Tools to Make Your Period Less Painful, Inconvenient, and Expensive

Image: Stocksy  by Thais Ramos Varela

Image: Stocksy by Thais Ramos Varela

Managing your period in a way that is more eco-friendly (and budget friendly) has come a long way in recent years. There All of these menstrual products are also budget friendly since you don't have to purchase them with the monthly frequency of paper and plastic products. I wish we lived in a society that honored the natural rhythm of life more and talking about your period wasn't such a faux pas

Period Cup

If you're looking for a replacement for tampons, menstrual cups like the Diva Cup, Lunette Cup or Lily Cup are a good place to start. There is a bit of a learning curve, but once that's covered, many people like using menstrual cups.

Cloth Pads

Cloth pads and panty liners that can be easily washed. You'll never have to worry about stocking up on pads or pantyliners during 'that time of the month' again as long as you make sure they are washed and available when needed.

Thinx Underwear

Thinx can be used to forgo all other menstrual products altogether. Thinx underwear is designed so you can wear them without anything else (depending on the heaviness of your menstrual flow. Thinx work great for long stints of time where you won't be able to or have a need to visit the restroom i.e. at night.

Track your cycle with an App

For those of us who have periods, your menstrual cycle is an overall touchstone for your overall health. Try apps like My Flo App to track your cycle and get advice according to where you are in your cycle during a given month.

Read Books on Women's Health

There are an abundance of women's health books and website content, but my favorite is Women Code. Managing your period is only one part of managing your overall health and your diet, stress levels, family history and so much more can impact your menstrual cycle. In Woman Code, Alissa Vitti offers a host of important information on how you can manage your nutrition according to where you are in your cycle and specific advice and guidance for health concerns like PCOS. Another oldie but goodie is Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom by Dr. Christian Northrup if you want an even more comprehensive text to refer to that covers all of the seasons of a women's life from your menstruating years, birth/pregnancy, to menopause and post-menopause. These books are great reference guides, but if you're not willing to invest in them, check your local library.

Other Tools to Aid That Time of the Month:

  • Subscription Companies. If these products simply won't work for your lifestyle and needs, check out subscription services like Lola so you can have more assurance that the cotton used in your menstrual products aren't treated with chemicals. You can also eliminate that ongoing question of if you remembered to stock up on menstrual products prior to the arrival of your period.
  • Raspberry Leaf Tea and Other Tea Blends. Raspberry leaf is generally known for its benefits during pregnancy, but its nutrient profile makes it an excellent choice for women at any stage of life as it helps support female health in many ways. Many women claim it helps ease the symptoms of PMS due to its high vitamin and mineral content, which helps balance hormones and strengthens the walls of uterus and the general pelvic area. (source).

  • Essential Oil Blend (w/Clary Sage). Essential oil blends that include Clary Sage can aid in relieving PMS symptoms. Many claim that clary sage helps when dealing with cramps, heavy menstrual cycles, hot flashes and hormonal imbalances (source).

  • Tinctures. Tinctures like De Lune helps alleviate the worst period symptoms, including cramps, fatigue, and migraines.

  • Epsom Salt Baths. Taking an Epsom Salt Bath can also be a stress relieving way to to manage your menstrual cycle. The magnesium-sulfate from the Epsom salts are absorbed through the skin and can aid in reducing water retention, bloating, and cramping. 
  • Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs/Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) -  TCM pairs very nicely with Western Medicine to help a host of ailments and health concerns. From managing PMS to improving fertility, to managing specific issues like PCOS, there are scientifically proven benefits of TCM. Find a practitioner in your area if you'd like to give it a try.