Before I started taking birth control (and sometimes even afterwards), my periods made me downright miserable. They lasted a full seven days, I bled heavily, my cramps were constant (and so severe they made me vomit) and my fatigue was pretty debilitating. So even though I think it's important that we don't feel ashamed of our periods or speak about this natural, healthy bodily process in a strictly negative way, I also think it's totally OK to hate your period sometimes.
Even if you're one of the rare ladies out there who has never experienced intense pain, fatigue or heavy bleeding during your period, there are still a lot of things about being on your period — or waiting for your period to start or end — that just suck . Getting your period is one of the most common experiences on earth, but that doesn't mean it's easy to deal with. On top of that, period shaming is real, and it makes the whole experience of being on your period more stressful. So, if you hate your period, don't beat yourself up over it or think that's anti-feminist.
Though you should never feel like you have to feel ashamed of your period, you don't have to love it, either. For further proof, check out these eight reasons it's totally OK to hate your period sometimes.
1. Menstrual Cramps Are The Worst
For many of us, the horrible, life-sucking phenomenon known as menstrual cramps are the worst part of getting your period. Even when they're at their least painful, they're still the friggin' worst, and it's perfectly OK to hate them — especially if you've never had a cramp-free period in your life. No one likes being in near-constant, energy-draining pain, so don't feel like you can't hate your period when it's putting you through all that crap.
As someone who hasn't had a completely cramp-free period since I started menstruating, I would encourage anyone struggling with painful cramps to invest in a good heating pad. You can get one for under twenty dollars at pretty much any drug store, and it will literally change your life. Also, consider picking up some stick-on heating pads for those times when you're cramping super hard, but you still have to get to work or force yourself to be social. It will make your cramps way more tolerable (well, as tolerable as cramps can ever get).
2. ... And Bloating Sucks, Too
Fortunately, we have leggings and sweatpants to wear when we're really bloated (this might be why leggings and sweatpants were invented). But even when you're suited up in comfortable, stretchy fabrics, bloating is still extremely uncomfortable. And since you're probably already also cramping, exhausted, and hangry AF, adding mega-bloating into that mix is enough to make anyone hate menstruating.
3. Periods Cost Money
The cost of one box of tampons and/or pads and one bottle of ibuprofen each month doesn't seem like that much, but over the course of our lives, all those period-related products really add up. The Huffington Post recently reported that the average woman spends $18,171 on their period from the first time they menstruate until the time they reach menopause. That's right — we spend almost 20 grand over the course of our lives, just to deal with a basic biological process that we have pretty much no control over, one which we sometimes very reasonably loathe. That's frustrating, and it's pretty reasonable to hate this aspect of our periods.
Of course, there are money-saving options out there like the menstrual cup, but you'll still end up spending money on other period-related things like pain reliever and heating pads (and, if you're anything like me, tacos and chocolate). And even if you find cheaper ways to deal with your period, it can still feel very frustrating to have to blow so much money on an involuntary bodily process.
4. Period Shame Is Very Real
It's pretty backwards that women are shamed for having periods — periods really couldn't possibly be more natural or necessary. I mean, they're pretty essential to the overall continuation of the human race. But everyone with a period knows what it's like to be period shamed, and what's worse, we often experience period shaming before we even have our first periods. TV shows, advertisements and even politicians go out of their way to try to make women feel ashamed about shedding their uterine lining every month, and it really doesn't make any sense.
It often seems like the only acceptable ways to discuss menstruation in our culture are to make insulting period jokes or to talk about menstruating women as if they were crazed, bleeding, rage monsters. So while you should definitely not feel ashamed of your period, it's very reasonable to hate the shame that people feel you should feel about your period.
5. PMS Can Make You Feel Crazy
Every month, my PMS makes it really difficult for me to keep from turning into Grumpy Cat personified. (Actually, if I'm being totally honest, I do turn into the human version of Grumpy Cat every month, and I feel pretty horrible about it.) But as anyone who struggles with PMS knows, it feels nearly impossible to control the overwhelming anxiety, irritability and physical changes that come with PMS, and it's OK to admit that you hate it. If we didn't hate the stress and everything else that comes with PMS, then we would be total weirdos.
6. Periods Can Temporarily Mess Up Your Sex Life
I know that this isn't the case for everyone, and it really shouldn't have to be. I mean, if you and your partner are both up for period sex, there's no reason why your period should slow down your sex life at all. But for a lot of women (including me), our periods are too painful for us to even bother attempting vaginal intercourse. This is all the more frustrating because a lot of women actually want sex the most during their periods. So if you feel too physically bad during your period to have sex, uncomfortable with the idea of period sex, or just don't want to deal with the potential mess, you might feel like you're basically being vag-blocked by mother nature on a monthly basis. And of course you're allowed to hate that.
7. Periods Will Ruin Some Of Your Favorite Underwear
I hate when my periods sneak up on me and ruin my fanciest panties. (Yes, I said "panties." Deal with it). Unless you keep a really perfect period calendar, you've probably felt this anguish, too. I can't even count how many of my undies have met their untimely end due to an early period, and I hate it. Admittedly, it's not that big of a deal when you compare it to the hell that is cramps and the ignorance that is period shaming — but it still really sucks, and it's perfectly OK to hate it every time this happens.
8. Cis Men Will Never Get Just How Much Periods Can Suck
It's not fair that only half the population has to deal with this pain and hormonal upheaval that our bodies put us through on a monthly basis — and it's totally normal to hate this fact. I know I do. Because not only do cis men get to walk around on any given day of the month without having to worry about bleeding through their pants, running out of tampons or getting hit with cramps at work; there is no comparable bodily process that remotely resembles all the physical symptoms of a period — so people who've never gotten a period are literally incapable of understanding how much periods can suck.
What's worse is, it's not even their fault, so we can't really be mad about it. And that truth just makes the whole thing more aggravating.