You’re irritated, bloated and bleeding. Oh, and you’ve got cramps. The cons of menstruation are evident. But did you know there are also pros? How about No. 8: it can’t get any worse…
1 You’re not pregnant
No need to worry if you aren’t ready for babies (yet). Menstruating means that the egg has not been fertilised and is therefore broken apart and shed with the uterus lining. Naturally this isn’t such good news if you’re trying to conceive.
2 You could probably conceive
In order to get pregnant, you need to have (regular) ovulation and an egg that’s ready to be fertilised. So if you’re having monthly periods, it’s likely that you are able to conceive. You’ll still need the sperm, but you’ve got the basic condition sorted.
3 People understand your bad mood
The funny thing about clichés: they’re mostly true. A lot of women do turn a bit evil just before their period. Mood swings and emotional outbursts are completely natural. Blame it on the hormones. And use it to your advantage. Toilet seats that have been left up? Lids that haven’t been put back on the toothpaste tube? This is the one time a month you can get really angry about these small things: he’ll just think it’s PMS.
4 You have a great excuse to pull a sickie
No, this won’t work with your teacher or employer. But yes, it’s the perfect excuse to cancel that appointment you didn’t want to go to anyway. If you’re not feeling well, just stay in bed. Or on the couch with a blanket, a movie, some magazines and junk food. Consider it a bit of me-time.
5 There’s a reason why you’re craving chocolate
Just before the menstruation, the body’s serotonin levels are lower. Chocolate contains tryptophan, which encourages your brain to produce serotonin, making you feel happier. The only bad thing is that chocolate usually contains a lot of sugar. This creates large fluctuations in your blood sugar level and more chocolate cravings. Bananas, chicken, wholemeal bread, eggs and pulses (legumes) are a better option. Really need chocolate? Go for extra dark or raw chocolate.
6 You can wear a tracksuit even if you’re not going running
Water retention and a bloated heavy feeling: it’s not a figment of your imagination, it’s a classic symptom of PMS. No wonder you don’t feel sexy on your period. It helps to wear clothes that aren’t too tight around your waist. However, a tracksuit might be considered a dress code violation at school or in the office. Maybe a stretchy dress?
7 You’re allowed to cry
During your menstruation cycle your hormone levels fluctuate. This causes you to be more sensitive and emotional just before your period. It’s not just you, also Superwoman and Xenia the Warrior Princess have this. See your period as a physical and emotional cleaning and just cry if you want to.
8 It can’t get any worse
Just before and during the first few days of your menstruation, you usually feel like crap. But day one of your menstruation is also day one of a new cycle: your estrogen levels go up, followed by your testosterone levels and you’ll start to feel better: more energetic, happier, and prettier. There’s light at the end of the tunnel ladies!
9 You’re better at certain things
During and just after your menstruation your female hormones plunges, and your spatial ability goes up. Researchers found that women are better at reading maps when they’re on their period. Your spatial ability is the worst when you’re ovulating. However, at that time you’re verbally very strong, so a good moment for an oral exam or an important presentation.
10 You’re probably healthy
Excessive exercise, exhaustion, extreme weight loss, acute or chronic stress: all these factors can lead to functional hypothalamic amenorrhea, meaning you don’t menstruate. This is because your body isn’t healthy enough to handle a pregnancy. So if you’re having a regular menstruation cycle, it probably means that you’re in good health.
Seen this way periods aren’t that bad, are they?