Also referred to as the Arrival of Matthew Perry in Japanese, periods are a phenomenon that a menstruator is said to experience on an average of about 7 years in their lifetime. After doing some research, we’ve found 5 key physiological changes and effects that occur when Aunt Flo pays us a visit:
- Stomach Cramps:
While menstruating, if you have felt a throbbing sensation in your lower back and/or the bottom half of your tummy, chances are you are experiencing period cramps. About 80% of menstruators are said to experience cramps at some point in their lives, and discomfort is often experienced on the first day of menstruation. When the uterus sheds its outer lining, chemicals called prostaglandins are released. These cause the uterus to contract, causing cramps to occur. One way to combat cramps is by using a hot bath, bottle, or heating pad. Research has shown that the heat relaxes the uterine muscles, thus reducing period cramps.
2. Period Poops:
Reader, I understand if this term might seem funny to read since these words are not often heard together, but it is important to address these topics, no matter how shitty. For the longest time, I wondered why I spent those extra minutes scrolling through Instagram reels in my bathroom on my period. According to the Cleveland Clinic, this is because prostaglandins (the same chemical associated with period cramps) when released during menstruation, often tends to relax the bowel as well. Hydrating yourself, avoiding coffee, and eating food rich in fiber can also help. While there can be embarrassment surrounding this particular symptom, Giveher5 encourages you to continue to #PassPadsNotShame.
My pants often feel too tight for me a day before or during menstruation and I have my period pants/long t-shirts reserved for my tummy expansions. Bloating occurs due to changes in progesterone and estrogen levels. Research suggests that potassium-rich foods such as bananas and tomatoes along with keeping yourself hydrated can help improve period bloating.
4. Sore Breasts:
Can soreness of your breasts be an indicator of when Aunt Flo is coming to visit?
Before menstruation, a reduction in the levels of estrogen and progesterone could lead to soreness in either one or both breasts. Warm baths, certain types of light exercises, heating packs, and ice packs tend to help with soreness.
If you are prone to acne, research shows that there is then a 63% chance that you might experience acne flares which could start as early as 7-10 days before the onset of your period. Period Acne occurs due to the sebaceous glands getting triggered when estrogen levels drop, causing more lubrication of sebum-which makes your skin more oily. This leads to breakouts and clogged pores. In case of swelling or painful breakouts, applying ice to one’s face for around 5 minutes, 2-3 times a day is known to be beneficial.
If you are a menstruator and you relate to these symptoms, then we are sorry for the pain you’ve had to experience. As menstruators, we also know the importance of accessibility to clean spaces and sanitary products. However, the sad truth is that in India, approximately 400 Million menstruators cannot afford sanitary protection. To put this into perspective, that’s more than the entire population of the USA. A Saafkin is an eco-friendly reusable napkin and period panties that would give menstruators the sanitary protection they deserve. Rs.200 (the price of 20 vada pavs) is all it takes to help a person on their period for one year. Yes, you read that right! It’s time we start making period products a necessity and not a luxury, every time AuntFlo visits.