You’re doubled over in pain, something smells rancid, and your bathroom looks like a crime scene from a television show. Has a devastating, life-altering tragedy occurred? Nope, you’re just on your period. And you deal with the same shit month after month. There’s all kinds of annoying stuff that can happen during your period, and only some of them have solutions. The others are just part of being a woman, so unless you have the money for a sex change operation you might just have to suck it up and deal.
1. You feel like you’ve been stabbed in the guts.
Cramps are no fun, but most women get them to some degree. What you feel may range anywhere from mild discomfort to a sensation that makes you wonder if you’re about to end up on that reality show about women who gave birth unexpectedly. Before rushing to the hospital just to be sure you aren’t somehow giving birth to a small horse, pop a Midol and lie down for a bit. For future knowledge, women who exercise regularly often report diminished cramps at that time of the month. Nope, sorry, this doesn’t mean you can walk to the mailbox the day before your period is due and expect relief. We mean real exercise. Weight loss helps, too. If your cramps are especially severe, make sure to tell your OBGYN. In some cases this can indicate another type of problem.
2. Your vag! Your vag! Your vag is on fire!
You may notice a burning sensation around your vulva once your period has begun. What’s that all about? Well, in an effort to cut costs, or maybe just play with your mind, many tampon and pad manufacturers are doing all kinds of nasty shit to your personal products. The cotton is bleached and processed, and rayon or other additives may be included. Unfortunately a lot of women notice an allergic reaction to this garbage, and it basically feels like you’re experiencing a combination of a yeast infection and carpet burn. Unless you’ve been scooting around bare-assed on the rug, you probably have an allergy to your products. Luckily there are organic, all-cotton products like Natracare available now. They also cost a little more, because there’s nothing like pissing off a woman with a burning vagina and a budget. But they’re definitely worth it to put out that fire.
3. Those “flushable” tampons can’t actually be flushed.
It looks so cute and convenient when the smiley, overly peppy bitch on the commercial shows you how you can discreetly flush your tampon, right? Well guess what. You can’t do that. Those “flushable” tampons were probably invented by a group of diabolical plumbers who just want to ensure their professions remain relevant. Go ahead, flush a few. It might take days or even a few months, but you’re eventually going to have sewage spewing out of your shower drain from the clog that builds up in your plumbing. Those things stick in your pipes (pun intended), and the only way to fix it is to call a plumber to snake your drain. And seriously, it’s not sexy like it sounds. Enjoy the tampon disposal lecture you get from your fatherly plumber man. Don’t say you weren’t warned. You’ll have to wrap those things up and toss them in the trash from now on…
4. There’s a rotting carcass in your garbage can.
Ok, not really. Unless you got really pissed off at your boyfriend. Most likely that smell comes from all the gross girly stuff you have to discard this time of the month. What a buzzkill to invite friends over and have them discover a mass of bloody tissues when they visit the powder room. Not to mention, it actually does smell like you killed someone and left body parts in the cabinet under the sink. There are two solutions here: First, get one of those cute little trash cans that have a lid. Second, keep some baking soda in your medicine cabinet and sprinkle a little in the trash whenever you have to make a deposit.
5. Your pet’s new hobby is NOT CUTE.
Puppies and kitties are adorable – until they decide your used tampons and pads are their new playthings. Dogs eat them, cats bat them around, and a ferret might even hide them in fun, unexpected places. This may happen in front of guests, or you might get a not-fun surprise when arriving home after a long day at work. Once again, this is where that trash can with a lid comes in handy. Placing it in the cabinet under the bathroom sink is even better.
6. It’s not after Labor Day but you still can’t wear white.
Or any light colors. Even grown women sometimes have accidents that bring back the horrors of seventh grade. You’re stuck wearing navy and black until your body stops gushing blood, which is severely limiting to your fashion choices. Just make sure you have plenty of cute, dark-colored bottoms in your wardrobe. Get used to it. After menopause you’ll have a glorious ten years or so during which you can wear white all you want, and after that you’ll start pooping yourself.
7. You may choose No Sex or Gross Sex. There is no Door Number Three.
That basically sums it up. Some choose to abstain from sex during their periods, while others choose to throw down a shower curtain and screw away. Oh, how romantic. But you’re not done yet. You also get to worry about the icky smell that lingers down there for a few days after your period. There’s somewhere between 7 and 10 days per month that you don’t get oral at all. Douching is really bad for your vag and can lead to yeast infections, and guess what. Men don’t like to go down on chicks with yeast infections, either. Not that you’d want them to.
8. You puff up like the Goodyear Blimp.
Since you can’t have sex anyway, your body figures it might as well get fat and puffy. If you bloat more than the average woman, you may even have to purchase clothing one size up from normal just so you can be comfortable during this time of the month. Just remember to buy dark stuff. Avoiding salty foods before your period can often help with this problem, but you aren’t getting to have any other kinds of fun so you probably want your comfort food. Mother Nature sucks.
9. One more thing to remember.
Like you need one more thing on your to-do list. Now you have to remember to purchase your products once a month. And your period likes to arrive on Sunday night, too, which means you have to drive all the way to the 24-hour superstore instead of just stopping in at the corner pharmacy. You could always stock up whenever you find a big tampon sale (do those even happen?). But purchase an entire year’s supply and we guarantee you’ll discover you’ve run out of tampons on Christmas day. Have fun sitting around on your toilet paper wads til tomorrow morning.
10. Tampons do gross things.
First of all, you have to remember to change your tampon regularly so that you don’t die of Toxic Shock Syndrome. What a downer. The customary advice is to change it every time you go to the bathroom. Well, that doesn’t work for women who drink coffee, have had a baby, or like to drink lots of alcohol on their periods because they can’t do anything else fun. You’d be changing your tampon every twenty minutes. Second of all, tampons do gross stuff like when you go pee and the string dangles in the toilet water, then you pull up your pants and realize you have a toilet-water-saturated string in your pants. Oh, don’t act like you haven’t done it. Yes you have. You could always wear pads, but….
11. Wearing a pad feels like you’re sporting a diaper.
You’re so young, vivacious, and carefree… three weeks out of the month. The fourth week, you waddle around feeling like an oversized toddler. This poses even more wardrobe dilemmas – “Can anyone see my pad line?” Not to mention that swishy sound it makes as you walk. It’s not so sexy. Of course, your other options are tampons or that weird cup thing. Yeah, there’s a cup that you can cram up your vagina and it collects blood. Like you want to walk around wondering if your cup of blood might fall out. There are really no decent options here.
12. You become a raging psychopath.
Given all the other stuff described above, of course you aren’t in a cheery mood. But hormones play a big role here, and they make you want to rip off the head of anyone who even slightly irritates you. You may also have alternating moments of deep despair, where you sob uncontrollably at a cat food commercial. In some cultures menstruating women are sent to live in a separate house full of other crazy bitches for a week, and this is why. Our culture generally advises anti-depressants if symptoms are severe, because we call this PremenstrualDysphoric Disorder. It sounds fancy, but it basically just means your monthly hormones turn you into a raging murdering lunatic.
13. Your head might explode.
If your mood swings don’t make you explode, your headache might. There are only two cures for this: Midol and sleep. Period (no pun intended).
14. Your butt is leaking, too.
Little-known fact: Period hormones can affect your digestive system, too, so that you end up with diarrhea and bad gas during that time of the month. So now you’re leaking from multiple orifices, and it’s kinda tempting to see if tampons work there, too. No, not really. Don’t do that. But you will be spending a lot of time running to the bathroom, and you’ll add a whole new stink to the mix.
15. Your face is 15 years old again!
But only in the ways that you don’t want. No, your crow’s feet and forehead lines don’t disappear, but you suddenly find your complexion oily and covered in pimples. It’s like a high school flashback, but without dances and pep rallies. Not that you’re feeling peppy, anyway. The methods for dealing with this are the same ones you used in high school, and those didn’t really work. But you’ll try anyway. While you’re at it, eating a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies might help your skin stay healthy, but chances are your hormones will still affect your skin to some degree. Some women do find that birth control pills help with acne, but those can have other side effects. Basically, you’re screwed.
16. You’re all gross and stinky.
The same hormones that make your skin oily also make you perspire more, leaving you feeling and smelling like a rutting deer. Showering three times a day only goes so far, and you still feel gross. A prescription-strength deodorant might do the trick, or you may discover that certain foods seem to be a trigger. If all else fails, just spend extra time in the gym. It’ll be good for you, and then you can blame your high level of physical fitness for all the sweat.
17. Swollen, aching breasts.
Men think they’re the only ones with sensitive reproductive parts. Yeah, right. Putting on your bra during period time makes you want to cry, and bumping the boobies into a hard object could leave you rolling on the floor like a boy you just kicked in the nuts. There’s no solution to this. But get used to the feeling, because if you ever get pregnant you’ll endure this for nine straight months of pregnancy, plus however long you breastfeed. Welcome to womanhood.