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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Flow: Off the Pill

I was concerned I'd have really bad cramps this month now that I'm off the pill; fortunately, that hasn't been the case. The cramps I did have Monday were very mild even though my flow is heavier than it was while I was on hormonal birth control (but still much less than when I was younger).

I've been looking forward to having a regular flow; it was usually very light while I was on the pill and with absolutely no chunks of tissue (what some people refer to as clots, even though they are NOT clots).

Maybe there's no medical reason to feel this way, but I felt like my pill periods were sort of weak and sickly. It's hard to describe, but since the flow was so light and the color sometimes more of a gloppy greyish-mauve the likes of which I've never seen on a normal period, I couldn't resist longing for a normal "healthy" period. And what, pray tell, do I imagine a "healthy" period looks like? Well, a lot more RED for one thing. From disturbingly bright and fresh red to dark tissue-laden dark red, to almost black-ish, to a swampy brownish color towards the end (that's how I've always referred to the less-red flow: swampy). On the pill, it was often like a nearly dried-up swamp after global warming.

Again, I have no "scientific" reason to think I was unhealthy while I was on the pill, especially when I know I was healthIER in some ways than I am off it, but I guess since I think of my uterus as a place meant to nurture new life, I want some kind of visible evidence that jives with that idea. Somehow a lackluster flow that's sometimes even a greyish pinkish mucous color doesn't seem as nurturing and healthy as a rich crimson flow with big hunks of flesh.

The off-pill flow seems to tell me I am really ALIVE inside and have plenty of extra juices and meat to go around. While I was on the pill I felt like that part of me was kind of dried up inside (even though my pussy was naturally more wet ON the pill than it is off the pill, and my body in general felt juicy and plump and happy as did my emotions).

I know it's totally silly, but I am kind of glad we didn't get pregnant last month before I had a chance to have this real period. Even if it makes absolutely no sense and a doctor would scoff at it, I just feel reassured by having a normal flow that I perceive as "healthy". I'm sure I'm prescribing meaning to my flow that it doesn't deserve, but seeing so much red in the toilet and hunks of my sloughed-off insides makes me feel like I have a good little nest inside me for a fetus. Seeing my flow this month makes me feel like everything is working right, and I wasn't so sure about that before. I was feeling old and dehydrated and I don't think that's how a mother-to-be should feel.

I guess I associate a heavier flow with youth and vitality, and a lighter flow with being old and somewhat feeble and less physically capable.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Have a Happy Period?

Hmmm . . . I've mixed feelings about this jokey rant:

An open letter written to the brand manager of Proctor andGamble - (Maker of Always Maxi Pads)

While I agree that the people marketing fem. products are off their rockers and deserve to be set straight, I really think the person who wrote this rant is a man trying to impress a woman, but doing a damned poor job of it; MENSTRUATION should not be confused with PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME.

All of those violent symptoms, mood swings, and bloating are things women experience BEFORE their periods start, and for me and every woman I've ever known, they pretty much disappear when our periods begin (making way for the cramps and sometimes fatigue).

It actually *is* possible to have a happy period. Most people who have bad PMS *do* have happy periods because they are relieved of all those bad PMS symptoms. It's a relief. A lot of us also use our periods as excuses to baby ourselves. We wear stained panties, lay in bed with our hot water bottles, permit ourselves extra sleep, and treat ourselves to red meat and spinach to replenish our iron stores. While I've had many painful periods, I don't know that they've ever been "unhappy".

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Flow of Information

While my mom was visiting I asked her if her flow decreased as she got older, and she said yes, for sure. Part of why I asked was to see if her experience was different at my age as a woman who'd given birth already (compared to me, since I haven't had kids).

Most of the women I've talked to in their thirties and forties complain of a heavier flow than when they were younger, and I'd wondered if it was because of having kids, but apparently not. I know fibroid tumours, etc. are pretty common so maybe that's why they have heavy flows. I don't know.

My mom also said that she misses having her period now that she's gone through menopause. She said she misses the release and letting go, and that it always felt like a relief. She said that menopause was like constant PMS.

Apparently my great-great-grandmother (on my mom's dad's mom's side) killed herself in her fifties, perhaps because menopause sucked so fucking hard for her.

I don't know if people realize the enormous impact of hormones on our state of mind. For all of the PMDD commercials on television I still get the feeling most people think it's some kind of a joke or something a few women exaggerate. It's really dangerous, I think, to dismiss the violent impulses we can feel when our hormones are fluctuating or fucked up. There have been times I think I'd have seriously thought about killing myself if I hadn't realized what was going on: hormones. So instead of SERIOUSLY thinking about it, I just CASUALLY thought about it and tried to console myself that the way I felt was only temporary (until the next month, of course).

I wonder why, as I've gotten older, my flow has decreased, but my PMS has gotten worse. Oh well, I'm thankful for birth control pills evening me out because I don't know if I could have taken much more of that crap.

Only twenty years (approximately) to go before I have to deal with menopause. I hope by then they'll have figured out a safe hormone cocktail for us to take.

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