As the blog has concentrated on talking about periods and contraception this week, I thought I would dedicate this week’s Friday Favourites to those little things that make you feel better during your time of the month.
First up is a good old hot water bottle. It’s the perfect time of the year to go shopping for these right now and I have picked a few to share with you. Top left is a nice, affordable version available from Amazon (here) and is made from soft fleece with a pretty star pattern on. I love the pumpkin covered one from Not On The High Street (here) and had to include it as it is perfect for this month! I love the colours of the Zoella one, with the grey chunky knit cover and forest green pom poms. I love the lifestyle range she has bought out for this Christmas and there are some great gift ideas, this hot water bottle set includes the eye mask too which is super soft. You can get this range from Boots (here). I added in the last one as I thought it was perfect for if you suffer not only with tummy pains but back pain too. It is a heat wrap which can be warmed in the microwave and then wrapped around your body. It is great to use on your joints too if you benefit from heat pads when you are struggling with pain and stiffness. This is available from Boots (here) and comes in a couple of different colours, including this beautiful soft grey.
You can also get single use heat pads in Poundland which I find quite useful too. There are two in a pack and you peel off the backing which activates it to warm up and then stick it on where needed. I tend to use these more on my joints and prefer my hot water bottle for tummy ache but it is another option depending on your preferences! A soak in a warm bath will also have the same effect.
Next up is chocolate! I am not sure if everyone is the same but I do find myself craving more chocolate around my time of the month and it does obviously make me feel a little better when I eat it (as long as I don’t think too much about the weight I will put on!). My favourite chocolate bars are Galaxy, Turkish Delight, Snickers (although I have to avoid these now due to the nuts and them blocking my stoma) and Milkybars. What are your favourites, and do you get the same cravings during period week? Let me know in the comments below.
The next line of attack would be pain medication. Sometimes a couple of paracetamol will help dull the pain at least but you can go to your doctor and get something more effective prescribed if needed. I know Naproxen is prescribed for this (not suitable for people with IBD unfortunately as it is an NSAID) but your doctor will be able to help.
Exercise is also good to help with period cramps. It isn’t recommended if your period is particularly heavy at the time as it can increase the flow but something gentle like pilates or walking can really help with pain. It isn’t something you will always fancy doing or feel like but if you have tried other things unsuccessfully, it is definitely worth a go.
Finally, if your problems are continual and you aren’t planning a pregnancy soon, you can talk to your GP about contraception as a way of helping ease your periods. Many methods such as the patch, the coil and the implant can help lighten your flow, reduce cramps and sometimes even stop you having periods all together. Obviously every method doesn’t work for everyone in the same way and also some methods aren’t suitable for some people (see my post about Contraception and IBD/Arthritis from earlier in the week here) so it is important to talk to your doctor and see what they suggest is good for you and what could help with your specific problems. I originally went on the patch before I started my relationship as my doctor advised it could help lighten and shorten my periods (I was having 9-10 day long periods for many years). Some GPs also have specialist nurses in the practice who you can visit and discuss all options available to you with.
I hope you enjoyed reading this special edition of my Five Friday Favourites. Are there any other things that you use that you could recommend to others? Let me know in the comments below and I hope you all enjoy your weekend!