Reproductive Health,  Wellness

Period Talk: My Journey So Far and What First-Timers Need to Know

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

As I’m writing this, I just started my period today, August 4, 2022. I have had my period for a little over a decade now and I wanted to take the time to tell my first period story, my story so far, and tips I have for first-timers. Let’s get into this.

I got my first period when I was 13 years old. Most people get their periods between 10-15 years old so I guess I was in the norm. I got my period two days before my 13th birthday. Happy birthday to me I guess. The irony here is that as I’m writing this now, I am two days away from my 24th birthday. Anyways, I knew about periods because my mom told me about them and what happens. It just sucked that I got it for my early birthday present.

That’s the truth. No horror stories here.

My periods are unpredictable because I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The “average” cycle is supposed to be 28 days and my cycles are nowhere near normal. 

Since I’ve had my period for almost 11 years, I can say that my body has changed quite a bit since I was 13. It’s matured more and my organs have aged a bit.

I know my period will continue to change as I grow older and that’s fine. It’s the way it is.

If you just got your period for the first time, you’re probably confused on what to do. 

Let’s talk about period products first. Pads, tampons, menstrual cups, menstrual discs, period underwear, etc. I know that was a bit overwhelming to read. There are so many period products out there. Ones that even I just heard of recently. For me, I’ve been using pads since I got my first period. I’ve had no interest in trying tampons.

I recommend pads for first-timers because they’re not as overwhelming like tampons can be. There are different sizes. I use the Always brand. There’s regular (yellow), long super (green), extra long super (blue), overnight (orange), and extra heavy overnight (purple). I use the long super which are the wrapped in green during the day, the overnight which are wrapped in orange for overnight, and the regular which are wrapped in yellow when my flow gets lighter. It just depends on your personal preference and your body.

Next up, we have moods and cravings aka Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It’s normal to get moody around your period. occurs 1 or 2 weeks before you get your period. PMS can cause you to have mood swings and food cravings. You can feel irritable, sad, and/or angry. Your hormones go crazy during this time which is why mood swings are a huge possibility. I know I feel extremely emotional a week or two before my period. I distinctly remember watching Last Christmas with Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding and that twist made me bawl my eyes out in an abnormal amount.

Cravings can be normal and/or weird. For me, I get a heightened craving for chocolate. I get cravings for chocolate when I’m not on my period but it’s much worse when I’m PMSing and when I’m on my period. I also have a bigger appetite when I’m on my period which isn’t the best thing in the world.

Lastly, we have the worst part which are cramps. Cramps are sharp pains that occur below the stomach. I know I’m dramatic but my cramps can be really uncomfortable to the point where I can’t do anything. To help relieve cramps, you can take medication. I take motrin and it helps relieve my cramps. It also helps lighten my flow if my flow is heavy.

I find that wipes help make you feel cleaner. Any kind of wipes work. I use wipes from a brand called Natracare. They’re natural and better to use compared to other wipes in the market.

I hope that you found this post informative and helpful.

To the first-timers who read this, don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it. It’s overwhelming at first but you’ll get to know what you like as well as your body.

Thank you for reading all the way through.

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