Getting your period is never a pleasant experience for anyone. But dealing with one’s menstrual cycle can be especially difficult with a full and busy schedule. When school and work gets in the way of dealing with girl issues, many women learn to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. However, there are always situations and curveballs that preparation cannot cover that are caused by stress, like irregularities or heavier bleeding flow or several various issues that may arise for a variety of factors. Per an article from Women’s Health Magazine, entitled Fascinating Facts About Your Period, that stress can seriously throw off your menstrual cycle.
You could skip your period entirely for months on end or the vice versa, of having longer and more painful period cycles, is also applicable to stress’ influence. Stress tends to be the catalyst for a large percentage of menstrual-related problems; such as irregular starts in the schedule or skipping entirely. Not to mention, that some people’s periods are objectively worse than others. You have people with cramps and people without, some girls with crazy mood swings, girls with either an insatiable or non-existent appetite; the list could go on for miles about variations. But many people have heard horror stories about unexpected menstrual woes, which only serve as a stressing point. But being prepared, even for what seems to be unpreparable, is the key to surviving.
My experience with periods is, well for a lack of a better word: vast. I first got mine around 5th or 6th grade, which where I live is pretty early by average standards. For the longest time I was unable to really record when my menstrual cycle would begin/end because it seemed to be changed by every month or not even show up for the longest time. During those few years (around the 5th to 7th grade mark), I was under large amounts of duress because that was when my depression was at its worst and stress was the only constant in my life. So, my cycle was all over the place. Sometimes, it would last 3 days and be mostly painless. Other times, I would suffer a week-long cycle with pain where I would refuse to get out of bed some mornings. It also was extremely hard for me with harsh mood swings, the increase or decrease in desire to eat, cramps, dizzy spells, and headaches (the last two were because I was borderline anemic). Luckily as the years progressed, I was able to figure out a system that would prepare me for the ultimate worst-case situation and even, the “unpreparable”.
Now my advice is pretty length and in-depth. I first want to start with what I like to call a “girl time” emergency kit. This kit includes some of the following items: pads, tampons, extra underwear, extra pants/skirts, some pain alleviators, sanitary wipes, heating pad strips, and maybe some comfort snacks. Having these items handy in bulk and in your backpack or work bag will be a lifesaver for you and maybe someone else that might need them. If you’re in a situation where you know that you’re going to be unable to go to the restroom for a while, my suggestion would be to use either a tampon or a thick, ‘overnight’ pad, because it will make sure you are covered for a decent amount of time. I would advise using the overnight pads over tampons for a period of time over 4 hours because tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome (which can be fatal in some cases). Also worth mentioning that: there is always going to be stress in a school/work environment, so it is practically impossible to not have any stress-related interference. But there is the option of controlling your period by going on birth control. I don’t advise taking that pathway before speaking with your doctor and parents (for those of you younger girls) about if that way is the right way for you, out of potential worry for side effects.
Getting one’s period is a draining experience to have every month. It can place a strain on any girl with a busy schedule. But it isn’t completely impossible to make some of the issues less of issues. With my advice, any girl can tackle any unexpected period problems.
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