Discussion: Periods

If you cringed or made a face while reading the title then you need to stick around until the end because you need to hear this more than anyone.

Let’s get to it.

Lady time, Aunt Flow, mensies, your special visitor, that “Time of the Month” whatever you call it, today we’re going to talk about it.

Men – yeah I’m coming for you first. If you are a straight man who is sexually active then you have no right to say that you are “grossed out” by periods. I’ll be blunt: if a vagina isn’t “gross” to you when you’re sticking your dick in it, then it’s not any other time either. Seriously, grow up.

This especially applies if you have children. If you’ve got boys, then you need to raise them so they understand periods not be afraid of them, so that they don’t become one of those assholes that makes fun of a girl if she gets her period in class. Trust me, that moment is hard enough as is. And if you have daughters then you need to educate yourself and be able to talk to them about what they’re going through. You may need to run out and grab some Advil, pads/tampons, and a pint (or two) of Ben and Jerry’s. So prepare yourself now.

Now for those of us who actually have periods – talk about it! Tell it all, don’t be afraid. I’ll go first:

I first got my period when I was 9. Yeah fucking nine. Oh believe me, I was pissed. And it just so happened that at the time I was spending Thanksgivings with my Dad and Christmas with Mom. You guessed it, the day before Thanksgiving while I was at my Dad’s I got my period for the first time.

I just remember waking up with this horrible pain. I went to the bathroom and boom…there was blood. Luckily we were actually at my aunt’s house so I snooped through the closet and found some pads. I used common sense to figure out how it should go on and I went back to bed. I don’t really remember actually telling either of my parents that I started my period but they both found out one way or another.

Anyway, the worst part at the time was the cramps. My goodness I felt like I was dying. The second time that it came (back at Mom’s this time) I literally crawled into my Mom’s bed with her and cried. I hate being in pain and I had never experienced anything like this before. Sure I scraped my knees a few times as a kid but those were external wounds. This felt like my own body wanted to take me down.

A lot of times I would try to fight through the pain, but when my Dad saw me curled up on the couch before school he would let me stay home. I would sleep most of the day, not eating much because I couldn’t. Luckily, we’ve had the same doctor in our family for forever so she knows how bad the cramps are. That prescription for 800mg ibuprofen (yes 800) was a lifesaver.

A lot of people say, “oh exercise will help” that actually doesn’t work for everyone. I was an athlete is high school. I played sports 5 days a week for 2 hours. I pushed through the cramps when I wanted to do nothing more than lay down in the fetal position.

Second worst thing was the vomiting. Every month, like clockwork. Not because of anything I ate. My body just decided it wanted to reject food I guess. On top of that, there are some days where all I could eat was Cheerios and maybe some toast. Other days I will eat everything in sight. I have the worst cravings too. Always chocolate without question and there were a couple of months where I NEEDED french fries. Didn’t care where from I just had to have them.

I’ve had other symptoms along the way including back aches and migraines, what has really helped a lot of that is getting on birth control. I mentioned a bit about this is a previous discussion post about reproductive rights.

Of course, birth control pills aren’t for everyone and all of our bodies respond differently but in my case it has helped. I also now always keep Advil in my purse.

Now that I sort of have a handle on it sometimes the flow is light and I barely feel a thing and some days I want to stay in bed and eat nothing but ice cream. If I could I would get a hysterectomy since I don’t want kids anyway, but I’m 25. single and have no children so I couldn’t even get my tubes tied if I wanted.

So that’s my story, what’s yours?


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About Bookmark Chronicles

Hi! I'm Rae. 25. Avid Reader. Book Blogger. Intersectional Feminist. Gryffinclaw. Coffee & Tea Lover.
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41 Responses to Discussion: Periods

  1. ashley says:

    I don’t remember how old I was when I got mine, but I do know that 800 Ibuprofen is a lifesaver for more than just cramps.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I recently read a book on NetGalley that had me so pissed off I almost broke my computer. The author (a woman) said, and I quote, “periods are a blessing from God” (yeah, okay, it was a Christian book for teen girls), but then it got even better, “NEVER complain about your gift.” Excuse me, but, WTF! It actually said that it could be uncomfortable, but it’s not as bad as some would lead you to believe. I wanted to slap that woman silly.
    I was cursed with an irregular period. I’m a freaking weather predictor. I can tell you when the seasons will change with nearly 100% accuracy. When I was younger and the seasons changed from summer to fall and winter to spring, I would get it twice that month. I applaud anyone who can circle a date on their calendar for that time of the month. Things are still irregular, but even stranger as I hit 40 and entered perimenopause. Ha, now there’s a hilarious topic to discuss. Pre-30, I had cramps but never a headache. 30-40 cramps disappeared (thankfully). 40…hello migraine! 7 days of wanting to rip my head open with a hammer or pull my eyeball out and get it over with. 7 days of that for a 3 day period. Gah!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Okay first, I am so with you about wanting to slap the woman saying that we shouldnt complain about our “gift” ugh that’s ridiculous.

      Omg I am so sorry that you went through that. Twice in one month??! I can’t even imagine. Glad to hear that your cramps are gone but thise migraines are no joke. We just can’t win

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Sorry to hear that your periods have been horrible to you.

    I remember being 11 and calling for my mom when I saw the blood, I guess I just wanted confirmation. I realize now how lucky I was to live in household made up mostly of women (my dad being the only guy).

    Each month I know my period is about to start when my boobs begin to hurt. A couple of days later, BAM period is there. I take two tylenols 500mg, get my heating pad and curl up in bed when it’s possible. Lately, my period comes on days that I have to go work, so I can’t stay in bed as much as I would like to.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Very lucky to be in a household with women. I am forever thankful that it wasn’t just me and my dad that morning ha!

      Interesting that your boobs tell you its coming but at least you can be ready! Ooh I forgot to mention the heating pad. Its my new best friend on days when the cramps are really bad

      Like

  4. 9! You poor thing! I don’t remember when I first got mine, I was definitely in high school, but I went into denial, until I woke up late one night and was covered in it =/ My poor mum,lol..It must have been terrifying until she realised what it was,lol…I couldn’t stop crying!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thingscarlaloves says:

    Reblogged this on Things Carla Loves.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the worst things was keeping it quiet around boys, and men. My dad was old fashioned in many respects, and when I was 18 and had the flu (and the period) and he asked if I needed anything from the store, I mentioned pads and he damn near had a seizure right in front of me. After that, if I blew a bunch of money at Walgreens and he asked me, I’d say “girl stuff” and that would shut the conversation down right there.

    The shaming from boys, and then men, has to be so freaking stupid. I’ve heard some god-awful stuff that’s on par with breastfeeding in public shaming (gee, I wonder why–guess they don’t know what a woman’s body is for when they’re not in bed. Idiots). And this lady here has a fantastic slam poem (I think it’s one of the first I’d found) regarding some idiot on twitter who broke up with a girl when her period started during sex. If you haven’t heard it before, Ms. Dominque is awesome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vu2BsePvoI

    Best of luck to all of us.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Laura Beth says:

    My first period was something out of a book. I can’t remember exactly what age I was. I think it was either 1998 or 1999? But, I started mine at summer camp. It was a church camp on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. One of the older girls, Sabrina, was a member of my church’s youth group. We were in a group, walking back to our cabins, and Sabrina noticed a stain on the back of my bib overall shorts. She was so sweet about it. She pulled me aside, and asked me if I had sat down in some mud or something. When I said no, she was obviously struggling with what to tell me and how to help me. She asked me if I thought I had started my period. I remember feeling incredibly embarrassed at first, but Sabrina was so wonderful. I don’t remember much else from that week, but I remember how nice Sabrina was to me, and she helped me through it.

    Before that, my mom had educated me as much as she could, and I owned and read The Care and Keeping of You from American Girl Library over and over and over for years. I also recommend Girlology: A Girl’s Guide to Stuff that Matters. I found that one on my own at the library a few years later. By reading these books, I educated myself at an early age. I still don’t know everything, but having those books, and my mom, were immensely helpful.

    Unfortunately, I turned into a completely different person every month when I was getting ready to start my period. I felt horrible for my mom. In addition, she started going through menopause as I, her only child, was experiencing puberty! By age 12, I was absolutely miserable. I would sometimes have periods twice in one month, and it was pure hell. I was so angry, sad, and my hormones were all over the place. We went to a wonderful OB/GYN, and I started on the Pill. It worked wonders! Aside from occasional miserable cramps and “meltdowns,” everything else went away!

    I was on the Pill until college, when I switched to NuvaRing. I was having trouble remembering to take the Pill every day, and I developed a pretty bad pill aversion. The metallic taste lingered for so long, to the point where I felt slightly nauseous every single day. The ring has been the best form of period control, and now birth control, for me. I switched OB/GYNs in high school, when I started to feel really uncomfortable being examined by a man. I’ve seen the same woman, in a different office, ever since then.

    The only true scare I had was in 2012. I knew I was going to start my period soon, but I came home from work that afternoon and felt horrible. Worse than I had in years. It truly felt like a rock was on my chest, felt feverish, and felt like I was having trouble breathing. My mom gave me an aspirin, but I didn’t feel much better. She drove me to the closest ER, and I was diagnosed with costochondritis. Thankfully, it’s treatable with ibuprofen. I have that on hand every month, at home and at work. Other than the inflammation, I usually develop a headache right around the time I’m supposed to take out my ring. There are a few benefits – I have shorter periods now, and they’re not as heavy. Plus, I don’t really have cramps anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg lucky you had Sabrina! That was very sweet of her. Great book recommendations, those would have been super helpdul to have in hand.

      It’s crazy the way that our moods can change isn’t it? Periods can be so damn brutal sometimes

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laura Beth says:

        I’m so thankful for Sabrina!

        I definitely want to have those books on hand when we start our family.

        Mood swings are the WORST! But, periods are a part of our lives. Messy, but normal!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Ariel Lynn says:

    Hmm. I’m torn between sharing my period story/stories here, or doing it in the comment before a reblog.

    What do you think? I’m leaning towards the comment on a reblog. We should all be so brave as you, & put ourselves out there front & center. It’s the only way things are going to change – however slowly. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  9. darthtimon says:

    Reblogged this on Coalition of the Brave and commented:
    There’s a very simple thing we need to understand fellas. First, we cannot imagine what it must be like to experience horrible cramps and pains every single month, with the knowledge that it’s coming and that in some cases, in most cases, the pain can only be mitigated, never prevented. If – IF – a woman should become unhappy during her period, she has every right to be. Her hormones are going crazy. Just be there and be kind.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. thebookcorps says:

    This: “if a vagina isn’t “gross” to you when you’re sticking your dick in it, then it’s not any other time either. Seriously, grow up” is the best line I’ve ever read and I laughed out loud so thank u.

    And my friends and I talk about our periods all the time. I was 11 when I got mine and I was at school. It was approaching this end of the day, thank god, and my friend (a girl) pulled me aside and was like “I think you got your period” because I had a little bit of blood at the back of my dress. I was so scared but my mum helped me when I got home. Throughout high school my period pain wasn’t too bad, some cramps and migraines. But as I got older — like 18 to now — it got so much worse. There was one time I fainted from the pain (and I suffered from migraines about 3-4 times a week in high school, so I was used to pain but this was wayyyyyyyyy worse). Thankfully, I was standing right next to my bed at the time, so I fell on my bed and not on the ground where I could have hit my head. Another time I was walking from my room to the kitchen and I suddenly doubled over in pain, because it felt like someone had reached into my body, grabbed my ovaries and started twisting. I couldn’t walk and I ended up just sitting in the corridor for a little while and trying not to cry. And my flow has gotten way worse over the years too, if I don’t wear dark jeans or other dark clothes, like I’m fucked. I probably should go to a doctor now that I read all this, but the pain and heavy flow is so irregular. And also my doctor is a really old man and I’m so uncomfortable around him, and when I went to a female doctor about my mental health problems (I went through a really bad batch I April last year) she dismissed me and just said I was a perfectionist when I said I had anxiety. So I don’t know who to go to. 😦

    But anyway, thanks for writing this post. We all need to talk about periods way more, because they’re not gross they’re just a normal part of life for so many people. And I hate the way men act whenever the topic is brought up. One time a male friend of mine didn’t even want to hold a pack of pads for me while we were shopping. I was like, “are you alright, they’re still in a packet??” and he was like “yeah but it’s gross.” like fuck off mate, I’m not asking you to hold a used pad for me 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah thank you. Glad I could make you laugh. But like right?!

      Omg yes maybe you should see a doctor? I feel like most people say its gets better as they age, not worse. Although I too need to see a doctor. My mother, aunt and grandmother have all had to get hysterectomies and I think im getting to that point too….. but yeah sometimes its so hard to find a good female doctor

      Ugh you were wearing a dress? I fucking hate that. Like could you make your grand entrance at a more convenient time?

      Men are idiots. Thats my conclusion. Grow the fuck up and hold the damn pads, you won’t die!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ariel Lynn says:

    Reblogged this on Writing Radiation and commented:
    Rae at Bookmark Chronicles was brave enough to discuss her first menstruation in her post. We really do need to discuss female anatomy & biological functions without shame, code words, or covering the ears of impressionable youth.

    So, to put my money where my mouth is, I’m going to share the story of my first period. I’m not talking about school, either.

    I got my period when I was around 13. This was a year after my mother died, & around the time of my Bat Mitzvah. Mom knew she was dying & she was a biology teacher, so she gave me a quick run-down of what was going to start happening soon. Honestly, I wish my parents had felt comfortable enough discussing this topic with me from a younger age, giving me some time to prepare.

    Heck, they bought me a book, obviously geared towards kids, explaining where babies come from that I had from before I can remember. It would seem that a similar book on menstruation would be a no-brainer.

    If that book doesn’t exist yet, it needs to. Someone write it.

    I’ve been incredibly fortunate in that I didn’t have excruciating cramps, headaches, or other issues before, during, or after my period. I’ve been on hormonal birth control since I was around 17, not because I was always sexually active, but because it’s helpful as heck to know when my period’s coming. Underwear is expensive, people.

    Seriously people – if you’ve talked about your flatulence, or your bowel movements without batting an eye, you can do the same with menstruation, even if it doesn’t affect you personally. That brings me to the next point I think is important: people of both genders (but, yeah, I’ll say mostly men) need to be more familiar with female anatomy. The number of people who think women urinate out of their vagina, or can hold in menstrual blood like holding in urine, is astounding. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bravo! I am glad to hear that you didn’t deal with the cramps and migraines and what not although it does make me very jealous haha.

      A friend of mine has been searching for a book about periods that was referenced once but cannot find it ANYWHERE. It’s gotta be out there somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Probably was pushed out of print by people who subscribe to purity culture and are afraid if women know more about their own bodies, they’ll want to have sex too young and too often and (heaven forbid) actually enjoy it beyond procreation plans. Heaven forbid women learn more about themselves so they can have more accurate knowledge of what certain pain may mean or where it’s located (so doctors can take us more seriously) during the TOM, or how to explain to a man what the pain is like and what’s going on so they stop being grossed out by what a woman’s body is actually doing.

        I swear, the more we get into this discussion, and the more I read, the more I feel men don’t think about a woman’s body at all unless they’re looking or thinking about having sex with one. Sheesh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        Rae – I didn’t mean to make anyone envious. I do credit a lot of my lack of issues on sheer good luck. My Mom had endometriosis, so I had a good shot at pure h–l.

        Also, I credit hormonal birth control. The time between getting my period & starting B.C. was only about 2-4 years, & it feels like a lifetime ago, so I could be wrong about how it felt.

        When I made my reblog comment, I hadn’t looked for any books on menstruation, TBH. Amazon has some good recommendations, at least! In case you’re interested – http://www.amazon.com/Menstrual-cycle-Childrens-Books/s?page=1&rh=n%3A4%2Ck%3AMenstrual%20cycle&ref_=nav_custrec_signin&

        I focused my search on children’s books because, let’s be honest, I think teaching kids about menstruation young is ideal. It’s no fun to have a box of pads & a shrug when you find yourself bleeding without warning. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. We should definitely learn younger. Boys too

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        OMG YES, BOYS TOO!!!! When people were talking about the “luxury tax” on feminine hygiene products, & some guys were saying girls should “learn to hold it, like we learned in kindergarten.”

        The stupid. It burns. 😖

        Liked by 1 person

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