By Oge Nwabueze
Wad up with that long face! Getting touchy already as your august visitor is close by? Girl friend it is time to snap out of it.
Yes, it is that time of the month where most ladies are extra-cautious. Some ladies go extremely “blanch” as soon as their period starts while some get infuriated over trivial issues. Others include being tensed, constant headaches, stomach cramps, mood swings, cravings, fatigue and frequent visit to the toilet. Though not all ladies experience the above, but a large percentage of them do. Most often, they want to have a shorter than usual period, but the truth is that the menstruation cycle for various ladies differ just like human beings differ; our body systems are not the same. For some, their period last for four days while for some, it feels like perpetuity.
Infact, if it is possible for a lady to manipulate the day her period will start, she will definitely change it to a day that is most convenient for her; probably the day she plans to be indoor, or she might just wish it away. But the monthly flow is an un-avoidable part of a lady’s life, no escape route has been found unless the menopause age.
However, when you are faced with these, how you handle the situation is what matters. It is therefore important to calm yourself and learn how to control whatever symptom you are experiencing, in order not to lose something precious to you. It could be a relationship built over time with friends, fiancé, colleagues, boss, family among others.
I have also realized that in order not to step on people’s toes or vice versa, some go to the extent of staying indoors, switching off phones or canceling appointments; odi serious
But not to worry, there are solutions to all these menstrual nightmares, so let us fix them………
Step 1: Have a personal calendar
This is pivotal, and I believe every lady should have a personal calendar (I will advice you go for a portable calendar) to keep track of her period, in order not to be caught unaware. It is essential to note when your period starts and ends, and how many days interval (cycle) before the next one. Your cycle could be as short as 23 days or as long as 35 days, it is either counted from the first day of your period to the first day of the next period, or the last day of your period to the first day of the next one. For instance, if your period lasts for four days and you have 23 days interval before the next one, if you start and finish 20th-23rd September, the next one will be on the 16th October.
To make it easier, use a pencil or biro to mark the days of your period on a calendar. You can as well write the symptoms you have on a particular day. Also illustrate with an H- heavy or L-light, to indicate the kind of flow on your calendar. It is possible to have your period twice in one month; it depends on your cycle and the particular month also.
Period may come earlier or later than expected, probably three days before or after. It could be a change of cycle. So be at alert to avoid sudden period embarrassment
Step 2: know what to eat/drink and what not to
This is the period you crave for all sorts of food, you feel like shoving everything you desire into your mouth. But I have got news for you, eating in such manner will only make whatever symptoms you are experiencing worse. So the watch word is “Be extra careful”. Take food that will bring out natural pre-menstrual relief and have a healthy diet. You can eat healthy proteins, more fish and food rich in vitamin C. Also, eating banana helps regulate blood sugar, and produces stress relieving relaxation.
Remember that you need to drink a lot of water as well as limit alcohol consumption; alcohol intoxicates. Avoid every other thing that intoxicates; sugar, milk etc.
Know the category of food to be consumed during menstruation. When the body gets proper nutrition, the possibility of experiencing any of those symptoms is slim.
Step 3: Regular and proper exercise
Exercise helps improve blood and oxygen circulation throughout the body, including the pelvis, which will reduce cramp. Try exercises like jogging, running, moving your body to beats (music), but do not over do them. Psquare’s ‘Alingo’ is a perfect exercise song for me. Exercising will relieve you of any PMS (Premenstrual Symptoms).
Before embarking on the exercise, make sure your pad is not soaked.
Step 4: Relaxation
Monthly flow does not mean monthly imprisonment; you can still fly even when you are having it. Just think of something you enjoy doing and spoil yourself with it; in a modest way. It could be a visit to the museum, cinema, shopping, knitting, making hair, anything that keeps you busy and enthralled. Do not limit yourself, know what suits you and go for it. Remember, body system differs a lot. Do not compare what ‘A’ is able to do during menstruation to yours.
If you have unconsciously transferred aggression, relax and try to ponder on the cause of your anger, you will find out that it is not relevant.
Do not lock yourself in a corner, all in the name of “I am having my period”. Socialize and have fun-packed activities.
Step 5: Get a good sanitary pad
First of all, you need to discover the kind of flow you have (light, normal, heavy, very heavy etc) at different days of the period. The first day could be heavy while the last day light. In essence, there are various pads designed for different flows, you can try different products, until you get the one that suits you. If you choose a good pad, you do not need to be scared of being greeted with a big red stain.
If you are not sure of the length of time you would spend in a particular place, carry an extra pad in your bag and any other necessary feminine product to keep you fresh during menstruation.
Step 6: keep yourself clean
It is important to be hygienic during menstruation so you can look and smell fresh anywhere you find yourself. Wear good and clean underwear. If necessary, change your feminine product in order to be comfortable and alluring inside and outside. Hello! If changing five times and having your bath twice a day is what will make you comfortable and smell good, then so be it! Do not be stingy with regards to your health neither lazy to clean up yourself nor change your pad, create that extra time for it. You could also use a perfume or body spray to complement this.
As a secondary school student, there is no crime in taking permission from your teacher to change your pad. Just tell him you want to use the ladies urgently. Do not feel shy about it; else, you might end up being stained and shyer.
You can keep yourself clean and smell nice without going overboard in your expenses.
Step 7: Be Prepared
Your menstrual cycle may change, causing your monthly flow to come without giving you a notice. It might start a week before or after the proposed time. In essence, a week before your period starts, make sure you always carry in your bag, a pad. Also, keep an extra pair of underwear incase of emergency and the need to change it right away. You can wear a pant liner so if you start unexpectedly, no one would notice. If you do not have a pad at that moment, wrap sufficient toilet roll around your hand and make use of it.
If you are already stained, wrap a cardigan or a big shawl around your waist, till you get a change of clothes.
Step 8: know the clothes to wear
Be selective and extremely conscious if your flow is around the corner. Do not wear any light material dress; wear something dark so that even if you get stained, it won’t be noticeable.
Carefully select what to wear; else you might lose your clothe to some ‘big red spot’
Step 9: Pain killers
All body systems do not function the same way. Therefore, know the pain killer that works with your system, go to the pharmacist to get a prescription, do not apply self medication, it might get out of hand.
Step 10: Herbs
If you prefer herbs, go to a tested and trusted herb dealer for effective herbal remedy. The herb is widely used to treat mood swings in women resulting from PMS. Ideally, this herb should be taken two weeks before the period to the last day of the flow.
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