05/05/2017

PMS S.O.S: Remedies & Maintenance


Say it with me: aunt flow is such a b*tch. Whether it's the mood swings or the crazy stupid painful cramps we have to deal with every month our vagina decides to rain blood on fabric, repeat after me: aunt flow is such a feisty little b*tch. If you are someone who goes through period without any problem — no cramp no pain — then say your prayers and thank Jesus for that blessing. On the contrary, if you are like me who goes through first day of period feeling like Cruella de Vil, I have a few quick tips on how to survive a week of proof that you ain't preggo.

Quick disclaimer (because obvious disclaimer is needed in a world where everyone can interpret what you say wrongly and still be so defensive about being judgmental), what works for me may or may not work for you. Some maintenance tips and suggestions featured in this post may also be too obvious for you so please don't come at me and say, "they're so obvious! Why do you even need to include them!?" Additionally, keep in mind that I am not an expert and I don't claim to be one. These are strictly based on my personal experiences and since most of them work for me, I hope they help you a little too.

Remedies


  1. Grab a towel or cloth and soaked it in hot or warm water and place it on your stomach as a warm compress. You can also wrap the towel around your stomach and waist if you like. Alternatively, a bottle of warm water can also do the trick but I personally love the towel more since a bottle might spill if you're not careful. This also works for general stomachache.
  2. If your body feels tense or sore, try to lie down instead of sitting down or worse, standing up. If you're not at home, try to do some light hip and back stretching to increase blood flow and ease the tension that leads to cramps. 
  3. Vitamins! Believe it or not, vitamins and supplements actually help ease menstrual cramps. They aren't magic pills though so you definitely need to develop a routine in taking them on a daily basis. I used to take the Amway Nutrilite Primrose Plus supplement (which contains gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) from evening primrose oil and borage oil.) 
  4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol since they trigger anxiety and may even cause your stomach to feel bloated. Since I'm a major tea lover, I try to go with herbal and caffeine-free teas instead. My favorite tea for PMS would be caffeine-free peppermint tea; not only does it calms my mood, it also makes me feel less of a bloated puffer fish.
  5. Avoid extremely sugary food — e.g. soda! Fortunately, I don't like soda and barely ever drink them but if you love soda, make sure to minimize the consumption. Like caffeine, soda will dehydrate you and may elevate period cramps.
  6. Opt for small, frequent meals instead! A week or two before my period, my appetite usually fluctuate and I turn into this famished ogre who wants to eat everything. When my period strikes, however, I find myself unable to eat large meals at all since they're going to make me feel nauseous. It's definitely best to eat frequently but in small portions. Keep everything in moderation and under control, you know?
  7. Drink or eat warm comfort food like chicken soup / any warm broth, warm milk, etc. I usually drink warm milk (hah, what's new? I'm a milk addict) or get myself a cream soup if possible. Sometimes, I let myself have a cheat day and eat something sweet like ice cream or if chocolate, if you will — not a lot, just in moderation for the mood swing.
  8. Stay hydrated and avoid fatty food. Drink water to feel less bloated and incorporate food with lots of water into your diet (e.g. watermelon, strawberry, lettuce...)
  9. Take a warm bath. If you have a bathtub, take a relaxing warm bath. If you don't, take a warm/hot shower. I find that warm shower relaxes my muscles and tense body.
  10. If all else fails, try painkillers. Although I do not recommend taking painkillers to relieve period cramp, some people do take ibuprofen or other painkillers to help them deal with it. I personally don't but it's your choice.



Maintenance


  1. Take bathroom breaks every 2-3 hours. When I'm on my period, I find myself urinate much more frequently. Do not hold your bladder in! Whether you're on your period or not, never hold your bladder. This is pretty self-explanatory, guys.
  2. Change your sanitary pads (or tampons but I personally use pads) every 3-4 hours regardless if you have a heavy flow or not. Changing your pad every 3-4 hours is recommended to prevent bacteria buildup and especially if you have a heavy flow. If you care more about the price of your pad or tampon as opposed to your vagina's health, you should start questioning your priority.
  3. Know your sanitary pads. If you know your period usually comes crashing down in a fit of tsunami waves, wear overnight pads even if you're wearing it during the day. 28-32 cm overnight sized sanitary pads are usually the safest route. I usually use a 28 cm sanitary pad on the first two days of my period before using a 24 cm one on my 3rd to 5th day. There is no one size fits all and comfort varies from one person to the next so definitely do your research.
  4. Wear sanitary pads with wings! While I know some people manage with a wingless pad, a winged pad will not slip and slide and keep your flow secured. This is important if you tend to worry about leakage and heavy flow a lot.
  5. Always carry spare pads with you! This is pretty much self-explanatory.
  6. Avoid wearing white underwear or pants unless you're 100% sure your period won't leak. 
  7. Menstrual panties / underwear can be a life saver especially if you have a heavy flow. The reason they make a safer option as opposed to your normal underwear is because they don't make your sanitary pad slips and slides thus preventing leak or leave stains on fabric. Menstrual panties are usually tight and this makes them feel more secure. 
  8. Wear comfortable pants and avoid skinny fit or tight jeans! I don't know about you but when I have my period, I don't wear skinny jeans or any long pants in general. I either go for skirts or loose short pants to let it breathe down there, if you know what I mean. Feeling extremely tight and unable to move freely due to skinny jeans is the last thing I want to be mad about.
  9. Dispose your tampons or pads properly. Please, please keep this in mind. I have seen people who did not fold their used pads properly and just threw them into the garbage bin. It's gross and quite humiliating, to say the least. If possible, use old newspapers or any paper to cover them up before dumping them into the bin. Alternatively, you can use toilet papers, plastic bags or the pad's plastic cover (or whatever you call it.)

I think I've pretty much covered most tips and tricks that I myself do when it comes to handling PMS, cramps and other devious little acts our evil Aunt Flow frequently pulls on us. For the next part, I'm going to talk about how I deal with PMS face like acne breakouts and a puffy face. 

If you have more tips and suggestions on how to handle Aunt Flow (before, during or after), feel free to turn the comment section into a discussion box so we can all help each other.

Any suggestions are always greatly appreciated.




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