Some people believe starting your period for the first time marks the right of passage into womanhood, however it may be, it is definitely a new experience for all females in their lifetime. Starting your period comes with not only hormonal, but physical changes as well. It may be uncomfortable to talk about at first, but having someone you can trust to talk to will make your transition a whole lot easier. After all, it’s something almost every female will experience in their life.
Weird Things That Happen To Your Body During Your Period
Your voice can change
Did you know that your voice actually changes during your period? Studies have shown that some women develop a lower pitch in the beginning of their cycles. Consider yourself lucky if you like to sing or are a soprano in the high school choir. During your period you are more likely able to hit those lower notes. Many girls' voices also may become more hoarse and rough sounding as well. As their cycle progresses, their voices eventually become more clear towards the end of their period. Let’s talk about why this happens. Estrogen is a hormone that causes changes in your mood, bloating and period. It also causes the fluctuations in your voice when estrogen decreases during your period.
Bathroom habits changes
Ever heard of that saying “period poop”? Well, the rumors are true, your period comes with a lot of body changes, it even affects your bowel movements. Many women notice when their period begins, they either develop constipation or diarrhea. In fact, changes in bowel movements are so common that about 73% of women report having them. The reason our bowels change during that “time of the month” is because the same hormones that stimulate uterine contractions to shed our uterine lining during our period, also cause muscle contractions in your bowels. It is very common to experience diarrhea during your period due to the different way our bodies absorb water during our periods.
Impact on brain function/cognitive ability
Some people believe that when a woman is on her period, it affects her cognitive abilities. It is actually a quite controversial topic and many studies have been done to prove or disprove this with no consistent conclusion. However, here is what we know. It is possible for women to experience what is commonly called “brain fog” during their period. During our cycles, our hormones fluctuate and depending on how severe the fluctuations of those hormones, the more likely you are to experience this “brain fog”. Brain fog simply means that you are more forgetful and less decisive.
Estrogen plays a big role in how our skin changes throughout our cycle. Some women develop acne, while others notice overall skin sensitivity. Estrogen levels drop as our period approaches, which then leads to skin sensitivity and acne or even blemishes. So, maybe holding off on shaving your leg or going for that eyebrow wax for after your period might be a good idea to avoid skin irritation.
Ever notice that around the time of your period, you have a hard time sleeping? Just like those hormone shifts causing skin sensitivity, moodiness, and changes in bowels, it also affects your sleep. Insomnia is common in about 50 percent of all women prior to their period. When you get close to the start of your period, the hormones estrogen and progesterone start to decline. The issue is however, estrogen declines earlier than progesterone. This uneven shift in hormones is what causes those sleepless nights. Other reasons for trouble sleeping include the side effects of period symptoms such as breast tenderness, bloating, and cramping that could keep you up at night.
Tiredness all the time
Lets face it, with all the extra curricular activities and studying after school, we don’t have time to feel extra tired. Low energy levels are common when you are on your period. When our estrogen levels drop suddenly to prepare for your period, it causes you to feel more tired and lazy. Also, when we lose blood during our period, it can also cause iron deficiency as well. Be sure to get the right amount of sleep every night to ensure you wake up feeling refreshed the next day.
Tips to help you during that time of the month
- Studies suggest you should get at least 7 hours of sleep a night before and during your period
- Wear a heating patch for menstrual cramps throughout the day. Some heating patches are made specifically to provide relief for up to 12 hours. They are discrete and thin.
- Leak proof underwear is a perfect staple to have during your period. Proof. Period underwear replaces the need for a tampon or pad. It reduces odor and is virtually invisible under clothes. Some underwear can be used for your lighter days, while others are great for your heavier days. This is great for school because it eliminates the need for frequent bathroom trips to check for leakage or needing to change a pad or tampon.
- Stay hydrated! Grab a cute reusable tumbler and keep it filled every day. Consider getting a tumbler that keeps track of how much water you should drink every day to stay hydrated.
- Avoid Salty foods because it can contribute to bloating and cause water retention
- When those cravings for sweets kick in, consider indulging in some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate provides many benefits for your period.
- Consider going on a walk and getting outside for some exercise. Exercising increases blood flow and blood circulation. Also, moving releases endorphins which helps your overall mood.
Some people think all those period trackers can help you predict when your period is going to come. But lets face it, we are always surprised when “aunt flow” comes to visit. The one thing we can prepare for, is what we can do to help keep ourselves healthy and prepared during that time of the month. Having period underwear in a special spot easy to find makes starting your period a lot easier. Always remember it’s normal to be tired but it's very important to stay hydrated. If you feel something doesn’t seem right, reach out to someone you feel comfortable with rather it’s a doctor or a trusted family or friend.