6 destructive things you should never do when you’re menstruating

Menstruating comes with its own challenges—and some women make it even worse by doing these 6 damaging things.

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  • That "time of the month" is already tough. There's no need to make it harder on yourself. When you're on your period, taking care of yourself is important - here are six things to avoid at all costs during menstruation.

  • 1. Smoking cigarettes

  • Women who smoked cigarettes during their period tended to have longer, heavier periods, as well as had a 50 percent increase in cramps lasting two or more days. The cigarette smoke and chemicals help to constrict your blood vessels, making for a more painful period. Cigarettes are never good for you, but they're particularly damaging during your period.

  • 2. Binge eating

  • Those cravings come once a month, but the calories stay long after that. If you cave to your cravings, your body is going to pack on the pounds. Since bloating is already common during your period, it's actually a time to eat especially healthy foods. Drinking lots of water, eating consistently and healthy meals and getting enough sleep are ways to naturally feel better on your period.

  • 3. Using a douche

  • Women are especially likely to use a douche while on their period because they think it will wash out their vagina and help their period end faster. This is not the case! Douches are proven to increase your risk of infection, and no, it does not make your period end faster.

  • 4. Excercising too hard

  • This doesn't mean you can't exercise, just be sure to not over exert yourself. You've already lost a lot of blood to your period, which may cause you to be light-headed. If you tend to have a heavy flow, your blood iron levels may also be low, which can make it harder to exercise. Keep yourself hydrated and maybe tone down your workout for the week before getting back to your regular routine.

  • 5. Wearing tampons for too long

  • Be sure to follow the instructions on the box of tampons that you buy. Wearing them for longer than instructed can lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). TSS is an extremely deadly bacterial infection that is usually caused when tampons absorb too much and in rare cases, can cause death.

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  • 6. Ignoring pain

  • Some cramping is normal, but if your period is so painful that you are consistently missing school or work, then you need help. Doctors can sometimes prescribe you certain kinds of birth control to help. Extreme pain may also be a symptom of endometriosis, a condition where the tissue that lines your uterus is also found outside of your uterus. Fatigue, painful periods, frequent yeast infections and even infertility can all be symptoms of endometriosis. Don't ignore severe pain-get help for it.

  • By avoiding these six things, you'll decrease your risks of damaging yourself. During menstruation, remember that being healthy is a priority and staying away from these bad ideas is a great place to start.

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Hannah Chudleigh joined FamilyShare because of its positive influence on families worldwide. She has a bachelor's degree in English and loves reading, writing, and running.

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