A woman’s menstrual flow or period can result in changes in her lifestyle. Menstrual cramps, stooling, nauseousness, abdominal pains are some of the accompanying symptoms of menstrual flow. A study conducted in 2015 states that normal fluctuations in hormones during the menstrual cycle alter neurotransmitters that are responsible for a variety of functions, including mood, libido, appetite, anxiety, emotion, pain, and pleasure.
Also, the changes and relative levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone throughout the menstrual cycle, including during the period itself, are also responsible for many of the changes women notice (such as breakouts, br*ast tenderness, etc). Here are some things you should avoid doing during your period as they make it worse.
1. Getting waxed
Due to the menstrual flow, the body’s receptors for pain and tenderness are extremely sensitive, and you should never consider getting waxed during your period. Getting waxed at this time may just be an invitation to menstrual cramps.
2. Taking a br*ast exam
Studies have shown that fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone can make both br*ast exams and mammograms more uncomfortable. Additionally, cystic br*ast changes are more likely to be palpated on an exam and can unnecessarily raise a red flag. While monthly br*ast exams are a very good idea, don’t set your alarm to the first few days of heavy flow.
3. Eating dairy products
Because during the period the body is much gassier, you should exclude or reduce to the minimum the intake of dairy proteins. They make you even more bloated and hold the water and other liquids inside the body. Just resist the urge for these foods till after your period.
4. Wearing a pad for more than four hours
Though you’re in the last days of your period, and the pad is still clean, consider changing it. Just because there’s no blood on the pad or the tampon doesn’t mean it’s clean from other bacteria. Also, during your period, the body is mostly affected due to the loss of blood and immunity, so ensure you are always clean.
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5. Drinking a lot of coffee
Caffeine increases the chances of discomfort, period cramps, and abdominal pain, as it constricts the blood vessels. You can replace caffeine with water when seeing your period. Decaffeinated green tea can also help soothe cramps.
Don’t use personal hygiene products, douche gels, and soaps during periods. Just a regular water douche is suitable for this period. Douching can disturb the normal microorganisms of the v*gina, leading to infections.
7. Smoke a lot of cigarettes
Smoking is considered a bad habit, but even if you’re a passionate smoker, consider smoking less during the period, because it can also worsen the menstrual cramps.
8. Eat salty foods
According to Thomas A. Molinaro, MD, MSCE, FACOG, of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, many women experience water retention (i.e., bloating) during their periods, so it’s best to avoid high amounts of sodium. However, if you’ve already fallen down the sodium hole and are feeling a bit puffy, drink plenty of water so that you flush out the excess salt and your body can return to its normal state.
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