period pain management tips

There’s nothing more erratic than being on your menstrual cycle. You lose control almost over everything. No two periods are ever the same and you could reach menopause and still not be used to having Aunt Flo show up every single month. There is assured discomfort at this time of the month, every month. Not only is the actual period uncomfortable, some of the pain management remedies are equally as not ideal. Have you ever been burnt by a hot water bottle?

We still live in a world where women still need to disclose being on their period and be exempted from certain religious practices. Despite being extremely uncomfortable, women are still required to carry on as if everything is normal. Since the 28th of May is Menstrual Hygiene Day, here are some of the ways in which menstruation is uncomfortable.

Premenstrual Syndrome

PMS is such a confusing time. You don’t know if you are pregnant or terminally ill. The boobs hurt, they are heavy as stone, you are nauseated. You have headaches, abdominal cramps and mood swings to boot. One minute you’re fine and the next you’re crying buckets for no reason.

Period Pain

According to scientists, period pain can be equated to an actual heart attack. The scientific name for period pain is dysmenorrhoea. If you have severe period pain, please visit a gynaecologist and get a professional diagnosis. Period pain can be mistaken for a more serious condition like Endometriosis. Stay ready for those spontaneous sharp butt pains which render your legs useless.

Lack of supplies

Due to water rationing, most women and girls don’t have access to running water. The debate about reusable pads raises the issues of hygiene and safety of reusable pads without running water. Disposable pads are a luxury for under privileged girls. Not having pads doesn’t excuse girls from their daily chores. So they resort to unsafe products instead of sanitary wear.

Leakage freakage

The reason why pads have wings is because they take flight so much. The glue on pads is clearly fake. Every time you sit down you have to run an assessment. What colour is the chair? Can I get up from it without anyone seeing if I’ve leaked. When people are leaving, you want to be the last one and you want to be the absolute last one to get up so that you can run a check before you leave. Most girls were surprised by their first period and have PTSD of having leaked in front of the whole class.


One thing a period will do, is surprise you. You can track your days and it will still show up or not. You dread having to survive period pain but have you ever had your period not show up? This is terrifying especially if you’ve indulged in sexual relations because now you think you’re expecting a baby. Truth is, you can have a delayed period for a myriad of reasons.

When you sneeze while you’re on your cycle and it feels like the river Nile just gushed out onto your pad. Now you’re unsure if it leaked onto your clothing.

Anything that isn’t fresh doesn’t have a pleasant smell. You know how a butchery filled with old blood smells? Now you’re scared that everyone can smell your period. Not only that, but if you have to share a bed with someone else, forget about a peaceful sleep, with every toss and turn, you’re wondering if you have displaced your pad which will now leak. Also, can the person sharing the bed with you smell your period?


For girls with longer periods, the pads may cause chaffing due to the prolonged friction. There’s also the issue of not knowing exactly when your period will end. You’ll get a clean pad twice and thinking you’re home free and then all of a sudden, the last kicks of a dying horse. To protect yourself, invest in some pantyliners so that the residue from the cycle doesn’t catch you off guard. Develop a period aftercare routine to re-calibrate the hormones and pH balance.

Not only is the period uncomfortable, the home remedies you resort to, are equally a thorn in the flesh. Please seek medical advice from a medical expert on pain management. If you buy the right period products for you and change them as regularly required, you should be fine. Minimise your movements, take your painkillers, hydrate and stay away from light-coloured clothing.

All the best for the next time your uterus punishes you for not giving it a baby.

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I recently discovered the Vybz App on the Sisters Connected page on Facebook. It’s an amazing app for women and girls in Zimbabwe even though the content can be consumed by anyone in the world.

Is something strange going on with your private parts? Are you too shy to speak to someone else about it? And you are cash-strapped to go and see a doctor? That’s where the Vybz App comes in. The app allows you to access a wide range of Sexual and Reproductive Health services and resources for free on your mobile phone.

You can chat to an expert over WhatsApp.

When I texted them, I was responded to in under an hour which was pleasantly surprising. I asked my question and received an insightful response. The expert was accommodating and professional during our chat. I had many interlinking questions and all of them were answered to my satisfaction.

One of the other cooler features of the app was that it has a Spin the Wheel game. This game has two categories to choose from between HIV or Sexual Reproduction Health related trivia questions. It added to the cool vibes of the app. Now when people ask me if I have games on my phone I can say yes.

The Self Risk Assessment quiz allows you to answer a series of questions in order to gauge your exposure to contracting HIV. I think the questions could be improved upon but this is a great start. Once you get your risk results, there’s information about how you may retain control over your sexual health to avoid falling sick.

What else did I like about the Vybz App?

  • It is user-friendly
  • Most of the resources are available offline
  • There’s a Vybz Man section for the other gender
  • There’s a directory of SRHR service providers with addresses
  • There’s a resourceful Menstruation Handbook with period pain management tips
  • There’s a period tracker within the app
  • You can book an appointment directly from the app
  • The app has no ads or paid features

You may download the Vybz App from the Google Playstore by clicking here.

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