Firstly, why is period pain even a thing? Ain’t nobody got time for that, right?
There are two main reasons-
- During a period, your uterus performs (hopefully) tiny contractions that enable it to expel endometrium (period blood) and
- During this time we also have heightened sensitivity of the pain receptors in this area, so it can be normal for your period to be a bit uncomfortable or as my sister used to say “a bit stabby.”
Diet and lifestyle play a huge role in just how uncomfortable your period will be month to month. Yes, your period is worse after a month of extra stress, or more alcohol or a crappy diet.
Everything we put in our bodies and how we look after them directly affects our hormones and how much pain you are likely to be in when your period decides to drop by.
Personally, I think its kind of cool that as women we get a monthly report of how our health and self-care is going and would love for more women to feel empowered by the insights our periods can bring us about our overall health.
However, severe debilitating pain is not okay. And if you or someone you know is bed ridden or taking time off work or school every month then this is a clear indication that a hormonal imbalance is at play.
Often period pain can be a symptom of an underlying hormonal condition such as PCOS, endometriosis, ovarian cysts or fibroids.
So, if you dread your period because it often stops you from doing simple everyday tasks then it may be time to do some hormonal testing and investigate the cause.
Something simple you can do right now though is increasing fibre- are you having 5 serves of vegetables every day? Fibre helps to clear broken down hormones from the body, and aids in balancing hormone levels- especially broccoli. Add some more of that to your diet and see how it changes your next monthly self -care report.