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Period Essentials: Dos & Don’ts You Should Know About

Assist. Prof. Dr. Naheed Rana

6 min read

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Menstruation is a natural biological process that every woman goes through. They typically occur once a month and can bring mood swings, pain, and cramping. Despite being such a usual female issue, a lot of people still lack information about menstruation because it is often considered a taboo topic, especially in Pakistan.

Have you ever felt like curling up in bed and avoiding the world? Or perhaps you crave certain foods or feel unusually emotional? These are all signs of menstruation and are completely normal. Since it is a sensitive time, staying away from a few things can make you feel better. This article will discuss what you should do and avoid during periods.

7 Things You Should Do On Your Period

Here are some important things you should do during periods:

1. Eat a nutritious diet

What to eat impacts your health, so you should eat a well-balanced diet. However, it is even more important to take care of your diet when you are menstruating because of blood loss. Some foods may also help manage period symptoms. Eat foods rich in iron and folate as they support your reproductive health. Additionally, fruits and vegetables, seafood, dark chocolate, and lentils are a few foods that can be helpful when you are menstruating. Moreover, avoiding junk and unhealthy food is one of the important thing to avoid during periods. Eating certain foods can also help you get your period faster.

2. Choose the right products

Being comfortable is the main goal during periods, so choose products that you are most comfortable with. Wearing comfortable and period-friendly underwear can also make you feel at ease on your period. Try different products to check which suits you the most to make an informed decision.

3. Maintain hygiene

Have you heard that you should not bathe on your period? It is a myth. In fact, taking a bath regularly is a crucial part of maintaining hygiene. It can prevent stinky odors and reduce the risk of infections. Taking a warm shower or bath can also relieve pain and cramps. It is also essential to use and discard sanitary products correctly and carefully.

4. Rest properly

As your body goes through significant hormonal fluctuations during menstruation, you may feel tired and low on energy. Getting adequate sleep can give your body time to rejuvenate and recover from the energy decline. It also helps relax muscles and stabilizes your mood to improve your period experience. It also prevents exhaustion and overexertion, which may not be healthy for you.

5. Stay active

Contrary to popular belief, exercising can make you feel better during periods. Light exercise can help make you more active and relieve pain and cramps by relaxing your muscles. Moreover, exercise releases endorphins in your body, which can help combat period blues. Alter your exercise routine during periods and opt for low-intensity workouts or cardio. Though exercising can help you, you should avoid overexerting yourself at this time.

6. Use a warm compress

While medications help relieve pain and cramps, you should not take them too much. As an alternative, you can apply a warm compress or warm towel over your stomach and it can provide you comfort. Warm compress helps with blood circulation and can soothe pain and cramps.

7. Manage stress

Stress can wreak havoc on your menstrual cycle, causing irregular periods and intensifying symptoms. Managing stress is crucial for a smoother period. You can manage stress by doing yoga and meditation. Having a strong support system can also help manage stress.

7 Things You Should Avoid During Your Periods

Here are 7 important things you should avoid during periods:

1. Sugary and salty foods

Craving certain foods during your period, which may include foods that are high in sugar and salt. Unfortunately, such foods are a big NO when you are menstruating. Sugary foods can cause spikes in your blood sugar levels and worsen your mood swings due to energy crashes. On the other hand, salty foods can increase water retention and cause bloating, which may increase your discomfort.

2. Caffeinated drinks

Do you feel unable to function without your morning coffee? Well, you may need to take a break when you are menstruating. Avoiding caffeine is one of the top important things you should avoid during periods. Caffeine can worsen period pain or cramps. It can also increase anxiety and spoil your mood even more.

3. Taking too many medicines

Medications are the go-to for all of us when we experience pain, however, you must not take too many medications when you are menstruating. It can cause a dependence on these medicines and overusing them can negatively impact your health. Moreover, NSAIDs that are usually taken for period pain and inflammation relief need to be taken in a certain way. Taking medications incorrectly can lead to other health issues.

4. Avoid overexertion

While light exercises are alright and even recommended during menstruation, ensure you do not overdo it. High-intensity workouts and other strenuous exercises can lead to overexertion. Overexerting can increase your cortisol levels, making your cramps worse. It is vital to listen to your body while exercising and not push yourself too much when you are on your period. Adjust your exercise routine as to what is doable. Ensure that you stay hydrated as exercise can cause water and electrolyte imbalance, worsening your period pain and cramps.

5. Avoid wearing the same pad or tampon for too long

Maintaining good menstrual hygiene can save you from many issues. Change your pad or tampon every 4-6 hours, otherwise, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. It can also cause a smelly odor, making you feel conscious. Wearing sanitary napkins or tampons for too long can also lead to overflow during peak days and stain your clothes. Additionally, it can also cause skin irritation and result in rashes and soreness. 

6. Do not have unprotected sex

Having unprotected sex during menstruation can be unhygienic and raises the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It can also be unhygienic if the blood leaves stains on your bed or clothes. Moreover, while the chances of conception are low on your period, they still exist so if you are not planning to start a family anytime soon, you should use protection.

7. Avoid misinformation

There are a lot of myths going on from generations regarding periods and can make you feel confused. Rely on authentic information and research things that are not clear because incorrect information can sometimes be harmful. It can help you navigate smoothly during your periods and improve your symptoms.

Can You Get Pregnant On Your Period?

If you think that you cannot get pregnant if you have sex during periods, you are wrong! It is usually a personal preference to have sex during the period as there is no harm in doing it. However, do not have unprotected sex unless you are trying to conceive, even when you are on your period. The chances of conception are the highest when you are ovulating but you can also get pregnant if you have sex during menstruation. Sperm can stay in your body for up to five days and if you ovulate after your period, you may get pregnant.


Menstruation is a normal biological process and happens to almost every woman in their life. When you are menstruating or on your period, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms like stomach pain, cramps, and bloating. When you are on your period, your body goes through hormone fluctuations that can cause these symptoms. It is better to be aware of the do’s and don’ts of menstruating to make it a comfortable time for you.

There are some things that you should be doing when you are on your period. Self-care is one of the top dos of menstruation. Taking care of your diet is essential to get enough nutrients in your body for energy. You should also use the products that suit you to avoid negative outcomes and adopt hygienic practices to stay clean during this time of the month. Moreover, take plenty of rest to ensure that your body gets time to recover.

Knowing what you should avoid during your period is as important as knowing what to do during menstruation. In addition to having nutrient-rich foods, you should limit your sugar and salt intake. You should also avoid drinks high in sugar and caffeine. Furthermore, do not rely too much on medicines during your period as it can harm your health. Change your sanitary pads or tampons to stay clean and keep yourself away from infections or bad odors. Bear in mind that you can still get pregnant if you have sex on your period, so avoid having sex without protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you take a bath on your period?

Yes, you can, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Taking a warm bath can relieve pain and cramping that occurs due to menstruation.

Can you exercise during your period?

Yes, you can exercise during your period. It can even help you feel better and alleviate pain and cramping, but make sure to avoid hectic or overexerting exercises.

Can you have sex on your period?

You can have sex when you are on your period, however, avoid having unprotected sex as it can increase the risk of infections.

Can you get pregnant on your period?

Another reason to avoid having unprotected sex during periods is that even though there are low chances of pregnancy, you can still get pregnant after having sex during menstruation.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Naheed Rana
Assist. Prof. Dr. Naheed Rana - Author Assistant Professor Dr. Naheed Rana is one of the most experienced and accomplished professionals in the field of Genecology. She is often regarded as one of the best gynecologists' in Lahore, Pakistan.

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