Menstruation life hacks
How can you improve your life during your period
One in three women suffer with heavy periods. If you’re one of them, you’ll know that periods can have a huge impact on your physical, emotional and social quality of life. The good news is that you needn’t just put up with it. Heavy menstrual bleeding is a treatable condition and there are a variety of treatments for heavy bleeding available to you.
As well as speaking to your doctor to discuss your options, you may want to consider some small lifestyle changes that can help make your period more bearable day-to-day. Here are our top five hacks for a happier period so you can spend less time worrying about your period and more time enjoying your life:
Periods can be unpredictable. If you don’t know when it’s coming, how are you supposed to prepare yourself from one month to the next? Take back control of your cycle and download a cycle tracking app or start plotting your period in your planner so you can keep tabs on your cycle, mood and skin problems. If you’re more aware of when your period is likely to happen, you’ll have the best chance of staying one step ahead. In the days leading up to your period, stock up on protection such as highly absorbent tampons and pads and keep your period pants and period cup to hand.
If your period is particularly heavy, double up on protection using pads and tampons or period cup together.
Because of the loss of blood, heavy periods can cause iron deficiency (and even anemia), which may explain why you feel weaker and tired during that time of the month. For a natural energy boost, eat a healthy and balanced diet packed full of iron-rich ingredients such as red meat, green vegetables (broccoli and spinach), lentils and beans, nuts and seeds, fruits and fortified cereals. These are all great sources of iron so get stocking up and reap the benefits!
Anemia is a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells in the blood. Since red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen in the body, symptoms include tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath and poor ability to exercise.
Getting off the sofa may feel like the last thing you want to do during your period, especially if you are in pain, but research suggests taking light exercise can help reduce your dreaded period pains and boost your mood. You don’t need to run a marathon; a gentle walk or cycle should do the job and getting a burst of fresh air will also do wonders for your mind.
If you’re suffering with excessive menstrual bleeding, the last thing you want is trouble sleeping too. However, many women report nighttime discomfort and trouble sleeping during their time of the month.
One reason for this could be your core temperature, which rises almost half a degree after ovulation making it hotter and less comfortable under the covers. Period pain and PMS, related headaches, anxiety and depression can also get in the way of a good night’s sleep. To help tackle this, open your bedroom window at night to keep yourself cool and practice some simple relaxation techniques before bed, such as deep breathing and yoga, to help get you in the right mindset to drift off.
If your sleep is being disrupted because you need to change protection during the night, make sure you are using high absorbency pads and doubling up on protection.
Who doesn’t enjoy snuggling up with a hot water bottle when it’s cold? Not only is it comforting, but experts suggest that applying heat to your lower abdomen can actually help ease your menstrual cramps.2 If period pains strike and you don’t have a hot water bottle handy, run yourself a hot bath or take a shower to minimize pain and help you relax.