By Katie Ellis, Period Pro from University of Louisville School of Medicine
It’s that time of the month! Again…
I know that sometimes we get our period and think, *eye roll* “This again?” If this sounds like you, below are some “period hacks” that can hopefully make life a bit easier while you’re on your period. This list is not exhaustive, but it is a good place to start!
- Be prepared! Create a “prep kit” to keep in your locker, backpack, car, purse, etc. This can include things like period products (tampons, pads, panty liners, extras of all of those things just in case a friend needs one too). You also may want to include things that make your period easier, like, hair ties, Chapstick, pimple patches, an extra pair of underwear, a zip-lock bag for soiled underwear, deodorant, or dry shampoo.
- Figure out what period product works for you. Some people start using tampons with their first period and never look back – like me! Personally, I am a tampon girl. Other people prefer to use pads and panty liners. Some people like reusable options like menstrual cups and period underwear. Many people who menstruate use a combination of all of these products. Know that it may take some trial and error before you discover the products you prefer, but they are all great choices!
- Let your friends and family know if you’re feeling funky or moody. Half of the world experiences periods! And the other half all know and love people who do. Most menstruators experience some Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, and moodiness is not uncommon. Have open communication with your people and ask for grace if and when you need it. They should be able to empathize with the way that you are feeling.
- Identify things that bring you joy. This might sound silly, but even little things like getting a fun coffee or drink, taking a bath, calling a friend, or wearing your favorite sweatshirt can help boost your mood if you ARE feeling funky or moody.
- When I asked my close friends for their “period hacks”, one response I got was: Keep chocolate on standby. I agree! That brings ME joy (period or not). Period Hacks from other Period Pros are here.
- Use a variety of tools to manage your period pain. You can try over the counter medicines like ibuprofen or naproxen. You can use a heating pad over your lower stomach. Of course, listen to your body, but also try light exercise! A bit of movement can help with period pain. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Remember that if you are using over the counter medicines, heat, exercise, or hydration with no relief, then you should talk to your doctor. Your periods shouldn’t be so painful that you can’t go to school or enjoy the things that you consider fun.
These “period hacks” are just a few of the strategies you can use to manage your period. The most important and valuable “hack,” however, is being in the know about how your menstrual cycle works.