Sunday, March 29, 2009

Do you know what it feels like for a girl? Well, I am going to tell you!

I'm warning you, this could get graphic.

I'm on my period. It's not like I want everyone in the world to know it, I just think that's what ends up happening thanks to a bevy of PMS symptoms, plus being so irritated during the actual process.

I don't get the PMS that makes me snap at people for no good reason, but I do get easily annoyed and emotional. I also get fatigued which I forgot to consider when I had my epic nap yesterday.

So today I decided to spell it all out to the people (ahem, men) who just don't get it. I don't know if anyone has ever tried to explain to anyone what a period is like, so here goes nothin'.
Let's start about a week before you get the period - the week where, magically, all your clothes shrink or stop fitting all together, thanks to all the bloating your body is doing. It's not exactly comfortable. 

On top of all that bloating, you make look in the mirror and see a zit or two.

As someone with abnormally clear skin 90% of the time, seeing a pimple is just infuriating. Not because it takes away from my stunning beauty (ha!), but because it's just one more way, during this monthly process of being a woman, my body lets me know that I am not in control. My body doesn't give a shit about my beauty routine that keeps these pimples at bay any other time. Not at all. My body gets to show me that it will have it's way with me and I'm just along for the ride.

And let's talk about being tired all the time. I think it's because my body has added five, maybe ten pounds of water to my frame, and it's hard to carry all that around. As it gets closer to the day you actually start your period, you start to get those dull, only slightly noticeable cramps in your abdomen. Again - your body's way of saying, "hey, just letting you know your life is mine and I am going to make it suck for you any day now!"

Now it's the day of the big show! The day it happens. I don't know if it's the same for everyone, but I am never surprised when my period shows up, because I just feel gross and know that it's coming within a matter of minutes or hours.

Let me explain something I don't think guys get at all. We aren't actually bleeding when we have our periods. It's not like we've been stabbed (although, sometimes on that first day you wonder if someone knifed your uterus unbeknownst to you). The blood has been hanging around in our uterus for a few weeks, getting ready to nourish a fetus that never showed up, so it just casts it out. That's how it happens.

Now that the blood is here, the cramps are in full force. G-force cramps, if you will. When I got the idea for writing this I could not, for the life of me, think of something to compare the pain of cramps to. It's not like a muscle cramp, you know, where you're sleeping in the middle of the night and all of a sudden you wake up because your leg hurts. And it's not comparable to something like a back ache, or bumping into a stationary object. It just hurts in it's own special way which I think is why it's so hard for men to empathize. They just won't ever know exactly what it feels like.

So on top of the bloating, cramps, and now three to seven days of "bleeding", you could also fall victim to a second symptom not often discussed, because few women make the connection. 


It took me into my twenties to make the connection between the diarrhea you somethings get during the period - but there is a link. It has to do with all the hormones screwing up the work of your intestines, and voila! Just when you didn't think you could feel or smell any worse, BAM! Mud butt.

And yes - the period is a smelly endeavor. I don't know why, it's just not pleasant. I hope as hard as I can that people can't smell it on me, that it's just something I notice when I am in the bathroom. I don't know if I want to know the truth.

All of this - from the start of the PMS (the bloating, cramps) to the end of the period can last up to TWO WEEKS. So exactly half of every month, any woman you know could be going through an incredibly physical process that has the side effect of making us bat-shit crazy.

But now that you know, can you blame us? Wouldn't you be a little touchy if you were a bloaty, pimply, bleeding mess, who may or may not have diarrhea? And while all this happens you could have a maxi pad stuck to your underwear that is bunching up and making you feel like you have a sticky pillow between your legs? Or you have a tampon string that seems to have bunched it self up somewhere in your vulva and it's giving you an itch you can't scratch? And on top of all that you're completely sexually frustrated?!

That's how it feels. That's why we're nuts. Our bodies make us that way and we quite literally don't have much of a say in it.


Mik said...

Wait until you get pregnant! I never thought I would actually MISS getting my period. Pregnancy is 9 months of period like symptoms on crack. Horray for fertility!

KT said...

I LAUGHED at this like you would not believe.

And this makes me feel soooooooo much better, cuz I totally get mud butt for the first 24-48 hours after starting mine.

And the cramps only happen for me in that first day or two. It feels like there's a little gremlin in there scraping the walls of my uterus with a potato peeler.

You are AWESOME for writing this! You're my new hero.


lindsay vicious said...

HAHA. you are my hero.

Fabulously Broke said...


I don't really get cramps, problems or irritating mood swings.

I just get really tired or dizzy sometimes, and I do have to agree that the pimples really suck. Esp right smack in the middle of an otherwise normally clear cheek.. really irritates me.

I also try not to get annoyed at BF. But I can't help it when I'm cranky.

insomniaclolita said...

Hear, hear. Guys should not stop being irritated to our behavior during periods. I'm glad mine is just done. Hang in there, Lindsey.

Akirah said...

I think all I can say is "amen."

Prairie Girl said...

Mud butt indeed. Its like a complete release of everything below the belt.... the secret struggle to not get sh!t or blood stains on your gitch.

Bio_vet said...

I think this is the most hilarious thing I have read online in a long time!!

Mystique said...

And the stains, yes... ARGH.

This is an awesome post.

Sara said...

Diva Cup. Makes periods much more bearable. When I figured it out, it was a revolution that redefined revolutions.

"Gremlin with a potato peeler" is perfect.

My money, my life said...

haha I can relate to everything in this post. Thanks for the mud butt info. I have this happen to me sometimes and none of my girlfriends are affected by it, so I felt like I was abnormal being the only one experiencing it!

I think my PMS symptoms have gotten worse as I age, especially the bloating and the mood swings. It's like sometime during the day, I can literally feel a rush of adrenaline in my blood and suddenly I feel like having a screaming hissy fight with everyone I encounter, not pretty!