Wouldn’t it be easier if we were all more open about the perfectly normal bodily function we experience each month? We think so. Each week, we’ll be speaking to one woman about her menstrual cycle, from cravings and coping with PMS to period confidence. Read, comment, share your own. Every story is welcome here.
This week’s period talk is from Yinka, a Capital XTRA radio presenter who lost out on a job because her period pains were so severe...
Tell us about your first period…
"I started my period really late. I was 16 and already in college so I thought that I was going to live my life not having one. I had accepted it, I was happy. I was sitting in Maths A-level class and I thought I was sweating, and I wasn’t sweating. I waited for the whole class to leave and I took the chair with me! I was walking down the corridor holding this chair like a little snail. I just had to run to the loo, I remember getting stuck in the door. I caused so much more of a scene taking a chair with me than if I had just legged it…"
How do you know when your period’s coming?
"A day before I’ll get little cramps, and I’ll find myself being really moody. I’ll think that I’m super-fat for no reason because I didn’t think I was fat 10 minutes ago. Then after brooding and eating lots of food, I'm like ‘ah, I’m coming on my period’."
How does your period affect you?
"At different times of the month I think I look completely different. I don’t know if this is me being subjective looking in the mirror, but the day before my period my boobs are HUGE. I’m so bloated and I even feel like my skin is tender. Then when I come off, I could be Kate Moss! I’m slender and spinning around everywhere. I try not to live my life by it but it definitely changes the way that I feel about myself."
What’s your period craving?
"It’s bread! And the thing is, that makes you swell anyway, it bloats you but I become like the Cookie Monster when I’m on my period. I can be so good – I’ll work out and I’ll eat really healthily and I’ll be like ‘green is clean!’ But the second I feel a cramp, I’ll be like ‘I’ll have ice cream on toast’."
Do you suffer from hormonal skin?
"My skin gets really dry. I’m don’t know if that’s just me, I’m not entirely sure why it happens because I don’t really get breakouts or anything, it’s more blemishes. Also, I get super-dark circles under my eyes. Concealer is my best friend!"
Has your period ever had an impact on your career or job?
"I had to cancel a job because of my cramps. The reason it happened was because I used to be on the pill. I didn’t realise that it took away a lot of the pain. When I stopped the pill, maybe two months later, I thought I was going to die. It was the last day of Wireless and I was meant to interview people but I literally couldn’t get up and get out of the house. I threw up, my head was spinning, the cramps were so bad."
What’s your period saviour?
"I swear by hot water bottles. It doesn’t matter how many painkillers you take, a hot bath or a hot water bottle is an amazing thing. God bless the person who told me about that (I can’t remember who it was now, but thank you so much!)"
Loved Yinka’s interview? Watch the full Pink Parcel period talk on our YouTube channel or below!
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