So your period happens every month. You might as well get to love it, right? In fact, if you had a really good think about it, you’d probably realise there are some pretty amazing reasons why you should love it – and yourself – for that week out of four.
1. It makes you “feel like a natural woman”.
Yes, like the Aretha Franklin power tune! Having your period is a perfectly natural, completely normal function of being a female human being.
2. A monthly reminder of how powerful and awesome your body is.
When you consider what goes on inside your reproductive organs, and what it’s ultimately capable of, doesn’t it blow your mind? Every month, for about 40 years (give or take), your body prepares to carry a baby. The sheer elegance of such a sophisticated and complex system, and its ability to replicate the process month after month is something we tend to take for granted. Make today the day that you sit for a few minutes, somewhere calm and pleasant and take a moment to bask in that knowledge.
3. You can create an actual human being.
Sure, “it takes two to tango” but we all know who plays the greater role in bring a human into the world. The fact is, the male reproductive system is nowhere near as complex as the female one. As a woman, you can wear it like a badge of honour that you have that superpower of not only creating life but growing, nurturing and birthing it. Periods go along with that superpower.
4. A major part of your body cleanses itself every month.
Your period is the part of your menstrual cycle where your body sheds the material that lined your uterus in preparation to grow a baby. When you bleed, try to think of the flow as cleansing instead of thinking of it as something that makes you feel unclean. Remind yourself: “Better out than in.” (Also, if you treat yourself to a pair of Modibodi underpants, the whole ‘feeling unclean’ issue will not be an issue at all.)
5. You can grant yourself kind permission to indulge.
Hormonal fluctuations throughout your cycle cause noticeable changes in moods, cravings and energy levels. If you’ve ever noticed that you have a combination of deathly tiredness (can’t drag yourself off the couch kind of tiredness) and insatiable cravings for junk food at a certain time of the month, it’s usually a pretty clear nudge that your period is about to start. As for moods, some women get cranky and want to be on their own while others feel clingy and need more TLC from those they love. Inevitably, as soon as the hormone levels change again (once bleeding commences), everything goes back to normal! What you should never do is chastise yourself for the fact that you cleared out the pantry of chocolate biscuits and salt and vinegar chips, devoured the tub of ice cream, fell asleep on the couch at 7pm in your work clothes and PMT-dialled your BFF, desperately asking why you’re “so loooooonelyyyyy”!! It’s normal, it’s temporary and it’s guaranteed to happen again the following month. Be kind and gentle on yourself.
6. Your interest in sex may be heightened.
Because nature is so clever, women are more inclined to have greater interest in sexual activity around ovulation, when the body is in its most fertile phase. But for lots of women, their sexual energy is every bit as fierce during the bleeding phase. As long as you have a willing partner, go for it!
7. The bloat is about to be gone.
There are two main reasons why we get bloated around period time. One is the increase in oestrogen and progesterone, which causes fluid retention and can also cause constipation. The other is the build-up of endometrium (the lining of the uterus). Once your period begins, the bloating subsides. You may even lose a couple of kilos on the scales, even if it is just ‘water weight’. But, still another reason to love your period! Sure, your period isn’t your favourite time of the month. It can be uncomfortable, painful and a little messy. But at least you have 7 good reasons to love it, if even a little bit. Or even just be sweet to yourself and realise that there is a reason for having your period that’s bigger than all of us … to keep humankind continuing! Gina Lofaro aka the wordmistress our guest blogger who enjoys exploring the way human beings feel, or more to the point, how we have learned not to feel.