A period is something that most women have to suffer once a month. I debated making a post like this because 1. my experiences are very personal, 2. I’m not sure if anybody would even be interested, and 3. most people seem revolted by the word period when it’s not used to describe a dot at the end of a sentence.
Well, in the end I decided that I should make this post for people who are either new to their period, curious about my experiences, or maybe you are having troubles.
I guess I should state that I have dysmenorrhea. Before you think it’s some strange disease, what it really is, according to the google definition, is: painful menstruation, typically involving abdominal cramps. This put me in the unusual category for women who experience periods. I didn’t just experience cramps, I experienced excruciating pain. Some of the symptoms included:
- Dizziness and even fainting
- Frequent vomiting
- Extreme menstrual cramps
- Heavy flow
- Inability to walk or sometimes even move (I am not trying to be dramatic)
- Thus, I couldn’t go anywhere for the first few days
It all started around age 14. I was watching The Pursuit of Happiness with my younger sister when I started to feel very sick and dizzy. My cramps started to get worse and worse by the second. I slowly got up and ran to the bathroom. I felt like throwing up but I didn’t. Confused, I laid on my bed in pain for about half an hour. I was too weak to try to do anything, and I weakly tried to tell my sister about the pain but she didn’t believe me.
The pain went in phases. First, it would start off kind of dull and achey, and then full on pain for about 6-12 hours. Then there wouldn’t be any more pain for the rest of the week, besides the occasional ache. It doesn’t seem bad when I describe it like this, but the pain was so unbearable that I was positive that I’ve never experienced pain like that ever. Multiple times I was in so much pain that I tried to contact the police. I didn’t because A. I was too weak to find the phone, and B. my mother would’ve gotten angry.
So, this went on for about a year, and I missed school so frequently because of the pain that I was almost truant. In total I lost about 30 days of school. Finally I decided that this wasn’t normal, and that I should go to the doctor. My doctor then diagnosed me with dysmenorrhea, and prescribed me with birth control. As you probably know, birth control does a variety of things. It can help with severe acne, severe menstrual cramps (obviously why I got it) and of course, it can help to prevent pregnancies. (Not that I needed that.) My mom allowed me to have it but as soon as we got home, she hid it and said that it “wasn’t safe.” I wasn’t angry at first, but once my next period came around, I was furious. She couldn’t understand the pain that I experienced, but I guess she was just trying to make sure I “didn’t get cancer,” according to some article that she had read. Actually, birth control prevents ovarian cancer.
So, with pain and no birth control, I learned to live with the pain. Sure, she purchased some “homeopathic remedies” but of course, they weren’t nearly as strong as birth control would’ve been.
Finally, after 2 years of pain, I went vegan. I didn’t go vegan because of this, I actually went for health and ethical reasons. But the best thing ever happened to me.
When my period came around, there was no pain. No cramps, no dizziness, no nothing. I was so shocked and ecstatic. I had heard stories that veganism was good for menstrual cramps but I didn’t quite believe them… until it happened to me.
Month after month went by, and still no pain. As my diet went on, however, and I ate slightly less vegetables and whole based foods, I experienced more cramps. I still experience cramps to this day, but not NEARLY as bad as I used to.
I will be forever grateful for the vegan diet and lifestyle. Who knew veganism had so many benefits?
Thanks for reading.