Some lucky ladies have the basics, 3-5 days, but aside from the obvious (and maybe a little bloating), find it simply inconvenient.
However, a certain percentage of us have REALLY bad periods. Ones that start with PMS 3-4 days before, major mood swings, cravings, bloating, and then the main event – so painful we have to take time off work, take major pain meds, gain weight, and are in our own circle of hell. That was me from age 11 until just a few years ago. My gyn put me on birth control because, aside from the typical BP symptoms, I was having major episodes like clockwork every month from my cycle.
The good news: within 6 months not only were the side effects gone including PMS, but my period was almost completely gone. Thank you Yaz! But due to possible side effects of using the class of birth control that Yaz is in, my doc took me off it and put me on another b/c, Lutera. It didn’t work half as well and within a few months was having a light period, the mood swings, bloating, and spotting. As is typical of the medical profession, was switched to another one that didn’t work at all, and finally to a third that I just started yesterday. So after being free from the “monthly hell” for almost 3 years, I’ve been curled in a ball mainlining chocolate and beef products for 2 days. Getting ready to get the thera-heat pack and whimper like a hurt puppy. (Insert: that’s pathetic! here)
Aside from whining like a 2 year old, the side-effect that pisses me off the most is the “empty stomach syndrome”. For the first 3 days usually, I’m woken up at 6 am or earlier and it feels like I’ve been on a hunger strike for a week! I have to rush to the kitchen and make oatmeal or something else very filling, then take pain meds and hopefully be able to call in and go back to bed. And it’s not just in the morning – I have to keep something in my stomach all day. Yay weight gain! As for the pain side, I’ve tried all the alternative stuff, herbs, acupuncture, etc. but nothing works as good as prescription hard-core stuff. And it’s so much fun gaining 5 plus pounds from water and cravings.
But enough of the negative! B/C did work very well for me and it’s only a matter of time before finding another one that will take care of this. And for all of you who know the joy of our “special time” I have one word: menopause! Yes, it too may suck, but think about afterward – No More Periods!!!
(In case you’re wondering the pertinence of this post to the “weight loss” theme, period-related weight gain is a very real, crappy side effect, mainly caused by water retention and feeding cravings. It can be quite frustrating but typically weight evens out a few days after the menstrual cycle. See, it was pertinent after all. Plus I got to whine a bit – always a plus!)
- The Link Between Weight and Menstrual Cycles (everydayhealth.com)
- Why Anxiety Spikes With Your Periods (everydayhealth.com)
- Girl Talk: I Use Birth Control For Health Reasons (thefrisky.com)
- Mood Swings: PMS and Your Emotional Health (everydayhealth.com)