To say that that particular time of the month—all 10, heavier-than-heavy-flow days—was more dreaded and pain-filled than I care to remember isn’t an exaggeration. I began my period in the eighth grade, and for the next year I had a drastically fluctuating period that wasn’t even normal for the girls just starting. Bleeding anywhere from 7 to 10 days and laying on the ground moaning and groaning about pain in my back (which felt like someone was scraping out my ovaries with forks) had my mom worried, to say the least.
I’m not exactly sure how she came across the fertility class, but about halfway into my freshman year of high school, I found myself in one.
When I found myself in said class under the impression that this was a class for regulating periods that had taken on a form of their own, I more than a little surprised to see two couples wanting to have a baby in the initial meeting.
Before I was given the estrogen that has made me the human I am today, I had to do a little data collection. I met with the lady running the class with my mom apart from the others in the introductory group, and she gave a calendar with a bag of stickers: red, green, yellow, white. The ones that I was the most curious about were the ones with babies on them. Apparently these signified when the woman was fertile (this is a fertility class I was at). Equally amused and skeptical, I took the stickers and in accordance to the sheet she gave me, charted, and classified my daily discharge type.
The information I gained was vital in getting me the hormone help I needed to be more regular and in less pain, and less distraught while on my period. This class was all about getting information, and I think information is the key to being able to make more informed decisions. By measuring my discharge type, the doctor I went to was able to tell me things I knew, as well as things I didn’t know, about what was going on with my body.
The estrogen cream he (the doctor) gave me was magical. I applied it when my discharge was a certain type (or I tried to remember to) to my wrist. Estrogen is something your body naturally produces to produce breasts and regulate your period, and my levels were way out of whack. The point to this treatment was to get my hormone levels where they needed to be, and in doing so my periods would be lighter and my pain would be lessened.
I liked not taking a pill, even though I still had to keep up with it daily, and not having to wear a patch in order to regulate my periods. And, when I was doing it like I was supposed to, it didn’t take an overly long time for my hormones to reach an equilibrium. Happy hormones make a happy human.
What I liked about the class was it was sort of like a science experiment that I could do for myself to myself; it directly benefits me. This isn’t an overtly traveled path for period regulation, but I found it really helpful. Now I don’t have to do the cream and my periods are more manageable and I am more knowledgeable about how my body works.
In knowing your body, you’re able to make more informed decisions regarding it.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.