When my husband and I were still in a boyfriend-girlfriend stage, he had seen me in my messiest, moodiest, biggest appetite and probably ugliest red days (graphically: pre-menstrual days!). I’m indeed a lucky girl for having such a wonderful partner. We never imagined that he and I would discover more about my red days since we tied the knot early last year. This issue must be discussed in any relationship we’d want to work-out because pre-menstrual days can go terribly hideous at times. I think it’s necessary that we and our partner know what’s happening, try to understand why they are happening and do something to rule over it.
I’d like to share with you, especially to all the guys out there what do girls need to endure every monthly visit that we have. As per my BDJ planner the following are the symptoms that the red days are coming soon (PMS / Pre Menstrual Syndrome) which may occur consecutively, subsequently, simultaneously or none at all:
- Anxiety (Insomnia)
- Bloating / Water retention
- Breast Swelling and Tenderness
- Cramps and Ovarian Pain
- Crying Spells
- Food Cravings
- Headache / Migraine / Nausea
- Joint and Muscle Pain
- Libido (increased/decreased)
- Moody / Irritability
- Stress and Tension
I can attest that I have suffered from all of the above-mentioned symptoms at least a week before the big Red Alert Day. Lately, I’m not sure if it has to do with my age (I’m in late 20’s FYI), but I’m getting more of the symptoms in just one visit or cycle. My personal signs include: pimple on chin or rough forehead, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, foot cramps, crying spells, fatigue, food cravings (sweet & salty tastes), migraine, muscle pain, irritability, sadness and stress. Thankfully, sometimes they do not show up all together. Please note guys that these Pre Menstrual Syndrome / PMS are different from Dysmenorrhea which is the actual menstrual pain during the red days itself or the menstruation period.
Why are these happening?
One known scientific reason for PMS is the hormonal changes that happen inside a woman’s body when the egg cell is not fertilized and needs to be flushed out from the system since it’s already considered as toxin. I too attribute PMS to my unhealthy lifestyle, imbalance diet and stress in general.
What needs to be understood?
Everyone especially our guy partners should understand that since this is something hormonal, we cannot control it particularly our swinging emotions. This is our time of vulnerability and confusion. More love, care, patience and sympathy are what could help us cope with our pain. We need you to help us produce more happy hormones to combat all the emotional rollercoaster we’re feeling. All should remember also that these symptoms are not fixed. They are changing and are evolving. I highly believe they are affected by age and of course lifestyle. So, please don’t expect that same things will happen monthly. Things as they say will go unpredictable.
What can alleviate these painful symptoms?
Here are a handful of tips to lessen the PMS-ing pain. Some I’ve read from somewhere and some are derived from my personal experiences:
- Hot compress. They say it helps blood circulation.
- Avoid salty foods despite cravings. It’s the cause of bloating.
- Exercise, for blood circulation too.
- Eat up on fiber rich foods to fight constipation and diarrhea.
- Take Iron if you’re too low in blood but consider taking a physician’s advice.
- Take your multivitamins and dieting especially crash-diets will not do any good.
- Drink lots of water and eat lots of bananas to fight cramping.
- Use mild soap for your face.
- Get a good massage.
- Relax through warm bath or letting your feet rest in warm water with calming essential oils such as lavender.
- Avoid carrying heavy stuff. Postpone shopping for huge items and unload that big bag of yours.
- Avoid watching drama. Stick for a while to RomCom, fantasies and horror!
- Give in to what your libido dictates. (Guys be supportive!)
- Stay happy and positive. (Guys please be the source of our joy during these difficult days.)
- Do de-stressing activities like reading the bible, making a gratitude list, enhancing your skills like in photoshops, reading, writing, painting, scrap-booking and what-have-you!
- Get a menstrual tracker or diary.
- Have fun with sanitary napkins! I try to be fun in choosing my pads. From the first time I tried it, I have always loved Kotex Luxe Ultrathin and hoarded ever since. Aside from the no-leak quality which is a very vital requirement when I choose pads, I adore the packaging of a small carton black box (with 5 pads inside) which I think is more classy and environment friendly than the ones packed in plastics.
It may be a monthly battle for us girls but it’s a battle that we can definitely win over through acceptance that this is an essential part of womanhood and a natural process of detoxification, an extra effort to make things lighter, understanding coming from ourselves and the people around us and a good support system whether from our girlfriends who share the same stories with us or simply from our loved-ones. It is up to us how we would define RED DAYS of our lives. If we’re going to let RED be a sign of STOP or a symbol for HAPPINESS and BRIGHTNESS is entirely our choice. That’s right, we choose and as for me I don’t want to stop. I choose to live life to the fullest red days or not after all, life is too short for a monthly 3-5 day stop, don’t you think so?
Have a great weekend loves, red or not! 🙂