If you're not ready to commit to a subscription box for your period, there's one accessory that's essential for your monthly visitor: a tampon case. A cute container for your tampon stash makes for discreet office bathroom visits, is handy on Summer getaways and road trips, and prevents awkward purse spills. There's a tampon case for every personality, from cheeky to chic. Check 'em out now!
- Sassy ladies ($30): Choose either the secret agent, mermaid, or pinup babe to kick your period's butt!
- Shark week ($14, originally $20): INdiscreet's zippered pouches are sure to make you laugh with phrases like "oh bloody hell" and "vampire teabags."
- Need chocolate! ($12): These handy little zippered bags also have witty sayings, like "don't cramp my style."
- Lambskin lady ($35): This hot pink little number has all the bells and whistles for the stylish gal on the go.
- Compact case ($2): The pint-sized, no-nonsense RADIUS case is perfect for traveling.
- Tbox to-go ($15): The Tbox tampon holder has a sleek, mirrored design that could pass as mascara or lip gloss. While it only holds three tampons, it also has a pill box on the bottom for your PMS meds.
Ugh, periods. Not only do they put you in a bad mood and give you cramps, but you also have to frequent the drugstore every month to stock up on your feminine hygiene products. If only there were a period fairy that could turn that PMS frown upside down. Enter the period subscription box. You may have seen the hilarious viral video about a young girl at camp, affectionately known as the Camp Gyno, who hands out tampons and advice when the other girls get their periods — that is, until they all start ordering subscription period boxes and no longer need her help.
Turns out, this is no joke. In addition to sexy subscription boxes and our own POPSUGAR Must Have box, there are now monthly period-specific packages. It's quite genius, actually. Not only are they filled with practical products you need (i.e. tampons, pads, and Midol), but they also have other fun goodies like chocolate and hot tea to give you something to look forward to as you're rolled up in bed with a heating pad. I'm breaking down seven of my favorites — check 'em out and let us know in the comments if you've subscribed to a period box!
During your period, it's not at all unusual to sit on the couch with a heating pad and an enormous bowl of chocolate anything. Food cravings are impossible to ignore, but devouring an entire dessert is probably not going to make you feel better. Just the opposite, in fact: you're likely to feel more tired and bloated. Luckily, our creamy, chocolaty smoothie satisfies sugary cravings while also easing PMS symptoms.
The smoothie is made with Greek yogurt and chocolate soy milk to not only satisfy chocolate cravings but also provide calcium, which has been shown to help reduce PMS. There's also fiber-rich spinach, full of B vitamins such as riboflavin and thiamine, proven to decrease PMS symptoms. The banana and cashews offer magnesium, which relieves bloating and constipation and also eases cramps. Then throw in some avocado, since studies show healthy fats can also reduce symptoms, and sip PMS goodbye.
Keep reading to learn the recipe for this 375-calorie dessert smoothie.
As if pimples, emotional outbursts, cramps, exhaustion, and feeling bloated aren't enough, the PMS demons have to throw uncomfortable back pain your way too.
Lower back pain during your period, or primary dysmenorrhea, is caused by contractions in the uterus. Every month your body build ups a thick uterine lining (called endometrium) in preparation for a fertilized egg. If you don't become pregnant, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and cue your body to break down and detach the lining, and it does that by contracting. If your uterus contracts too strongly, it can press on nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the nearby muscles, which is the reason pain occurs in the abdomen and radiates to the lower back and even to the thighs.
Chances are if you've always had similar menstrual discomfort, it's nothing to worry about. But see a doctor if you're incapacitated for more than a few days a month or if you've noticed a sudden change in your symptoms. Meanwhile, you can ease the back pain with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, or with a warm bath or a heating pad. Avoiding foods that contain caffeine and salt can also help. And even though you have about as much energy as it takes to plop onto the couch, women who exercise regularly often experience less menstrual pain so keep up with your routine by doing some light cardio or these cramp-relieving yoga poses.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common ailment among women in their 20s and 30s — 75 percent of women suffer from symptoms. While cramps, lower back pain, and belly bloating can be uncomfortable, one of the worst parts of PMS is when a mood swing strikes. Mayling Kajiya, plant-based-nutrition expert and founder of Girl Uninterrupted, shared some of her tips for making sure PMS doesn't take over and how to support your body's needs during this time.
Know when you're due: It seems simple, but knowing when your cycle is starting can be your best defense against major PMS mood swings. Mayling explains that anticipating your time of the month and knowing why you feel horrible will help you understand what your body is doing. When irritated feelings arise, you'll be able to connect them to your hormonal changes and not feel as out of control of the situation.
Get to the gym: When you're feeling "crappy, crampy, or annoyed" before your period, Mayling says "skip the Midol" and head to the gym or yoga class to feel better; working out is a natural painkiller, she adds. Even after a light workout, your mood will be lifted, and as a bonus, you'll feel less bloated because you worked up a sweat.
Keep reading for what to eat when PMS strikes.
If you crave decadent desserts whenever you're on your period, here are some sweet, low-calorie, options made for indulging.
- One homemade almond butter cup: 86 calories
- One cup of sliced apples (57 calories) drizzled with half a tablespoon of honey (32 calories): 89 calories
- One Edy's Strawberry Fruit Bar: 80 calories
- Flourless chocolate cake: 96 calories
- Six dried apricots: 100 calories
- Half a container of vanilla Greek yogurt (60 calories) and half a cup of frozen organic blueberries (35 calories): 95 calories
- Whip up chocolate-covered banana almond butter bites and enjoy two: 98 calories
- 30 frozen grapes: 101 calories
- One four-ounce cup of organic applesauce (50 calories) topped with eight chopped peanuts (47 calories): 97 calories
- One Julie's Organic Sorbet Bar: 60 calories
- One So Delicious Mini Chocolate Sandwich: 90 calories
- Two clementines (70 calories) and two pieces of Green & Black's Organic Dark Chocolate with Cherries (36 calories): 106 calories
- Half a Cherry Pie Larabar: 80 calories
From pimples to bloating, cramps to spontaneously bursting into tears, PMS and period symptoms not only have the ability to ruin your day, but they can also put a damper on working out. Since exercise actually alleviates many of these uncomfortable feelings, here are some of the best ways to handle common PMS symptoms while working out.
- Bloating: Swelling in your lower abdomen doesn't always inspire you to sport a fitted tank or leggings. Forget impressing anyone and go for comfort by wearing loose-fitting pants that have wide waistbands and these tanks that hide a pooch.
- Cramps: When your uterus contracts, you can feel mild to debilitating cramps. If you aren't bound to your bed in the fetal position, get moving. Doing some cardio that gets your heart pumping such as jogging, brisk walking, riding your bike, or swimming releases pain-relieving beta-endorphins to alleviate your discomfort, and it also helps to decrease those cramp-inducing muscle contractions. If the pain is really bad, try these yoga poses for relieving menstrual cramps.
Keep reading to learn how to work out when dealing with other period symptoms.
We are excited to share one of our fave stories from Fitness Magazine here on FitSugar!
Are you plagued with period pain, fatigue, or other symptoms that turn you into a zombie for the week? Get relief by upgrading your diet. Here, experts share the foods that can boost energy, beat cramps, banish moodiness, and more.
Iron-Fortified Whole-Grain Cereal
Many women, especially those who consume very little meat or are vegetarians, don't get the iron they need. This saps their energy and makes it difficult for them to concentrate, says Karen Ansel, RD, an American Dietetic Association spokesperson. "For women with heavy periods, iron is even more important because they lose larger amounts with each monthly flow. Iron-fortified whole-grain cereal is an easy way to get your daily dose." Ansel recommends looking for a box that provides at least 25 percent of the daily value for iron, then chase it down with a glass of orange juice — its vitamin C will help you absorb even more iron. At dinnertime, if you're craving iron-rich red meat, go ahead and have some, says Marissa Lippert, RD. Just stick to a lean cut (flank steak or tenderloin) and a 3- to 4-ounce portion.
PMS is a party and a half, isn't it ladies? We break out, have crazy mood swings, crave sweet and salty treats, become exhausted, get major menstrual cramps, have headaches and backaches, and one of my personal favorites — bloating. Some women experience sore breasts too, but why is that?
A week or so before your period arrives, your body begins producing oodles of estrogen and progesterone. Those hormones are what cause all these fun symptoms. During this time, your body retains water, which is what causes you to become bloated. Rings, shoes, or pants may feel tight because your body swells with this extra water, which also makes your breasts swell. All that fluid forces your breast tissue to expand, which stretches the nerves that cause that painful and achy feeling.
Soon after you get your period, the soreness should disappear. If the pain is really bad, you can take an OTC pain reliever such as ibuprofen. Wearing a more supportive bra, like a sports bra, will prevent your breasts from moving too much, which can also reduce tenderness. Cutting down on salty foods can offer relief since eating excessive amounts of salt will make you retain even more water.