Periods are an important part of women’s life. When she gets her periods it is a roller coaster ride for her. We experience heavy symptoms like dealing with painful cramps, mood swings, bloating, and irritating vaginal issues. Although we go through tough situations, having periods regularly indicates having good health. They are natural and one has to go through them no matter what, so all you can do is embrace them and own them.
Many women go through a very tough time during their period, it is because of a lack of knowledge related to menstruation. There are certain things that women can take care of to avoid discomfort while menstruating. Understanding what is good and bad for your health is important. That is why in this article we have provided a list of things one must avoid during their period. This top-notch advice is given by our experts so make sure you check it out.
Things to Avoid During Periods
#1. Giving in to salt cravings
It is advised to not have food with a high salt content as they are not good for you when you’re menstruating since they can worsen your cramps. Even though you might have some really bad cravings for pizzas and french fries, relishing on some salty snacks can actually make your period cramps worse.
Salty foods may contribute to bloating and water retention that women may notice during the time of their periods. This can add to the discomfort because of bloating.
#2. Drinking a lot of coffee
Did you know that high caffeine consumption can elevate your pain? Having your morning cup of coffee is the best feeling but if aunt flow is around it may not be the best time, you might want to temporarily skip your latte. Consuming coffee can be one of the worst things you can do while you are menstruating as it may also contribute to breast tenderness. Caffeine can worsen discomfort from cramps and bloating, as it constricts blood vessels, which can worsen menstrual cramps
You might crave caffeine but you will also need to reduce the intake of coffee.
#3. Skipping Workout or Exercise
Lazing around like a panda and sleeping every day during your period may be the most peaceful thing to do rather than going to yoga class or gym, but doing your regular workout can actually help you feel better. It will alleviate headaches, weakness, fatigue, and even anxiety. Exercise does the body well.
It will help re-energize you and also help with menstrual cramps. The least you can do is do some light workout at home if not go to the gym or other activities.
#4. Avoid High Carbohydrate Meals
Foods that are high in carbohydrates including some fruits and vegetables are actually important because of the fiber infused in them. So when the energy is produced when carbohydrates break down into sugars, they may not be as filling as a meal competitive to a higher ratio of protein, which would provide long-lasting energy.
This in return can leave you feeling even more tired during your period. It is advised to add more vegetables and fruit-like oranges to your diet to help lessen your period symptoms.
#5. Using a douche
Douching may not be necessary and sometimes can even be harmful. Douching to clean yourself down there can prove to be detrimental. Often times the fragranced solution can disrupt the normal vaginal flora, which may result in causing irritation or abnormal discharge.
It can cause infections and several health issues like an increased risk of developing STDs by interfering with the vagina’s natural barriers against bacteria. A simple water douche that consists of only water and nothing else is a reasonable alternative, not be medically necessary.
#6. Wearing the same sanitary product all day long
It doesn’t matter if you’re using a sanitary pad or a tampon, but if you end up wearing the same product for more than 4 to 6 hours will prove to be a breeding ground for bacteria and it will also start to stink, the odor can be unbearable.
In fact, doing so can also cause skin rashes, irritation, and TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome). Often times you may get caught up in your work, but don’t leave the same pad or tampon in all day, it does not matter if you have less flow or heavy. You should be changing your tampon or pad after every 3 to 4 hours to avoid an unpleasant odor and for bacteria to build up which can lead to infections as well as the dreaded bleeding through your pants in the future.
#7. Physical Overexertion
When you menstruate, the blood supply around the pelvic organs increases like the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and vagina. Also, there are certain chemicals that are responsible for pain and heavy bleeding like prostaglandins.
When you overexert physically these chemicals may become more active and result in excessive pain and bleeding. So you must probably avoid overexertion such as kickboxing or going for a run. Instead, you may opt for calming yoga or some light exercise that can benefit your body.
#8. Waxing or shaving
It is best to avoid hair removal when you are on your period. The area near your vagina is sensitive and the pulling is done while waxing can be painful, which can add to your discomfort. Shaving can prove to be extremely messy due to the flow of the period. As if a bikini wax wasn’t torturing enough try doing it while you have your period can add to the trouble. In case you end up with a cut due to the shaving, it might lead to infection.
Your pain receptors are extra active and your skin tends to be extra sensitive when you have your period. This can result in a pretty messy situation and waxing while on your period is not something you should do. So, it is good to plan it after a week of your period to reduce the risk of pain and discomfort.
We all know, that smoking is bad for your health, although in addition to its health risks, it can also make your period much worse. A study from the journal Tobacco Control (R) reported that smokers are more likely to have painful periods than non-smokers.
#10. Using Excess medication for menstrual cramps
Menstrual cramps can turn into backache, lower abdominal cramps, or severe leg pain which is quite normal and is seen in more than 50% of women. If these symptoms do not let you perform your activities like going to school, college, or office work, you should go and consult or seek treatment from a gynecologist.
You can use hot fomentation or local liniment to reduce backache. Some women may require painkillers like Mefenamic Acid or Ibuprofen. However, one must take minimum medication only after consultation with a gynecologist and based on their prescription.
#11. Do not have injectables
Injectable and piercings even wax for that matter can prove to be painful. We are more sensitive to pain during our period so doctors do recommend planning your appointment for the two weeks after your menstruation period. Studies also report that women are consistently more sensitive to pain during their period.
#12. Having Unprotected Sex
Let us just clarify that it is absolutely normal to have sex when you are menstruating but having sex without protection during periods is a bad idea. If you’re not planning to start a family just yet, you should avoid taking the chance. While unprotected sex is never a good idea, it is actually a bad idea when you have your period. Plus, protected sex also helps in a way to avoid STDs. Period, or no period, always practice safe sex in order to stay away from infections and STDs.
Blood is a good medium for viruses and other diseases to attract. Therefore the transmission of diseases like HIV can be higher during the time of menstruation. To add, the cervix is slightly dilated which means it is open when you have your period, which makes it easier for infections and bacteria to get in from the vagina to the cervix and into the pelvis.
If you’re not protected from pregnancy just because you’re menstruating. For women who have irregular periods, ovulation and bleeding can happen at the same time, meaning you can get pregnant if you have unprotected sex as the chances are high.
#13. No hot bottle
One of the first things you reach for when you are having period cramps is a hot water bottle, but it could be making things worse. Using a hot water bottle or bag can damage the fascia of your body, it is the connective tissue that holds your muscles in place and helps your skin repair itself.
Holding a hot water bottle against the skin makes your skin softer and then when it cools down, it gets hardened. One of the great alternatives is using period patches instead, which helps to soothe pain without using heat.
#14. Not Having Enough Sleep
Sleep is the most important thing, and it is especially important during that time of the month. Not having enough sleep or even just sleeping fewer hours than usual can result in increasing the stress hormone known as cortisol. Stress can lead to hormonal imbalance, which can have an effect on the severity of your period. Although everyone likes to sleep stress can make you feel otherwise. So take a rest and be stress-free.
#15. Consuming Foods that Cause Constipation
Hormones like progesterone can cause constipation. Consuming refined foods such as noodles, burgers, pasta, and pizza among others, can lead to and worsen constipation. These are the foods to not eat during your period. It is better to have more fruits, fresh vegetables, and salads, particularly during pre-menstrual and during the menstrual period.
#16. Going to bed without a pad
Sleeping without a sanitary pad might be comforting but it is a bad idea. If you’re worried about the rashes and discomfort it might cause, you can switch to another brand or start wearing a menstrual cup but don’t go to bed without wearing a sanitary product to handle the flow. You may not only stain but it is also unhygienic.
#17. Going for a Breast Exam
When you are on your periods, your hormone level keeps fluctuating and it can make it difficult to detect abnormalities in your breasts. As your breasts are very sensitive to changes in hormonal production Hence, it is best to avoid a breast exam in the middle of your periods.
Fluctuations in levels of estrogen and progesterone can make both breast exams and mammograms more uncomfortable. Additionally, cystic breast changes are more likely to be explored on an exam, it can unnecessarily raise issues. While monthly breast exams are a very good idea, don’t set your alarm to the first few days of heavy flow during periods.
#18. Skipping meals and eating junk food
Skipping meals during your periods isn’t a good idea because it can actually affect your energy levels, it will make you feel lazy, lethargic, and irritable. This, however, doesn’t mean you replace your meals with junk food. Junk food contains high amounts of salt and sugar, contributing to issues like bloating and discomfort. The best is to opt for juices and homemade food.
#19. Getting dehydrated
When you menstruate your body goes through changes and you may go through excessive blood flow which can result in exhaustion and fatigue. This can worsen further if you are not consuming enough fluids during this period. Hence, you must make sure to have enough liquids like water, coconut water, buttermilk, juices, and soups.
20. Eating too much dairy
Dairy cannot be a good friend during your period. A bowl of macaroni and cheese might be all you want during the time of the month, but you might want to hold off until after it is done. You may have noticed how much more gassy you are around the time of your period? Most of this is hormonal. Adding dairy on top of that is like adding salt to the wound. More cramping, irritable bowels, and bloated stomach.
#21. Using Unhygienic Lavatories
Unhygienic lavatories during your period especially while changing pads can be risky. Using tissue paper as well as water at the lavatory can cause infections. In this regard, it should be a priority to maintain hygienic lavatories in offices and public places.
#22. High-Fat Food
There are loads of cravings when you are on your periods and you may also want to binge-eat on burgers and fries and by consuming an entire coke bottle all by yourself? However tempting that may sound, you should stay far away from high-fat foods as they interfere majorly with your hormones. They contribute to period pain and cause inflammation. So, it is best to avoid these foods during your periods.
You may have to wait to get wasted or have a good drinking session, as it is not advisable to consume alcohol during your days of menstruation. Alcohol can dehydrate you, which can worsen headaches and cause bloating. It can also lead to digestive issues, such as diarrhea and nausea. Therefore it is best to avoid it and plan later.
24. Red meat
During the time of your period, your body produces prostaglandins that help your uterus to contract and that is how it results in menstrual flow. Red meat is high on prostaglandins. But, high levels of prostaglandin is not good as it results in cramps. Hence, it is advisable to avoid having red meat as they are high in prostaglandins.
#25. Spicy food
You may be tempted to eat hot and spicy food especially if you love fried foods, hot spicy, and readymade snacks. You should avoid eating spicy and salty food as excess salt will cause water retention which in turn may cause bloating. And you need to stay hydrated all the time.
#26. Refined Grains
Refined grains are like other processed foods, they give you a feeling of being full and lose their nutritional value. This causes them to interfere with blood sugar. So, instead of indulging in pasta, bread, or noodles, try consuming whole grains rather than refined ones.
Periods are natural and you have no control over them. The best way to have less pain and get rid of cramps is to avoid things that can worsen it. Go for things that keep your body relaxed and make you feel better even during your periods. Hope the above list of 26 things will help you if you avoid them during your periods. Thank you for reading.