collected by Claire Feldman-Riordan
okay, here we go... cramps suck really really bad and there are times when i just would really rather die than be a women. isn't that sad?! but i mean, hey, if i get to have kids that's cool - you know? my period is definately an inconvenience, but you know how it goes....
okay, my roommate says that it's a curse on women when God cursed Eve in the garden and said she'd have pain in childbirth and stuff, somewhere in Genesis if you want to look it up. she says it's straight from satan. ... i guess as i get older i don't mind it so much, but when my period first started it really really sucked.
All I know about my period is......hmm. Mostly it sucks. To me it represents something so much larger. It is something that men will NEVER understand. It is very similiar to the oppression that women have always faced. It's a pain that is indescribable, and many men try to make light of your pain by implying that you are somehow to weak to handle it. I got my first period when I was 11 years old and my last one about 10 months ago. It is an issue that I have srtuggled with at length. As you may know I have battled with the menses a great deal. Spending nights that lasted eternity lying on the bathroom floor, rocking back and forth until I didn't even have the energy to do that anymore. It has been one of the most terrifying and horrific things that I have ever experienced. I could write books on it. I know all the symptoms, all the treaments...whatever. I think periods suck.
... I'm getting a D+/C- in Calc III right now. I'd rather get my period for 36 days in a row (hey--that really did happen to me!!) than get this grade in math. That's all I have to say.
Seriously, though. I think that the price we have to pay in cramps, limited sex time per month, and PMS compensates for what we are enabled to do (namely have children) with our bodies. It's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.
my period is long and heavy! it's usually eight days long and i have bad cramps the first two days. i knew it would be that way because my mother had the exact same type of period. her period was so heavy that she became anemic and had to take iron supplements until her doctors recommended that she have a hysterectomy because she was not planning on having any more children. so i fear that will be my fate as well. i'm tempted to go on birth control to shorten the duration of my period and to get rid of cramps, but i'm concerned about the side effects. i know with earlier birth control there was the increased risk of heart and kidney problems as well as weight gain. i understand that there are much more advanced forms now, and i may ask my gyne to recommend one for me. anyway, i do not look forward to my period at all, especially now that it has become regular (after 7 years) and comes in the middle of every month. now hasn't this been a cheery letter? i think i may have my husband have an artificial uterus transplanted in his stomach and then have him give birth via c-section.
I actually really enjoy getting my period, not necesarily the sticky actuality of it, but the idea of it. I love the fact that women have this innate connection to natural cycles and to some kind of body magic so to speak. I also remember the first time I got my period and how afraid and upset I was at that rite of passage, the fact that my body had control that my mind didn't have. I still feel that way about my period, its a reminder that there are some things that are more powerful than me and my head. For example, I get a sort of unique form of PMS. About 4 days before my period I get really frustrated and kind of grouchy and then I'm fine until the first day of my period. On the first day I seem to have less control over my emotions, everything feels exagerrated. I went to a women's conference once where a woman said that when she gets her period she gets in touch with how she really feels about everything in a more extreme form. She says its a really powerful time for her and she's learnt not to ignore what she feels and says when the hormones kick in. I think that is really true, I say things and do things I've wanted to say and do but have restrained myself from doing because it wasn't right or wasn't nice,etc. So, my hormones actually liberate me in a certain sense. Ancient tribes sent women away from the village when they were menstruating because they were considered powerful, imbued with magic. There is truth in this. Sometimes when I am bleeding I can feel that power, the ancientness of the whole thing, the ritual of cleansing and renewal and the body preparing itself and continuing in a time-old rhythm. Sometimes, when removing a tampon or changing a pad I smell the blood and have my instinctive yuck reaction and then I realize, this is the smell of fecundity, this is the primordial ooze, this is where it all begins.
Personally I think that periods are a pain, but I have to look at the big picture. There is nothing more amazing than bringing a life into this world. What a little inconvenience we women have to endure to be blessed with the smiles and love of our children. Without pain we could never know true happiness. Thus, I see periods as a necessary evil. However, it wouldn't hurt if guys had something similiar. Is it too much to ask that they have cramps too:)
i started out hating my period. i was, in part because i was overweight, probably, the first girl to get hips, breasts and her period in rapid succession. didn't tell my mom for the first three cycles, just stole her pads and bought my own tampons at a local cvs.
eventually went on the pill to regulate my periods, since the cramps were painful to the point of passing out, went on iron pills and all sorts of stuff like that, 'cause they were also too heavy. eventually had to go off the pill, since i was smoking too much for it to be safe, and decided that i wasn't going to put up with that shit anymore. learned to modify what i ate, and learned that the cramps could usually be walked off. all went well (hopefully you don't mind the little history of [my] period) until a pregnancy scare, when i took the morning after pill. next couple periods were insanely painful, and though i'm not in situations where i have any reason to suspect pregnancy, i still like getting my period for the simple fact of not being pregnant, and the fact that everything (my reproductive cycle) seems to be working. completely separate from that, i tend to like getting my period, at least for the first couple days. the tiredness goes from the i'm-a-college-student tiredness to the i-just-worked-out tiredness. (don't know if i'm making sense) other thoughts...no sex during her period for [me] of any kind. don't usually like to be touched, even if i'm in a good mood. i tend to have some weird sort of dominant period, where if i'm living with anyone, my cycle doesn't change, theirs does. ...roommate claimed i just had to say period for her to get hers.
I have never minded menstruating; as a matter of fact, I gladly accept the fact that it's part of being able to bear children...! Of course, I have never had a horrible time with my periods; only occasional, minor cramps and sometimes heavy bleeding. If I had had a lifetime of pain or problems from the process, I might look on it differently....
Okay, periods and menstruation....
Periods don't really bother me, it lasts about three days, i don't get major cramps, and i don't have to plan my life around it. So basically, i don't have any problems worthy of publication in seventeen magazine. the only real complaint has nothing to do with the period itself, but with my boyfriend's attitude toward it. Since we are sexually active, we both tend to watch my "cycle" fairly carefully. It just pisses me off when i am a little grumpy or i decide to eat chocolate and it is right around the time that i am supposed to get my period that he decides "it is my hormones." and some arguments have been resolved by him "forgiving me" for "getting upset" over "something ridiculous" because he "understands" that "it is my hormones." And i guess i always get a little upset when he tries to be sympathetic to the inconveniences of periods when really i think he is more thankful that i actually got the period and relieved that i am not pregnant. I guess i am a little moody for periods. but i don't resent having them. I don't think of it as some kind of unequally placed burden. I just think that some things you just have to deal with and a[d]vil is a good way of dealing. Especially, when you remember to take the advil in the morning the day you correctly guess that you will get your period. Then after class you have a wonderful excuse to curl up in your bed and stare at the cracked paint on the ceiling.
I play 3 sports and absolutely hate having my period for games. I think it definitely affects my performance. I get out of breath a lot quicker and feel sluggish when I'm playing with it.
Hmmm. This is an interesting presentation topic. What kind of class is this for? And I thought my group presentation on fuzzy sets was a little strange! Anyway, I guess my period is not something that I spend great amounts of time considering. Of course, it's not exactly my favorite part of life, but that's just what it is- a part of life, a rather annoying event though it is. I think that I would probably have a stronger opinion on it if mine was painful. I mean, I know lots of people who get really sick and are always in pretty serious pain. I almost never have to take any kind of painkillers for it. It's just that it's a mess. And I never know when it's going to come 'cause it's pretty irregular and often 8 weeks from one to the next.
i remember when i first got my period, i always dreaded it. it made me feel so sick, uncomfortable, and just in an all-around bad mood. I couldn't understand why I had to get it, when I was going to be having babies until a good 10 years more. But after we began getting used to it, & we talked about it with other people, I realized it's just something that all women deal with. It makes us stronger & more tolerant, gives us a sense of pride, and provides us with something that bonds us women. Also, my period is not too bad-short, & light, but I know some people who it becomes such an ordeal for every month. Besides, now there are so many things available to treat the discomfort. Besides, I think when I finally do have a child, I will realize what all these years of pain have been for.
okay. here's my response to the inquiry on menstrual cycles in general (and it's not incredibly eloquent, i'm sorry to say):
It Sucks Like Hell. all right, for all of those men out there who think, "boo-hoo, women blame so much shit on their period. it can't be that bad." can't be that bad, huh? well, i'd LOVE to exchange a fifth of a lifetime of feeling uncomfortable, bleeding profusely for a week twelve times a year, feeling nauseated for a good deal of that time, being plagued with various other nifty symptoms, like headaches, backaches, having a water balloon in your stomach and a bad-ass attitude, not to mention being blamed for that bad-ass-ity (ass-ity?), and (on top of all this "shit") a nice dose of embarrassment in front of some skinny, pimply, teenage male punk grocery clerk because of the fact you have to buy the stuff so you don't ruin all of your clothes for a few semen-stained sheets, the possibility of being beaten up, the lack of being able to cry in public and world domination. hey, point me to the nearest male that's stupid enough to make that little exchange and i'll show him what's up. and "the gift of life," huh? ask some guy to squeeze something the size of a watermelon through something the size of a cantaloupe where the cantaloupe is part of his body and you could break the world record with how fast he runs away. not to mention, as well, that the watermelon will probably hate you at some point during its life for something as trivial as the fact that you couldn't stop it from having a all right, for all of those men out there who think, "boo-hoo, women blame so much shit on their period. it can't be that bad." can't be that bad, huh? well, i'd LOVE to exchange a fifth of a lifetime of feeling uncomfortable, bleeding profusely for a week twelve times a year, feeling nauseated for a good deal of that time, being plagued with various other nifty symptoms, like headaches, backaches, having a water balloon in your stomach and a bad-ass attitude, not to mention being blamed for that bad-ass-ity (ass-ity?), and (on top of all this "shit") a nice dose of embarrassment in front of some skinny, pimply, teenage male punk grocery clerk because of the fact you have to buy the stuff so you don't ruin all of your clothes for a few semen-stained sheets, the possibility of being beaten up, the lack of being able to cry in public and world domination. hey, point me to the nearest male that's stupid enough to make that little exchange and i'll show him what's up. and "the gift of life," huh? ask some guy to squeeze something the size of a watermelon through something the size of a cantaloupe where the cantaloupe is part of his body and you could break the world record with how fast he runs away. not to mention, as well, that the watermelon will probably hate you at some point during its life for something as trivial as the fact that you couldn't stop it from having a zit. so that, my friend, is that.
I hate periods. They make me a complete b----_ (You know what goes in the blank) and I don't like being that way. The only thing they are good for is that eventually I want kids, and that is the only justification for them.
... My corridor refers to our period as Our Friend Matilda. This is great if I am at the science center and for a certain reason have to come back to the dorm before meeting them. All I have to do is say, Matilda is coming to visit. But, another common saying in our hallway is, I HATE Matilda! This is mostly because we all cycle with each other which means that someone is always early. And I am never regular--ever. If I was ever one of the last two women left on earth, no matter where she was, I am sure I would cycle with her.
The amount of flow is also a common topic of conversation. I find it extremely annoying that I can go through a super tampax in under three hours and I know people who can wear a slender regular tampax for six hours and not think twice about it. So, I guess, in general I find my period an annoyance, but also part of me. I hate the signs in the bathroom that say things like your menstruation is your woman power (because it isn't mine!), and I particularly hate the signs on the sanitary napkind disposal containers that have poems and crap about how wonderful my period is and how thrilled I should be about it. I am thrilled to a woman, and that is part of it, but my only celebration every month is going to be taking my Ibuprofen (a necessity) and eating chocolate (which I wouldn't recommend giving up for Lent!)
menstruation can be very annoying but gives women the edge over men because we handle very much pain from it and loose so much blood every month that a normal person would die. It makes us strong and gives us that bonding point.
About my period: I'm 49 and pretty tired of it. I bleed very heavily which is inconveniently messy and causes anemia. I know that when it stops there are likely to be other unpleasant effects, but, not feeling up to bearing and raising any more children, I could happily do without it.
I think menstruation is a nasty thing that women have to endure for most of their lives. It really sucks because it really inhibits you. There really aren't that many choices out there for us and if the same amount of time and money were put into developing newer and better alternatives to diapers, we would ll be quite happy people, wouldn't we? I would prefer this to be confidential...I think it's unfair that guys can have sex whenever they feel like it. Women have to make sure they're not in their most fertile days of the menstrual cycle and we have to keep track of our calendars, otherwise we'll have huge messes to deal with. I was pretty lucky because my boyfriend didn't find my period to be gross thing and actually thought it was okay to have sex during my periods. Other girls may not be as lucky (or even want to do that), but I think it was great that I at least had the option of doing that, if I wanted to. I think it has been made to be a gross, nasty thing by society, and that if a girl was on her own without any outside influence on the matter, or if she was only exposed to positive things about her period, people would have to respect and accept the fact that maybe it just wasn't all that bad, you know?
Sure, it would be an ideal situation, but wouldn't it be great? Also, the cramps, tender boobs, the nasty attitude I get right around it, they all suck. The backaches and the timed tampon/diaper changes are really a pain as well. I think the whole stigma surrounding PMS is really ridiculous. men seem to use it as the reason for anything that a woman does that strikes them as defiant or opinionated..."oh, it's that time of the month, isn't it?" Women seem to be relying pretty heavily on it as well. There have been court cases where the woman plead temporary insanity to murder charges of her husband because she said she was suffering from extreme PMS. Give me a break.
i must admit feeling that my period is a hassle. not only do i physically feel "different" during this time, but my emotions always get the best of me. during my period, i always feel more conscious about my body which is bothersome. i feel more sensitive about specific, touchy subjects such as body image or weight. i think you know what i am referring to here. at the same time, the regulation on my body cycle it intersting to think about. i feel as if i am only a sidelined participant in this regulatory calendar. it is strange to think how cycling in such a way offers rigid determination of more than just one's menstrual flow. women's biology has explicit control over choices, emotions, hormones, etc. obviously not much can be done to our natural biology. what intrigues me about this is how involved society is with this cycling. expexially as we have matured, the flux of media attention to women's health and needs had been incredible. i think that i am rambling on now. i hope this was somewhat helpful...
... my period....I hate it, but I know that one day, having a period will pay off because it enables women to have children. Those unsightly times when my period is so heavy that I need to change my tampon every hour on the hour, they are just awful, and I really don't understand them. Another thing, Midol doesn't help with cramps or bloating, so they shouldn't tell people with pms that it does, cause it just makes us more angry at the world. That is all I can say about my period. I hope I haven't jinxed myself, cause I'm supposed to start on Tuesday....
...So I'm gonna give you a bit of insight into my childhood menstrual experience. Alright. So thanks to Are you there God it's Me Margaret, I guess i kind of wanted it. Though I didn't know much about it in practice (i remember clearly once pulling a pad out of my mother's bag in the streets of Boston and announcing what's this? she scuttled it away and didn't tell me) When I did get it, I didn't tell my mom for about 15 hours, cuz I wanted to be sure, it was brown, i didn't expect that. She was very proud if you will, stroked my face and made some comment about me growing up. It was embarrassing and I begged her not to tell my dad (yes shame would be theme here). My best friend on the other hand, her mom made her announce it to her whole family, and they had cake or something. They were always really open about the whole thing and there house always had a lot of pads every where it seemed to me, we hid it pretty much in my house. I'd wrap everything really well so my brother wouldn't see, and burried empty boxes and stuff at the bottom of the trash. I had another friend who never told her mom, ever. She would steal her mom's tampons and them wrap things up and take them to school to throw out. My best friend and I had a hand sign at school ,to get eachother to check for us, to make sure we hadn't leaked on our clothes, and to indicate that we'd go to the bathroom together before lunch. Then there was the how do you hide your pad in your lunch bag and everything for that trip between locker and bathroom. [My best friend] and I had a whole system and culture around that whole period thing. Funny actually, we where very close, like when we were at eachothers houses we couldn't stop talking when the other one had to go to the bathroom together before lunch. Then there was the how do you hide your pad in your lunch bag and everything for that trip between locker and bathroom. [My best friend] and I had a whole system and culture around that whole period thing. Funny actually, we where very close, like when we were at eachothers houses we couldn't stop talking when the other one had to go to the bathrrom, so we'd just go in together, for years. Saw a lot of eachothers blood. pretty weird eh. But hey, I knew a girl in high school who used to still bring her dirty tampons in to show her roomate. [My best friend] and I didn't quite like that though. Anyhoo. I definately remember it was a big shame thing. People totally laughed at [a friend of ours] when she had blood on her white skirt in 8th grade, it was the talk of the day. People are lame. But yeah, I mean we joke around alot about how lame guys are about it, but I think it's stupid. why are we brought up to be ashamed of this. I shouldn't have to hide pads and tampons. I've given up trying to make stuff up when i have cramps. I just tell people. yup, and one more thing, allow me to share mom's home recipe for cramps - a glass of sherry, which i have personally translated into a shot of anything alcoholic - honest, when the advil fails me, a glass of kaluha, rum, anything, (usully kaluha thiugh, once this summer, my cramps were so bad, I had Kaluha for breakfast) but it works- all about muscle relaxants....
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