Managing Your Period – Toolbox for Aunt Flow!

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P.S. There is another chance to win $25 to Old Navy at the bottom of this post. Leave your answer by commenting : )

Last but not least of the Menstrual Cycle Series (drum roll please):

Managing your period – Toolbox for Aunt Flow!

Having your period doesn’t have to be messy!  We’re talking about tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and panty liners – there are so many options you can find something you like. If you have the right tools you may even forget you’re even having your period!

First, a few things to know:

  • No method is better than the other for dealing with your period.  It’s a personal choice.  There are also a lot of different brands available for each option.  Again, no brand is better than another.  It’s all about personal choice.
  • When choosing your ‘tool’, you may see things like light, regular, super, or super plus.  It’s referring to the amount of blood your body is releasing.  Light for not so much bleeding.  Regular for normal amount of bleeding.  Super for heavy bleeding. Super Plus for super heavy days. Always choose accordingly.  And most women require various sizes within any one cycle because their flow may be different on different days.
  • Whatever you choose, changing it often is very important.  Usually every 3-4 hours.  For sleeping, be sure to use a method that says it can be worn up to 8 hours.
  • Don’t use anything with fragrance.  There may be a light odor during menstruation but it’s totally normal.  If there is ever a strong or unusual odor and lasts longer than your period, come see us.

 Pads:  A pad of absorbent material worn inside underwear to absorb menstrual flow.  Both disposable and reusable kinds exist.

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Panty Liners:  Super thin pad designed to absorb daily vaginal discharge, light menstrual flow, or “spotting.”  Great backup for tampons (see below) or those super light bleeding days!

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Tampons:  A tampon is a plug of cotton or other absorbent material inserted into the vaginal canal to absorb menstrual flow.  They come in all different sizes and with different applicators so you may want to try a few to see what feels most comfortable.  And NO it does not have any effect on virginity.  I promise.  Oh, and it can be worn while swimming!

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Menstrual Cup:  A menstrual cup is a flexible cup (usually made from medical grade silicone) worn inside the vagina during menstruation to collect menstrual fluid.  Unlike tampons and pads, the cup collects menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it and can be worn for up to 12 hours!  Menstrual cups are more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly than tampons, most are reusable, and can be used for up to 5-10 years.  Like tampons, can also be worn while swimming!

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Other tools for your toolbox:

Ibuprofen:   Ibuprofen (generic or same as Motrin or Advil) can be bought at any drug store or super market for a relatively low price. Great for menstrual cramps and headaches! Make sure to follow directions about how much to take and when!  Another type of medicine that can be good for cramping is Naprosyn (generic Aleve) which is long acting.  Both types of medicines work better if you take them as soon as you start to notice cramping, instead of waiting until you are doubled over in pain.

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Heating Pad:  Also a good tool for menstrual cramps.  There are 3 types: electric, water, or one time use.  All 3 are sold at most pharmacies and super markets.  Also pretty cheap.

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Exercise:  I know.  I know.  Most people do not feel like exercising while on their period but it really does help with cramps.  Moderate exercise can help relax muscles which can reduce cramping, headaches, backaches, and all kinds of body aches and pains.

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And here’s another opportunity to earn $25 to Old Navy!

What ideas or theories are there about why many women crave chocolate during their periods??

Hint: Mineral

In happiness & health,

Shawna

Reviewed by Kohar Der Simonian, MD

4 thoughts on “Managing Your Period – Toolbox for Aunt Flow!

  1. There are lots of ideas as to why women may crave chocolate while on their period. Some think some chemicals in chocolate may be physiologically active, by inducing mood-lifting chemicals like serotonin or dopamine in the brain. Others think that deficiencies in either magnesium or iron (which can be heightened during your period) make people desire chocolate, which has a fair amount of both minerals. But there is little hard evidence supporting these ideas for chocolate cravings. Some have pointed out that people do not crave other foods higher in magnesium and iron nearly as often, making the mineral deficiency explanation seem less likely. Further, one study comparing chocolate bars to cocoa capsules found that only the chocolate bars actually reduced cravings. Thus, it might be “orosensory” effects (the way chocolate feels in your mouth), non-chocolate-specific compounds (like the fat in chocolate bars), or even cultural associations that make chocolate so satisfying, not chemical properties. It is possible its just the possible texture or silkiness of chocolate that is so satisfying while on your period

  2. Pingback: Out Run Aunt Flow! – Exercising on your Period! | Ask Shawna

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