It feels like you just finished your last period, yet here you are feeling slightly crampy, achy, emotional, and lethargic. Are you getting a virus … or just your period? Unless you keep track of your period with an app or a calendar, you might not know.
Rael knows periods, and we know what happens to your body during your entire cycle, be it 28 days or longer. If you’d like to feel a little more in the know about period symptoms, we can help.
We can tell you whether it’s time to reorder more organic cotton tampons or just time to grab a heating patch to help get you through your ovulation day.
First and foremost, breathe deep. Your period is a sign your body is functioning as it should. Your monthly cycle is your body’s way of keeping your uterus and ovaries healthy. Missed periods, on the other hand, could be concerning. If you aren’t pregnant, a missed period could be an indication of a bigger health concern and a definite sign you should call your doctor.
We’ll talk about your monthly cycle, the symptoms you could experience that let you know your period is on the way, what symptoms you can experience when you ovulate, and how you can keep comfortable with the best in holistic period care products.
Your Monthly Cycle
Your monthly cycle refers to the process your body goes through each month to prepare you for a potential pregnancy. Each month your hormones trigger the lining of your uterus to thicken in preparation for an egg to implant. When the egg is released by your ovaries and not fertilized, the egg, the lining of the uterus, and blood are all discharged from the vagina during your period.
Day 1 of your cycle is the first day you begin bleeding, and the last day of your cycle is the day before you start your next period. That time is usually between 28-34 days. During that time frame, you can experience a myriad of symptoms, especially the week just before you start your period (or the last week of your previous cycle).
Signs Your Period is Coming
It’s more than just cramps. In fact, some of us don’t even get cramps before our periods, so knowing it is coming can be hard to tell. Although cramping in the lower abdominal region is usually a tell-tale sign of your period, it’s not always the case. Here are six ways you can tell your period is on its way.
Cyclic acne happens monthly in connection with your hormone changes. In the week leading up to your period, hormonal changes trigger our sebaceous glands to begin overproducing oil which can clog your pores and cause breakouts.
Women in their 20s and 30s often begin seeing hormonal acne breakouts along their jawline and on their chin. Painful, hard, under-the-skin bumps, are also very common prior to your period.
Acne spot patches. Tiny, clear, barely visible patches you place over bumps can help keep your hands off your skin (no picking) and shrink bumps away in a matter of hours. Rael’s acne spot patches come in two different types: one for bumps that have already erupted (whiteheads and red bumps) and one for under-the-skin cysts.
2. Bloating and Gas
There’s a reason your favorite high-waisted jeans won’t zip up. Your body retains water prior to your period, causing you to feel bloated, weigh a little more on the scale, and even look puffy around your eyes.
Rising levels of estrogen prior to your period can also cause you to have gas, which can contribute to feeling bloated and uncomfortable. The combination of water retention and gas can even cause you to have abdominal pain, also.
Cutting back on salt the week before your period and increasing your water intake can help you keep bloating at bay. If you’re especially gassy, avoiding an excess of fiber the week before your period can help, just be sure you’re still getting plenty of fruits and vegetables.
You can also consider taking a probiotic to keep your digestive system healthy and happy so you don’t experience as much GI discomfort.
Cramps are the classic premenstrual symptom. Cramps can occur before and during your period and usually go away after your period is finished. You may experience some cramping during ovulation, which usually happens about a week after your period, or halfway through your cycle.
Cramping occurs on both the sides and middle of your lower abdomen. Some women experience extremely painful cramps that can be almost debilitating. Those types of cramps can be a sign of a deeper health concern, so it’s best to see your doctor if you’re experiencing them.
Holistic care works wonders for period cramps. Rael’s heating patches are the perfect solution for providing natural, drug-free, all-day relief for period cramps. Our patches are infused with a blend of herbs that help increase blood flow and bring relief.
Heating patches are applied to your undergarments around common sites of aching and worn for up to six hours of continual warmth and relief.
4. Breast Swelling and Pain
This period symptom is one of the first to occur; in fact breast pain usually coincides with ovulation, beginning just a few days before you ovulate, and sometimes lasting up until a day or so into your period.
During this time your breasts can feel swollen, tender, and uncomfortable even in your most comfortable bras.
Normally, breast pain isn’t so severe that you actually need to seek out medicinal relief. Wearing a looser bra or one that does not have an underwire can help keep you more comfortable. A bra that is lightly lined may also feel more comfortable and provide a protective barrier against the abrasion from your clothing.
5. You’re Emotional
Yesterday you were fine, today you’re a little extra sensitive for what feels like no apparent reason. Give yourself some grace and remember this is only temporary.
Hormonal changes before your period can cause you to feel a vast range of emotions in rapid succession. It can feel like a roller coaster day to day and even hour by hour.
Although your emotional overwhelm usually dissipates by the second or third day of your period, you can experience another dip in mood during ovulation that can make you feel sad and depressed.
Depression is often linked to hormonal changes during your period, and it’s normal to feel a little down. If you’re experiencing feelings of hopelessness or extreme sadness, it could be a sign of something more concerning. Call your doctor to discuss your options.
Being patient with yourself is the best remedy for the emotional drain you experience before your period. Try to stay focused, and take good care of yourself. It can be helpful to take a yoga class, meditate, or schedule your favorite self-care routine (like a facial or a massage) the week before your period.
Exercise is also a great way to elevate your mood, release endorphins, and help you feel better. As a bonus, it will also help flush out toxins, fight against bloating, and help ease period cramps, all of which also boost your mood.
It’s perfectly normal to experience vaginal discharge prior to your actual period. This discharge, called leukorrhea, is the precursor to your period. Discharge is usually white to yellowish and can be relatively thick.
This discharge happens when certain hormone levels peak prior to your period. It’s completely natural and is no cause for alarm unless you experience unpleasant symptoms along with it, like burning, itching, or a foul odor.
It may be natural, but it’s definitely not something you want to end up in your underwear. Rael’s organic cotton micro thin liners are the perfect way to keep your underwear clean so you can feel comfortable all day. Our liners contain no harsh chemicals or dyes that could irritate delicate vaginal skin, and are so thin you’ll likely forget they’re there.
You can experience some or all of these symptoms the week before your period and they can last until two to three days into your period. Some symptoms may return for a day or so during ovulation, about a week after you finish your period.
You can get relief from period symptoms by trusting the holistic period care products offered by Rael. We think everyone deserves a happy, healthy, and comfortable period.
Your menstrual cycle | womenshealth.gov
Hormonal factors key to understanding acne in women