Most women know about what happens to them during periods, but for those who don’t know this may be a small guide. Though this may not be a major issue for few women, it may be a serious trouble or even a difficult time to pass through for few.
Most men neglect this as another girly problem, but they should know that it’s not another silly simple thing. They should have knowledge about the REAL problems that their mother, sister, wife or even a girlfriend go through during this stage. It is very essential for them to take care of them during this stage (Do not mess with her during these days, she may freak out unnecessarily). This may even help them to teach his daughter.
What Is Menstruation/Periods?
Menstruation/periods is the shedding of the endometrium (the uterine lining). In other words, menstruation is periodic discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from vagina.
What Happens During Menstruation?
There is blood loss from vagina for several days (3-8 days) and this varies from period-period and person-person. If there is heavy bleeding, clots are also passed. Bleeding is heavy during first two days of periods, and during this stage, lower abdomen pain is normal.
(About 20 and 60 ml ie., 4 to 12 tsps of blood loss is normal.)
Problems During Menstruation
1. PMS or Pre Menstrual Syndrome:
PMS or PMT (premenstrual tension) occurs after ovulation (a week before periods), which usually disappears during period. Although the exact reason is unknown, this seems to be due to the body’s sensitivity to hormonal changes. It may also be due to changing chemical levels in the brain.
Below are symptoms of PMS:
– Back pain/Joint pain/Muscle Pain
– Bloated abdomen
– Crying spells
– Vomiting sensation
– Mood swings
– Lack of concentration
– Breast tenderness
– Tummy pain and discomfort
– Insomnia/ Trouble in sleeping
– Confusion and forgetfulness
– High heart palpitation
– Increases food cravings
– Interested in solitude
– Irritation/Stress/Getting angry quickly
– Hot flushes
– Getting too emotional
(Some or most of the above symptoms may occur during first two days of periods.)
The pain and emotional stress are so severe for some women that it affects their daily routines. The pain may reduce by taking painkillers or taking warm water bath/keeping hot water bag on stomach. Getting proper sleep, exercising and eating right can reduce the PMS. If the pain is very severe, consulting doctor is the only option.
2. Heavy Periods (Menorrhagia):
Periods are heavy if your normal lifestyle is affected. Heavy periods are common, it causes passing clots, changing of three or more sanitary pads, flooding, soaking of bedclothes, etc. Consulting doctor is better if period changes or if it is heavy than previous periods.
3. Painful Menstrual Periods (Dysmenorrhoea):
Lower abdomen, back and joints pain are common during first two days of periods.
4. Menstrual Cramps:
Generally, Menstrual cramps are experienced in the lower abdomen. This can be mild or severe and is a contracting pain. This pain is normal during first two days of periods. Pain killers can be used to reduce these cramps or pain.
5. Mood Swings:
During periods, mood fluctuates, this may be seen as PMS or even continue throughout menstrual cycle. Some women many notice high sex drives. Increased libido may be due to hormonal change or emotional shifts and thoughts. You may even feel cravings for some food. You may feel too emotional and even cry for silly or no reasons.
Acne is common problem noticed during periods. This problem may disappear as you grow old.
7. Irregular/Missed Periods:
This may happen due to irregular ovulation which happens in some women. Illness or stress may affect the cycle. Other reasons could be due to excessive weight gain/loss. Irregular or Missed or Late periods, when happens, will happen with more bleeding, and there may more pain or this may even make her freak/irritate (behavioral symptom) more.
(Regular period: From the first day of bleeding to the start of next period – difference must be about 25 and 35 days.)
What To Do During Periods?
Here are do’s and don’ts during menstruation:
– Drink lot of water (warm water); This avoids bloating, relax cramped muscles).
– Fruits which contain more water (Watermelon, Cucumber, tomato, lemon, orange, etc).
– Calcium rich food as it helps reduce muscle cramps.
– Bananas, as it reduces cramps and helps reduce water retention (as it contains potassium).
– Food rich in iron (as there is bleeding, iron is lost). Green leafy veggies, eggs, chicken and fish are advisable.
– Avoid caffeine (increases PMS), sugar (cause mood swings), alcohol (causes pre menstrual depression), salt (increases water retention).
– Dairy products like buttermilk, yoghurt, milk or cheese.
– Junk foods.
4. Rest or Relax
– Take rest and sleep well.
– Watch movies or videos which makes you happen. A big ‘No No’ to sentimental or emotional, thriller or horror videos (due to mood swings).
– Perform light exercises or do yoga, but do not over do.
– Cinnamon, ginger (ginger water) and fenugreek seeds soothe menstrual cramps.
– You can keep hot water bag/hot towel on stomach or back, which may relieve pain.
– Take painkiller (Doctor’s advice on this is advisable).
– Consult doctor if: heavy, irregular, missed periods, or more pain during periods.