Sometimes We’re Just Unprepared
It happens to even the most organized people. Your at a fancy dinner and you suddenly realize your period starts tonight. You’ve forgotten the essentials because you opted for your cute clutch instead of your large, suitcase-sized bag you usually drag around. You dig through your purse to realize what you’ve known all along, you don’t have any tampons or Ibruprofen. We’ve all experienced that pit in the depth of your stomach, how your mind races to McGyver-mode, and how you wish you had just cancelled your plans in the first place.
For many, forgetting your pads or Ibruprofen may just be a small hiccup in your night out, but for others, especially those with uterine fibroids, it could mean having to cancel the entire night in order to rush home.
But what if you were prepared! What if you had a handy list of all the things you should keep with you at all times in order to stop just surviving your period, but actually thrive?
We’ve compiled a complete guide so you can be as stress-free during your period as possible.
The Difference Between Regular Periods and Abnormal Periods Caused by Fibroids
As we mentioned above, everyone experiences periods differently. While some may experience short periods that last two to three days, others may experience periods that seem to last forever. That’s one of the main reasons so many women can simply think their period caused by uterine fibroids is normal. Defining what is considered normal is one of the most difficult parts. Normal periods are typically described as lasting between three to eight days, limited spotting that does not last long, cramps that ache but can be controlled by over-the-counter pain medications, or bloating that goes away once your period is over. These are just a few of the common symptoms that are usually associated with an average period. However, there are a few signs and symptoms women need to watch out for that may indicate uterine fibroids.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids:
- Chronic fatigue even after a good night’s rest which could be a sign of anemia.
- Pale skin or dizziness which may indicate anemia.
- Heavy periods that are becoming difficult to manage.
- Using a large amount of tampons or pads in a short time frame.
- Periods lasting 10 days or more per month.
- Severe pelvic or abdominal pain that affects daily life.
- Frequent urination that causes you to run to the bathroom at a moment’s notice.
- Protruding abdomen or belly area that may resemble weight gain or a pregnancy.
- Experiencing pain during sex especially near your cervix.
- Spotting or bleeding between menstrual cycles.
It’s important to track the length and heaviness of your period, as well as other symptoms you may experience leading up to your period and the few days after as well. This can make it much easier to explain your symptoms to a doctor or fibroid specialist.
Why do Fibroids Cause Heavy Periods?
Uterine fibroids are dense growths made up of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue that may develop within the walls of the uterus, within the uterine cavity, or protruding outwards from the uterus. Fibroids often develop among women who are in the age group of 25 to 55. These growths can sometimes cause blood clots, heavy flow, or spotting between menstrual cycles.
But you may be thinking why fibroids actually affect your menstruation. Fibroids that develop within the uterine cavity may distort the lining of the uterus which could potentially cause this heavy flow and irregular menstruation. Although the exact cause of why fibroids cause heavy periods is still unknown, it has been found that size and number of fibroids do not affect this abnormality. Of the most well-known theories is that fibroid tissue affects the production of growth factors in the uterus, altering blood flow and how blood vessels respond during your period.
Fibroids that cause heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between cycles could potentially cause anemia. This is why, if you’re feeling worn out most of the time, it’s important to get your blood tested for analyzing the level of red blood cells in your body.
Beyond taking this precautionary step, the question of managing irregular periods comes down to their interference with your quality of life. If your periods are causing you mental or physical discomfort or stress, it’s important to get checked for uterine fibroids or other underlying uterine conditions.
The Ultimate Survival Guide to Periods and Fibroids
Here’s the best answer: You can manage the excessive bleeding caused by fibroids through your emergency home kit. In this section, let’s explore all the different items that your emergency period kid must have if you have fibroids.
- Pain-relieving medicine – As we’ve already mentioned, pain can sometimes become nasty enough to be easily alleviated by hot water bottles. In those times, you’d definitely need to swallow some pain-relieving medicines. For example, your period emergency kit must have ibuprofen when your cramps go from bad to worse.
- Water bottle – Everyone can always consume more water—especially women who are on their period. Which is exactly why having a good, collapsible water bottle in your emergency kit will surely go a long way. Staying hydrated can also help bloating and cramps.
- Extra Underwear – Grab a small pack of extra underwear that you can keep with you at all times. If you have fibroids, periods may become irregular, making it difficult to know when spotting may occur.
- Herbal Tea Packets – We know…avoiding caffeine may seem like an impossible act, but consuming sugary, high caffeine drinks can actually make pelvic pain or cramps worse. On the other side, if you’re dealing with constipation due to fibroids, one cup of coffee may help. Try herbal teas instead that help you avoid caffeinated drinks, but also can be consumed when you need to de-stress before or after work.
- Pantyliners – Looking for an extra level of protection and comfort during those days of the month that may become worse just because of your fibroids? Stash some of these in your purse to wear in addition to tampons to prevent bleeding through your clothing. They can also help if you are experiencing frequent urination due to fibroids and have bladder leakage.
- Heating pad- Sometimes a small slab of dark chocolate can only do so much to help you lessen the intensity of your cramps. During such times, you must get a heating pad that can help in battling this kind of discomfort. They come in all shapes and sizes: hot water bottles, electric heating pads, and stick-on heat wraps.
- Snacks – When you are bleeding heavily, you’ll be sometimes hit by lightheaded-ness or an icky feeling. In those cases, a small snack such as granola bars, fruit, or nuts can go a long way to help you power through those days with zero hassle. Avoid foods that are high in sodium or saturated fats as much as possible. Dark chocolate pieces are an easy low-sugar sweet that can help increase iron levels.
- Extra pants – Sometimes it’s better to have something new if your clothes get stained. Which is why, it’s always advisable to have a pair of comfy pants or shorts with you in case your tampons or pads leak.
- Pillows – When you get cramps or discomfort during your time of the month, you prefer lying down on your back and rest for a while. For all those times, it’s good to have a small pillow in your car. Fibroids can cause lower back and leg pain, so a small pillow may just do the trick.
- Mixed Box of Tampons – These are great to get in bulk, especially the ones with a mixed variety of different absorbancies. Having a mix of super plus, super, regular, and light allows you to use different sizes during the beginning, middle, and end of your period.
- Pads – Pads give a sense of protection and can help reduce worry and stress on days when your fibroids are making you bleed profusely. They are also great to double up on at night if you need to get some precious Zzz’s.
When Fibroids Become Too Much
Period survival kits can help you plan for the very worst, but if your period is becoming difficult to manage, it may be time to see a doctor. Periods that are affecting your life need to be addressed. Whether it is a sign of an underlying issue like uterine fibroids or just a heavy period, a doctor can help you either treat or manage your symptoms so you can live a healthier, active life.
The distress caused by these growths can become so unmanageable that you’d start seeking treatment of fibroids. Many women tend to wait years, hoping for their symptoms to get worse; however, it’s important to know that treatment can help effectively reduce your symptoms and shrink fibroids. When it comes to finding treatment for fibroids without surgery, it comes down to finding a treatment center you trust.
USA Fibroid Centers: America’s #1 fibroid treatment experts
USA Fibroid Centers is a complete network of different fibroid treatment facilities located across the US. Our fibroid treatment center specializes in utilizing a nonsurgical, office-based procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization or UFE. We have a team of interventional radiologists who have extensive experience treating uterine fibroids with minimally invasive technology.
The best part is that UFE is effective and approved by the FDA. What else makes UFE the best treatment for fibroids? It’s the fact that this treatment is an outpatient procedure, which means you’re free to get back to life once the procedure finishes. Other benefits include of UFE:
- Preserves the uterus and retains fertility.
- No hospitalization.
- Does not interfere with hormones.
- Is effective at treating fibroid symptoms.
- Does not require general anesthesia or stitches
- Lower risks and complications when compared to surgery.
So if you’re looking for treatment for uterine fibroids from a renowned medical facility, USA Fibroid Centers is here for you. If you have more questions regarding Uterine Fibroid Embolization or would like to schedule an appointment, call 855.615.2555 today or click on the button below to schedule online.