Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, I really hate getting my period"

Dear Carol,
I’m 13 and I hate menstruating. I always get very depressed when I have my period. I have these awful crying fits and I feel totally miserable. I feel that having my period at such an early age is really unnecessary. I’m not planning to get married and have a baby anytime soon.

So I’m asking you if there is any way to make it stop aside from starving myself which I have tried. Please don’t give me a lecture about how having your period is a healthy, normal thing. I know that, but I don’t care, I hate it, and I just want to know if there’s any way to get rid of it.
–Bloody Tired

Dear Bloody Tired,
I’ll spare you the lecture about the merits of menstruating because you’re right, it is “unnecessary” to start at such a tender age. That said, you can’t turn back the clock on puberty. You can ask your mom or doctor about medication to relieve the discomfort. And you can welcome the news that your periods may get easier and you will get more used to them.

Starving yourself is NEVER a good idea. Some girls in times of famine or in concentration camps (or even in rigorous athletic training) do temporarily stop menstruating because Mother Nature doesn’t think they’d be good bets for pregnancy and childbirth. But their periods don’t permanently disappear, and in the case of gaunt and hungry women, their bodies are in distress.

To tell you the truth, that “time of the month” is not your average adult woman’s personal favorite week either. But hey, let’s be grateful that we live in a world with pads and tampons. Your great-grandmom didn’t have it so easy. Before 1921, women wore cloth diapers that they washed and reused. After that they wore bulky napkins held up by a belt contraption. Finally in 1936 tampons were introduced.

One more thought. While I (and every other female) hate to feel upset and have some guy say, “Oh, you’re just having your period,” it is nonetheless helpful to be aware of whether you tend to be fragile or crotchety (CROTCHety? now that’s an interesting word!) right on schedule each month. If you’re losing it or wondering why everyone around you has an attitude problem, and it’s rag-time, remind yourself, “My life doesn’t stink—I just have my period.”

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by Carol Weston | 12/16/2017