Right from a school-going teenager to someone who has witnessed many moons of it, let us admit it, periods can be a difficult time for everyone. And to top it all, lacking menstruation awareness especially if this is your first period, then this read is just meant for all you confused souls out there.
Read on and uncover answers to the whys and how’s of the biggest changes you are experiencing and educate yourself on the top 7 Frequently Asked Questions about Periods.
FAQ #1: ‘My breasts always hurt right before my period. Why is that so and what can I do to prevent it?’
In menstruation awareness scientifically speaking, breast tenderness along with bloating and abdominal discomfort indicate that ovulation has taken place and the hormone progesterone has been produced. The moment it builds up in your chest, you tend to feel sore and bulky there. While the degree of soreness varies, there is nothing you can do to ease the temporary breast soreness phase. But remember to stay away from over-consumption of caffeine and salt. Also, do invest in a good sports bra to keep your breasts tight and well-supported.
FAQ #2: ‘My period blood is not red in colour, instead it is brownish. Is that safe?’
It is completely normal to experience brown-colour period blood right at the beginning and at the end of your period. This colour change indicates that the menstrual fluid is slower in its transition. Brown colours indicates that your blood had time to oxidise, and it has been exposed to air for a while.
FAQ #3: ‘I lose a truckload of blood during my period. How much is it exactly?’
While the amount of blood loss is different for every woman, it can vary from around four tablespoons to as much as a cup. However, if you are losing a lot of blood, resulting into the change of one soaking pad or tampon after another, then you must see your gynaecologist immediately.
FAQ #4: ‘I feel bloated and irritated during my periods. Why do I even have them? What’s the whole science behind having periods?’
Well, before you curse yourself for having this natural phenomenon, keep in mind that having regular monthly periods are a resounding assertion of womanhood which is a major part of menstruation awareness. Every cycle releases an egg and the lining of the uterus is prepared to receive the fertilized ovum. If fertilization doesn’t take place the old lining is shed at menstruation and new lining prepared. It is only through this process that women have been gifted with a natural ability to make babies and relish the joy of being a mother.
FAQ #5: ‘How often should I change my pad?’
This is a menstrual hygiene question. A girl must change her pad every 4-8 hours. Basically, the number of times you change your pad depends on when you think your pad appears to be full or feels wet and uncomfortable.
FAQ#6: ‘My period is often late and irregular. What does this actually mean?’
One of the biggest and the most obvious reasons for the late or irregular period is because you are pregnant, i.e. if you have been sexually active. Apart from that it is important to have menstruation awareness regarding other reasons such as, stress, change in diet patterns or exercise regimen can also be the major causes of alteration in period patterns.
FAQ#7: ‘I often feel fat during my period. Why is that so?’
This is simply because right before and during the course of your period, your body tends to retain more water. This feeling of carrying extra weight also tends to make your breasts feel tender and appear larger in some cases. So, keep in mind that it is always normal to add a couple of pounds here and there right before and during your period. And yes, just avoid putting that extra dash of salt in your food, as salt tends to increase water retention.