• Jasmyn Elliott

And That’s on Period: My Strategies for Menstrual Management

Updated: Nov 2

Note: This post contains affiliate links where the author may receive a modest commission for sales.

Ever since my cycle made its debut at age 11, I’ve always had to deal with highly unpleasant symptoms. Monstrous cramps, relentless fatigue, constant bloating, and the worst of mood swings were par for the course. As I got older, I realized that chocolate bars and birth control were merely masking the problem. For true relief, I had to do some research and try a few new things to help ensure that my monthly visit was a pleasant one. Here is a glimpse at what works for me so far.

Clean It Up: Keeping your vulva clean is important every day, but it’s even more paramount during your period. Aside from reducing unpleasant odors, using pH-friendly washes will reduce your incidence of post-cycle yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. Two of my favorites are (from left to right) The Honey Pot Company Normal Foaming Wash and Lotus Fresh Fem Wash by Nene Femhealth. Both companies have sensitive skin formulas for those who need that extra care. Whatever you use, avoid washes with artificial fragrance or harsh detergents that are often found in conventional soaps and body washes.

Send In the Supplements: While I understand the benefits of using hormonal birth control to help relieve heavy periods, I found that many years of taking it had taken a toll on my body. Therefore, I decided to stop and research more natural means of stemming the tide. In my research, the resounding message was that a period-friendly probiotic was the ticket to relieving my symptoms. Thus far, My Happy Flo has been manna from heaven. Meant to be taken as a daily supplement, I take two capsules a day with a full glass of water in the morning. During these past three months of using it has consistently helped reduce my flow, obliterated my cramps, and kept my energy from taking a nosedive. I’d buy this by the caseload if I could!

Curb Your Cravings: While my hormones consistently try to convince me that inhaling a batch of brownies or demolishing a family-size bag of salt and vinegar chips is a good idea, I've since learned to reconsider. Excess sugar and salt intake only lead to more bloating, fatigue, and unwanted weight gain. Instead, I've enjoyed healthier alternatives such as Angie's Boomchickapop Sea Salt Popcorn, a square of Hu Salty Dark Chocolate, or even an apple. Better still, I have opted for a warm cup of turmeric tea or tall glass of water to cleanse my palate. If I *still* need my fix, then I go for it in moderation. As it turns out, just a single brownie will do the trick.

Easy on the sweets...

Give It a Rest: So often we are told to "power through" our period and act as if its business as usual in spite of our discomfort. Even so, I have learned to listen to my body. For me, this means completing the mandatory tasks such as work and a few key chores, then kicking my feet up and relaxing in a warm bath, taking that afternoon nap, or skipping happy hour in favor of going to bed a little earlier. By allowing my body the space to recover during my cycle, I am more willing and able to go into my days feeling much better and less depleted.

Well-rested and all smiles!

What has worked for you to help your period to be a little more pleasant? Sound off in the comments!

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