As an early 20 something couple, I recently decided it was time my boyfriend and I had the chat.
None of the 3 M’s- Mortgage, Marriage and Maternity. No, no thank you.
We would be discussing a much more relevant and immediate letter- The P Word.
For some couples, they are open and honest, a match made in heaven, gory details from the start. We are a little bit more conservative. Actually, I’m just being nice. My partner is a wimp who although looks like a man, still has the mind of a teenager. He doesn’t want to know. He doesn’t care. Bleugh. Ugh. Tampon-hell.
Towards the end of 2014, I realised that my current contraceptive pill (Marvelon) was the source for my vile mood swings, crushing lows and all round bad attitude towards our relationship. I would find myself absolutely infuriated by a misunderstanding and then snap out of it 5 minutes later thinking ‘What the hell was that?’. After a quick visit to the Doctors and a new pill prescribed (Cilest), I decided it was time to start listening to my body. Like real talk, woman to ovaries.
First month in, the cramping has increased as has the *cough cough* flow. I noted this all down in my Clue App (See previous article) and was glad that it was something I could keep a progressional eye on. However, another symptom probably due to *cough cough* flow, was weakness and fatigue. It got quite bad one day when I didn’t eat lunch until 2 hours past my normal time. I had the shakes, felt faint and nearly got myself sent home from work. This was when I decided that I was going to have to share my monthly “ailments” with my home slice. Whether he liked it or not.
When I got back from work that evening, I explained what had happened at work. His concern was absolutely adorable but then he asked the obvious question “So are you ill? Why do you think you felt like that?”. Zinger.
I decided to be matter of fact. He’s not a child. But he’s also not a Doctor so I chose not to use big words. “Well I’m actually ‘On’ babe and it’s a new pill which my body is trying to get used to. By the looks of it, my mood swings have gone, but instead I think I’ll be dealing with more painful cramping and a heavier flow.” At this point, I let him have his eugh/bleugh/tampon-hell moment of ‘Meg! Too much information’.
“No babe, you need to know this information actually, it’s important. This symptom obviously weaken me a bit and just means that for a couple of days every month, I’ll have to make sure I’m eating sufficiently and getting nutrients back into my body. Is there anything you want to ask me?”
“Are you sure?”
“No, you’ll get mad.”
“I’ll give you a pass. I promise I won’t get mad.”
“Well, can you not just take the pill all the time and not have… one of those every month?”
“Erm, well yes in an ideal world that’d be awesome. But it’s probably not very healthy. It’s good to know my body is working as it should be. Plus babe…. A period is the pretty much legit sign that you’re not preggers..”
“Oh okay, yeh don’t do that then.” Yeh thought so buddy.
After this, we chit chatted a bit back and forth, and in the end, he quite liked that we had a strategic plan. We’d each give each other a bit more space when the red mist (mind the pun) descends and I would make sure to tell him if I was feeling unwell (I tend to ignore illness, it just gets in the way.)
It’s nice to know I no longer have to hide the Tampax and that he understands exactly how a cycle works. We know roughly when each ailment is going to hit and I don’t have to be ashamed of feeling a bit bloated and just wanting to reach for the Dairy Milk.
It’s a team effort. In our house, the P word is no longer a taboo.