Periods. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. From cramps to bloating to bouts of moodiness, there is not a ton to love about them (except that they provide you with a “monthly update” about your hormonal, reproductive, and thyroid health).
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While you’re scrambling to find extra pads and tampons in your purse or nursing your PMS cramps with a hot water bottle, your bod might be experiencing some other weird stuff. Don’t panic. Those other not-so-great things are actually super normal. Here’s what you need to know about them.
1. You’re Having “Period Poops”
While on your period, you may have noticed that either you’re constipated or running to the bathroom a lot more. This is NORMAL. During ~that time of the month~ a hormone called prostaglandin is released, causing muscles in your uterus (and bowels) to contract, which will either leave you constipated, give you diarrhea, or a combo of both.
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2. Everything Hurts
Estrogen levels affect how women experience pain, which explains why a sharp decline in estrogen at the end of your cycle can trigger bad headaches, migraines, or general sensitivity to pain. So if you stub your toe on a door and it MAJORLY hurts, keep in mind that you are totally not a baby. You’re just on your period.
3. Your Mind Is Super Foggy
Studies show that menstrual cramps affect brain function. Translation? If you completely blank out during a test or exam during a visit from Aunt Flow, your period might be the reason. To help keep your mind clear, take care of yourself by eating well, meditating, or doing whatever is part of your self-care routine.
4. You’re Clumsier
If you find yourself bumping into tables more often or dropping things all the time, it could be because you’re on your period. An increased level of fatigue coupled with water retention (AKA major bloating) results in you feeling more than a little off-center. Take extra care while walking, and if you have to, wear a helmet. (Just kidding. Maybe).
5. Your Voice Changes
Your voice won’t likely change as much as a guy’s during puberty, but your menstrual cycle can have an effect on it. Since cells from the larynx and vagina are believed to have similar hormone receptors, hormonal changes during your period can result in a difference in your voice.
Stay safe out there, menstruating humans.