I’ve never had menstrual cramps before and now I do. What gives?

Someone asked us:

i never had Menstrual cramps ,my periods were so painless that i used to forget am in my period, but now since i got in my 30s they hurt so much i have to take Motrin all through the day ,and hot water bottles at night to get through them,is this normal growing old thing?

It’s normal for your periods and menstrual cycles to change throughout your life. If your period symptoms (cramps, mood changes, etc.) are getting in the way of your day to day life, there are things you can do to regulate, lessen, or even get rid of your periods. Hormonal birth control like the IUD, implant, shot, pill, patch or ring, can ease painful periods. The pill, patch, and ring make periods lighter, less crampy, and more regular. The hormonal IUD, implant, and shot are more likely to get rid of your periods altogether. But everyone’s body reacts a little differently to different kinds of birth control.

Make an appointment with a doctor or nurse so they can help you figure out if something is causing the change, and what might help you feel better. You can always visit your local Planned Parenthood health center for help. Feel better!

-Julia at Planned Parenthood

Clue + THINX = A menstrual match made in heaven

We’re big fans of THINX. Their ambitious ad campaigns. Their CEO and entire team. Their shameless fight to end period taboos. And, their underwear.

So we wanted to let the world know that we’ve entered a partnership with THINX. We’re “Facebook official,” if you will. And we couldn’t be more proud to join forces with a brand that shares our vision to empower people to feel in control of their body and cycle.

Stay tuned for more to come between the two of us. <3

Don’t track your period yet? Download Clue today and grab a pair of THINX undies before your next period.

A Swimmer’s ‘Period’ Comment Breaks Taboos In Sports — And In China

Fu Yuanhui, a Chinese swimmer at the Rio Olympics, made headlines this week for telling the world she was on her period.

On Sunday, when she finished fourth in the women’s 4x100 meter medley relay, an interviewer found her doubled over and grimacing. She asked Fu if she was in pain.

“Actually, my period started last night, so I’m feeling pretty weak and really tired,” Fu told the interviewer in Mandarin, according to an English-subtitled video on Shanghai Expat’s YouTube channel. “But this isn’t an excuse. At the end of the day, I just didn’t swim very well.”

The interview turned Fu into an overnight sensation on Weibo, a Chinese social media site, reported the New York Times: She broke the silence around menstruation in sports.

According to The Guardian, one commenter wrote, “It is a normal physiological phenomenon, so why can’t we mention it? Fu Yuanhui is awesome!”

The swimmer’s remark also shed light on shifting Chinese attitudes toward periods.

“It tells us a lot about what’s going on in China today,” says Susan Greenhalgh, a professor who focuses on Chinese society at Harvard University’s department of anthropology. “The vocal empowerment of young people and the fact that gender issues are coming to the fore, it’s exciting.”

Read the full story here. 

“My period came yesterday. I’m feeling a bit weak and exhausted, but this is not an excuse.”

Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui defied a major sports taboo, and won legions of internet fans, for doing something pretty simple: actually admitting that she was on her period, and that it was affecting her physically.

That little remark got a big response online, and people praised Fu for her candor and for opening up an important conversation.

Fu isn’t the first female athlete to mention her period in public; British tennis player Heather Watson also made waves when she did so in 2015. But it’s still rare enough to be a big deal — and it’s an especially big deal for women in China.

Summer + Your Period: The Spot On Guide to Summer

At Planned Parenthood, we understand that your period is a normal (if not always welcome) part of life — and that it can be harder to track your period and manage your birth control method in the midst of vacation schedules and travel. This summer, Spot On, Planned Parenthood’s free period tracker and birth control app, makes it easier for you to understand your unique cycle so that you can rule it, instead of it ruling you.

Here is a helpful guide to having the best summer ever, period or no period.

By Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, Chief Medical Officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Swimming? Use a tampon or menstrual cup if you’re going to be in the water while on your period.

During summer, you don’t have to avoid cooling off in the water just because you have your period. Tampons or menstrual cups should keep you leak-free.

Remember to change out of your bathing suit or wet clothes to avoid infection.

It’s actually normal for yeast to live and grow in your vagina – as well as your mouth and intestines. A yeast infection occurs when yeast, also called candida, grows too much – often when the normal conditions of the vagina have changed and the balance is thrown off. It can happen for a lot of reasons: certain antibiotics, changes in hormone levels, pregnancy, etc. Yeast likes to grow in damp places, so one way to prevent an infection is to keep your genital area as dry as possible: rinse and dry thoroughly after showers, use dry towels, and – you guessed it – avoid sitting around in a wet swimsuit.

In addition to avoiding sitting around in a wet pair of underwear or a wet bathing suit for very long, you should be cautious about spending too much time in fabric that doesn’t breathe well – like some exercise shorts – which can trap moisture and heat and put you at a higher risk of yeast or bacterial infections.

Symptoms of a yeast infection include abnormal vaginal discharge that is thick, white, and odorless, as well as itching or burning. There are many different treatments for a yeast infection including pills, creams, suppositories and vaginal and oral tablets, and many of these are available over the counter. Check with your provider or a Planned Parenthood health center before picking up over-the-counter medications so you can be sure that you’re following the right treatment plan.

It’s ok to go commando.

Giving your vulva a chance to breathe can be  a good thing – and there’s nothing inherently unhealthy about going without undies. Vaginal discharge is perfectly normal, but it can leave a stain on underwear or clothing. Most people wear underwear to feel comfortable and keep their clothes clean, but it’s totally up to you.

If you do wear underwear, make sure you change into a clean, dry pair every day. The most important thing is to wear what makes you comfortable while simultaneously keeping your vulva clean and dry.  You can do this by wearing cotton underwear or clothes, or a similar fabric that wicks away moisture from the skin.  If you’re not inclined to give up daytime underwear, you might want to lose your underwear at night and just wear a comfy pair of cotton pajamas.

Traveling can mess with the timing of your period.

Sometimes when we’re headed out on vacation, our periods can be late catching the flight. There are a lot of reasons your menstrual cycle may change, including your birth control method, illness, medication, over-exercising, poor nutrition, stress, sudden weight gain or loss – and traveling.

So it’s normal to see differences in your period if you’re traveling – but if you’ve had unprotected sex or think you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test or visit your local Planned Parenthood health center.

If wedding season is cramping your style, know that you don’t have to get your period every month.

That’s right: If you are using hormonal birth control, like birth control pills, the implant, or the IUD, there’s no medical reason why you need to get your period every month. Combination birth control pills can be used to control when and how often you have your period.  Some pills are specially packaged for you to have only a few periods a year, and others can also be used continuously to prevent having periods.

Sometimes periods cause severe health problems (like anemia or painful cramps), and sometimes people just simply don’t want to bleed or have cramps every month. Sometimes you have a really important date with a bridesmaid dress and you don’t want to be thinking about your period. Either way, it’s totally fine to use hormonal birth control to regulate or eliminate your period. If you want to skip or stop having periods, talk with your doctor or nurse about how this is done.

Nix the sex on the beach.

Sex on the beach or in a pool might seem romantic in the movies but, sex and water – chlorinated, natural, or salt water – generally don’t mix well. Water washes away your natural lubricant, so you could experience more chafing and discomfort. If you’re using a condom, less lubrication means more risk that the condom could rip or tear. The odds are even worse in a hot tub, since heat increases the risk of tearing.

The natural water of lakes and rivers contains bacteria, which could find its way into your vagina during sexual activity, putting you at risk for infections. Chlorinated water can also contain bacteria, so pools aren’t necessarily safer. And the chemicals used in pools and hot tubs could disrupt your body’s natural balance and cause a yeast infection, as well as irritate your more sensitive regions. Bottom line: it’s best to stay out of the water if you’re planning to get intimate.

Wherever you get lucky this summer, remember to use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections.

Stay away from “feminine washes” or douching, year round.

You don’t need to use feminine washes or douches to be fresh and clean – and they can actually actually be harmful to your body. Scented products often have harsh chemicals that strip away the natural and healthy bacteria that are in the vagina. This can irritate vaginal skin, and leave the vagina prone to infection from other bacteria. The vagina is self cleaning, so you don’t need to add all of these cleaning products. Just use a mild soap and rinse thoroughly.


Follow your period this summer and beyond with our new birth control and period tracker app, Spot On. Now available on iOS and Android.

Dear Trans boys,

If you feel invalidated by your period he’s some reason why it shouldn’t!

-you understand periods when most women complain about boys “not understanding”

-you know how hard these are to treat like nothing, they hurt and they are uncomfortable but you get through it!

-you are even more manly for living through your period every month (or whenever yours comes because some people have really irregular periods.) because it’s hard to do.

-the saying “men couldn’t survive having a period” you can!! look at you!!! rub it in there faces if you want!!

-if you are attracted to girls at all when you get into a relationship with her you will know how to treat her on her period and she’ll love you so much for it

-if you get blood on yourself for some other reason like a fight or nosebleed you already know how to get the blood out!

-people at the cash when you buy your pads, tampons, liners, etc probably think you are buying them for your mom or sister or life partner and think you are super sweet!!

-your gender is not defined by your genitals.

-i love you!

Period

I just found your blog and saw you were doing requests. Can you do one where the reader has been on the island for a month and she has her period and Pan and the lost boys don’t know what to do when she gets moody and has her cramps ..

warnings: mild swearing
848 words

You always knew this day would come. It lay in the deep recesses of your mind, allowing you to live in ignorant bliss with a false sense of freedom until the day came again, and it seemed as if you had forgotten a day like this even existed in all the excitement surrounding your arrival in Neverland. And although time is frozen here on the island, the days - and months - still go on as usual, bring you ever-closer to…

Your period.

And it was total shit.

“Out of my way,” you sniped at one of the younger Lost Boys, who was rolling around in a fit of giggles in front of the weapons pile. “Fucking move,” you commanded again, quite irritated when he didn’t budge. The small boy scurried away as you selected your pick of daggers to train with that day, grumbling in pain all the while.

It hurt like hell, the cramps. All you wanted to do was lay in your cot and die, but alas, there was work to be done on the island, and you would not be thought helpless amongst the boys, whom you had gained respect from this past month.

It had been a couple of days since your menstrual cycle had begun, and the Lost Boys were quite taken aback by your foul mood. Sure, you were already sharp-tongued and authoritative, but you had never been so…bitchy. And scary. Good God, the boys had no idea what to do with you. Hell, you had nearly sliced off Felix’s ear after he asked you what was wrong. He barely had anytime to dodge the dagger you chucked at him, just missing his head by a hair.

You had had enough of dealing with your period in the uncomfortable conditions of your tent for two nights, so this evening, you planned to walk to the beach. Exercise had always alleviated the pain, so perhaps this would also help your mood.

Nothing.

This walk had helped with nothing, and you were lying in the sand, clutching at your abdomen, cursing and swearing as you rode out the waves of pain.

“Tut, tut. Such foul language, dearest,” drawled a voice from behind.

“Fuck off, Pan,” you seethed. You sat up, knowing full well that he probably would do anything but that. Peter Pan took a seat next to you, chuckling as he did so.

“Touchy, are we?”

You snarled at him.

“I’m afraid to ask, since you almost gave Felix another scar when he popped the question but, I’m intrigued. What is the matter, love?”

You sighed, mostly out of annoyance rather than surrender. “Fine,” you began. “I’m on my period.”

Pan looked at you blankly. “Your-”

“Period? You know, menstrual cycle? Every month there’s a week where blood gushes out of my vagi-”

“I KNOW, I KNOW WHAT IT IS!” Pan heaved, face a bit blanched as he looked at you with a strange expression, mouth a bit open and gaping as his cheeks tinged pink. You didn’t know what to make of his face. And you don’t know what it was, but something in his features seemed almost comical in that moment, and you giggled. You laughed.

You chortled.

Pan hadn’t the slightest clue what to do as he just gaped at your insanity, and pretty soon, he was chuckling as well. You were lying on the sand clutching your abdomen once more, not in pain this time, but in laughter. Pan simply gazed down at you, secretly relieved that you didn’t seem to be hurting.

After the bubbling glee had died down somewhat, you were left with a small smile upon your lips.

“Ah, that’s better,” Pan said.

“What is?”

“Well, you’re not snarling at me, so that’s always good.” You scowled at him, and he laughed again. “What I mean to say is that it’s better now that you’re smiling. Or, you were, at least.”

You smirked at that and turned away from him to face the ocean, rising up on your elbows. Although you had forgotten about the pain for a while, you could feel it edging back now, and you huffed in protest.

“Do you need anything?”

You raised a brow and looked at him. Did the magic-wielding jerk just offer his help?

“Why are you looking at me like that?” He eyed you suspiciously, and you stared at him for a long moment before replying.

“Tea, would be nice. And some more cloth.”

Pan smirked at your request. “Anything else, Your Highness?”

“Hey-” you tossed a bit of sand at him. “You asked.” Pan chuckled and stood up, offering you a hand. You got up as well, and as you brushed sand off your clothes, Pan could barely refrain from asking his next question.

“Does it hurt?”

A mischievous glint cast over your eye as you replied smoothly, “Not as much as it does to have talk to you.”

“Alright, alright.” Pan ran a hand through his dusty brown hair, and you smiled to yourself as the pair of you walked back to camp together.

I Tried Free Bleeding Into Period Panties and This Is What Happened

When I heard that there was a brand of underwear called Thinx that absorbs period blood, I knew I had to try them.

Thinx sent me three pairs to try out: the Hiphugger, a low-rise and full-coverage style for heavy days; the Sport, a classic bikini style for medium days; and the Cheeky, a skimpier style for light days. As soon as I took them out of the package, I was skeptical. The panties felt too … normal. Where was the diaper-like insert? Nowhere to be found. In fact, the crotch (black, of course) was more like that of a bathing suit. Plus, they didn’t look like granny panties — they’re actually pretty cute!

Day One

I got my period while at the Seventeen.com office late in the afternoon and didn’t have my Thinx with me. Fail! Luckily, my first day is often super light. I popped on a panty liner and went about my day and wore a light-day pad to bed. The true test would have to wait until tomorrow, aka my heaviest flow day.

Day Two

Thinx leaves it up to you how you want to wear the undies. Basically, the heavy-day style holds up to two tampons worth of blood. Only you know your flow, so you can wear them as a backup to pads, tampons, or cups, or you can wear them on their own. My period can be pretty heavy on the second day (I change my pad about two to three times), so I decided to wear the Hiphuggers with a light pad as backup.

A few hours into the day, I decided to go all in and removed the pad. I was nervous AF, but I was wearing black pants; I figured the worst that could happen would be I leak a little. But guess what? NO LEAKS, which is crazy because you still feel the blood coming out of you, you just don’t see it anywhere.

The crotch wasn’t wet at all, and it didn’t feel full or saggy.

Right before bed, I followed the directions and rinsed out my Thinx undies. Weirdly, blood didn’t come rushing out like I was expecting. The water was a little darker, sure, but nothing too intense. I hand-washed with Woolite and cold water, hung them to dry, and cried aloud, “WHERE DID ALL OF THE BLOOD GO? WHERE?”

The skies didn’t answer, so I did a little research: There are four super-thin micro-layers at work to absorb the blood. Thinx’s fancy technology makes them not only leak-resistant, but also moisture-wicking and antimicrobial. You feel dry because the top of the four layers quickly wicks away liquid into the absorption pad layer underneath.

Still, I had days to go and only two dry pairs, so I went to bed in regular underwear with a pad. This is where it gets a little tricky: You definitely need a collection of Thinx if you want to wear them every day like I did, because there’s the daytime, the nighttime, and the rinsing in between to think about.

Day Three

I had planned on wearing the same Hiphugger pair because my day three flow is still pretty heavy, but they weren’t dry yet, so I opted for the Sport style. This was the Saturday before Easter, and I was traveling to see my family in Philadelphia by train. There was no option to change my clothes for hours so I crossed my fingers that the panties would hold up on a day when I usually go through one to two pads. And they did. Completely! By the time I got to my grandmother’s house a few hours later, I still felt totally dry. I actually forgot that I had my period for a few minutes. Crazy!

There was a bit of an icky moment though. You know how not everything that comes out of you is totally liquid? It’s normal to have some clots that come out, which is why blood sometimes looks clumpy. There was a small amount of that on the crotch of my underwear so I just wiped it off with toilet paper. Problem solved.

I actually felt like I could wear this pair to bed because they felt so clean, but … couldn’t. Instead, I washed them, hung them up to dry, and went to bed wearing my third pair, the Cheeky. I don’t bleed much at night, but if I did, I would’ve just added a pad.

Day Four

This is my medium-to-light day, so you’d think I’d be super confident by now, waking up and sticking with my Cheeky pair. But it was Easter, and I was wearing a pastel-blue dress without tights to brunch with 20 of my family members and about 100 strangers. There could be no leaks! I went to the bathroom to check on them more I had on heavier days and was leak-free each time.

That night, I went commando to bed. Call me a risk taker, but like I said, I don’t bleed much overnight, especially on day four.

Day Five

I was out of underwear so I wore the Hiphuggers again. Though this was my lightest day, I didn’t mind wearing them at all because they’re so undiaper-y. My train ride back to NYC was a total success!

Final Thoughts

I’m officially Thinx-obsessed. They just worked for me. I didn’t have to stress about having supplies with me or worry that I’d kept a tampon in for too long. I really only thought about my period in the morning and before bed, and not much else during the day. I also felt less wasteful because I wasn’t throwing out pads and tampons. Yay, environment!

The undies made me feel more confident too. I’m usually wearing loose clothes on heavy days since I’m worried you can see the line of a pad. But I felt great in my tight pants and spring dress. Yes, $34 is a lot for a pair of underwear, but it’s worth it to me because it makes my period so much less of a hassle. I’ll be buying the thong and high-waisted styles for sure. Having your period is not fun for anyone, so #TreatYourself, right?

by Seventeen

via cosmopolitan


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