There are not many things that you want to do when you have your period except lay in bed, watch re-runs of “Sex in the City,” and eat coffee Haagen Dazs ice cream! But between work, family, and an endless list of responsibilities, you have to get out of bed and get moving. And even though you may have to move through your day on a massive amount of Advil, there are a few things that you should not do while on your period.
- Bikini Wax: As if a bikini wax wasn’t torture enough, try doing it while you have your period. Double trouble! Your pain receptors are extra heightened and your skin extra sensitive when you have your period. Add to that a pretty messy situation, and waxing while on your period is something you should not do. Period!
- Pro-Inflammatory Foods: Your period is a period of heightened inflammatory mediators—hence, menstrual cramps. While foods filled with inflammatory mediators (sugars, saturated fats, fried foods, artificial additives) are all you really want to eat, they are best avoided during your period.
- Breast Exams: The breasts are incredibly sensitive to changes in hormonal production. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone can make both breast exams and mammograms more uncomfortable. Additionally, cystic breast changes are more likely to be palpated on an exam, which can unnecessarily raise a red flag. While monthly breast exams are a very good idea, don’t set your alarm to the first few days of heavy flow.
- Unprotected Sex: While unprotected sex is never a good idea, it is a particularly bad idea when you have your period. Blood is a good medium for viruses and other bugs. Therefore, the transmission of things like HIV can be higher during this time period. Furthermore, the cervix is slightly dilated (a.k.a. open) when you have your period. This makes it easier for bugs to get from the vagina to the cervix and into the pelvis.
- White Pants and Bathing Suit Shopping: This likely goes without saying, but wearing white when you have your period is not the best idea you have ever had. While you may be super fashionable, now is not the time to showcase your new white jeans! On that same note, Aunt Flo is not who you want to go bikini shopping with. Aside from the technical difficulties (trying on bikini bottoms with a pad and/or a tampon), you are going to be extra bloated. This will make any bikini look blah at best!
We all have our “go tos” during that time of the month. Heating pads, teas, soups, and stretches…whatever helps you relieve the pain, the discomfort, and the all-around blahs is okay in our book. However, when the pain is unbearable, the discomfort distressing, or the blahs are making you more than blue, you should think about talking to your GYN. They will likely have a “go to” that can make you good to go during everyone’s favorite time of the month.