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How To Handle Your Period: Tips & Advice

Knowing how to manage your period can make it a whole lot easier to feel comfortable and confident at all times of the day. After all knowledge is power!

Welcome to a conversation that's all about how to handle your period with confidence. If you're someone curious about making this monthly experience a bit easier, or maybe just looking for some helpful tips, you're in the right place.

We'll explore everything you need to know about managing menstruation, dealing with cramps, understanding your options for products, and even how to navigate those days when your emotions are all over the place. By the end of this journey, you'll feel more empowered and confident about dealing with your period. Ready? Let's get started!

Understanding periods and what to expect

Your period is a natural bodily function, it's a monthly shedding of the lining of your uterus, made up of blood, nutrients and tissue. This shedding is controlled by hormones and happens roughly every 21-34 days as part of the menstrual cycle phases,. Everyone’s period will be a unique experience, some will find their period starts off with a lighter flow and becomes heavier after a day or two, and for others it will be super heavy on the very first day! The same is true for how long your period will last, anything from 2-10 days is considered okay!

Knowing what to expect, and when can help ease any worries, especially if you’re anticipating your first period. Along with bleeding, you might also experience symptoms like period pain, bloating, mood swings, and breast tenderness. Even though these can be bothersome to deal with every month, they are all perfectly normal parts of the menstrual cycle, and we’ve got some excellent tips to help manage all these symptoms and help you get on with your day uninterrupted.

Handy tips for managing your period

Navigating your period becomes simpler with practical tips. From managing your period at work to planning for irregular periods, here’s some advice for a stress-free experience. Making your period days more comfortable and manageable.

  • Comfortable Clothing: Not only is it a good idea to wear breathable underwear to prevent sweating and trapped moisture. If you suffer with period cramps loose fitting clothes, particularly around the waist can help relieve any tummy discomfort.
  • Personal Hygiene: Maintaining good intimate hygiene practices is so important when menstruating. Use plain water to clean intimate areas, including the bottom every day. If you do prefer to use products go for gentle, fragrance products designed for the intimate area.
  • Frequent product changes: Whilst on the subject of intimate hygiene, be sure to change your pads or pantyliners every 3-5 hours during the day, this will avoid any unpleasant odours forming, which can sometimes cause irritation.
  • Period Products on Hand: Always have a stash of your preferred period products in your bag or at work. If you want to know the best ways to use a tampon or put on a pad, don’t hesitate to read about it right here on the Lil-Let’s Hub. And remember pantyliners are great too for a lighter flow or discharge.
  • Hydration: Stay hydrated as it can help manage bloating and improve overall well-being during your period.
  • Healthy Snacking: Choose nutritious snacks to regulate energy levels and combat cravings. Foods rich in iron and magnesium can be particularly beneficial.
  • Regular Breaks: Take short breaks if needed, especially on intense flow days. A moment to yourself can make an enormous difference to energy levels and your mental well-being.
  • Gentle Exercise: Engage in light exercises like walking or yoga to ease cramps and enhance your mood. Heat pads and hot water bottles are also great for period pain relief and loosening stiff muscles after exercise.
  • Mood Management: Practice mindfulness to manage mood swings/premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and stress. Some mindfulness activities include journaling, meditation, and breathing techniques.
  • Open Communication: Talk openly about periods with friends and colleagues to foster a supportive environment when managing periods at work, school or home. Periods are a natural part of life, and embracing open communication reduces stigma.
  • Regular Health Checks: If you experience painful or irregular periods, consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough examination. Birth control, contraceptives and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen are potential treatments. Regular health checks ensure any underlying issues are addressed promptly. By chatting with a medical professional, you’ll able to identify if your cycle is normal (if not frustrating at times), or if there are more serious medical conditions present like endometriosis that can affect ovulation and fertility.

Managing heavy periods

When it comes to tackling heavy periods, it's like figuring out a puzzle unique to you. Remember that for many a heavy flow is quite normal and just a part of how your body works. But if you find that you are having to change your pad or tampon every 2 hours or less, you may want to speak to your doctor. They can help you understand any potential causes such as hormonal imbalances or underlying medical conditions. You should also explore various menstrual products to find what works best for you, whether it's high-absorbency pads, tampons, menstrual cups, period underwear or a combination of one or two of these product formats. 

Remember too that a heavy period can come with those dreaded leaks, our No.1 tip for stain removal is to always go in with cold water first, (this stops the stain from becoming permanent), then rub a little washing detergent in and pop in with your normal wash.

If you do have a heavy and prolonged period your iron levels may plumet every month, leaving you lacking in energy and concentration. So be sure to top up on Iron, this nutrient can be found in red meat, leafy green vegetables, beans and pulses and even drinking the odd small glass of orange juice can help too.

How to deal with periods on holiday

When preparing for a holiday, particularly during summer, managing your period may require some planning. Consider choosing period products suitable for swimming such as tampons or menstrual cups. You could also wear dark or patterned swimwear to provide additional peace of mind.

And if swimming is not your main focus, lounging on a sunbed with a good book can be a great alternative.  If you’re spending the day on the beach, or if you’re the adventurous kind visiting the local tourist attractions, remember to pack an adequate supply of period products to ensure a comfortable and stress-free holiday.

How to deal with mood swings and PMS

If you know that a week or more before your period you will suffer with changes to your moods, there are a few things you can do to help manage these draining and often overwhelming emotions. Reduce your salt intake during this time and your caffeine intake too! Get plenty of sleep, herbal teas can help with this, and try to exercise daily, even 30 minutes of brisk walking can help lift your mood. Book a date in your diary during this time to do something fun with family and friends, having something to look forward to, is an instant mood elevator.

If you find that even once a period has ended your mood is still very low, you may be suffering with PMDD a condition that occurs during the luteal phase of your cycle. Symptoms such as feeling depressed, lack of interest in things you once loved to do, loss of appetite, insomnia or a general feeling of being out of control should be discussed with your doctor. 

Getting used to your period

If you’re new to periods it can seem like you’ll never have a regular cycle, and it’s true that for the first couple of years periods can be erratic, not only for when they arrive, but how long they last and how much blood is released. Managing your period at this time can be overwhelming but understand this is just the start of your menstrual journey.  Keep a diary detailing how you feel each day, and the first day of your period, in time you will start to see a pattern of not only when your period is due to arrive, but also how you feel a few days before. In time, you’ll get used to your period and discover exactly which menstrual products work for you. Don’t be afraid to explore and embrace the ebb and flow of your period with Lil-Lets.

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