Emily asks :

Hi Lucy,

I hope you are well. I was wondering if you could please help me with something. I'm having a lot of trouble with my periods, and I keep having accidents at work all the time (I drive a van). I work with 99% men and one woman who don’t have them anymore so it's difficult to explain to my boss. Firstly I just wanted advice on what I could say to my boss when I need to go home and clean up, and secondly, I was wondering what you think I should do about trying to make it easier. Because I'm currently screwing my face up at the screen from the pain; it's so bad today I can't move. I'm meant to be going horse riding tomorrow with a friend but I don’t think I can. My doctors are useless, and they put me on 3 different pills that made me fat, so I changed to my last one and it was great, I lost all the weight, but I felt sick constantly. They've since changed it without my consent because it's 'too expensive' for the practice! I was 3 weeks late for this period, and I don't know why. Probably why it’s so bad. My moods and stuff are really affecting my relationships and the only thing that helps with the pain is (however disgusting it sounds) having an orgasm. I'm just keeping my head above water with it after 8 years, but now I have to plan around it, or try and time my period to my days off. I'd ask my doctor, but I had to cry to get blood tests to prove to them I was anemic once. Any advice on preventing accidents would be amazing. . Thankyou. Emily

Hi Emily,

Agony Aunts on Female First

Agony Aunts on Female First

I would ask, if you keep having accidents if the absorbency of your towel or tampon is enough? If it is leaking through your underwear and clothes then perhaps take your sanitary products up to the next level so they will carry more blood and I would suggest that you go to the toilet more regularly to change.

Any male employer who takes on a woman needs to be sympathetic to issues such as this- in my experience they don’t ask too many questions anyway once you mention the word ‘period’, so if you need to tell him, then it has to be done.

Perhaps you could visit your local sexual health clinic as opposed to the doctors and talk them through your problems with your pill as they specialize in this area. Perhaps they could find you one that is almost the same as the type you were most successful with and hopefully this will eliminate the nausea. Remember that with any pill you should really give it at least 3 months chance to settle into your system before writing it off completely. Most will make you feel different in some way at the beginning, but sometimes if you persevere with it you will find one that is right for you. Your period being late is likely due to the change of pill as this can mess around with your regular cycle- but if you think you might be pregnant there is no harm in taking a test.  

Maybe you could visit your local chemist and ask them to recommend the best pain relief for you- you could get something generic or something more targeted to this type of pain to help you through. As long as you take it as the packet suggests throughout the day you should be able to keep the pain at bay. A hot water bottle on your tummy or some gentle excursive might also help relieve the pressure.

There is nothing wrong with using an orgasm to relieve the pain, some women have sex during their periods for this very reason- so you are not alone- as long as your partner is ok with it, then whatever it takes to make you feel more comfortable.

Have you considered the injection? In many cases this prevents a period altogether and people who suffer badly from it really benefit from not bleeding each month. If you’re not planning to have children any time soon then this could be the way to go to give you some relief until such times, if that is what you want in future.

If you have tried all of the above, then perhaps you can ask to speak to a female doctor- they may be little more compassionate about your complaints. If you are not happy with a particular doctor then you can ask to see another. 

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