Why I Actually Miss Getting My Period
Nobody likes to talk about periods.
I miss my period.
Menstruation issues with chronic health conditions? Too personal to share? I’ll take my chances.
It may sound strange to hear someone state that they miss their period. Typically, an unplanned pregnancy scare may prompt such language, but that wasn’t the case for me.
I was in my mid 30s when my endocrine system went bonkers. Symptoms began to surface and amenorrhea — the absence of menstruation — was one of them. In 2011, I brought this to the attention of my PCP. I underwent all sorts of testing and of course, nothing found to be diagnosed. Those of us living with chronic illness probably have many horror stories of endless testing that leads to “unspecified” diagnoses.
Initially, it was great to not have a period. There are all sorts of struggles associated with periods — and I saved a few bucks on maxi pads, too. Some experience cramping, mood swings, malaise as severe as endometriosis; some don’t struggle much at all. I usually experienced slight cramping, but that’s it. I admit I worried about leakage and was someone who doubled up on panty protection. Tampons weren’t my thing though.
Menstruation was part of my womanhood. But then, after about a year period-free, I began to feel disgusted. A natural cleansing process was stolen from me by a pituitary cyst that resulted in hypothyroidism, another adverse effect.
My GYN explained medicinal options to bring the flow down, but the possible side effects, such as stroke due to me being a regular cigarette smoker, frightened me. I decided not to take any medication for my amenorrhea. I felt lonely, embarrassed and damaged. I often wondered if there were other people like me who lived life without a period, not yet old enough to be menopausal.
My life has been impacted by many chronic health conditions. Writing about my experiences and risking judgment by sharing those experiences has allowed me to connect with others who relate. I started with this because no one wants to talk about their period and yet there may be many people who can relate. I remember hating my period, but I sure do miss her.
Having shared this with you, I reclaim my femininity and I am enough.
Getty image via Alexmia