From Crippling to Controlled: My Period Story

Let’s talk about periods. No, not the little dots at the end of sentences; I’m talking about the crimson wave, Aunt flow, the red tide, etc. Now don’t be scared, I’m not going to give you some horror story about toxic shock syndrome or getting my period in public without knowing. This is a simple story about how I finally got my periods under control, and I got a week of my life back.

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I am one of those unfortunate women who got every symptom of PMS ever told to us by our gym and health teachers throughout elementary and middle school. It took a few years of really bad periods and a little research to find that I more than likely suffer from PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It’s a severe form of PMS, and it is utterly horrible.

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So I suffered through years of being physically ill and emotionally drained before I finally put my foot down and decided that enough was enough. My gynecologist that I loved had literally retired a few weeks before I made my appointment, so I went to this very rude woman who is the epitome of why I detest doctors.

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I had been on birth control for a while, and the brands had changed a few times due to insurance and what not, but my periods still hadn’t gotten any better. I was tired of being sick and missing school and social activities because I wasn’t able to get out of bed or off the toilet. When I explained why I needed to look into a different way to manage my periods the first thing she recommended was that I lose weight and let me tell you, it took all my strength not to curse her out after that.                        

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While i’ll admit that I am a thick girl with curves in all the right places, I struggled with my periods even when I was smaller and at a weight that was appropriate for my abnormally tall height. So while I was offended I pushed on and eventually she gave me a prescription for a new birth control. It was a low dose, three month long pack and within the first month I noticed a difference in how I felt.

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My mood improved slightly and when I finally did get my period it wasn’t nearly as bad and it was good knowing I would only get one every three months. So it seemed that I was finally in control, but I was still struggling with mood swings and though I had done therapy to help me cope with my depression and anxiety, I still felt like I wasn’t fully in control of how I felt. I started an antidepressant a few months ago and ever since then it’s like my entire world has changed.

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My mood swings are non-existent and my PMS symptoms are limited to once every three months, which is definitely manageable. I’m happy that I took the initiative to push back and get medical professionals to take me seriously because issues with periods are not something to just brush off; and I think that’s what my message is to all of you. If you’re struggling with your periods or PMS, go and seek help. Do research on your own and let your doctors know that you are concerned and want to be given different options that suit your needs better.

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Don’t let the fear of talking about periods or any other womanly body functions scare you into suffering with something that can be fixed. Women have a voice, and that voice should be heard. Your medical needs are important and it’s our job to make sure that others start to treat us with the care we deserve.

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Image Sources:

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