Do you cut yourself slack when on your period?(62 Posts)
If you are able to
I was just recently diagnosed with endometriosis and really struggle getting through periods. I constantly dread the first day of my period as I know I will be in agony.
Last Friday I had to take the day off when my period came (javelin arse in an open plan office is no joke) and coincidentally had a family friend staying with me (who is closer to my mum's age). She made comments to the effect that I'm not doing myself any favours by wallowing in self-pity etc.
"What do you think women did during the war?"
Over the weekend:
I grazed on chocolate and Nik and Naks
Ordered a couple of takeaways
Stayed in comfy clothes
Did a couple of face masks
Had several naps
Watched more episodes of 4 in a bed than I care to admit
Was a miserable cow
Self-medicated with Peroni
Obviously, I don't do this every weekend. Got a text from my mum this morning basically telling me off! Apparently, I'm young so should be out enjoying my life
What do you do to make yourself feel better (still feeling horrendous)?
Do you have 4 days of downtime every month? I'd love the luxury of even 1, but unfortunately I just keep popping the ibuprofen and get on with it. I've never taken a day off work over a period but then maybe mine are just not bad enough!
I've also 3 young kids so no lying around feeling sorry for myself!
Pain at the end of the day is still pain and shouldn't be minimized.I'm sorry you've not had any real support. I can have very painful period, and try to take it easier as I do get much more tired and stay in bed if i need to and I eat a lot more chocolate!
Well, I don't think your periods are in any way typical of most women's -- endometriosis is a horrible thing, and you're not in the least unreasonable to do whatever you need to do to get through very painful periods as you can. And your 'friend' was being an arse. I hope you told her precisely what your diagnosis is, and why you are in agony. I would have hoped your mother was more sympathetic.
I currently have horrifically heavy periods -- to the point of having to take changes of clothes with me everywhere on the heaviest days, and where giving a lecture is difficult because I'm leaking through a superstrength tampon and two pads by the end of it -- which make me anaemic and exhausted. I have one at the moment, and unfortunately, circumstances meant I needed to do important stuff at the weekend, regardless. I tend to try to keep going as usual, but there's no denying it requires a large bag of stuff, dark clothes, and a reluctance to have to change tampons and all clothes in, say, a train toilet or scuzzy public loo...
I did have to pull out of a longterm professional commitment last summer with only two days notice, and I know those involved were not impressed, but it would have involved a bus or taxi, an hour on the train, and then another half hour or so on the tube, then a two hour event with me talking throughout, and the same home again -- and I was flooding like mad.
Sympathies on your diagnosis.
P.s you're not wallowing in self-pity OP .
Do you have 4 days of downtime every month?
Pretty much. Thankfully my company allows me to work from home if I'm feeling really shit.
Last month I was working in Amsterdam and had to spend the majority of the time in my hotel room- everyone was very sympathetic. I don't take the piss, if I am able to sit at a desk without screaming/crying I do go my best to go in.
I guess everyone is different and has different levels of pain. In the past mine have been extremely heavy and painful but I tend to just get on with it as much as I can in the day, then curl up in the evening. I've never taken time off work though, just dosed myself up with painkillers.
I don't give myself four days off because I can't - your weekend sounds lovely though despite the pain etc
I do cut myself some slack in accepting that I'm not going to be feeling great (two failed pregnancies seem to have left me particularly susceptible to hormonal changes and my periods are now worse than they were before) and I'm always on a bit of a go slow.
My period is due in a few days and I'm already feeling really fatigued, a bit sick etc and I don't have endometriosis. I don't think you're wallowing OP, and even if you are, so what!
No 2 women are alike in this regard. Mine aren't too bad and I just get on with things.
I have endometriosis too (now managed with the mini pill so don't have periods at all) and suffered really badly for years. I can empathise with your pain. I tended to not take days off work and just power through the pain because my work were unsympathetic to sick days but would totally not judge anyone that did. If you're in severe pain, what can you do.
I think endometriosis periods are a different ball game to most ‘normal’ periods to be honest. I’ve never lived my life any differently during a period, but I’ve never needed to. If I was in excruciating pain and writing around in agony in the office I would probably work from home that day too.
Your mum & her friend sound outdated & ignorant. Endometriosis is not a bad period. When it's at it's most severe women are hospitalised because of it. Organs can fuse together or to the walls in your body.
Women need to stand up for each other more. You don't get any medals for "manning up".
Mine are a nightmare at the moment.
I get really paranoid on the heavy days and put 4 pads on to be on the safe side (I don't really need four but definitely need two).
If I have a meeting or anything my worst fear is that I'll stand up and I will have leaked on the seat!!
Never happened yet thank goodness, but it does make me over anxious.
I can sympathise as I suffer from awful pms in the build up to it and then the joys of pain and headaches during the event.
I don't get them often but still get most of the symptoms once a month, just not bleeding.
I'm having a bitch of one just now, finding it very strange though as I'm in a mood to obsessively clean and clear out and seem to have a lot of energy. I'm also in fowl mood, losing my temper at the slightest thing, yesterday I actually sobbed at DP, as in cried like a child for a few things that would roll off my back usually.
I don't get pain like you though OP, I think if I did I would do the same. I don't really have any control over what I eat either, my appetite seems to be controlled by my ovaries at the moment.
I tend to go a bit slower during my period, I’ve always had very heavy, very painful periods though for the most part I just get on with it as much as possible. Every so often I have a particularly hard time and I’ll try to stay in bed with painkillers etc but that’s entirely dependent on DH picking up the slack.
My DD is prescribed morphine for her endometriosis periods. Hardly just being a wimp if she curls up on the settee for the duration.
@Nutella my DD gets migraine from the combined pill but was told the mini pill wouldn't help with reducing endo growth. Have you had any issues with it?
Ah OP even the people with dreamy carefree tampax-ad style periods have had a stinker, and everyone experiences pain differently. Downtime is a must for some. I've let myself off the hook with things like the gym or classes for an evening but luckily I've not had to take time off work before.
Dont let the aggressive 'that must be nice' or 'just get on with it' martyr crew come in and make you feel shit. Self care is important. Periods can make you feel all kinds of things, those that say 'its just a period, get over it' can't fathom that it affects people differently and that not everyone WANTS to be a robot slave, continuing on no matter what. People will kill themselves trying to 'get on with it' and its unneccessary. Self care and feeling pain and giving yourself time is not a weakness.
A lot of people dont look after themselves the way they should and keep up with this robotic, must be perfect and soldier on attitude. They aren't usually happy or particularly mentally/physically well either. Mostly angry and passive aggressive.
The type that gets ill and refuses to take a few days off to get over a virus, and carries on increasingly looking like death, infects everyone else, then ends up in hospital with chest infections and pneumonia for two weeks cos they couldn't bear to have a day off work, because they think its pathetic/weak.
You treat yourself/give yourself a break and feel no shame.
Your friend doesn't sound like much of z friend.
I never used to get much pain with periods but then a few years ago the pain started increasing. After about a year of suffering each month I got diagnosed with endometriosis and adenomyosis amongst other things. Some months the pain is like labour. So yes, I cut myself some slack. It's not a choice. Some months I only have 2 days of really bad pain but ther months I have 10 days. Sometimes all I can do is curl up in bed as it hurts to sit or stand.
I can't stand the comments like 'just get on with it' from people who have no clue about this.
"What do you think women did during the war?"
Do these people still live by wartime rules in other areas of life? Or do they take advantage of modern technology and comforts when it suits them? Its not like you are neglecting your family and even your career won't suffer since they allow home working.
Was your relative offended that you didn't put more effort into hosting her? Maybe she felt uncomfortable with you lounging around etc. Not saying you should have done, but maybe she just didn't realise how miserable you were feeling and so felt unwelcome.
My periods are about as easy as they come, but I still make allowances for the fact that I'll be more tired than usual, and hungrier, as well as moodier.
Endo is a whole different ballgame and I don't think you're being unreasonable by doing whatever it takes to get through.
if I am able to sit at a desk without screaming/crying I do go my best to go in.
If your periods are causing you to scream you need to see a Doctor and don't give up until they help. Don't let them fob you off.
Well I’ve 3 dc, a business and a home to run so wallowing for days isn’t really possible. I take painkillers, eat more chocolate than one should and get on with life because I have no choice. It’s just how it is.
If you have no commitments, can take days off work or work from home and want to stay on the sofa then go for it. Your not hurting anyone and It’s nothing to do with anyone else really
I don’t really get comments like this What do you think women did during the war? It doesn’t matter because you aren’t living in a war 🤷🏻♀️
Well I’ve 3 dc, a business and a home to run so wallowing for days isn’t really possible
It's not wallowing. It's getting through the pain. It's not convenient for my life to be affected so much, you imply it's a choice, it's not for many.
To all the women who think that all you need to do to overcome any problem is just try harder.
Here, this is just for you
I have strongly suspected endometriosis and used to get horrendous periods that have in the past had me puking and fainting two or three days a month and unable to stand up straight with pain for another three or four, even the after taking prescription painkillers.
If I got periods I would absolutely need to cut myself some slack. I've had periods that hurt more and lasted longer than labour.
When it got to the stage where I missed out on an important exam paper because about ten minutes in I vomited everywhere then promptly passed out (and gave myself concussion hitting my head off desk) I decided to do something about it and have been on hormonal contraception (first the mini pill then depo) almost solidly to stop them ever since.
I still get the odd breakthrough one that I suspect would have been one of the ones that would have floored me before taking hc, and there was a brief spell after dc was born where they were manageable with lots of painkillers and an iron supplement but they gradually got back to their same old horrible selves.
A couple of quid on a pregnancy test and a jab in the arm every three months is a small price to pay for freedom from debilitating pain and exhaustion, and for getting a significant amount of time back.
Fwiw, my mum is exactly the same and has been sent home from her job as an A&E nurse on busy weekend nightshift before now, and working for the NHS you are not sick until you are dead, so to answer your question op, no are most definitely not being a wimp and if you need to slow down because it hurts like a motherfucker, you need to slow down.
Women do the sex a disservice when they say they don’t slack off so other women shouldn’t-clearly they just don’t get bad periods. I have to lighten my load the week before my period because my brain stops working. I’m not exaggerating when I say I can’t think. It’s radio silence in there for minutes at a time. Better than making things worse for everyone by trying to force myself to do things I can when I can just do hem before hand.
Your an adult you can do what you want. Think your mum is just jealous.
Day before I take a sick day if I can, and spend the day watching movies, reading crappy magazines, crying, taking very strong painkillers (some actually prescribed to me), eat crisps chocolate and microwave brownies smothered in peanut butter (but nothing healthy) then get steadily more anxious until I fall asleep as the result of a sleeping tablet or an overly large glass of wine. If I don't plan to take a sick day I inevitably come home at lunchtime in floods of tears after ringing my Mum and telling her I'm having a nervous breakdown and am done with it all!
The following morning there is hell fire burning down below and a river of red but it's almost a relief to know that I am "just" menstruating and not actually crazy/neurotic/failing at everything. I take some strong painkillers and carry on with my day. In the evening I go to bed early with crippling cramps but by day 2 things are normalising a bit. Day 3 my period tapers off a bit, giving me the illusion of a light period (although if I use Sanpro for light flow I do so at my peril). Day 4 is a repeat of the day before my period starts, and Day 5 a repeat of day 1. Then I bleed a measly amount for 2-5 days longer. Whole thing takes 7-11days. Repeats every 3-6 weeks. There is no rhyme or reason really beyond having 2 nervous breakdowns and 2 days of crippling pain at least once a month or so (sometimes more frequently).
Oh and mid cycle I have a mini version of this without bleeding when I ovulate...
I am looking forward to being Post menopause 🤷🏻♀️ and yes I am under the Gynae!
@Angelicinnocent no problems with the mini pill at all. In fact has changed my life. No periods = no pain. Before I was ill at least 2-3 weeks of every month. I didn't get on with the combined pill at all, tried 4 different brands.
My gynaecologist has said that it wouldn't necessarily get rid of the condition but will halt growth. I suppose it depends on each individual and the stage they are at- would definitely ask for a second opinion because I was fobbed off a lot and given a lot of conflicting information about different pills and I've finally found a doctor I can trust (when I eventually went privately, the NHS didn't seem to care about diagnosing me or that my life was quite literally being ruined by the pain)
@Angelicinnocent it doesn't reduce it but I was told it can stop or slow the spread of it, because it stops your periods basically, so the lining doesn't get the signal to thicken and grow, or something along those lines.
It certainly worked well to control my symptoms though
Have you been to the dr? I was on mefanamic acid for a while and it really did help with the pain.
Mine is more emotion wise that sets me back from around 7 days before my period and the duration of the whole period I am low in mood, stressed full of anxiety obsessive thoughts I would rather be in physical pain than mental pain some months, I don't think your wallowing in self pity periods suck I try and take 5Htp and vitamin b6 complex all throughout the month it used to work but I don't think it does anymore, if anyone reading this has tips on how to cope throughout the month I'd love to hear them.
@nutella & @Billy thank you. I shall take her back to the GP then and keep pushing.
I do and have done so for probably 28 years. At school it was get out of pe, that's if I went to school as my periods bought with them crippling migraines where I would spend a day or two in bed, having gone blind and banging my head against the wall to ease the pain. I had beta blockers and the strongest migraine medication for years.
That's on top of anaemia and very heavy periods, lots of flooding and changing clothes and sheets etc from age 20 ie my first child.
The migraines came with my period and before my periods and with stress, dehydration etc but the period ones were the worse.
They started easing about 4 years ago. But each period bought headaches, stomach cramps, flooding, extreme tiredness, mood swings and pmt etc.
To all the women who can carry on then great but I'm sure a lot of women can't. We have a mix of both in my family. My poor niece has suffered since she was 11.
If cutting yourself some slack helps then so be it. We are all different. My periods are still heavy and I still flood and they still last a week and I get them every 21days so a very quick turnaround but the migraines are easing and the nausea etc, I think the pmt peaked a few years ago and it's not as bad too.
I know though not to do trips or have anything planned for those days as I'm literally more tired and weaker than normal and that's saying somethings as I'm constantly exhausted.
I missed loads of days due to migraines and periods when I worked, it made me feel bad for my colleagues but can't be helped as I could literally not see to drive. The weakness and the pain could be worked through but the migraines could not.
I can empathise. I usually manage to get through it but some days would struggle if I weren’t able to work from home.
Anyone who says “wallowing” or “I just don’t have time” really doesn’t understand how bad it can be.
I have endometriosis and anyone who feels they could power through it needs a kick up their arse because it is debilitating.
I also teach, and because of my endo my HT and TA both have to know the moment I start a period because they need to know there'll be emergency toilet visits far more frequently than I'd otherwise make. I don't take time off simply because I can't, but I'd never judge anyone who needed to take it easy while they were on their period.
On days when I'm on my period being at work and parenting the DC takes every ounce of my energy so I'll let things go a little and leave the gym out, leave cookery out and go to bed early. If anyone feels the need to judge that, I'm alright with it. You walk a mile in my pants and see how endo affects your life.
"What do you think women did during the war?"
errr...not join up for service
or if they did, not get accepted
there were men too who were not in the army due to health problems
lots of them
People have really weird ideas of what the war was actually like.
Not rtft but endometriosis is a health condition not a bad period? Surely if you're suffering from pain made worse by endo you are taking days off work due to an illness, not just a menstrual period?
Terrible to minimise this. Just because a health condition is linked to a period doesn't make it any less serious.
I have endo. On top of usual endo symptoms and tsunami in my pants I also get severe shits on day 1. Literally can't be too far from a toilet. It's better for everyone if I stay near my own toilet in my PJs.
Laying off wheat helps a bit. I also don't drink anything gassy. I know you need comfort (I couldn't get through a period without a glass of wine) but I reckon lager is probably not helping the pain. Guinness might be better??
Do what you need to do. If you have an understanding employer, more the better.
Mine are ok as got older. I do sometimes get impossibly uncomfy like my insides have been twisted up. Painkillers, heated wheatbags in the office. I also get really tired so early nights. The Cycle Diet is really good, Evening Primrose or Cod Liver oil. I get headaches if I have eaten crap the week before. Tolerance for eating crap is better in weeks one and two. Also get ridiculously tired during ovulation. Like hit by a bus tired. I just plough on with caffeine
If you can, why wouldn't you? I wouldn't begrudge you x
I've not suffered horrid periods (but a. They last 7 days and b. I'm peri so it could get ugly) but if you can take it easy, why wouldn't you?
Nothing worse than a martyr.
If you can and you have bad periods then you should.
I don't think I cut myself enough slack during painful periods until I gave birth and realised that giving birth was no more painful than my monthly period.
Given that DH was home, I did wallow on Mother's Day as I felt horrendously rough. Crampy, bloated, IBS playing up, headachey, dropping everything I picked up.
If DH had been in work I'd have had to get on with it regardless but as he was around I curled up on the sofa with a hot water bottle and mostly buried myself in a book.
Worked from home on Monday as I didn't feel up to actually getting to the office, but felt fine to sit at my laptop and work. Actually got a lot done as well, and got to keep the chocolate biscuits just for me.
I completely sympathise. I always had ok periods until one month I came on suddenly and blood literally soaked the whole leg of my jeans in the few minutes it took me to get into the building. I fainted on the bus home from the pain. They continued in this vein until I was diagnosed with PCOS. Not the same level as ending, but I had horrific pain and flooding for a few years, which in my case eased with meds and losing weight. It literally ruined everything for those few days each month.
Everyone experiences things differently and just because it is a period, doesn’t also mean it can’t be debilitating. I have RA and get some painful flares but nothing yet has come close to that terrible period that I referred to above
I sympathise my periods have always been horrendously painful and heavy. I got a nice wake up call today at 4:30, cramps and soaked with a cold sweat. I had to get up to take painkillers and hot water bottle but got barely anymore sleep and have dragged myself to work doped up as much as possible! I get sontearful and irrational beforehand. A while ago I fantasised about running out in front of a car as i’d get better pain relief relief. I’ve gone home twice with it!
Yes and no, but only because I've pretty much organised stuff so if I am affected there's no issue.
I'm "lucky" in that mine are only very heavy and I don't get pain. So I pretty much ensure I'm never meeting with clients on Day 1/2 which means I'm then able to carry on as normal as I work from home. I would say mine are debilitating but only in terms of logistics so much easier to deal with!
I absolutely would be taking the time necessary to be able to deal with my periods if I was in that situation.
@Angelicinnocent taking her back to gp is not a bad call but I got taken far more seriously by a sexual health clinic, the nurse I had spoken was quite cross on my behalf and phoned my gp to basically professionally bollock my gp for fobbing me off.
That may have been because the nurse was a woman and my gp was a man in his 50s, but just as a heads up, if your gp does fob her off again I would try there. There are young people's ones too and they don't just deal with stds and contraception, they can do gynea referrals too (at least mine can)
@billy our male gp is pretty good (his wife is a sufferer) . Conversely our female gp is very much of the "everyone gets period pains, including me, but we have to live with it" type.
Unfortunately DD has some other issues with her health that have to be managed before gynae can do anything but hopefully the mini pill will help without causing more migraines.
@Angelicinnocent that's good to hear there is at least one gp willing to listen, sometimes that's all it takes. Best of luck (and much sympathy!) to your dd. The mini pill was literally life changing for me.
Yes I definitely cut myself slack as a few days before my period and during I am super emotional, cry and need hugs from those around me
I also get severe cramps to the point where I vomit, feel faint and have to lie curled up in a ball.
I leak at least a couple of times per period and have big clots.
So yeah definitely don't feel guilty for allowing yourself to take it easy during that time, especially considering you suffer endometriosis which isn't just a bad period.
Oh come ON OP! Seriously . Just put a mini tampon in, your white trousers on and cycle to work, with a swim afterwards.
Ignore your family friend (who I assume won’t be getting another invite), your ridiculously daft mother & all of the ‘I have 6 kids, 3 jobs, play tennis and don’t let a mere period stop me’.
I used to have very light periods, then went on the pill (back to back) no periods I was the tampon advert girl. But I could still understand that I was fortunate and that others had it FAR worse.
...but holy fuck, when I started having mine again they ramped up into periods from hell. They last ages (12 days) and for the heavy 2-3 days I prefer not to leave the house whenever possible. I max up the san pro to do the school run. I’m lucky I work for myself so I can arrange my day to suit me. If I have to go out it’s dark colours, changes of clothes and planned around where toilets are. My problem now though is they’re so erratic I can’t plan ahead for holidays etc.
...that’s without crippling pain, serious stomach issues, headaches, migraines or anything else. I’m lucky I don’t (yet) suffer any of those.
People who have light periods, then get ‘heavy’ periods, that actually aren’t, CAN be very judgemental because they’ve NO idea how bad it can be. Despite reading threads about it, they still don’t accept that not all periods are equal or that Endo isn’t ‘just a period’
They’re ALL safely ignored.
🌷🍫 to ALL of you who suffer badly, 🍾🥂 to some solutions!
I'm with you OP - my periods are so bad I can barely get out of bed and they also make me scream.
I have endometriosis and adenomyosis.
I have seen various specialists the only thing that will "cure" me is a total hysterectomy which I am not prepared to do yet because we are trying for children.
The only thing that used to take the edge off was mefenamic acid but I've become allergic to that so whilst I'd like to be able to "pop an ibuprofen and get on with it" it just doesn't happen
So I have a tens machine, pain killers, hot water bottle, hot baths and chill out and spend the day on the sofa/in bed and I do not beat myself up about it or feel guilty!
I'm undergoing investigations for endo, have been advised to take the combined pill back-to-back to prevent periods... Except I'm now on day 15 of breakthrough bleeding. So fed up.
I don't get proper javelin arse, which sounds excruciating, but it feels tender, occasionally stabby, like I need to go constantly, plus I am oscillating between constipation and loose stools.
I'm eating whatever I want and my best friend is the sofa, I'm also having to make allowances for myself as otherwise I think I'll cry.
No, I’ve just been diagnosed also, as well as an extra thick cervix, and a cervix’s length of 1.9cm, so my period pains are horrific.
However I still try and go about my everyday life as best as I can, there can be days where I am puking due to the pain, however I just try and do as much as I can.
As otherwise I would be wallowing in my own self pity party and tbh it just isn’t me.
Endometriosis is no joke, I really feel for you. I get very bad pain, but not so bad that I can’t force myself to crack on with lots of painkillers and a hot water bottle. Endo is a whole other ball game though, and I think that whatever you need to do to get you through it is fine. Lots of people don’t understand chronic illness, but it’s not like you can just choose to put it on hold while you live your life. If only that were possible!
I tend to cut myself slack the first day. I can’t take time off work (I freelance from home) but day one if I can is hot water bottle at the laptop / whatever snack food I can face eating / no exercise / early night as needed.
Otherwise I just keep on. Have PCOS and heavy periods / pain managed with co-codamol.
Toddler just sat on my phone! Wanted to add, having endometriosis is a whole different board game and people who don’t get that can cock off. You’re in pain, be gentle on yourself.
FraAngelico- that sounds horrendous. Can you take tranexamic acid? It stops you from losing so much blood every month. Works for me. Maybe ask your GP if you haven't already do so.
I never had the option of slacking off. Widowed single parent with full time job as hospital doctor. But then I never had endometriosis, so I’m certainly not criticising any patients who do need time off.
Endo sounds awful. I have fibroids and used to be unable to leave the house on day one, sometimes longer due to flooding.
I’m definitely not myself and not at my best the week before and the first few days
I seem to get baby brain on day one and very arsey the week before (DH would say every week)
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