Definitive proof human bodies are freaking weird.
Getting high once a month just might be the answer to dealing with your period pain.
Because nothing is more important than your health.
Has your period arrived like a punch in the face (and uterus), forever ruining your beautiful, new luxurious designer white lingerie?
Take heart, sister – the exact same thing is happening to millions of other women right now. Small comfort, I know.
I have long though there should be an emergency period help centre for PMSing women and those who’ve just started their period.
“Excuse me, is that the Period Help Desk? I need 20 packets of Tim Tam, a hot water bottle, a packet of Nurofen and a vat of chardonnay right now!
“Oh, and I also need you to take my husband far, far away!”
And while as far as I can tell no one’s actually launched this service in Australia – sad face – some bright sparks in the US have stolen my idea, sorry, launched genius business The Period Store via theperiodstore.com.
But before you get too excited about a cool monthly package service that allows you to choose awesome lady products from around the globe – they don’t actually ship to Australia just yet, but easy tiger, they’re working on it.
The cool and clever New-York based start-up allows you to customise your monthly package, to coincide with your menses, whereby you can choose from traditional, alternative, international and/or eco-friendly period products.
Want something decadent and sickly sweet? Or how about some super-comfy period undies? Heat therapy for your poor, sore lady parts? The Period Store has it all and more.
You can also pre-order a thousand pads and tampons so you never run out and instead have to rummage around in your bathroom cabinet on a desperate hunt for “feminine hygiene products” when your period unexpectedly arrives in the middle of the night.
Oh the frigging joys!?
God damn, I wish I’d thought of this online store first! It’s awesome, in my opinion and we desperately need The Period Store to start delivering to Australia.
Anyone want to start a petition?!
What do you think – would you buy a monthly care package via a period store?
Images via pinterest.com and theluxuryspot.com
Period pain sometimes is an uncomfortable and sensitive topic for conversation, however it affects women’s health and wellbeing, therefore deserves increased attention. A British survey of 600 women conducted last year found that 10 percent were regularly bedridden by their period pains. Four out of 10 women claimed that the period pain stops them from concentrating on work and affects their career. A third of women added that the constant period pain makes them feel depressed, the rest insisted that period pains stopped them from socialising.
In general, pain is considered to be a normal symptom during the periods, however excessive period pain is called dysmenorrhoea and is considered to be abnormal. Dysmenorrhoea is a very subjective disorder as it varies greatly depending on the pain tolerance of a woman. Primary dysmenorrhea occurs to young women with no pelvic abnormality however the secondary dysmenorrhea, which is common among older woman arises as a result of an underlying condition and seriously affects the health wellbeing. Secondary dysmenorrhea might lead to endometriosis, which is treated with medications.
The symptoms of dysmenorrhea are:
- Low back cramp-like pain
- Pain in abdomen and inner thighs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Light headedness
Pain relieving medications are very popular among the patients with dysmenorrhea, although studies suggest that between 30-50 percent of the adult population use some form of complementary medicine including osteopathic treatments – a combination of traditional methods and modern scientific philosophies.
Osteopath Chris Reeves says:
“For cases of primary dysmenorrhea osteopathic treatments are very beneficial. An osteopath will make sure that there are no restrictions in the movement within the joints of the spine and pelvis, which can lead to period pain, release any tension from the muscles of the pelvis, which in turn will improve the blood and nerve supply to the organs. All parts of the body function together in an integrated manner. If one part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this.”
“Nerve supply to the uterus is derived mainly from 3 different sections of the spine; the lower thoracic, lumbar and sacral regions. An osteopath can improve blood flow by ensuring good mechanics of the ribs, working through the lower abdomen to treat any connective tissue restriction of the uterus itself, such as tension in the ligaments supporting the uterus, and addressing any restrictions of the head and neck to better facilitate endocrine (hormonal) and autonomic nervous system function.”
Osteopaths can also help to prepare exercise and stretching programs, and provide advice on posture and stress management that often can be a reason for period pain.
To reduce the pain while being at home women can use other methods, though the relief might be temporary:
- Regular exercise like gentle swimming, walking or cycling and attention to overall physical fitness may help to manage period pain.
- Applying heat to your abdomen with a heat pad or hot water bottle can help to ease your pain.
- Massage – light circular massage around your lower abdomen may help.
- Relaxation techniques – you might want to try a relaxing activity, such as yoga or pilates, to help distract you from feelings of pain and discomfort.
Did anyone else experience PMS-like rage when watching radio and TV presenter Fifi Box on The Project last Wednesday night? Box, in a segment on a controversial, new PMS study (more on that later) boldly declared she would no doubt offend the sisterhood with her somewhat-smug confession she doesn’t suffer PMS.
Say, what?! I’m actually happy for her if she doesn’t, because it sure as hell isn’t something you want another person to have to suffer.
Research suggests up to 80 per cent of women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), previously known as premenstrual tension (PMT). And while I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what it is, dear lady reader, but for any men out there reading this: PMS is a condition entailing varied physical and emotional disturbances, due to some pretty serious hormonal fluctuations in a woman’s menstrual cycle, and it affects women and girls of all ages. It occurs after the ovulation stage and lead-up to your period.
PMS symptoms can include irritability, swollen and sore breasts, bloating, cramps, moodiness, acne, mood swings, migraines, food cravings, depression, fatigue, digestive upset and more. Lucky you, Ms Box! Please, tell us your secret?! Hell, I was once so premenstrual, post-babies, with crazy hormones still swirling around, that I may or may not have kinda, sorta, accidentally on purpose nudged my husband with my car upon exiting a fight. His fault for not getting out of the way fast enough, clearly!
So, back to this latest, bizarre new PMS finding, as also revealed on The Project: Professor Michael Gillings from Macquarie University’s Department of Biological Sciences has controversially claimed an evolutionary basis for PMS. Yep, the good professor believes PMS is actually nature’s way of making women unbearable to live with so that we can get rid of an infertile male to make way for a new, virile male partner whose manly, fertile seed shall populate the earth. OK, I’m exaggerating here, but you get the drift.
“We’ve stigmatised a perfectly normal consequence of fertility at work,” says Prof Gillings, “PMS is not a disease or syndrome, but a normal consequence of evolutionary adaptation ‘similar to morning sickness’,” he says.
And, yet another bizarre, recent PMS study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto basically said the condition did not exist. Hmmm, try telling that to the eight out of ten sufferers, I say!?
And while some women are very mentally sensitive to hormone changes, while others are not, can we all just agree PMS exists, regardless of its supposed evolutionary role, and look at better ways for women to manage it? Good PMS management involves comprehensive collaboration between a woman and her GP, and an integrated treatment approach, experts say.
And keeping track of what symptoms occur and when, can also make life easier: try some of the highly rated period iPhone apps on offer. My favourite is the free Period Tracker. Or wine – sweet, sweet liquor helps ease PMS pain too, I find.
How do you cope with and manage your PMS?
Main image via pixabay.com and someecards.com cartoon via msmorphosis.com
It starts with the craving for sugary or carbohydrate type foods, leads to a feeling of disgust for having little or no control over what you put in your mouth and escalates into moods swings, short temper and tears. All that we may be able to cope with, but to add insult to injury the final product generally finishes with tender breasts, abdominal pain and a heavy period. Sound familiar? These are the symptoms of PMS, these symptoms simply indicate that you are out of balance with the natural flow where your hormones work in concert sending signals around your body. Hormones are the messengers that tell your body what to do, they do not just affect the reproductive system.
Your periods can be the best key performance indicator as to how in balance your health is. If you have a healthy diet, get some regular exercise and live a life with minimal stress, you will find that your hormones will follow suit and work in harmony sending messages around the body, as they should. However, the number one hormone disrupter is stress. There are others but let’s deal with this one first. To reduce PMS symptoms you need to ensure that the two major female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone are in balance; PMS symptoms are a result of oestrogen excess.
Stress, creates a physiological response from the body, raising heart rate, blood pressure, releasing free fatty acids and adrenaline. This places the body into a survival state; in this state the body prioritises and deals with only the most important functions. If you are experiencing stress around the time that you ovulate, in survival state the last thing your body is going to do is plan a pregnancy when there is a possible life threatening situation. Of course if you are on the pill then your body doesn’t ovulate at all! Your body thinks it is pregnant due to the massive hormone doses it is spoon-fed on a daily basis. Your doctor will advise if your pill is inappropriate for you. If you are not on the pill, progesterone is made by the corpus luteum, (the crater left behind in the ovary after ovulation); if you don’t ovulate then you don’t produce progesterone. There is however a back up plan, your adrenal glands can make progesterone, that is of course if they are not exhausted through stress, caffeine, alcohol and inadequate rest.
Stress management is one of the first places to start when dealing with the symptoms of PMS. Next stop, balanced diet. It is imperative that you normalise your blood sugar levels by eating low glycemic index carbohydrates. Also ensure that you eat 25 grams of essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) daily. Reduce intake of saturated fats to no more than 5 grams a day. Eat protein at each meal: lots of oily fishes, only organic chicken and up to 2 red meat meals a week. Consume loads of green leafy vegetables, 3 pieces of fruit a day and drink lots of water. Not only will you reduce the symptoms of PMS, you will look and feel great too.
By Sharon Kolkka, Program Director, The Golden Door Health Retreat