Can we just get real for a moment?  And if there are any guys reading this…you might want to move on to a different post (find one of our fitness tips or recipe ideas) because this article is specifically for the ladies!!!

You know when it’s coming….you start to feel achy.  Your breasts may feel swollen and tender.  Your stomach doesn’t feel quite right.  Chocolate RULES!!!! And the random tears over some sappy ad on your IG scroll… is that for real???  What is going on?  OH YEA… it’s your monthly reminder that you are a woman and you are not currently carrying a child in your womb.  Thank you very much for the info Body…. But isn’t there anyway you could communicate that without the physical pains, constant munchies, unnecessary tears, the roller coaster of emotions and um, THE BLEEDING???

We all know this is natural and part of being a healthy, virile woman.  And if you have leveraged your body as the ultimate 3-D printer (as in pregnancy!), you know the miracle that exists in your body to create life.  It truly is a beautiful process unlike any other.  But outside of those times, the monthly menstrual cycle can be quite torturous not only on our body, but also on our psyche.

Oral contraceptives, birth control pills, are a relatively modern medical miracle that can help with more than just preventing pregnancy.  Many women begin taking traditional birth control pills as

The Life period tracker app has been amazing for me to track exactly when my cycle occurs, what my symptoms are and how I’m feeling hormonally/physically/ emotionally throughout the month.

early as their late teens in attempt to alter horrible periods.  Acne, horrendous cramps, terrible bleeding…you get the point.  Birth control can be a huge blessing for women to control these unwanted side effects of menstruation.

Yet while birth control pills are an AMAZING addition to medical options available to women for so many reasons, they also introduce other potential complications.  If you have taken oral contraceptives, how many different brands/varieties have you tried?  Some cause more emotional turmoil than others.  Some cause more weight gain than others.  Some seem to stop the bleeding almost completely while others seem to have no impact.  The struggle is real when it comes to figuring out what works best for your particular body!

And then if you do decide to get pregnant, the birth-control Russian Roulette starts all over again when you are postpartum.  Do you take the progesterone-only pills while nursing?  Does the pill you took pre-pregnancy still serve you in the way you want it to?  Does it make sense to go with a more permanent option like an IUD (and then which one???) or a tubal ligation procedure?  So many questions, so many answers.  It’s all so confusing!

So what are some options you can implement to simplify your life when dealing with this monthly inconvenience?  One recent discovery, is the use of an app, such as Life,  to track all aspects of your cycle resulting in less monthly surprises.  Another way to improve your mood and your physical feelings are by exercising on a regular basis.  And sex!  Surprisingly, sex is another key ingredient in alleviating cramps and mood swings.  Lastly,  CBD oil is a great supplement for the mood related aspects of PMS, such as anxiety, weepiness and general mood swings.

Even though the menstrual cycle is a natural and healthy occurrence, it is important  to acknowledge the fact that it is also extremely hard on us mind, body and soul.  And that is OK.  It’s part of being a woman and it’s important to accept that, cherish that and allow yourself the space to take care of YOU during this special time of month versus bringing yourself down.   Make peace with your body, roll with the feelings  and if you want to eat the mint-chocolate-chip ice cream…GO FOR IT!