A Collegiette's Unofficial Guide to Periods

If you clicked this article, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been dealing with Aunt Flo for a few years now. When you first got your period, the first challenge was figuring out how to put a tampon in. A few months after that, the next struggle was figuring out your cycle and hoping that it would eventually become regular.

College brings about a few new challenges of its own. You can’t steal pads from your mom’s bathroom when you run out. No more hanging out in the high school dean’s office when your cramps get bad. Living off campus might mean you could unpredictably go all day without having the chance to stop at home for more tampons or ibuprofen. A menstrual cup might be way out of your budget. Have no fear - we have some advice to make sure your monthly gift doesn’t slow you down.

Always keep some goodies in your backpack.

And by goodies, of course, we mean tampons, pads, extra panties, and/or whatever over-the counter pain meds or menstural care you use. If one day you realize in horror that you haven’t replenished your stash, the U provides free feminine hygiene product dispensers in the women’s bathrooms in many campus buildings. Shout-out to the U of M for keeping our health in mind, and to MSA for pushing them to! 

Pay extra attention to your diet.

Eat foods that contain iron, such as leafy greens like spinach or kale, during that special week. Your body loses some of this essential mineral when you menstruate, so it’s important to put some back in. Foods that contain whole grains are great for helping stay full throughout the day as well, which might help you feel less cranky.

Now’s the time to carry your water bottle around.

Drink plenty of water. As if you haven’t heard this phrase enough. You’re losing fluids, which means you need to replenish them. Drinking plenty of water can also help reduce bloating and regulate your digestive system, which many women struggle with during their period.

Keep it clean.

While you should normally be washing your lovely bits with water (and only water. Body soap can mess with your natural pH levels), the feeling of being squeaky clean down there is priceless when the rest of you feels like a dump truck. Try adding an intimate wash such as Summer’s Eve or Vagisil to your shower routine during this time of the month. Also, Summer’s Eve makes cleansing wipes that are perfect to keep in your backpack when you need a pick-me-up during the day.

Hit up Nelson’s Ice Cream on Snelling.

Okay, so this won’t exactly help your body in any way, but it will definitely help your mood. Veteran’s tip: order the child-size. Trust me.

So next time you get Mother Nature’s “gift”, keep your body in mind when you go to the grocery store, and don’t be afraid to splurge a little on some products that will help you feel like your best self throughout the week. After all, using your period as an excuse to spoil yourself only comes around once a month.