(CARLSBAD, CA) – Let’s face it. Having your period can be a pain – literally. And even in the 21st Century, it seems that women shy away from asking questions related to menstruation.
Yet, the menstrual cycle is part of every woman’s life. It is the rite of passage into womanhood shared by every culture around the globe. So, listen up women around the world, here’s your task: Take a moment to empower yourself with knowledge about one of the most basic parts of your physiological health. Read on to find answers to five common questions about your period.
1. What’s the real scoop on PMS?
If you experience bloating, fatigue, backaches, headaches, food cravings, depression, constipation, diarrhea, or irritability in the days prior to your period, then you probably have PMS. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the term for these physical and emotional symptoms experienced in the days leading up to your period. While researchers have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of PMS, they think it’s linked to a change in hormonal levels. Reducing your intake of salt, avoiding caffeine, and eating nutritious meals can help minimize the symptoms of PMS.
2. What does it mean if I get spotting in-between cycles?
Sometimes spotting occurs during ovulation because of the quick surge of estrogen. Low-dose birth control pills can also be the culprit. Most likely, spotting can be relieved with a higher-dose pill. Ask you doctor about your options and request that you be checked for polyps, an overgrowth of tissue in the uterus or cervix, which can also be the cause of spotting.
3. How do I know if my flow is normal?
If you change your pad or tampon more than five times in a day, then your flow may be abnormally heavy. Your doctor can test for fibroids, non-cancerous tumors that affect more than 40 percent of women. Meanwhile, some forms of low-dose birth control pills can cause a light flow, requiring little more than a panty liner. A light flow can also be an indicator of a thyroid imbalance. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
4. Can I exercise when I’m having my period?
Old-fashioned myths shun exercising during menstruation, but current research shows that moderate exercise is perfectly acceptable, even beneficial. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett suggests that you follow your normal exercise regimen, making adjustments according to how your body feels. There’s no need to sit-out from exercise during your period, but it’s also not the ideal time to make major changes in your workout.
5. What can I do about cramps?
Cramps are generally caused by prostaglandins, chemicals of the uterus that make the muscles contract and shed uterine lining. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help, but only if taken at the first sign of cramps. That’s because medicine doesn’t work on prostaglandins that have already been produced. Eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercise are another means to reduce the severity of cramps.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.