cover off and I’m good to go. It also has a light on the charger so you can tell when it’s ready to go, which is only 10-15 minutes.
The next one doesn’t sound like a hack but, own period underwear. I rave about period undies all the time, I’m honestly a broken record at this point. However, they’re bloody (hehe) awesome. You can get different levels of absorbency so you can make them suit your cycle, and there are so many out there you’d be hard pressed to not find a style of undies you like. I love them especially for overnight (because I sleep for too long to use a cup all night) and the days at the start and end of my cycle when I think my period will start and I’m not sure if it’s ended. I’m currently using the brand Love Luna and so far I’m obsessed. They’re $13.50 a pair and you can get them online or in Woolworths stores which makes them super accessible! I also love my Modibodi‘s which I’ve written about on here before.
I’m super weird about taking pain killers. I don’t like to take them unless I’m really uncomfortable and even then I feel kinda guilty about taking them (other people have told me they feel like this too – why are we like this?). When it comes to painkillers though, cramps wise panadol doesn’t do much for me because mine are so bad. I get a lot of back pain with my period too, and I take Voltaren 25’s for that because, again, it’s really bad. These have been a life saver for me, but they’re pretty strong and kept behind the counter at the pharmacy. There are lower doses that you can get just off the shelves, which is probably a good starting point if nurofen doesn’t work for you.
********** please check with a medical professional before taking any new medicines. I am not a doctor this is just what has worked for me, that doesn’t mean it will work for you **********
If you have cramps, caffeine makes them worse! If you can’t kick the coffee habit for a week, try and at least have less on the days where you feel it the most. Remember that green and black teas both have more caffeine in them than a shot of coffee and that most chocolate also contains caffeine as it is naturally found in cocoa beans!
The last one is a doozy, but so important… STAY HYDRATED! Being dehydrated during your period can exacerbate any cramps or discomfort.
I do have quite a few more so maybe there will be a part two in the future… Do you have any period hacks of your own? Let me know, I’m always looking for new things to try out!