5 Tips for Dealing with Period Headaches

woman with headache holding head

Period headaches are common and can be extremely painful. Here are some tips to help you deal!
Image: Shutterstock

Getting a headache is bad enough, but if you get one in the time leading up to your period—or during menstruation—you know it can be especially killer. The truth is, headaches can be a very common side effect of all the hormonal shifts going on in your body—60-70% of women who have migraines report that their headaches have some relationship with their period. What’s a girl to do?

Actually, there are plenty of ways to fight back against that period headache! Here are five to get you started:

  1. Figure out why. Even something as simple as keeping a journal of when your headaches occur and how they affect you can help you find patterns and figure out what sorts of behavior are triggering the period headaches. Other side effects like acne, fatigue, soreness, decreased urination, and lack of coordination set period headaches apart from the usual kind, so keep an eye on those symptoms.
  1. Lower your stress level. Obviously being stressed out is a bad thing, but at certain times of the month, stress can actually increase your chances of getting a period headache. Be sure to have a few go-to tricks in your bag for dealing with stress, such as yoga, deep breathing, meditation, and aerobic exercise.
  1. Get enough sleep. Drastic chances in your sleep patterns—or just not getting enough sleep, full stop—can lead to period headaches. Do yourself a favor and get those zzz’s to help your body handle hormone fluctuations.
  1. Eat regular meals. Do you usually skip breakfast? Sometimes miss out on lunch? Load up on treats like red wine, coffee, and chocolate? All of these things can cause period headaches, so do your best to keep your food intake regular and healthy, especially during menstruation.
  1. Talk to your doctor. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate the type of birth control you take or to consider an herbal supplement. If you’ve made general lifestyle changes and still have trouble with period headaches, you should definitely talk to a professional!

Don’t let period headaches interrupt your life! You can do small, simple things to feel better and prevent those symptoms from bringing you down next time!

 

Phases of a Period Workout

Woman jogging on dirt road

Here are some great exercises for each phase of your menstruation cycle.
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Building on our blog post from last week about period workouts, here are some specific exercises for each phase of your menstrual cycle, straight from GirlU founder Mayling Kajiya.

 

Menstruation Phase

Day 1 signals the first day of menstruation (bleeding). I wouldn't recommend doing too much on those days because you are probably uncomfortable. A simple walk or hike is sufficient.

 

Follicular Phase (Yay My Period is Over!)

Right after your period is over (maybe day 5) is the optimal time to really kick into high gear.

Yay my Period is Over Workout (YMPO Workout)

Warm up - light jog and stretch

3 rounds for time, no stopping between sets:

20 Burpees

15 Chair Stepups

15 Chair Pushups

20 Chair Tricep Dips

 

Ovulation Phase

It's time to turn it down a notch and go for longer, low-intensity exercises

Warm up - light jog or stretch

1 round:

20 Walkouts with legs straight, walking body out into a pushup position and walking back with straight legs

20 Forward Lunge with arms raised over your head and back knee almost touching the floor

20 Side Lunge (Lateral) with knees inline, toes and pushing your butt back

20 Curtsy Lunge

30 Ab Curls with legs resting 90 degrees on a chair

 

PMS Phase

This is the perfect time to go for a light jog, 3 miles max. Try going outside so you can enjoy the scenery! Or check out that Hatha yoga class that you’ve been eyeing. Even a meditation class would be great.

The Best GirlU Blogs of 2014

Girl Uninterrupted logo

Here's a look back at our best blog posts of 2014!

On the last day of 2014, we thought we’d take a look back at some of our most popular blog posts here at GirlU. If you’re looking for smart ways to deal with PMS symptoms, we’ve got you covered!

#5: 5 Tips for Dealing with Menstrual Cramps—Naturally!  Cramps are a pain—and then some! We reviewed some ways to deal with them that don’t necessarily involve popping pills. Simple lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and making healthier food choices, can really make a difference!

#4: What to Do About Sore Breasts During Your Period  As with cramps, we pointed out quite a few natural solutions for dealing with sore breasts. The trick is to take a look at what habits are likely causing them and form a plan of action. In addition to the usual culprits, such as diet and exercise, breast soreness can be conquered with relaxation techniques and a properly fitted, supportive bra.

#3: Your PMS Survival Kit  We had so much fun throwing our Pampering Gift Basket Giveaway! In addition, we took a look at what might go into a PMS survival kit to keep you feeling good when your period’s got you down. Thanks to everyone who chimed in with their thoughts!

#2: Period Mythbusters  There are a lot of myths about periods and PMS out there, whether it’s rumors from your friends or things you read online. We focused on some of the biggest misconceptions about periods, including cycle length, whether or not to swim, and getting pregnant.

And the #1 most popular GirlU blog post for 2014:  What to Wear on Your Period Feeling crummy during that time of month shouldn’t mean you have to feel less than stylish! We put together some great options for work-appropriate wear that’s high on comfort as well as fashion.

We’ve enjoyed sharing our blog with you this year! Stay tuned in 2015 for more awesome tips and tricks for living uninterrupted!

12 Days of Period Health

Christmas fruit, nuts, and cookies covered in snow

In honor of the 12 days of Christmas: 12 tips for period health!
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Did you know the 12 days of Christmas actually start on Christmas? That means after the usual festivities, you’ve got another set of days to celebrate! In the spirit of the traditional song, here are 12 tips for optimal period health as we see the year out.

On the first day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of movement. Sitting for long periods of time can be bad for your back, not to mention your overall health. And if you’re already feeling down that time of month, why make things harder on yourself? Take a break and move!

On the second day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of hydration. It’s no joke trying to get in the recommended 8 cups a day, but optimal water intake is essential for your health, not to mention curbing the worst PMS and period symptoms.

On the third day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of looking fabulous while exercising. You know exercise is important for alleviating cramps and other symptoms, but why not look fantastic while you’re at it?

On the fourth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of cutting back on caffeine and sweets. We’re not saying you have to give them up entirely—especially around the holidays!—but you’ll definitely have fewer PMS symptoms if you make a special effort to keep to the carrots rather than the cake during that time of the month.

On the fifth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of plenty of sleep. Being on your period can make you extra sleepy, so make sure you go to bed and get up at the same time every day to regulate your circadian rhythm.

On the sixth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of motivation. This one can be especially tough during winter, so make sure you reach out and get the support you need to keep up those healthy habits and keep away the PMS symptoms!

On the seventh day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of a healthy breakfast. Don’t skip it! Starting the day with a healthy meal will keep your metabolism in gear and give you energy for the rest of the day—especially important during that time of the month.

On the eighth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of Love Uninterrupted. Check in with yourself and your partner about expectations hopes for your relationship so you’re starting off the year in a great place to weather the inevitable ups and downs. Don’t have a partner? Make sure your friends, family, and other loved ones know how you feel!

On the ninth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of a walk outside. Get in a solid dose of daily sunlight and exercise, and watch your mood soar!

On the tenth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of a soothing yoga session. Relax and alleviate period cramps and other symptoms at the same time with a gentle yoga routine.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of a supportive bra. Nothing beats sore breasts like a bra that’s well-fitted and meant to last!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of a month’s supply of GirlU! The compact is super chic, but the best part is beating the PMS symptoms…for good!

Period Irregularities: What to Do About Them

OBGYN explaining period cycle

There are many reasons for period irregularities. If you're worried, you should definitely talk to your doctor!
Image: Shutterstock

While it would be great if your period worked like regular clockwork, occasional period irregularities are actually pretty normal. "The average cycle is 28 days—that's 28 days between the first day of one period and the first day of your next period—but anywhere in between 24 and 31 days is considered normal," says Veronica Lerner, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center.

If you’re noticing irregularities with your period, you might want to take a look at the potential factors below. Any of these could affect menstruation to varying degrees.

  • Excessive exercise. If you exercise a lot, you may notice that your periods come less frequently and are less heavy. This happens in part because of the combination of rigorous activity, low body fat, and stress on your body. While exercise is great for you in general, try not to overdo it! If your period is delayed more than three months, you should check in with your doctor.
  • Being overweight. Excess fat cells can caused elevated levels of estrogen, which can affect how and when—and if—your ovaries release an egg. Of course, that affects your period, too. Over time, too much weight can increase your risk of endometrial cancer. If you’re having weight problems, try talking to your doctor or a nutritionist.
  • Being underweight. Not weighing enough can cause period irregularities, too! This time the issue is that you’re not producing enough estrogen, as opposed to producing too much. If you’re just adjusting to some healthy weight loss, things should balance out in a few months. If irregularities last longer than that, though, it’s time for some professional help.
  • Any medication that can affect hormones, such as thyroid medication, steroids, or antipsychotics, can influence your period. Be sure to get the details on any potential side effects when taking prescriptions so you know what to expect.
  • Pesticides can act like hormones and also cause period irregularities. In fact, one study found that women exposed to pesticides were 60-100% more likely to have long cycles, missed periods, and spotting. One solution may be to go organic to limit your exposure to chemicals in your food.

There are a variety of reasons for period irregularities. In general, being off a month or two isn’t such a big deal. But if you’re really concerned, or think any of the above might be an issue for you, you should definitely consult your doctor.

The GirlU Formula

Red clover plant

Red clover is one of the active herbal ingredients in GirlU that helps get you feeling better fast!
Image: Shutterstock

Since GirlU is an all-natural supplement, its active ingredients are all herbs. Specially selected to fight the toughest PMS symptoms, the herbs in GirlU do a variety of awesome things to get you feeling better and back to your day fast. These herbs have a long history of alleviating symptoms, but this is the first time they’ve been put together into one simple, easy-to-swallow pill that acts in as little as 15 minutes. Best of all, you can personalize your dose so you’re getting just as much as you need based on your body and its natural cycles.

Let’s take a look at the herbs in GirlU and how they work for you to curb cravings, minimize bloating, relieve irritability, and improve focus.

  • Griffonia Seed, which comes from the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia, contributes the chemical 5-HTP, known to help raise serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin helps regulate mood and behavior, and 5-HTP has been shown to have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, and appetite. Because this form of 5-HTP is coming from a plant base, there’s less chance of contamination.
  • Green tea is more than just a soothing hot drink. For years, its health benefits have been studied and appreciated, particularly when it comes to mental alertness. Green tea has 2%-4% caffeine, which helps with brain function. Researchers think the power of green tea lies in its polyphenols—chemicals with potent antioxidant properties. It’s also been used historically to treat stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches.
  • Chaste tree berry helps with headaches, irritability, and especially breast tenderness. The herb acts on the pituitary gland to increase progesterone production, which helps regulate your menstrual cycle.
  • Red clover contains a variety of nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. It also has isoflavones, which are similar to the estrogen your body normally produces. When your estrogen levels aren’t balanced, you can experience more PMS symptoms, so red clover helps your body function as if it has the proper amount of estrogen.
  • Saw palmetto has a variety of active ingredients including fatty acids, plant sterols, and flavonoids. It contains sugars that can help reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system, and it also functions as a mild diuretic.

When you take GirlU, you’re getting all these herbs to act together to provide you with fast, natural relief. Ready to give it a try? Check out GirlU today!

PMS Relief: Natural vs. Medication

There are a lot of things we don't know about PMS, such as what exactly causes it, but we do know this: it tends to start during the second half of the menstrual cycle, and three out of four women experience symptoms. Of those experiencing it, 5% are completely incapacitated because of the severity of their symptoms! It's no wonder we reach for PMS relief as soon as we get an inkling of potential symptoms!

Before you dole out the drugs, though, consider: There are a variety of natural ways to deal with PMS symptoms like cramps, bloating, and sore breasts. Some of these treatments are as simple as little lifestyle changes:

  • Reduce irritability and prevent binge eating by snacking or eating small meals every three hours instead of the usual three meals a day.
  • While we're on nutrition, remember to eat a balanced diet of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Try to avoid a lot of extra salt and sugar.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, or meditation to help avoid headaches and anxiety.
  • Be kind to your body and switch up your sleep routine and schedule if needed to make sure you're getting enough sleep!
  • Keep hydrated with plenty of water and avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages like soda, coffee, or alcohol to help with bloating and fluid retention.
  • Exercise! While regular exercise should be a priority all the time, it's especially important in the battle for PMS relief.

If basic lifestyle changes aren't really cutting it, there are still some natural options to try. Many herbs will provide you with the same relief as an over the counter medication without the potential side effects. For example:

  • If you take ibuprofen for headaches, try Magnesium.
  • If you take antidepressants to deal with mood issues, try 5-HTP, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin E, Iron, or Manganese.
  • If you up the caffeine during PMS to deal with fatigue, try Green Tea or Fenugreek.
  • The GirlU natural supplement always has your back!

ALWAYS check with your doctor before experimenting with any medications or herbal remedies! There may be interactions you need to be careful of.

Looking for more info about natural PMS relief? Check out the infographic below!

 

PMS symptoms and natural solutions

This handy infographic gives you all the info you need on PMS symptoms and natural solutions.

Period Mythbusters

Pads and tampon with red calendar background

Here's a look at some of the period myths you no longer have to live by!
Image: Shutterstock

You’ve probably heard a lot of things about having a period that just aren’t true. Because many folks have a hard time talking openly about menstruation, it’s easy for period myths to build up, especially amongst younger women who may not feel they have a good place to get solid answers to their questions.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Let’s get out there with some period mythbusting action! Have you ever fallen for any of the period myths below?

 

MYTH: You can’t go swimming when you have your period.

TRUTH: You absolutely CAN go swimming! Just make sure you’re using the right protection for the task at hand—probably a tampon or menstrual cup. Pads aren’t going to do you much good in the pool!

 

MYTH: Exercising during your period is bad for you.

TRUTH: Exercise is generally always good for you, especially if you suffer from cramps. If you have severe cramping (dysmenorrhea) or excessive blood flow (menorrhagia), you may want to check with your doctor first, though.

 

MYTH: You shouldn’t have sex when you have your period.

TRUTH: There’s no medical reason not to have sex even if you’re having your period. It might be a bit messy, but that’s between you and your partner.

 

MYTH: You can’t get pregnant on your period.

TRUTH: Since it’s possible for ovulation to occur during your period, it’s possible for you to get pregnant. It’s extremely unlikely, but if you have a particularly short menstrual cycle that puts your ovulation and menstruation very close, it could happen. The only way to definitely NOT get pregnant is to either not have sex or always use birth control/condoms when you do.

 

MYTH: A menstrual cycle always lasts 28 days.

TRUTH: Cycles are as varied as the people who have them. Twenty-eight days is only an average; some cycles are as short as 21 days, while others can last up to 35 days. Different kinds of birth control can also affect the length and heaviness of a period.

 

There are plenty of period myths out there, so be sure to check with your doctor and other reputable sources to make sure you’re getting the most accurate information. Your health and peace of mind are worth it!

Your PMS Survival Kit

Tea, teapot, sweaters, cinnamon sticks, and a daffodil

Sometimes you just need a PMS survival kit for some extra TLC during that time of the month.
Image: Shutterstock

Let’s admit it: Sometimes the PMS symptoms are so bad, you just want to curl up and wait it out. That’s when you need a PMS survival kit--a collection of soft, cozy, comfortable things that will help you pamper yourself a bit until you’re ready to get back to the daily grind.

What goes into the perfect PMS survival kit? We took a stab at it with our GirlU Pampering Gift Basket Giveaway (enter now, and be sure to check out the rules and regs!), which includes things like gourmet chocolate, a Hot Cherry Therapeutic Pillow, Eos Lip Balm, and so much more! Here are some more ideas for the perfect self-pampering, PMS-symptom-fighting survival kit:

  • A journal. The size, color, pattern, and type of paper don’t matter—get whatever delights you…and USE IT! For the times when your emotions are going haywire, or you just need a bit of time to yourself, take a moment to write down what you’re thinking and feeling. Getting things down on paper that you know you don’t have to share with anyone can be a great way to let out the bad mojo and get back to feeling better.
  • A huge, plush uterus. Okay, maybe it’s not absolutely necessary, but come on, who doesn’t want a cute plush to cuddle the stuffing out of when you’re feeling down? And if it happens to be shaped like the organ that’s currently causing you woes…well, that’s just an added bonus.
  • A giant glass of water. Staying hydrated is particularly important during PMS, so you definitely want to keep the water handy. And why not use a colorful glass or tumbler to cheer you up?
  • A collection of favorite movies, music, and books. This will vary by person, of course, but what better way to treat yourself than to take some time with the stories you love? Watching a favorite movie, listening to soothing music, or reading a good book can go a long way toward making you feel better.
  • A compact with your supply of GirlUninterrupted! GirlU is the all-natural way to fight PMS symptoms and make sure they stay gone.

So those are our ideas—now what about yours? Do you have go-to snacks or yoga poses just for that time of the month? How about a craft or a particular pair of fuzzy socks that cheers you right up? Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or G+!

Girl Uninterrupted Pampering Gift Basket Giveaway Terms and Conditions

Girl Uninterrupted Pampering Gift Basket Giveaway

These goodies could be yours!

Winter has made its arrival with a polar vortex and a foot of snow in some parts of the country!  For those nights when you would just rather put on sweat pants and get cozy, Girl Uninterrupted has a goody basket filled with items to pamper yourself.  Pop your Hot Cherry Therapeutic Pillow into the microwave for a minute or two for long-lasting heat and make yourself a cup of herbal tea.  Put on fabulously soft, warm, and cozy socks, give yourself a manicure, nibble on a gourmet chocolate bar and start marathoning a new show!

Also in the basket is a month’s supply of the Girl Uninterrupted PMS Relief Supplement, a trio of Eos Lip Balm, some luxurious body wash, and more!   And, just to get help reboot that healthy lifestyle tomorrow, Health Goddess has included a Slim & Tone workout plan…download it today!  This gift basket is great for those PMS days that will occur over the hectic holiday season when you might not have time for a pampering evening at home.

To get started, go to the GirlU Contest Facebook page, like it, and hit “continue.” You’ll be prompted to enter your email address so we can contact you if you win.

The Girl Uninterrupted Pampering Gift Basket Giveaway begins Friday, November 15, 2014 at 12:00pm PDT and closes on Thursday, November 20, 2014, at 11:59am PDT. The winner will be contacted on Friday, November 21st.

Complete Contest Terms and Conditions:

Valid entries are likes on Girl Uninterrupted’s Facebook contest page.  To be eligible, entrants must be (i) at least 18 years of age and (ii) live in the United States. Only one entry per Facebook account is allowed. Profanity or inappropriate language, as determined by Girl Uninterrupted, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified and deleted. The winning user will be contacted via email for delivery purposes only. Contest begins at 12:00 PM PDT on Friday, November 15, 2014, and ends at 11:59 AM, PDT on Thursday, November 20, 2014. The winner will be selected by Girl Uninterrupted, in its sole discretion, and announced via Girl Uninterrupted’s Facebook page on Friday, November 21, 2014.  This promotional offer is not intended to create a partnership, joint venture, co-ownership or other association between Girl Uninterrupted and the participant. This promotion does not have a connection with Facebook in any way and is not sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering the contest, participants agree to fully release Facebook from any and all liability.