It’s no secret that men and women have very different bodies. It would, therefore, be fullish to assume we could take care of them in exactly the same way. Of course, the fundamentals are the same, diet, exercise, mental health but there are some subtle differences that can’t be ignored.
Looking after your body naturally includes looking after your sexual health. There’s no shame in talking about it. It’s your body and yours to protect.
It doesn’t matter if you choose to use condoms, the coil, the implant, the pill or any other kind of contraceptive you’re making sure that you’ve got yourself covered, and that’s what matters. (Of course, covering yourself for pregnancy and STI’s are two different things, a condom is the only way to protect against an STI)
When I first went on the pill I had to travel miles to a clinic, now it’s easier than ever to get ahold of as you can request your contraceptive pill online instead of having to book appointments with your doctor or a healthcare centre.
Contraception not only guards against unwanted pregnancy but can also help you with other hormone relates health issues, such as acne and painful periods. I found my periods excruciating as a child and started them very early, starting the contraceptive pill dramatically improved my period pain and I would recommend exploring this option to anyone suffering from period pain.
Speaking of periods…
For some, period pain seems unavoidable but there are things that you can do to try and minimise its impact.
Diet can have a big effect on the intensity of your period pain. New research has shown that period cramps are related to a hormone administered by the liver when it registers inflammation, and therefore healthy eating to keep your weight stable is a good way to counteract this chemical. A vegetable-rich diet is a good place to start and also cutting out processed foods.
This one isn’t scientifically backed, but herbal teas have long been used to alleviate pain, and often contain ingredients traditionally used by many cultures relieve stomach cramps. Peppermint tea or a ginger brew works best for me but you can drink whatever you like, as long as it usually makes you feel good. The hot water soothes me and combined with a hot water bottle help to alleviate bloating and the intensity of the cramps.
Also, try experimenting with your sanitary products, many women report having a dramatic decrease in cramps when using a menstrual cup.
I personally find a warm brew and gentle exercises such as a walking or yoga often help any cramps I experience.
Practice self-love and self-care
Revelling in a little self love can never hurt anyone. It’s a good idea to always make time for these moments and scheduling time for me in my busy routine has made a mammoth amount of difference to my moods and overall happiness. This time should be spent doing whatever makes you feel good, be it a bath, cooking, watching your favourite show, painting your nails or simply getting an early night. Look after yourself and the rest will follow.
I wrote a whole post about self-love here – if you’d like to know what I do to show myself some love then check it out.