You probably realize by now that those awful cramps and that I-could-eat-an-entire-tub-of-chocolates appetite are all thanks to that "time of the month."
But you may not realize that your period could be causing these things, too.
1. A productivity downtime
Have you noticed those days during your period that you feel like not doing anything — where moving and thinking just seem difficult?
Your period could be the culprit behind your low energy level and lack of motivation. During your menstrual cycle, some productivity hormone levels, like serotonin and estrogen, drop and you can experience hormonal imbalance. This can even cause poor sleep.
During the premenstrual stage, the stress-related hormone cortisol tends to increase, which can cause chronic stress that can raise the risk of anxiety and depression.
Similarly, the body's hormones that produce and respond to neurotransmitters that control anxiety, depression and stress cannot function properly due to hormonal imbalance. Thus, anxiety and depression become a greater risk during these times.
3. An emotional you
As your hormones fluctuate, stress and other physical symptoms, like painful cramps, can take a toll on your emotions. You may find yourself feeling impatient, stubborn and over-sensitive.
Take deep breaths and try to rest and refresh as best you can.
4. A funny smell down there
This is totally normal. But you may still worry about not feeling clean down there. Menstrual blood includes a mix of bacteria, vaginal discharge — like mucus and fluid — and tissue, giving it a more intense smell.
To minimize the smell and keep the area clean, regularly change tampons and pads to avoid bacteria formation.
While on your period, be sure to get lots of rest — enough sleep is even more important during this time. Drink lots of water; staying hydrated is also important. And try using a heating pad to help with painful cramps.