Fatigue, irritability, cramps, bloating... For many women, menstruation brings with it inconveniences that are more or less bearable. You no doubt have your own tricks for soothing them on a daily basis. But did you know that certain habits can make the situation worse? To make the most of your menstrual cycle, discover 10 things not to do during periods !
periods and the menstrual cycle: many things to learn
The periods are a natural physiological phenomenon that punctuates women 's lives from puberty to the menopause. In the absence of pregnancy, the lining of the uterus, or endometrium, is shed, causing blood to flow. Menstruation occurs every 28 days and generally lasts between 3 and 7 days.
They lie at the heart of the menstrual cycle, which is divided into three main phases:
- the follicular phase (from day 1 of the periods to day 14 of the cycle), during which the ovaries prepare to release an egg;
- ovulation (around the 14th day of the cycle);
- the luteal phase (days 14 to 28), during which the endometrium thickens under the action of progesterone produced by the corpus luteum (an endocrine gland developing each month in the ovary that has released an egg).
During the female cycle, numerous hormones are secreted: estrogen and progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH ). And it's their fluctuations that have multiple impacts on women's lives. Some experience tension in the breasts, nausea and pain in the lower abdomen. Others experience irritability, migraines or severe fatigue. The symptoms associated with periods differ from one person to the next.
To alleviate these inconveniences, you need to listen to your body and follow the advice given by health professionals. However, we still have a lot to learn about menstruation and the female cycle. Gynaecologists have identified certain things not to do during periods to limit inconveniences. And you'll see that they'll undoubtedly overturn many of your preconceived ideas!
10 things to avoid doing during your periods
In a 2017 survey of numerous gynecologists, American women's website Bustle identified several things to avoid during periods. This list is not exhaustive. It brings together various pieces of advice from health professionals, as well as a few tips tried and tested by our team of experts.
1. Wear tight-fitting clothes
This first recommendation is a simple one, but one we sometimes tend to forget. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes at periods. Avoid skinny jeans and high-waisted pants, which could compress your tummy!
If you suffer from bloating and swelling during your period, you'll feel better about your body. You'll also avoid the risk of staining your favorite clothes with blood!
2. Stop your sporting activity
When menstruation arrives, we're tempted to lie back on the sofa and stop all physical exercise. However, exercising during periods has many benefits, such as reducing headaches, spasms, fatigue and evenanxiety. By adapting your sessions to your cycle, you can reduce theintensity of your pain and relieve premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
3. Accepting suffering as "normal
Do you suffer from periods ? Put an end to cramps, heavy flow and other mood swings! It's not normal to suffer these pains every month. We recommend that you consult your doctor, gynaecologist or midwife to find a solution. There are many treatments available to prevent menstrual pain.
4. Ignoring protection during sex
Many women wonder whether they can become pregnant during their periods. Although the probability is low, it is quite possible. Menstruation is not a contraceptive. If you have a short, long or irregular cycle, you can get pregnant during your period. Ovulation may occur at the very beginning of your periods or a few days afterwards. If you have unprotected intercourse before or after this period, the egg can be fertilized by a sperm, which survives for around 5 days in the genital tract.
Not using protection duringsex is therefore one of the things to avoid at periods. If you don't have a regular partner, remember that only condoms protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
However, making love during periods shouldn't be taboo. If you feel comfortable and want to, don't hesitate! The hormones secreted duringorgasm will helpease pain and relax you.
5. Reduce your sleep time
Lack of sleep is bad for your health. When you have your periodsyou're inevitably more tired. If you don't get enough sleep, your body will increase its production of the stress hormone cortisol. The result is an imbalance that will have a negative impact on your menstruation.
So don't cut back on your sleep during this delicate period. If you suffer from insomnia during your periods, there are simple, natural solutions to help you fall asleep and get back to quality sleep.
6. Eat too much fat, too much sugar, too much salt
At periods, it's common to feel like eating more, and to consume fatty, sweet and salty foods. Are you dreaming of a giant French fries cone or a thick slice of comté cheese? Don't!
Eating too much fat, sugar and salt can amplify certain menstrual symptoms. Salt, for example, promotes water retention, bloating and cramps. Fatty foods create a breeding ground foracne and weight gain. Dairy products will increase your production of prostaglandins, hormones that accentuate uterine and intestinal contractions. So keep a close eye on your diet at periods!
7. Drink several cups of coffee
Are you a coffee lover who drinks coffee every day? Note that during PMS and periodscaffeine can aggravate certain symptoms. This molecule, which helps compress blood vessels, accentuates bloating and menstrual cramps. It can also increase the time it takes to fall asleep, leading to insomnia.
Drinking several cups of coffee is one of the things you shouldn't do at periods. Try changing your habits by drinking green tea, for example, a natural diuretic remedy effective against water retention.
8. Not carrying sanitary products
It is essential to carry sanitary protection with you at all times during your visits. periods. Why? To change regularly throughout the day, of course, to avoid blood spills and prevent toxic shock if you use tampons.
Before leaving home, we recommend that you check that you have enough sanitary towels or tampons for the day. If you're used to wearing menstrual lingerie, don't forget to carry a spare pair in a waterproof pouch in your bag. period pants in a waterproof pouch.
9. Schedule an appointment with a beautician
We don't recommend scheduling an appointment with your beautician during your period. During this period of the female cycle, pain receptors are even more sensitive, particularly in the skin of the intimate area. So avoid all waxing, especially of the bikini line!
10. Taking lots (too many) showers
Some women who have their periods feel dirty and wash much more often. However, taking too many showers during your period is not recommended. Limit yourself to one shower a day, as usual.
Above all, don't try to douche your vagina. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ and home to many bacteria essential to its proper functioning. If you wash it with soap and water, its flora will be weakened and you risk developing mycosis, vaginitis or infection.