Healthy Body

A pain only women can understand

Tommy Tiernan once called it “a big articulated truck of emotion”. 

We know that truck. Men run away from it. Women brace themselves and stock up on painkillers, chocolate and whatever else they think will ease the strife of what’s about to arrive. Is wine included? 

Ah Period, you’re looking well! Actually, I lied, you’re not. You never look well. 

Uh oh, I’ve angered the beast! Dear Munster, please screw off and, ya know, don’t play at home. I hear Leinster, Ulster and Connaught are all lovely at this time of year. 

Once a month, we women are subjected to what can only be described for some as a little monster inside your uterus. For others, it’s a gentle trickle, or a fluffy kitten. If you have the last two, fancy a swap?

Periods are the body’s way of saying “you’re not up the duff”. We pat ourselves on the back for using condoms and the pill, for being sexually mature. You’d think we’d get a reward. At the very least, a little package should arrive on our doorstep filled with goodies. We deserve it! But alas, there is no package. In fact, we don’t get any kind of a package during those few days, if you catch my drift. If you don’t, let me elaborate.

We don’t get any sex. None! Unless you’re that way inclined of course, and enjoy surfing the crimson wave. Donning the red wings and frolicking in the crimson tide. I have educated my wonderful Satire Editor in all things blob-related. Please call him ladies, he has chocolate, cuddles and a shoulder to cry on. [Not during shark week – Ed]

If you do engage in some hanky-panky, at least put some towels down and have a nice shower afterwards. Mammy won’t be washing those bed sheets. 

And protection. For the love of God, wear a condom and don’t forget to take your pill. Yes, you can still get pregnant. Spare me the rubbish about how protection can “ruin the moment”. The moment was ruined when someone put red food-dye in Niagara Falls. 

Despite not actually being pregnant, your body does an uncanny impersonation of someone who is. 

I’m a bloated whale, behold my bump. 

I feel fat, I look fat and I’m letting it all hang out. Clothes don’t fit and unless I’m in a debs-style ball gown, nothing looks good. Oh, apart from perhaps your breasts.They can feel bigger and, I suppose, that’s some mild consolation. 

Then there’s this ridiculous craving for chocolate. Unless chocolate is going to be slathered up into my uterus and develop pain-relieving powers, I don’t want it. Why? Because it will make me fat. 

That’s a barefaced lie. I’d love a pack of Oreos.

I have this silly notion that because I’m on my period, I can eat whatever the hell I want  because I’m a fragile, emotional and bloated wreck. If the words “drama” and “queen” haven’t sprung to mind yet, then they should now. 

And I see very little difference between my bladder and my eyes. If I’m not peeing (my bladder is the size of a tiny minute purse), then I’m probably crying. Not just a gentle sob. This is a proper, full-on, Gwyneth Paltrow-winning-the-Oscar cry. Over absolutely nothing. 


I probably cry for the sake of it, because I can, but also because I feel so bloody enormous. 

I really feel for men in this situation, and my boyfriend in particular. He deserves a trophy for putting up with the spoilt, bratty and generally beastly force that is Dáirne on her period. 

I mean it when I say that nothing annoys me, yet everything annoys me. And I think that’s the worst part. You’re not yourself during your period. You really aren’t.

However, life goes on. You go to lectures, tutorials, even nights out (although I’d probably recommend a good pair of tights). You persevere because you have to. Because the world, your job and the men you’re competing with won’t put things on hold ‘till it passes. 

You just have to wait it out. Wait calmly for that big ol’ articulated truck to leave town.  

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