Women’s health series: four health tips for when you're on your period
As part of our Women's Health Series, we've put together our top four health tips for women on their period.
PMS and being on your period can affect women differently, but if you're struggling with the symptoms, you don't have to put up with it. Our guide looks into how to feel your best when it's that time of the month for a healthier, happier you.
Being on your period can cause a range of feelings, from low mood to cramps to food cravings. What you eat during this time can help ease some of the symptoms.
Try these foods
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, ooze antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to reduce the pain from cramps
Sugar cravings? Opt for dark chocolate instead, it’s loaded with antioxidants and magnesium. Or try fruit for natural sugar, like watermelon. The vitamins in fruit will also help with bloating and keeping you hydrated.
Losing blood means you’re losing the iron from the red blood cells, so eat foods that are a source of iron like red meat, oats eggs, and nuts
Getting a massage while on your period, called ‘menstrual massage’ by some, can reduce symptoms like cramps and bloating. If you dread the thought of period symptoms, why not book yourself a massage for the next time you’re due on? These are the best ones to try:
Which massage is best?
Swedish massage is great for easing pain or cramps. The combination of long strokes, variable pressure and tapping motions brings oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, while draining lactic acid.
A de-stress or sleep massage uses essential oil blends to help calm the mind and body, perfect for if you’re struggling to sleep
Lymphatic drainage massage can help with water retention and bloating, easing feelings of discomfort. This type of massage is like a detox for the body.
Reflexology is a non-intrusive massage that focuses on nerve endings in the feet to provide pain relief throughout the body and restore a sense of emotional balance.
It’s reported that 69% of women experience sleep disturbance during their period, with an average of an hour and half of sleep lost per night.
You’re most likely to notice a change in your sleeping pattern during the luteal phase of your cycle. This happens after ovulation and usually lasts until the first few days of your period. It causes a rise and fall in progesterone and oestrogen which leads to sleep disturbance, night sweats and anxiety due to possible leakage.
Look after your sleep by:
Eating at regular times of the day to stabilise your hormones, control blood sugar levels and keep energy levels balanced
Creating a regular sleep routine to reduce the stress hormone cortisol so it’s easier to sleep at night
Start looking after your sleep routine 14 days before your period when your energy levels start to increase
Although exercising on your period might seem like the last thing you want to do, it can actually help with symptoms like cramps, bloating, mood swings and tiredness.
It’s suggested to go for exercises that are more slow paced to avoid using up too much energy. Things like yoga, walking and pilates are perfect.
However, if your symptoms are feeling too painful or you’re feeling extra tired, it might be best to rest up and come back to the mat when you’re feeling more up to it. Listen to your body.
This Women’s Health Week, why not put your health first and notice the benefits? From booking a massage to trying out bladder supplements, there’s lots you can do to improve your health today.