Just a head’s up: Since I have ambitions in the medical profession, and since I am a chronic over sharer, and since I’m not skeezed out by talking about body things, I am going to write this post. Also, it could possibly be helpful to the 3 other people on this planet that aren’t on birth control. That being said, if you hate talk of bodily functions, or if you’re a boy, you might want to skip this one. It’s not about sex. You’re not going to be missing much. I promise.
So I’ve been off birth control and off caffeine for over a month now. I ditched caffeine about a week before I ditched the birth control. I had decided for a number of reasons that I didn’t want to be on birth control anymore. We have to use other types of baby-preventatives anyway (because of my weird ass allergies) and Zack and I both feel like the weight gain that I’ve been experiencing since we’ve been married was tied in some way to the birth control. There were a handful of other side effects that I was experiencing mildly, too. I was just ready to ditch it. But when I decided to do that, I had to remind myself that the reason I started it in the first place wasn’t for reproduction reasons. It was cause I have the worst periods on Earth.
Anyone who has been my roommate for any length of time can tell you that my periods suck. In high school and college I used to miss class, staying curled up over a heating pad, praying for God to PLEASE, PLEASE make it stop, PLEASE. When I moved to Waco after college, Katy and Brooke seriously considered taking me to the emergency room a couple of times because the flow was so heavy and because the pain was so severe that we all became convinced that something was righteously wrong with my woman parts. Zack used to lay behind me and hold my knees to my chest, clinging to me like one of those Koala Bear Dolls you could clip to your binder. I have bad, mean, ugly, periods that talk about me behind my back and send nasty rumors about me to Gossip Girl.
Because my periods are total bitches, and because birth control totally muzzled them, I was justifiably concerned about the repercussions of leaving The Pill behind. After some research, I discovered that there have been some links between period pain and caffeine. Now, I don’t know about you, but up until last week, I was pretty convinced that caffeine was my best friend. It can be found in any number of delicious things, including but not limited to two of my very favorite beverages: Coke and Iced Tea. It was hard to leave it behind, but every time I wanted to drink a Coke all I had to do was remember what the cramps feel like and I could stop myself.
My body was so hormoned up that it took 5 weeks for my estrogen and progesterone to crash low enough for me to have a period. 5 weeks! Starting Friday, I had my first period in about a year. I started Friday, and the worst cramps I had were a slight twinge. Out of fear (not out of pain) I took 2 Ibuprofen and I never felt anymore pain. After a moderately heavy (but pain-free) first and second day, my period has slowed to a complete stop, and it’s only Monday. Monday! That’s a 4 day, pain-free, angelic period for you. It’s a freaking Christmas Miracle. I can’t say Pain-Free enough. Pain-Free! Never in the last 4 days have I cursed Eve, or wanted to die, or thought about having a hysterectomy!
Now, I can’t be scientifically sure that it’s the lack of caffeine that has delivered into my hands this Period to End All Periods. Obviously. It’s just been one period. Perhaps my body is still adjusting, and after going through one complete menstrual cycle that is not skitzed out by 1 year of my body thinking that it’s pregnant, I will once again have the period from hell. That being said, I can look backwards now and see that the times in my life when my periods were at an all time worst–those were the times that I was drinking the most caffeine. My senior year of college when I decided to be a coffee drinker? Hellatious periods. My years in Waco, doing my own grocery shopping, I discovered that I could purchase Cokes and drink them! All mine! A whole 12 pack in the fridge for whenever I want! Miserable, hospital skirting periods. While I lived at Camp, and I was constantly drinking Coke like it was water, all day every day? Periods that would have made the sanest person suicidal. Even birth control couldn’t quell the storm that was created the month that I discovered how easy it was to make Iced Tea with my Iced Tea Maker.
So there it is. Maybe it’s coincidence. Maybe it’s science. Maybe both, or neither, maybe I’m barking up the entirely wrong tree. Worst case scenario: I’ve stopped drinking caffeine–a drug that’s not so great for you in the first place–and that can’t be such a bad thing, whether or not it’s responsible for this Pre-Fall Garden of Eden quality period of mine.