Imagine: For approximately one week this month your lower belly will feel as if your intestines decided to play Rock, Paper, Scissors with each other. Your head will pound with pain. You will develop pimples, your stomach will swell, and you will have an insane urge to eat chocolate donuts in the middle of the night. On top of that, you will suddenly feel sad, sensitive and many things will seem to have a double meaning. Welcome to Period Country. Hope you enjoy your stay.
Because we don’t want you to get lost in this land of hormones and games, we’ve prepared a little primer on how to navigate it safely, with dignity and empathy — and without appearing like a 10-year-old boy who giggles at the word “tampon.”
First of All, It Hurts
Physically. Consider this: nine out of 10 women suffer some menstrual pain. In some cases, it can get so bad that it can bring on vomiting, even fainting. Periods also give some women terrible migraines. It makes us feel bloated. It gives us pimples. It alters our eating patterns (there’s even been some evidence that there’s connection between PMS and eating disorders).
It Hurts Mentally, Too
It can bring on terrible mood swings, irritability or depression, inability to concentrate… Which is why teasing about PMSing (or getting mad about it) is sort of as cool as teasing a depressed person about being sad. We know this time may get tricky for you (being around us and all), but teasing negates our feelings and makes us even more unhappy (that we ended up with a sexist jerk).
Severe PMS can be regulated with the help of medication – over-the-counter, or prescription, such as birth control to regulate hormones (but no doctor will prescribe birth control to someone who gets migraines). In severe cases, they may suggest anti-depressants.
So, yes, we know it’s hard to be around us, and we know that it’s not your job to be responsible for our emotions and well-being – and you certainly shouldn’t have to put up with mean comments – but we promise, before you know it, we’ll be back to our sweet, agreeable selves.
Trust us: we really effin’ hate it here, too.
Image by iStockphoto.