- Uterine fibroids may put pressure against the uterine lining, which can cause more bleeding than usual.
- The uterus may not contract properly, which means it can’t stop the bleeding.
- Fibroids may stimulate the growth of blood vessels, which contributes to heavier or irregular periods and spotting between periods.
- Elevated levels of hormones called prostaglandins may also contribute to heavy bleeding.
Way too often, women suffering from the symptoms of uterine fibroids are surprised by periods that show up unexpectedly. Additionally, menstruation with fibroids isn’t a gradual performance, but for many is rather a deluge of heavy bleeding that can be unpredictable and overwhelming.
Faced with this challenge, some women choose to work from home, either temporarily or on a more permanent basis. For others, this is not an option. We therefore recommend assembling “period kits”, that is, small packages allowing women to be more prepared for unpredictable menstruation. These kits are packaged in pretty, opaque bags and can be stashed in the car, handbag, workplace desk and anywhere else frequented on a regular basis.
What should period kits contain?
Pads and tampons
While most women have a preference for pads, tampons, a menstrual cup or period panties, heavy bleeding sometimes demands a back-up and always demands spares. Be it a menstrual cup and pad, tampon and pad, pad and period panties or a more involved combination, have your supplies packed and ready to go, together with spares for work running overtime, late appointments or a long line at the supermarket.
Flushable wipes are the most convenient solution for quick and easy cleanup when the only facilities available are public toilets.
Change of clothing
Panties may need changing as well as whatever clothing you normally wear, be it leggings, trousers or a skirt. Shop around for a no-crease option and fold it into your kit. Dark colors and patterns are the best bet to avoid any potentially embarrassing leaks showing through. If you live in an area with extreme summer or winter weather, be sure to take care to switch out spare clothing to suit the season.
A dark-colored towel
This handy item is for placement in your vehicle, as heavy traffic trumps a heavy period. With nowhere and no way to stop, sitting on a towel may be the only solution.
You’ll need a plastic bag for laundry as well as a pre-spotter to keep blood stains from setting into the material of each clothing item. The safest combo is a zip-top bag for wet and/or soiled items as well as an opaque carrying bag to remain discreet.
No mandate or prize exists for the woman who suffers most. Cramping is no small issue and the lives of today’s women don’t allow time for Days of Agony each month. What is your preferred pain reliever to handle cramping? Be it Ibuprofen (take with food), Paracetamol or a prescription from the doctor, make sure those pills are accessible to you and inaccessible to children.
Hot water bottle or electric heating pad
For women who truly suffer and absolutely cannot take time out, a hot water bottle – while not the most hideable item to tote around – may be a solution. Most schools and workplaces have somewhere to fill up hot water or plug into an outlet, and the heat provided can help you make it through the rest of the day.
An indulgent treat
Many women feel chocolate helps ease period pain, while others have their own unique special treats in mind. Even a good book and a break long enough to read a chapter might help lift your spirits. Whatever works is great. Don’t we all need a little pick-me up when we’re down?
As we always recommend, be sure to consult with your doctor, both as to short-term treatment options and concerning longer-term options for the treatment of fibroids. With increased research and investment, options are thankfully becoming less invasive to meet the needs of today’s women. See what’s out there and what’s best for you. And feel better!