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Period Survival Tips & Femmecup Winner

Thankyou all for entering our Femmecup competition and giving us your Period Survival Tips!

We had some entries and it was so tough picking a winner. Each of us in the office had our own personal favourites but the entry that we all thought deserved the top prize was original, completely unique and very wise…

So without further ado, Congratulations to Melanie! Your Femmecup hamper should be with you very soon… And here’s her tip:

“My best tip is 'Be Honest'. I met my hubby when I was 17 and decided from the start that I needed to be straight with him. Within a couple of weeks of starting dating I'd informed him 'I'm due on my period, this makes me emotional but it only lasts for a couple of days and I'm pretty stable the rest of the time' 20-odd years later we're still together and he's still understanding.

I took the same tactic with my two (now in their 20s) sons, from a very early age I told them the basics and explained that there were 2 or 3 days a month when the slightest thing could make me burst into tears. My oldest son's girlfriend has actually thanked me for this as he is far more understanding than her previous boyfriends. They've never made judgemental 'time of month' comments, they just give me a hug if they see me getting upset over something silly.”

There’s nothing worse when you’re feeling grouchy and doubled over with cramps than having a man poke fun at your PMS. They don’t know what it’s like! They don’t understand! And there’s no point in dancing round the issue with phrases such as “it’s the wrong time of the month” or “mother nature is visiting.” We’re women, we bleed and when we’re PMSing we can’t control our hormones! So it’s a great idea to give the men, and boys, in your life a heads-up so that they can keep their heads down when you’re feeling a little emotionally delicate.

Femmecup competition winner recommends being open with your partnerSaying that, another favourite of ours was from Laura, whose tip was simply “Locking my husband in the shed!” Many women may agree with this… sometimes we just need a little time away from our other half when we’re feeling particularly irritable. But we have to give a shout out to our single male entrant Andy who said “From a mans point of view :-) Light candles and give her fine wine and chocolates.” N’aww, we like your thinking Andy!

It’s important to acknowledge that our mood may be a little all of the place, and we had lots of entries advising not to make big or important decisions and to avoid arguments during your period as you may not do or say the right things. Saying that, sometimes it’s necessary to release all those pent up emotions, perhaps with a weepy film or, as Lydia suggested, with some good old-fashioned and highly satisfying magazine graffiti:

“For those horrible hormonal rages, find one of the adverts of someone rollerblading in skin-tight white trousers having a 'happy period', and use a biro to deface it in as creative a manner as possible. If you do it whilst clutching a hot water bottle, some ibuprofen and eating something crunchy/salty/sweet*, get bonus 'feel a bit better' points. I have had less cramps since using Femmecup, and it is loads more convenient when out and about. It all helps. *delete as applicable, or combine the three.”

Thanks Lydia for your fab entry, it was one of our favourites! Let’s face it, until somebody invents magic tampons that banish our PMS blues we will not have a truly happy period! Others also mentioned that menstrual cups like Femmecup have had the effect of relieving cramps. One theory for this is that menstrual cups are worn further down in the vagina than tampons which allows the menstrual fluid to flow more naturally and reduce pain.

Laying a dog or cat on your stomach during your period can relieve crampsHot water bottles, or alternatively a hot drink rested on your lower abdomen, were another popular tip to help soothe away cramps. Light massage is great too, but another one of our favourite entries combined both massage and heat, and it was a little on the strange side…

“I carry one of my cats on my lower stomach... they start to "massage" the area and then they lie down and rhythmically purr.... nothing better!!!”

Thanks Miriam! I suppose there’s nothing more comforting than your pet to cuddle when you’re feeling down, and if they ease cramps then even better.

Now we had lots and lots of entries that reported that chocolate does the trick to make you feel better during your period. That time of the month is always a perfect excuse to give up the healthy eating plan and indulge in some sweet treats, but believe it or not there is some science behind it. When we eat chocolate our serotonin levels, which are responsible for us feeling good, are raised so that we feel happier. So it’s inevitable that when we’re low or upset we crave chocolate to make us feel better. If you need a chocolate hit during your period but are concerned about the sugar and calories, eat small amounts of dark chocolate instead – it gives you the choccy kick but is much better for you.

We also had a few entries that said lots of fresh fruit and veg and exercise helps… we know, we know, staying healthy might not sound appealing when you feel lousy but honestly, it works. Exercise produces endorphins which make you feel good and it helps to burn prostaglandins, the chemicals that are released during menstruation which cause muscle contractions and pain. Hazel was the one to tell us about this:

“Cramps are often caused by an excess of prostaglandins. There are lots of foods which can help reduce prostoglandins. Celery, for example, is a natural anti-inflammatory and eating a stick of celery every day throughout the month can considerably reduce cramping. Almonds also have a beneficial effect. There is a lot of information on the internet about which foods help most and it is really worth experimenting.”

PMS chocolate cravingsSo there you go… try and find some natural, healthy foods that ease your cramps. Maybe choose chocolate with almonds in for a perfect balance of naughty and healthy!

There was also a lot of herbal teas mentioned including chamomile, cinnamon, and ginger and fennel; anything with soothing and anti-inflammatory properties will be great for relieving pain. We also had lots of mention of wine, beer and even swifts shots of tequila... Just remember ladies, everything in moderation!

It’s been great to read all your tips and we hope you all found something new to try to make that time of the month a little more comfortable; you can read all the entries here. Thankyou all for entering and sharing your knowledge, and a big thankyou to Femmecup for giving us the opportunity to run such a fab competition!