Preparing for your period in 2022

Preparing for your period in 2022

Did you know, over four in five (84%) Brits are unprepared for their period every month?

Following an 83% rise in monthly searches for ‘natural cycle’, we surveyed Brits about their experiences with their monthly cycle and worked with experts to provide tips on how to be better prepared in the future.

The national poll revealed:

  • Six in ten Brits have heavy periods (60%)
  • Over four in ten Brits say they have very regular periods (43%)
  • The majority are unprepared for their period every month (84%)
  • Almost one in five Brits said the COVID-19 vaccine impacted their periods (18%)

Although a high percentage of Brits say they have regular/heavy periods, the survey revealed over four-fifths (83%) are still unprepared for their period every month. When speaking with Carolina Goncalves, Superintendent Pharmacist from Pharmica, Iceni Silver discovered the most common symptoms that may indicate your period is approaching.

According to Caroline, the most common symptoms include acne breakout (known as cyclical acne), mood swings and changes in sleeping patterns due to changes in hormonal fluctuations (oestrogen and progesterone levels) and an increase in body temperature.

Carolina advised: “Such premenstrual symptoms usually occur within 5-10 days before the start of your period. While the severity and the nature of the symptoms vary from person to person, there are a few common symptoms that may indicate your period is approaching.”

Dr Deborah Lee of Dr Fox Online Pharmacy added: “Nine in ten women complain they suffer from premenstrual swelling. This can affect many different parts of the body, such as the breasts, lower abdomen, legs, arms, wrists, and hands. The extra fluid pressure in tissue can cause premenstrual breast discomfort. It can also make you feel bloated and result in discomfort at the site of the swelling - in the pelvic region, the legs, arms and wrists.”

When asked how Brits prepare and minimise the effects of common symptoms, Dr Gareth Nye, Endocrinology theme lead for the Physiological Society at Chester Medical School, advised what to eat and drink before and when on your period. “You are losing blood and growing tissue – this requires a good all-round diet filled with meat and vegetables. Growing tissue requires protein, which can be gained from your normal recommended daily allowance of meat, nuts and dairy products. Meat and vegetables like spinach are great sources of iron to help with the potential anaemia you may experience.

“Dehydration is commonly seen during your period and so maintain good fluid intake. You should be fine as long as you have a good, healthy diet,” says Dr Nye.

Although bleeding typically occurs every 28 days, the menstrual cycle may vary depending on the person and the particular month, as well as in length. Carolina says: “Periods last an average of 5 days but may vary anywhere from three to eight days with the first one or two days being the heaviest bleeds. Tracking your period can help you understand your body and observe symptoms like mood swings or headaches that can occur regularly at a particular phase of your cycle, as well as help to identify when you are likely to be most fertile.”

Carolina recommended popular tracking apps including Period Calendar, Flo Period Tracker and Clue; favourited by the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal. 

Summarising the expertise and results highlighted in the study, Vanessa Smith, co-founder at Iceni Silver, says: “We found the results to be really interesting how they highlighted so many Brits are unprepared for their period although they suffered from heavy periods and had regular menstruation.

“We want people to know that there is a variety of period wear on the market made to fit an individual’s unique cycle. This can range from managing a light flow to holding up to 40 ml of fluid, the equivalent of 12 regular tampons or eight heavy tampons. So you can wear your period knickers throughout the day without fear of leakages.

“Period wear is absolutely the future of menstrual products. They are a highly effective, practical and sustainable alternative to sanitary wear and a perfect option for those wanting to be more prepared and getting to grips with how to manage their cycles.“

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