Whether you’ve got your first period or have lost count of how many over the years, menstruation comes with its own set of dos and don’ts! It works in your best interest to follow them, as not doing so often leads to major trouble you really don’t want in your life – especially not during ‘that time of the month’!
So, while you already have a good idea of what you should do during your periods (hot water bottles, plenty of water, and eating chocolates and fruits), you might not be well-acquainted with what you shouldn’t do.
In case you were wondering about the vital don’ts of periods, here’s a comprehensive list of stuff you should absolutely not do during your periods. You don’t want that kind of trouble!
Irrespective of your choice between a tampon and a sanitary napkin, you shouldn’t wear the same one for many hours. Wearing one for a considerable period of time can increase your chances of getting an infection as well as skin rashes and even TSS (or toxic shock syndrome), which can be deadly if you leave your tampon on for several hours (1). So, if you prefer pads, change them at least once every 6 hours. As for tampons, once every 2 to 3 hours is ideal.
2. Don’t Use A Wash For Your Lady Bits
Actually, don’t use it even when you don’t have periods! Vaginal washes can increase the risk of vaginal infections and even disrupt the natural pH balance of your nether regions, which is contrary to what they claim (2). If you want to clean yourself, warm water is enough. Just make sure you clean in a downward direction so that your rectum is not contaminated. As for pad rashes, you’re your lady bits dry and clean in order to prevent them.
3. Don’t Wax Or Shave
When you’re on your period, your estrogen levels take a hit, which means if you get hurt during this time, you’ll feel the pain more than ever due to an increased sensitivity. This is why it is probably a good idea for you not to shave or wax during this time. Rescheduling a dental appointment that you have when you’re on your period is wiser too – especially if you’re going for a tooth extraction!
4. Don’t Skip Any Meals
At this time of the month, your body needs a lot of energy to deal with the cramps and the mood swings. Depriving yourself of meals will only bring your energy level down, so make sure you eat.
5. Don’t Give In To Junk Food
While eating during periods is important, eating right is even more so. Menstruation is an uncomfortable thing and it’s common to seek comfort in junk food items or those with a high sodium content. However, indulging in food that is bad for you will only increase your discomfort by causing fluid retention (3). Which is why eating healthy is better.
6. Don’t Have Dairy Products
Avoiding dairy products is a must during menstruation. Although calcium is good for you at this time, you’re better off taking it in a supplement form rather than from dairy. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, etc. contain a type of acid known as ‘arachidonic acid,’ which can significantly worsen your lower abdominal cramps (4). So, steer clear of dairy and avoid pork, beef, turkey, and chicken too, as they all contain high levels of this acid.
7. Don’t Be Sedentary
Even though all you feel like doing is curling up into a ball and staying in bed in your jammies all day long, do not do it. Staying sedentary will direct your focus to your period pain, which can make them feel a lot worse. In fact, resting is not the way to fix the problem – exercising is! Exercising can not only relieve menstrual cramps but even make you feel better overall (5). Aerobics is the best exercise!
8. Don’t Plan Appointments On Your Periods
As mentioned before, due to the low levels of estrogen in your body during your periods, your sensitivity to pain increases significantly. So, it’s best you don’t schedule any sort of appointments that have the potential to cause pain (such as waxing, threading, dental appointments, etc) at this time. Save them for a later date.
9. Don’t Cave In To Your Mood Swings
Wildly varying mood swings are probably the worst part of menstruation, they can get a whole lot worse if you cave into them. Instead of adding fuel to your moody fire, take some time off and do something that makes you happy, such as reading a book or taking a walk. It can save you from plenty of unpleasant situations!
Treat these 9 ‘no-nos’ as rules you must swear by if you want to have a relatively discomfort-free period. And since all of these things are in your hands, doing them is not going to feel that difficult!