Missed School Today
Harbored Emotions
Bed-ridden
This Month's Cycle
Another Month, Another Ruined Pair

Cycle Survey

Prompt: "These statements can really be anything you please, whether it is a feeling, an emotion, etc. For example, how do you feel before you get your period? During, halfway through? After your cycle finishes and the month starts over? How would you describe your cramps? Do you do anything to prepare for your cycle? These statements can be long, or short. One word, or many."

  1. Typically I just feel bloated and unattractive and if it weren’t for birth control my cramps would hurt so bad I stay home from class. My dad never really understood why my mom would willingly get me from school when I was having such terrible cramps it felt weird for him to not understand what I was going through and that I couldn’t talk to him.

  2. My period has come at the same time for the last 10 years, But once I took too many of my birth control pills at once. I literally overdosed on hormones. My body tore itself apart before it was ready as an act of rebellion. I bled for a week straight in the middle of my cycle. Heavy and dark and the pain never ceasing. I spent two days in my bed not being able to move. I felt like I was dying. I thought I was. Now, I fear that I caused permanent damage and I’m too scared to go to the doctor and find out.

  3. My cycle is pretty consistent and I feel blessed for it. Usually within the week before my period arrives I am more emotionally charged. More so anything I go through usually day to day gets to me more so than usual. Oddly enough my period always arrives on a Wednesday afternoon. Every single time! Always the day before at night il have cramps but after that it's just the usual uncomfortable nasty feeling I have throughout the 3 to 4 days I have on my period. During my periods I don't have much of an appetite, but right afterwards I can't stop eating. Then once in the middle of the cycle my eating regulates again. My period is pretty on schedule, it's always the same and I'm thankful that it is not as bad as other peoples. However when I do have those cramps the day before they are horrendous, the best way I have described it to a boyfriend or a friend is that it feels like a razor blade is skinning me from the inside out in intervals.

  4. I usually feel much more drained and bloated than usual when my period comes, also blood clots are normal for me and lots of headaches. I feel so connected to nature and the moon during and after it though, also, baby fever!!

  5. My “cycle” doesn’t exist. Rather, it comes when it wants and sticks around for however long it wants. 3 months of bleeding? Sucks a lot. One week? Wow a normal time frame. 6 months? I’m dying.

  6. I have a very irregular cycle. Last time I tried to figure it out it seemed like I got it every six weeks maybe more? The first day it's really difficult to move at all because of the pain but after that it seems uncomfortable rather than unbearable. I tend to be more aroused the week before and during than the rest of the month, which is inconvenient.

  7. In my family we start late (I was 15) and it gets worse each year. Right now I have acne before, nausea throughout, and pain worse on the first day and lessening as it goes on. My oldest sister has to be heavily medicated though or she would spend the whole time in bed in pain and throwing up. Hope this was helpful somehow?

  8. I have a love/hate relationship with my period. While the symptoms can be awful, I do appreciate the reset of my body. It forces me to eat better, sleep more, and let go of emotions.

  9. Right before it starts I get wicked emotional and exhausted. Mine usually last 32-34 days, with 6-7 days of period. First day is mild, the second day has the worst cramps, the rest of the time it's pretty much symptomless and low flow. I sometimes get ovulation pains in the middle of the cycle, which are sharp in my abdomen and don't last long, and my normal cramps are intense aches in my hips. I use a tracker for flow but not symptoms or mood or anything.

  10. My period forces me to deal with all the emotions I've been harboring all month long. my whole body aches before it starts and when I have it, it keeps me on track with taking care of myself for a few days because if I don't, I'll get blood everywhere. I'm kinda friends with my period. It lets me know I'm healthy and that time is passing. my blood flow is heavy on the first day, medium the second and light the last two. my back hurts on the first two days so i try to stretch. I don't prepare for my cycle, I don't even track it. I don't know why. I just kind of let it happen. it never really surprises me. When I get cramps I take Advil and they go away. I'm thankful my period isn't too physically painful. I associate my period with sadness, reclamation and self care. a lot of sadness. but like, a good kind. my body rocks

  11. I’m currently using the birth control, Introvale, which is a 3 month supply of pills. This means I only get my period every 3 months or four times a year. Since taking this birth control I’ve experienced some of the worst pain ever including cramps, back pain, and migraines (to the point of vomiting!). I’ve also implemented the menstrual cup into my period routine, I haven’t noticed any physical changes since but it definitely changed my life and made my period much easier, it’s given me a lot of freedom since I don’t need to worry about changing a tampon every 2-4 hours depending on my cycle. I usually feel irritated, sore, and uncomfortable during my period. I mean it feels like all your organs are falling out of your vagina so who could possibly find that enjoyable?? I end up crying a lot especially after going back on the pills after using the week of placebo pills because my hormones are crazy. I can’t usually tell what else is going on in my cycle except for my ovulation/fertile period because I actually get a sex drive which I usually don’t have and is something I’m looking into medically and psychologically.

  12. I have premenstrual depressive disorder (PMDD) so before i get my period i get CRAZY depressed. like. suicidal and the whole 9 yards. then i get my period and I'm like oh, that makes sense. it really sucks so for the past few years I've been taking birth control continuously (i skip the placebo week) and it fuckin' rocks. I don't get my period at all!! its nice because i don't have to spend money on menstrual products that are dumb expensive and i don't have to get depressed before my period and i don't have to deal with the bleeding or anything.

  13. My cycle is like a Venn Diagram. The left circle is my cramps and PMS and all that other stuff, and the right circle is my bleeding. They only slightly overlap. I also have PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), which is basically PMS but *really* bad. So, my period is honestly at its worst before I’ve even bled at all. My periods are pretty regular and healthy apart from that, I have a normal flow and they come at the same time every month. However, during times of extreme stress or anxiety, I’ll get my period a week late or early, which can be even more stressful.

  14. Having my period is honestly really draining. I keep track of it, though most times I don’t realize it’s coming...until I begin to feel cramps and want to cry out of nowhere. That’s how I know I’m getting it shortly. And when I do... my cramps are pretty terrible. A couple of times they’ve gotten so bad that I've almost passed out!! My cycle is strange because basically for less than two weeks I’m PMSing and it’s such a drag. 

  15. I know when I'm about to get my period because any happy or sad dog video will make me cry

  16. Right before my period (days 24-28) I like to eat leafy greens and do extra time at the gym. I feel exhausted a couple days before my period on top of craving salty and chocolatey foods. I'm on birth control but without my birth control, I cannot function with my cramps. Cramps happen on days (28-2) I use to take time off of work due to the awful pain. After my period(6-7) I feel happy and relieved hell is over.

  17. Well as a period having individual I struggle with PCOS ( polycystic ovarian syndrome) . I struggle with very intense cramping stemming from the fact that I have to take hormonal birth control in order to have my period regularly.

  18. As someone who suffered through my cycles, I super appreciate this project! People need to be more aware and understanding of how periods affect the female body. My periods actually came with a lot of medical problems: too much blood loss, fainting, dizziness, nausea; anything you can think of, happened to me. After I was hospitalized at 15 due to complications with my period, I began taking my birth control continuously, virtually eliminating my period. Though I don’t get the monthly bleeding (sometimes spotting due to stress or other factors), I do still get the emotional impact. As an introvert, in the week leading up to my “period” I tend to want to be alone, and often with food. Salty is definitely more of a craving than sweet though! Bloating still sucks, but only lasts a day or two. If I were to get my period still, the cramps I would get would be debilitating. I remember being bed-ridden in the fetal position for at least three days during one of my worst cycles. My mom told me that she’s never seen my skin so pale. Every now and then I’ll get a crampy cycle which makes me nauseous, but I’d take that any day over the pain I used to deal with before my birth control. Birth control can and should be used for way more than just “pregnancy preventative”. Birth control has bettered my life in a very significant way.

  19. I have been on and off of chemical birth control (mostly on) for 20 years. I decided after graduate school that I would go off for a while and try to learn more about my body and its cycles. I tracked every little change in body temperature, mucus consistency, and of course menstruation. It was fascinating and I loved it. But then I got sick again (an ongoing thing for me) and I went back on NuvaRing. With this method, one can choose to keep the ring inserted for a full month rather than three weeks, and avoid menstruation entirely. I haven't had a period in over a year. If you can't do a thing fully, why do it at all?

  20. Angry. Upset. Devastated. Remorseful. Grateful. Disbelief. Ecstatic. Confused. Understanding.

  21. I no longer get my physical period anymore. I don't know what happened, why, or what, but I no longer bleed. I'm young, in my early 20s. Always had a regular cycle. I no longer do and still can't figure out why. But.. I do experience the emotions, the cramps, the bloat. See, not getting my period is confusing. I don't know when my period is supposed to start anymore so random times of the month, I lose sight of who I am.

    1. Upset: I'll drop my banana on the ground and cry.

    2. Anger: I will then pick it up, body slam it into the trash, as if to show it who's boss. Confusion: I'll sit there wondering "it's just a banana.."

    3. Hatred: and tell myself "yeah! Your ONLY banana!".

    4. Understanding: "But accidents happen..".

    5. Remorseful: I'll look up and see my boyfriend observing the whole mind game with questioning eyes.

    6. Grateful: He won't say anything, he will just hug me and tell me it will be alright.

    7. Ecstatic: We will go out and buy more bananas for the week just so I can have bananas.

  22. Intense cramping immediately before, after, and a week prior to my cycle.

  23. My period is 7 days long with a full bleed, plus I get an amazing PMS week full of I’m a “huge fucking bitch please don’t make me cry.” The only way to get rid of it is only good for 9 months and then you get it back and suddenly you have an 18 year commitment on top of it.

  24. My periods used to be unbearable before I went on birth control. They were incredibly unpredictable with the cycle lasting anywhere from 15-90 days, but the periods were always the same. I would get all the cramps on the very first day. They built up throughout the day as an intense, pulsing ache. If I didn’t go to the bathroom and catch it early enough, I would just feel gross and not eat anything so by the time I figured out what was happening, I was too nauseous to eat anything and I couldn’t take pain meds on an empty stomach. Even if I did take meds, it was about a 50/50 chance that I was gonna throw up and either way I was basically bedridden for the day. The only thing I could do was crank my heat pad up as high as it could go and try and sleep through as much of it as possible. Towards the end of high school, I was finally able to talk to my doctor about it and got put on birth control and now my cycles are INFINITELY better. I only experience very mild cramps but I’m always able to function through them. My period has become incredibly regular as well. I change my patch on Sundays so every four weeks I take off my patch on Sunday, wait a few days, put on a pad before I go to bed on Tuesday, and wake up bleeding on Wednesday. Birth control has made my periods SO much more predictable and manageable.

  25. My cycle has been inconsistent ever since I took birth control. I took it for about a year and two years out I am still inconsistent. My period was quite literally perfect in terms of consistency, occurring every 27 days and for 4-5 days, and now my period occurs every 20-40 days and for 1-6 days. I get very frustrated during my period, and honestly I think it’s because of physical discomfort, pads suck, tampons suck, they all are awkward. Cramps are painful but having a disability the pain I experience from that can be worse than cramps. I just hate the awkwardness of leaking.

  26. I feel exhausted and uncomfortable for most of my cycle. To prepare for it, I make sure all my clothes are clean and that I have plenty of Tylenol. My cramps make me feel bloated and sharp.

  27. The worst cramping is always just before the actual blood starts, and at the same time the irritability goes through the roof. Every emotion is turned up to 11.

  28. My monthly cycle lasts 33 days.

  29. Before I get my period I get a nose bleed and I’m anxious and depressed, during my period I’m anxious and moody and depressed and bloated, after my period I feel better and go back to normal. My cramps are really bad the first two days of my period and then subside. I dread it every single month.

  30. Me and my cycle are not friends. I’ve been on birth control for 10 years now due to ovarian cysts and just recently my birth control stopped well...working it’s magic. I had to recently switch and this is the first month on my new pill. Let’s just say this has been the worst of the worst. My migraines have been at their worst. My cramps and flow are usually very mild, but wow, I was hit hard by the period train this month for sure. These cramps have been so debilitating and I don’t know how women function through this without the help of medicine or other types of assistance. Crawling up with my heating pad has been the only thing to help. I guess my story is more about how crazy it is that my body is going through complete shock after replacing a ten year hormone with a new one. I’m hoping this pill starts working it’s magic soon because this pain is intense. I’m ready to go back to a “normal” cycle of mild flow and mild cramps with the side of little migraines.

  31. The week before my cycle I’m emotional and easily annoyed.

  32. I get super emotional during the week before and then absolutely awful terrible gut wrenching cramps for the week that I have it. Without birth control I get my period for 7 days every two weeks, it’s a nightmare.

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