Health

5 Period Stories to Show Just How Weird Menstrual Cycles Are Right Now

It isn’t an overstatement to say the new coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in countless ways. But one of the more random experiences involves all of the period stories that chronicle how weird many people’s menstrual cycles have become during this time.

If you’re dealing with this, it might be hard to say exactly what has turned your typical period into something wildly different. There are lots of reasons a period shake-up can coincide with the pandemic. Maybe it’s all the stress of living through the smörgåsbord of terribleness that is reality today. Or maybe your period would have changed in this exact same way at this exact time even if the pandemic had never happened. Maybe you’re just more in tune with what’s going on with your uterus because your social calendar has really cleared up. Either way, the stress of dealing with a new kind of period right now—no matter the cause—is really the cherry on top of an awful ice cream sundae that literally no one would ever order. At least you’re not alone in that struggle. Here are five validating period stories from others going through it, too. And, as always, if you’re concerned that your symptoms might hint at something serious, reach out to your health care provider to talk about some of the changes you’re experiencing.

1. “I genuinely believe quarantine periods ‘hit different.’”

“My period used to be hella mild: five light days and no cramping. I would almost call it perfect. But during the second month of quarantine, I had cramps, and not just any cramps. I had ‘sit still, and don’t you dare move’ cramps. I also had a much heavier flow, and I was super lethargic the entire time. All of a sudden, my body hurt, and I felt super gross and unmotivated. I’m not sure what changed. I think it’s due to a lack of movement as well as pandemic-related stress. I’m trying to be more active (I go on daily walks), but I genuinely believe quarantine periods hit different.” —Lucie B., 35

2. “The worst period of my life just ended.”

“Before the new coronavirus hit, my period was increasingly longer and more uncomfortable. I’d actually been going back and forth with my provider, and I found out I have fibroids and a uterine polyp that was already causing a bit of discomfort.

My period these past few months, however, has been horrific. The headache leading up to my period has been paralyzing. The headache during my period doesn’t go away with Advil. Not to mention, my period is so heavy, and the cramping is so severe. It might sound dramatic, but the worst period of my life just ended.

I seriously don’t know why things are worse now. I called my doctor about these new symptoms, and she thinks I might need to have the polyp and fibroids removed. I’m just reluctant to do that during the pandemic. I’ve also increased my workouts, and I’m eating healthier now than I was before the coronavirus outbreak. I guess it could be stress-related, too, but, honestly, my life is pretty good considering there’s a pandemic.” —Quinn D., 27

3. “I just had to tough it out while being present for all the responsibilities in my life.”

“I’ve always had pretty annoying periods. My cycles are shorter than what’s considered normal, so I typically get my period twice a month. I usually cramp really badly, and I’m either super hungry or nauseous with a migraine. But my last cycle was brutal.

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