I try really hard to have a healthy attitude about my period. I've read books about the joys of the mystical journey of menstruation. I've even made my fair share of moon-time goddess artwork to try to tap into the magic of my monthly gift. But sometimes, periods just suck and require creative period hacks. For some women, they always suck. And I'm not talking "oh no, my period." I'm talking "stop stabbing me in the junk" and "welcome to the murder scene that is my bed in the morning." That's just annoying no matter how in touch you are with your sacred lady bits.
There are some pretty easy period hacks you can do, like stacking your birth control or wearing an absorbent body suit made of maxi pads to bed. But what if you've tried all that and you're still looking for some creative period hacks to shut down your baby box on a more advanced level? Enter science. Thanks to the fine women (and men) who don lab coats and tinker with hormones in secret underground lairs of vagina mastery (that's totally where vagina scientists work, right?) there are some bigger, better, and more permanent solutions to your period problems. Because you deserve a life where you got 99 problems but your period ain't one.
1. Endometrial Ablation
Ablation sounds like a complicated ice skating move (Triple backward ablation! And she nails it!), but it's the process of having your uterine lining surgically removed, according to the Mayo Clinic. It's typically an outpatient procedure that makes your flow either super light or non-existent. It's important to note, though, that this is one of those options you only chose if you're done with baby making.
If you're not sure if you want to make babies, but you're sure you don't want to make them any time soon, an IUD has the added benefit of shutting down pregnancy and periods. It's a little T-shaped device that your doctor implants into your uterus. For the first few months, you might have heavier periods, as you adjust, according to IUD manufacturer Mirena, but after that, a lot of women have three to ten years (depending on which IUD you get) of lighter or non-existent period bliss. Plus, you can get it taken out whenever.
3. Try A Menstrual Cup
A menstrual cup isn't going to shut down your period, but it does let you forget about it. It's a small rubber or silicone cup that creates a suction seal, and then just chills in place to collect your flow. You can get away with only changing it every 12 hours, which is 2.8 times less than tampons, according to Healthy Women. Plus, they don't mess with vaginal flora, so less dryness, yeast, and bacteria problems, if you're prone to them because of tampon use.
4. Pop Progestin
According to Healthy Women, progestin is the most-prescribed medication for heavy periods. It slows and reduces your flow, which may bring you buckets of relief if you suffer from extremely heavy bleeding. The bad news is that it can cause weight gain, headaches, swelling, and depression, but not all women experience these side effects.
5. Try NSAIDS
NSAIDS are drugs like Motrin, Advil and Aleve. When taken at high doses (like 800mg per day, three times per day, for example), they lower prostaglandins, which in turn, reduce blood flow, according to Prevention. And with all that pain medicine floating around in you, you'll likely get some cramp relief, too.
6. Back Up Your Backup's Backup
The old "wear a tampon and a pad" trick has inspired a lot of new period gear that aims to make your life a little easier. There are period panties with absorbent layers. Period blankets designed to protect your sheets. Period underwear, designed to be ruined by your mighty blood leaks. You can supplement your menstrual cup with a sea-sponge tampon, or wear cloth menstrual pad backups. They even make smooth, thin adult diapers (hey, the struggle is real sometimes) for when you just can't deal altogether. Also useful after childbirth.
Seriously, you do not have to suffer. Plus, it's 2015, so if there's a way to solve a problem, you know someone's tried to get rich solving it. Don't give up hope, even if it takes a few tries before you find what works for you.