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Period Survival Guide

Everyone’s period is different. If you find them to be a difficult time of the month, here’s some tips you can try to help make it better. 

Periods and PMS

Your period and the days leading up to it can be a challenging time of the month. The drop in hormones at this time can bring different changes to your body including cramps, muscle aches, spots and breast tenderness. It can also brings changes to your emotions including becoming more irritable, anxious and less sociable.

Everyone’s experience of their period is different – some people feel immediate relief when it starts and their PMS symptoms disappear, while other people’s symptoms are worse during their period.

Either way, there are lots of things you can try to help make you feel better during this time- It’s all about finding what works for you!

Top tips to use during your period

Take it Easy

It’s normal to lack motivation and feel tired and less sociable at this time of the month. If all you want to do is sit on the sofa and watch your favourite film, then listen to your body. Busy, long and sociable days may not be what you need during this part of your menstrual cycle.

Use a hot water bottle

If you’re feeling any pain of discomfort, using a hot water bottle on these areas can help. You might find hugging a hot water bottle can also be comforting if you’re feeling low.

Do some gentle exercise

Hormones called endorphins are released during exercise which block pain receptors in your brain. This makes gentle exercise, like walking and yoga, great ways of reducing pain from cramps and can help improve your mood.

If you’re an active person, try not to feel disappointed if your ability or motivation to exercise changes during your period. Think of it as a rest week and time to let your body recharge. 

Have a warm bath

Baths can help you mind and muscles relax which can help with any pain. Baths don’t stop your period but the water pressure can mean you don’t bleed as much while in the water.

Take painkillers

If you suffer with painful cramps, taking painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can help (always read the label to know how much is safe to take). If you find yourself unable to cope without these or are still in pain with these, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. 

Track your period

Knowing when your period is coming can help you to prepare for how you might feel and any symptoms you might experience. Apps like Clue and Flo and help you track and understand where you are in your menstrual cycle. Or you can download and print out our period tracker.

Try contraception

If your periods being painful and/or heavy are have a big effect on your wellbeing, or you simply don’t like having them, then it is worth talking to a medical professional about trying hormonal contraception. Methods like the pill, patch, ring or IUS can make periods lighter, less painful or stop altogether.

When to see a doctor

If your periods are affecting your daily life, maybe their painful, heavy or you’re struggling with PMS symptoms, it’s always a good idea to talk to a medical professional. There’s probably nothing wrong but there might be ways to improve your periods so this time of the month is more manageable.

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