If you’re a person who menstruates dealing with your period during the summer can be a pain – both literally and figuratively. The best parts of summer, like warm weather and outdoor activities, tend to bring their own challenges when it comes to bleeding and I know from experience that the heat can make a period even harder to deal with.
Whether you have a camping trip planned or a day at the nudist beach, you want to be able to enjoy yourself without worrying about leakages or how you’re going to change your cup or tampon. Not to mention that bikini weather makes you much more aware of the menstrual bloat, water retention and hormonal acne. Plus, just generally feeling pretty cranky…
Menstruation is a fact of life for many of us, and we shouldn’t let it get in the way of having a fun & care free summer, so I’ve put together some ideas for all genders on how to deal with PMS-ing and bleeding during the hot months.
Cramps are never good, but they’re even worse during the summer when you’re meant to be having fun. Take some pain killers, make sure you go to the bathroom frequently, if you’re lying down at the beach try to elevate your legs slightly with your bag or towels. And remember to hydrate as you’ll need more fluids than normal to stay hydrated whilst bleeding in the heat. During heat waves we can get dehydrated a lot easier than usual as we lose more fluids through sweating and peeing, which can make our periods even worse. Go for water and ditch the caffeine and sugary drinks.
And of courser, remember the best thing in the world can help cramps… orgasms. Did I just hear someone say period sex?
Periods alone can make you moody and you can be more cranky because of the heat. Go swimming, hang out with your friends, and try to do things that make you happy. If you’re feeling particularly frustrated you could try some breathing exercises and meditation during the day. And I know we don’t want to hear this, especially if you’re feeling cramped and a bit moody, but exercise really does help. Go for a walk, or a swim or do some gentle yoga if you can.
Your period can make your body retain more water and salt than usual, giving you that wonderful period bloat. Mix this with swelling from the heat, maybe some period induced constipation – and you could be feeling pretty heavy and uncomfortable. Stay hydrated, avoid salty or deep fried foods and try to eat as healthy as possible with lots of vegetables.
Also, please remember that there is absolutely no such thing as “beach body ready”, we all have bodies and we are all ready to go to the beach no matter our shape or size. Don’t try to hide the bloat, embrace it and show everyone just how beach ready a period body is.
There is absolutely no shame in leaking – menstruation is a fact of nature. However, I know that it can be annoying when you get blood stains on your favourite summer clothes. So, if you want to try and avoid leaking you can make sure you have a stock of period products with you – whether it’s tampons, pads, period pants or cups.
If you know that you’re a particularly heavy bleeder and you’re constantly worried about leaking when you’re out and about, you can also double up on protection. Try wearing a menstrual cup and a pad at the same time. Then you can carry on with your day without the fear of stains. For your health and hygiene you will still need to change your products regularly but doubling up may at least stop you worrying and let you enjoy yourself. If you haven’t tried them yet, menstrual cups are eco-friendly reusable, little bowl-shaped devices that you insert in the same way as a tampon. They collect blood and you can wear it for up to 12 hours without any leakage, so you probably won’t have to worry about washing it out in a public bathroom.
We all make our own decisions when it comes to body hair, and I encourage everyone to make their own choice about how they want their body to look and feel, especially when it comes to their hair removal (or lack of). That being said if you are booked in for a wax appointment, cancel it… right now.
Your body is much more sensitive to pain when you’re on your period, so what may usually be a manageable hair removal experience can quickly turn into an unbearably painful nightmare. Delay it, or if you absolutely need to get rid of that hair then get the razor out. And if you’re interested in the politics surrounding body hair, you can read more about why I believe pubic hair is a feminist issue here!
Your period may be a monthly pain but you don’t need to let it effect your summer fun. What other methods do you have for your monthly bleed in the summer months? Tell me in the comments!