Latest posts by Makeba Giles (see all)
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*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Change The Cycle. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Avoiding the Beach. It’s something that you have done every time you are on your period for as far back as you can remember.
Maybe it’s the ‘words of caution’ you heard from your mother and grandmother. Or maybe an embarrassing accident from heavy bleeding in the past made you vow to never attempt to visit the beach during your period again. And even if the thought has crossed your mind this summer, you would certainly not wear a white swimsuit.
But it is time to change all of that.
First, know that you are not alone. 1 in 5 women will experience AUB at some point in their life.1 And while it is true that abnormal uterine bleeding can be debilitating and disrupt daily activities, affecting you physically, socially, and emotionally,2,3 it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Second, changing your reservations about visiting the beach during your period is not as difficult as you may think. It all starts with developing the courage to do things differently.
Avoiding the Beach
The Courage to Push Yourself Beyond Your Comfort Zone
I get it: you have always felt that it was too risky to go to the beach when you are on your period, and you have probably never even tried to wear white to the beach before. I understand how you feel, but there’s no better time to dismiss those thoughts than now! Step outside of your comfort zone and give it a try. No matter how small you must start with it, just do it!
Plan a white swimsuit shopping excursion for yourself! Don’t just buy one white swimsuit – purchase several in a variety of styles. Have fun in the dressing room, and get creative mixing and matching as you go. Complete your beach looks with white cover-ups, waist wraps, and accessories such as hats, beach bags, sandals, and sunglasses. Remember: it’s your time to shine in dazzling white at the beach!
Much too nervous about going big once your period has arrived? Go to a small community beach for as an alternative. As your jitters subside, switch it up by visiting large beaches in different areas each month you are on your period to increase your comfort and courage (remember to switch up those swimsuits, too).
Now, about those white swimsuits……
The Courage to View Your Body in a Positive Light
Whenever you wear white to the beach, OWN IT. Feel good about every part of your body from top to bottom. Embrace the shape of you. All of it. Every dimple, every vein, every wrinkle, every discoloration – the whole nine. In white.
You don’t have to hide yourself in black or other dark-colored swimsuits! Your body – every inch of it, regardless of your body type – looks phenomenal in white! And at the beach is no exception!
Shatter the conformities and restrictions in your own mind when it comes to your body confidence. Wearing white to the beach is one of the best ways to start viewing your body in a more positive light. Never stop improving how you view your own body!
The Courage to Keep Your Menstrual Health from Controlling You
Yes, I said it!
I was guilty of it as well: shying away from white – especially when going to the beach – whenever I was on my period. In fact, most times I would avoid the beach altogether.
My periods used to be so heavy that I would have to change pads and tampons pretty much every hour or so. It felt awkward enough to go to the beach at all during my period, but to wear all-white? No Way!!!
Then, I missed out on a very special family gathering held at the beach simply because I was on my period and too scared to wear a swimsuit, I’d had enough. I took it upon myself to talk to my OB-GYN for help. Thanks to the treatment options for heavy periods, I now gladly accept all invitations to beach gatherings with confidence – even the all-white affairs!
If you are now how I once was when it comes to wearing white to the beach or avoiding the beach because of your period, please know that there’s help available for you from your healthcare provider! You do not have to feel awkward when that invitation to the all-white beach event comes in your inbox!
Most importantly, if you are experiencing heavy periods and other abnormal uterine bleeding, scheduling and appointment with your OB-GYN to talk about is the best thing you can do. It can enable you to take charge of your menstrual health, instead of letting your menstrual health control you.
Not sure if your current menstrual cycle experience is normal? Take a look at some expert advice I received from Dr. Jessica Shepherd, Assistant Professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology and Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecology at The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, below:
How can women know if their period is abnormal or heavy?
If they have a change in flow, duration frequency that is not like their usual menstrual cycle for more than 3 months.
Causes of abnormal uterine bleeding include:
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Bleeding or spotting after sex
- Heavy bleeding during your period
- Menstrual cycles that are longer than 38 days or shorter than 24 days
- “Irregular” periods in which cycle length varies by more than 7–9 days
- Bleeding after menopause
What causes abnormal uterine bleeding?
Endometrial polyps, fibroids, cancer, miscarriages, thickened lining in the endometrial cavity, medications, obesity
Who is more likely to have heavy periods?
Women with risk factors for heavier bleeding including obesity, diabetes, fibroids and polyps
Can heavy bleeding lead to complications or other health issues?
Yes it can cause anemia, and for some women possibly surgeries
What are the treatment options?
Oral contraceptives, intrauterine device with progestin, endometrial ablation, Hysteroscopic myomectomy, laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation of fibroid, myomectomy and hysterectomy.
Summer is almost over. Choose today to do away with avoiding the beach when you’re on your period!
Make a call to your OB-GYN to schedule an appointment to discuss your feelings about your body – especially if you are experiencing heavy or otherwise abnormal menstrual periods. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions that you may find tough to say.
Having a thorough conversation is the only way to identify solutions to get you back on the road to living a life free of fear and uncertainty. To help you get started, take a look at this symptom checklist to review with your OBGYN at your next appointment.
Remember: you deserve the best life. It is courage that will make you unstoppable, and empower you to live fully and freely this summer at the beach, and everywhere that you go.
Avoiding the Beach
Change the Cycle encourages women to take control of their heavy periods and feel empowered to Wear White. White is a color often associated with fear and embarrassment for women who suffer from accidents resulting from heavy bleeding. Our goal is to transform the color white into an emblem of strength.
Whether you experience heavy periods personally or have friends and/or family impacted, Change the Cycle would love for you to share a personal story and your reason for wearing white on social media, using the hashtag #WhyIWearWhite to empower women everywhere to stop letting heavy periods control their life.
Learn more by visiting the Change The Cycle website here, or by connecting with @Changethecycle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And join the conversation using the social media hashtag, #WhyIWearWhite.
Avoiding the Beach
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blood disorders in women: heavy menstrual bleeding. Accessed January 4, 2017. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/blooddisorders/women/menorrhagia.html.
- Cooper J, et al. A randomized, multicenter trial of safety and efficacy of the NovaSure system in the treatment of menorrhagia. J Am Assoc Gynecol Laparosc. 2002; 9:418-428
- National Women’s Health Resource Center. Survey of women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding. Data on file; 2005.