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Hey Humans,

Let's get candid about terrible period pains, one of the things men and those incredibly lucky females like my mother will never have to deal with. Then there's me, throwing up as a teenager, spending school days in the medical room followed by 2am tears, rolling around on the floor shivering and feeling like death was upon me.

Life has its ups and downs. 

I didn't really talk about my cramps much then, I would just be offline a few days every month. It would have been easier if periods weren't such a taboo subject because perhaps someone could have helped me with the excruciating pains and we could have all laughed about our experiences together. Something needs to change and if you haven't guessed, it's the stigma around periods.

Now I'm 23, pretending to be an adult and I'm over being made to feel uncomfortable about my body. There is nothing awkward about the female body naturally preparing for child birth. How do you think you all got here? The stork?

Every month the uterus lining thickens in preparation for a fertilised egg. If the egg does not get fertilised the lining simply releases from the body as blood through the vagina thus creating the 'time of the month'.

I am collaborating with TOTM on this post to raise awareness of their #TalkingPeriods campaign. The campaign objective is to end the silence surrounding periods. The more we have open conversations about periods the more educated and safer we can be. 

You can win yourself a TOTM 6-month subscription and a 'Be Kinder To Your Vagina' cosmetic mirror by joining the hashtag #TalkingPeriods competition on Twitter and sharing your own period hacks or stories. Let's get the word out there guys!

Without further a-do, the hacks:

1. Hot water bottles, yes plural

I was never fussed about hot water bottles until I began using them to soothe my period pains and they did just that. It is super handy to always have a spare on deck, they are amazing with one by your lower back and one where the root of the pain is. Having two will also come in handy so that you can alternate them when they cool down.

2. Sleep more

When on my period it takes me longer to get to sleep and once I do it probably won't be long until I am woken up by cramps again. Getting into bed a little earlier and taking that nap when I feel tired can do a world of good, you need to catch up on the sleep you are losing over the period period. (lol, period period). – side note, how weird is that in order to actually fall asleep, you need to pretend to be asleep? Mind boggling.

3. Eat dark chocolate 

Comfort eating isn’t always the wisest option to do during times of stress and pain, but here is an interesting way of doing so and it being completely guilt free. It is SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN (!!) that dark chocolate can improve your mood during that time of the month. Yup. This works because dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that bring on feelings of happiness and pleasure, as well as serotonin which acts as a natural anti-depressant. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium, which is good at fighting feelings of fatigue which is a common symptom of periods.

4. Spare undies

Heavy flows or the first few days of the period can be the most painful and inconvenient. Be sure to carry spare undies, extra tampons and pads incase of any accidents. It's always better to take out way more than you think you'll need, and perhaps to think about storing them at the back of your underwear drawer when they aren’t required to avoid a Bridget Jones moment!

5. Trust your womanly instinct

If you are in extreme pain every month, or bleeding much more than normal, it may be an idea to seek help from a health professional. Us women are amazing, inside and out and can sometimes have an inkling of a feeling when something just isn’t right. If you ever feel this way, book an appointment to see your GP so that ailments such as fibroids and polycystic ovaries can be ruled out.

There you have it ladies, period hacks for those sometimes-crippling pains and an opportunity to drop the stigma. What's your period experience like? Can you relate to any of my symptoms? Drop me a comment below and we'll catch up soon.

With Love,

Shay RS x

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