Lady problems

Nicky

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Hi everyone, first post here so be gentle please!

I stopped eating meat and fish in May, and finally drew a line under my egg and dairy consumption about 6 weeks ago. I'm taking a multivitamin, including b12, and my diet includes lots of fruit and veg, beans, lentil, nuts, seeds, and everything else that I consider healthy!

Everything's good in general, but my period is getting out of control. I'm 32 and I usually have a few hours every month where everything is a bit heavy and uncomfortable, but in the last few months it's gone from a few hours to a few days, and it's been so bad that I can't leave the house. The associated bloating also feels a lot worse than it used to.

The only things I've read about veganism and periods is them getting lighter when people don't eat enough. I never ate a whole lot of meat or dairy before, but I'd say my diet has changed significantly as I've drastically cut down on processed foods and now eat whole foods almost exclusively. The only thing I can think of is that I might have been deficient in something before and now this is my REAL period.

Anyway, even if nobody has any advice it would be nice to know if anyone else has has experienced the same thing. Apologies for the overshare on the first post :)
 

Christine

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Hm... It could be your body is still adjusting to the changes in what you eat everyday. How is your soya intake? This might not have any grounding whatsoever but I do know that what constitutes soya mimics the effects of Estrogen, one of the main hormones that control periods... Maybe a rise/drop in consumption of soya could have messed with the usual chemical balance, but I could be wrong.
The best bet would be to observe how they are carefully over a time and if things don't improve, it might be safest to consult with a GP. Hope you get to the bottom of it! :)
 

amberfunk

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You would have to eat way more soy than anyone would even eat in a day for it to effect your hormones. I really doubt it's what you're eating. If you are really concerned see a doctor. The only thing I've noticed about my periods is that I get really light headed and dizzy. Probably due to iron loss but I've always had heavy periods.
 
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Nicky

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Thanks for the replies - I wouldn't say I eat a lot of soya but my intake is definitely higher than it was a few months ago. It might just be a coincidence I guess but diet seemed like the obvious answer. I'll pop along to the GP soon I think :)
 

GKickVideos

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Please let us know what your GP says. If the problem is related to veganism, it's interesting for us to know as it could happen to other vegans too. Hope everything is ok! x
 

Forest Nymph

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Hmm...could you have developed endometriosis for some unrelated reason? Also if you were lacto-ovo only a little over a month ago, it's possible that it is actually your dairy consumption with the problem. A common problem among lacto-vegetarians is the over-use of cheese on everything at every meal, or yogurt, and even when I've read about the Mediterranean diet they tell you never to eat dairy more than twice a day (not 3 or more like many Americans)...and as a vegan, I'm suggesting that your painful periods are actually milk related.

When I cut out eggs and dairy my period actually snuck up on me, because I used to have painful breast soreness and extreme irritability beforehand. I've gone from having severe down to having light or no PMS. However, my bleeding is about the same, because I don't starve myself (sometimes I wonder if vegans lose their periods because they aren't eating enough) ...but the pain I experience is far less. Last month for the first time I think since my teens, I endured my entire cycle with zero ibuprofen or alcohol to help me along. I actually only had herbal teas with cramp bark and used deep heat muscle relaxer on my abdomen. This NEVER would have happened in the past. Around the time I cut out meat (before I became vegetarian then vegan) I was sometimes in bed for two days like I was ill with the flu during my period, and started having episodes where I had cramps so severe I would actually be in level 8-9 blind pain for a minute or two. That's not normal, those are symptoms of endometriosis and I'm completely convinced it's aggravated by hormones in animal products. I have no more of that.

I also stopped using bleached tampons, and switched to a menstrual cup and cloth pads. This decreases external vaginal exposure to toxins as well and is more sustainable.

I hope you are ok. Let us know.
 
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Nicky

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Hello all,

Thank you so much for your kind words and advice.

I think perhaps the diet change was more significant than I'd realised, and came as a bit of a shock to my body. I didn't think of myself as a huge consumer of meat, eggs or dairy, but I suppose it all adds up. I didn't go to the GP, in the end, as the last couple of months have been easier - my periods have shortened and lightened substantially (my weight has been more steady than ever since switching, so I'm not concerned about calories), and this month just past I didn't have any cramps which is unusual. Hopefully it was just the shock of transition and things are settling down now. I'm still a bit alarmed by the impact, either way.

It's funny that you mention tampons, Forest Nymph, as I also purchased a mooncup a few months back. I switch to this as soon as I get home in the evening because it feels so much better, and it gives me a clearer idea of how much I'm actually bleeding. I've had a few leaks, though, so I won't be wearing it to work until I'm a good deal more confident! It would be good to know what your cloth pads are made from, if you wouldn't mind sharing?

Thanks again everyone.
 
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Forest Nymph

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Hello all,

Thank you so much for your kind words and advice.

I think perhaps the diet change was more significant than I'd realised, and came as a bit of a shock to my body. I didn't think of myself as a huge consumer of meat, eggs or dairy, but I suppose it all adds up. I didn't go to the GP, in the end, as the last couple of months have been easier - my periods have shortened and lightened substantially (my weight has been more steady than ever since switching, so I'm not concerned about calories), and this month just past I didn't have any cramps which is unusual. Hopefully it was just the shock of transition and things are settling down now. I'm still a bit alarmed by the impact, either way.

It's funny that you mention tampons, Forest Nymph, as I also purchased a mooncup a few months back. I switch to this as soon as I get home in the evening because it feels so much better, and it gives me a clearer idea of how much I'm actually bleeding. I've had a few leaks, though, so I won't be wearing it to work until I'm a good deal more confident! It would be good to know what your cloth pads are made from, if you wouldn't mind sharing?

Thanks again everyone.

That's great that everything has evened out. I'm glad you're ok.


I use a Diva cup and usually only have leaks on heaviest flow days (1-2 days per cycle) ...cleaning them more frequently on those days stops leaks. Instead of leaving it in for 8-12 hours, you might want to take it out every 4 hours. If you don't feel comfortable washing your cup in the work sink because it's a public restroom, what I do is carry a big reusable water bottle with me (which I have a lot of the time anyway to drink water since I hate plastic water bottles) and rinse the cup out thoroughly with water over the toilet and pat dry with toilet paper or paper towel, and re-insert. You'll be able to wash it with soap when you get home, and this shouldn't lead to any problems.

As for cloth pads, I recommend Party In My Pants (ha ha) - they come in cute designs, have great absorption, and I think have the best coverage. I have a medium and a large. I use the medium for lighter flow or back-up to my cup on heavy days when I go out. The large is great for overnight or heaviest flow day. Of course your needs may vary, so you can look at all of the sizes they have. I bought another brand at the local co-op which I cannot remember the name, but I don't recommend them anyway. I still use it on very light days or as back up, but I find it moves around too much and because of the shape isn't as good for coverage. I only bought it because it was cheaper than Party in My Pants, but they're worth the investment. It says on the package you can just toss them in the washing machine, but I do not recommend this. I recommend you rinse them out completely and wash them out by hand with castille soap or something similar in the shower immediately after taking them off, or in your bathroom sink. Then soak them in a jar or something with baking soda for a few hours to a day, to remove any traces of stains or odor. Rinse them out again, then dry them in a window sill in the sun (optimally) but if you don't have a private window to do this, you could just air dry them flat elsewhere in your home. I tried just "tossing them in the washing machine" and I ended up having to wash them 2 or 3 times, which is a waste of water and money. That only works on very light days, like say at the end. If you have a pad you wore all day or night, you definitely should wash it out by hand, soak, rinse and air dry for more thorough cleaning. https://partypantspads.com/

Oh gosh I forgot one thing - Party in My Pants comes in flannel or cotton. Flannel has a cozier feel but cotton is easier to clean. So you decide which best meets your needs. They have different designs for each fabric and size to choose from.

Hope this helps!
 
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Nicky

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That's great that everything has evened out. I'm glad you're ok.


I use a Diva cup and usually only have leaks on heaviest flow days (1-2 days per cycle) ...cleaning them more frequently on those days stops leaks. Instead of leaving it in for 8-12 hours, you might want to take it out every 4 hours. If you don't feel comfortable washing your cup in the work sink because it's a public restroom, what I do is carry a big reusable water bottle with me (which I have a lot of the time anyway to drink water since I hate plastic water bottles) and rinse the cup out thoroughly with water over the toilet and pat dry with toilet paper or paper towel, and re-insert. You'll be able to wash it with soap when you get home, and this shouldn't lead to any problems.

As for cloth pads, I recommend Party In My Pants (ha ha) - they come in cute designs, have great absorption, and I think have the best coverage. I have a medium and a large. I use the medium for lighter flow or back-up to my cup on heavy days when I go out. The large is great for overnight or heaviest flow day. Of course your needs may vary, so you can look at all of the sizes they have. I bought another brand at the local co-op which I cannot remember the name, but I don't recommend them anyway. I still use it on very light days or as back up, but I find it moves around too much and because of the shape isn't as good for coverage. I only bought it because it was cheaper than Party in My Pants, but they're worth the investment. It says on the package you can just toss them in the washing machine, but I do not recommend this. I recommend you rinse them out completely and wash them out by hand with castille soap or something similar in the shower immediately after taking them off, or in your bathroom sink. Then soak them in a jar or something with baking soda for a few hours to a day, to remove any traces of stains or odor. Rinse them out again, then dry them in a window sill in the sun (optimally) but if you don't have a private window to do this, you could just air dry them flat elsewhere in your home. I tried just "tossing them in the washing machine" and I ended up having to wash them 2 or 3 times, which is a waste of water and money. That only works on very light days, like say at the end. If you have a pad you wore all day or night, you definitely should wash it out by hand, soak, rinse and air dry for more thorough cleaning. https://partypantspads.com/

Oh gosh I forgot one thing - Party in My Pants comes in flannel or cotton. Flannel has a cozier feel but cotton is easier to clean. So you decide which best meets your needs. They have different designs for each fabric and size to choose from.

Hope this helps!

That's great! Thanks for the info. I sew, so I'm tempted to make some myself if I can get hold of some good nylon and snaps :) I bought a cheap pad online and it just felt horrible - the brand you recommended sounds great but not sure I can afford them and the postage right now.

My little mooncup seems to fit quite well and I'm really happy using it at home - I think I just must have been inserting it wrong in the early days. Now that I've had a few leak-free cycles I should be OK!

Thanks again for taking the time to reply - I definitely don't have enough friends IRL to chat to about mooncups and veganism!
 
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