Lena Dunham has had her period for thirteen days straight, apparently

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

CB and I email about our periods all the time. It’s one of the best parts of working so closely with a woman, honestly. I try not to complain about my periods, but I do use PMS and cramps as an excuse for why I might be moody or tired, although even if I wasn’t PMSing, I would still like to talk about my period. I don’t know why? I just enjoy it. There’s so much that sucks about being a woman, so it feels like a small victory to use period-talk to bond with other women. It’s gotten to the point where CB and I talk about our periods as often as we talk about the weather or celebrities or fashion. So with that in mind, here’s a big conversation starter: Lena Dunham has been on her period for thirteen days!!! She posted the above Instagram with this message:

When paparazzi follows you but you’re not even mad cuz you love your look and the chance to show off the leather skirt Jemima lent you and anyway, you’ve had your period for 13 days and the inauguration is in 10 so this is the least of your f–king problems #bleedforthis

[From Lena’s IG]

THIRTEEN DAYS! My God. I’ve had weird cycles where Aunt Flo finally comes after like six weeks, and then stays for a solid nine days, but those are blips on an overwhelmingly regular cycle. Hell, in my teens, I used to have the easiest periods – they always came on time and lasted maybe five days, tops. I’ve never had a period last thirteen days! Lena has all kinds of period issues though, and she’s been really public about it in the past – she’s dealt with horrible periods and endometriosis for most of her menstruating life. She even wrote a Lenny letter about it. My guess is that her thirteen-day period is probably quite normal for her. That must be hell. No joke.

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Photos courtesy of WENN, Instagram.

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154 Responses to “Lena Dunham has had her period for thirteen days straight, apparently”

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  1. Maya says:

    And the world needs to know this because?

    • NeexKC says:

      Why not? Everyone else talks about trivial life experiences. I just posted on my social media about a cold for two days. Let people talk about menstruation.

      • Patricia says:

        Ugh people complaining about small illnesses on social media is the worst. Sorry, nobody needs to hear it.
        I can’t even follow certain people anymore because they constantly make posts about how they have a hangnail or god help them then have a headache. Come on now.

      • Missy says:

        @patricia
        Totally agree. I have this girl from high school on Facebook, she has to be like three hundred pounds, probably more. She is constantly complaining of being sick with a cold or flu every few weeks, and any other problem she has. Knee pain, foot pain, you name it. Most everything she complains about it clearly caused by being so overweight. She will complain about being sick and hurting and then she’s posting pictures of the grossest most fattening meals. I have seen some of her close friends mention that her problems come from the weight but she freaks out if anybody says it. If you don’t want someone to say it stop complaining on Facebook.

      • Derpy ostrich says:

        Honestly, this only annoys me because Lena is the worst. I’m totally bitch eating crackers about it.

      • WTW says:

        @Patricia I’m no fan of Lena Dunham, but endometriosis is not a small illness. It leaves many women in unbearable pain, requires harsh drugs that induce artificial menopause and surgery to remove the painful lesions. Some women have hysterectomies because the pain is so incredible, but that doesn’t even always work because the lesions can spread beyond the ovaries to the bowel, kidneys, lungs and other organs. In rare cases, it has spread to the brain. Endo is the leading cause of infertility. I have mild endometriosis, and I am not in the kind of crippling, chronic pain that some women with the disease have, but I have undergone surgery to remove it. With insurance, it cost $10,000. Yet, I am still unable to have children, which has been tragic for my husband and me. Endo is no small illness, and Lena is not the only celebrity to discuss it. To compare it to a hangnail is wildly insensitive.

      • L says:

        @ Patricia-

        I’m here to tell you a bit about endometriosis. As someone who suffered with it for many years, I know personally what it is and what it does.

        First off, it is no small illness. For many women, it can lead to infertility issues. (This was not the case for me, thank God.) While it is a disease of the reproductive organs, it can become, in severe cases, a systemic disease that affects vital organs in the abdominal cavity.
        I had surgery last year to treat my endo. Not knowing how bad it was, the doctor said my surgery would be and hour and a half, two tops. My surgery wound up going for 5 1/2 hours. Here’s what they found:

        My L ovary was the size of a large orange because of a large endometrioma cyst. My R ovary had two smaller cysts and was the size of a plum. To put this in context, a normal ovary is about the size of a walnut. My ovaries, which normally float on the sides of the uterus, were instead in front of my uterus and were touching one another. My L ureter, which brings urine from the kidney to the bladder, was completely fused to the side of my uterus. And also on the L side, my sigmoid colon, the part of the colon closest to the rectum and anus, was attached to the peritoneum, the wall of the abdominal cavity.

        Here’s what all this was doing to my body. I had 3 or 4 episodes of pain and nausea that were so bad I went to the ER. My blood pressure would be so low they would not allow me to walk. I was offered IV dilaudid. Turned that down but found a combo of Zofran and morphine took the edge off the pain. On more than one occasion, I lost control of my bowels. In public. I had to urinate on average 2-3 times every hour. I had fibrocyctic breasts, very painful. I also had terrible, drastic mood swings and migraines. When I got my period, it would bring brutal pain in my lower back and shooting pains down my legs. I usually was in bed for the first two days with a heating pad on my back. I also would sometimes vomit with no warning.

        My L ovary had to be removed. The R ovary, while compromised, was saved, thank God, so I am still getting my hormones. I opted to have my uterus removed. My ureter and colon were removed from the adhesive tissue that was binding them.

        Many women have multiple surgeries to try to treat this hideous disease. I was very lucky, as the daughter of an OB/GYN, to realize I needed to find a good surgeon. I also live near NYC and had access to one of the best endo surgeons in the country, if not the world. I also have health insurance and a very supportive husband and family. So that’s my story.

        Just remember there are millions of women (estimate 1 in 10) who suffer as I did and are not nearly as lucky as I am to have found the path of ‘one and done’ with my treatment. Can you believe that’s how endo sufferers discuss this? How can I find ‘one and done’ instead of the path of many surgeries.

        If you’d like, you can learn more about it yourself.

        https://vimeo.com/20910143

        http://www.endofound.org/endometriosis

        https://www.vitalhealth.com/endo-blog/what-it-really-means-to-have-endometriosis/

      • LWithHearts says:

        @L I am so sorry to hear what you have endured with your endometriosis. It may be the most severe case I have heard about .

        I am currently in bed with bad endometriosis pain, I have had three prior surgeries to remove extensive endometriosis tissue and lesions as well as cysts from my left ovary.

        I usually have to have a script for tramadol just to get through the day, several times I have to be hospitalized to get the pain under control. It would also effect my bladder and kidneys which would get infected frequently.

        Endometriosis is a horrible thing to deal with and it is so so common. I hope it continues to be discussed in public because alot of people suffering may not even know they have it. More talk = more awareness = more focus on compassion and solving the problem

      • Marianne says:

        @Patricia : For me it depends on the frequency. I’m not gonna get annoyed if someone every once in awhile posts about a shitty day they had or a cold that just got. Sometimes life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and it feels good to get things off your chest. That being said, I do agree it can become annoying when its constantly done. And I do have someone on fb like that who constantly posts about her health problems, if its not that its about how her baby has a fever or its about how UPS screwed up her shipping or whatever. It does get to a point where it feels like shes trying to get sympathy.

      • Heat says:

        @Patricia
        As a woman who has 8-day-long periods every month, where 4 of those days consist of taking medication to stop the insanely heavy blood flow, I can assure you, it’s not a ‘small illness’ in any way. Definitely more serious than a hangnail.
        I’m not saying that Lena D has this issue, but I do think that menstruation should be something that women can feel free to talk about. It’s a part of life; a part that really sucks sometimes.

    • RussianBlueCat says:

      Lena needs attention like we all need air to breathe

    • Belle says:

      Exactly what I came here to say…. how is this news, gossip, entertainment?

    • ell says:

      because we should be talking about periods, not hiding them like they were something to be ashamed of. i went to an all girls school and i always though it was jarring the way women deal with (completely natural) women’s issues when with each other, as opposed to when men are around.

      • Tris says:

        Hell yeah!!! Periods are interesting, and worthy of normalizing and discussion (esp when they are bizarre like this) – way more than any damn new plastic surgery on some trollops.
        I like that this article is not bashing Lena. I don’t really understand the hate this site has for her. I wish I’d had someone like her to look up to as a model of brave feminism when I was younger.

      • OhDear says:

        Agreed. It’s something that shouldn’t be stigmatized and hidden.

      • Mrs Fonzieface says:

        @ell, I so agree. Periods are nothing to be ashamed of. If anything they’re something to be proud of. If some of the men I worked with had to suffer the way I have, nothing would ever get done. No joke.

      • Dani says:

        Yeah but she’s not discussing her period in any way shape or form that would enlighten people. She’s just complaining, as usual, about something that’s happening to poor old Lena. If she actually sat down and had a meaningful post about how having it for 13 days effects her life by xyz and trying to actually teach something, sure, let’s discuss. But omg my period is 13 days ugh but the inauguration is in 10 ugh and my leather skirt ugh ugh ugh. No.

      • ell says:

        @Dani, but she did discuss it like you say, she wrote a post on her newsletter. i’m not a fan of lena dunham tbh, she’s ridiculously problematic and it’s true that she at times makes statements just to make a point in the most obnoxious way, but when it comes to this i agree with her. even if in this instance she’s just complaining, because i see nothing wrong in complaining about periods.

      • JellyBeans says:

        Agreed!

      • fruitloops says:

        Periods are definitely not something to be ashamed of, but this here is such a non-news (if I said it correctly). So what if her period lasts 13 days? They last for 2 days, 18 days, 5, 10, 4, 11… I’ve heard it all and all is usual, I know more people with such irregularities than with completely normal cycles (and not to mention flow strength, time between two periods…). So what is so special about her 13 days to be newsworthy?

      • aenflex says:

        People can talk about whatever they wish, doesn’t mean other people necessarily want to hear it.

      • jwoolman says:

        It’s just another physical condition that affects our lives. Would people be equally bothered if she mentioned she had a headache for 13 days? Or sciatica? Or a bad cold or flu? Or walking pneumonia? Or a sprained wrist? Or anything?

    • ctgirl says:

      Because apparently Lena Dunham wants to share every piece of trivial information about her life with the general public and it just doesn’t matter if the general public wants to hear it or not. She’s just a big ‘ole mess of a woman who will do anything to stay in the public eye. This is one thirsty twit.

    • marjiscott says:

      Well, the way Lena wrote this seems very manipulative, which I think she is. However, If true, she needs to see a GYNO fast. Unusual periods or bleeding are a sign of cancer. I know, it happened to me just like this…

      • milla says:

        really? cos i’ve been having long periods for past 6-8 months. that is why i clicked on this article.

        i do think some people still think that period is sth scary, shameful. i don’t really get why. it is not my choice to bleed for days every 24 days…

    • Silvie says:

      @L
      Thank you for sharing this. My friend and I ran into Lena at an event in Los Angeles last year. My friend had recently undergone surgery for her endometriosis and approached Lena to thank her for her bringing the condition into the spotlight. Lena, who was under no obligation to be nice (no paparazzi around, and she was with other celeb friends) made the time to talk with my friend and ask with sincerity how she was feeling. The situation changed my opinion of Lena entirely. She is a genuine person.

  2. Sam says:

    Whenever I see Lena Dunham now, I think about all of the crap she’s said and I can’t unsee it. She needs to go away and just never come back.

  3. NoWay says:

    Why is she famous again?

  4. Alix says:

    Mine don’t last anywhere close to 13(!) days, but I laugh at those who can manage their periods with a tampon and a pantiliner. HA! If that’s all you need, you’re just spotting, IMO. Try using heavy-duty overnight pads as your ONLY effective form of protection and *then* come complain to me!

    • Kate says:

      I have light periods, but horrific cramps that at least a few times a year result in me spending a couple days in hospital on morphine.

      Heavy bleeding is just one of the issues women can have. Having light periods is no guarantee that you’ll have an easier time of it.

      • Merry says:

        Most women with very heavy bleeding also experience pain though. So in addition to the pain and nausea, they are also dealing with heart palpitations, weakness, dizziness and sometimes passing out from lack of oxygen to the brain. So while you only go in for morphine, there are women who also have to have iron infusions and blood transfusions at the same time. Your situation is bad, but be thankful that it isnt as bad as to combine both problems.

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        I go between heavy and light and get all the symptoms when they are heavy: palpitations, weakness, nausea, bad cramps, terrible insomnia, diarrhoea etc.. I always double up on my Iron intake during mine as well, you lose a lot and it does help a little.

      • AnnaKist says:

        Thanks for your comment, Merry. My daughter’s periods have always been problematic – heavy, painful and long-lasting. Take her last cycle – it lasted 12 weeks. Yes, 12 weeks. She became so anaemic she needed a massive iron injection and a hospital stay for blood transfusions. When it started again last week, she was straight down to our doctor for the Depo injection, and a referral to a gynaecologist. Her blood tests showed her something-or-other (sorry!) levels, which (in Australia)should be between 100 and 130, were down to 13. Horrible.

        I didn’t take LD’s comment as whining. To me, it was more like putting things into perspective, with what is about to take place.

    • als says:

      There are women that get it done with a tampon and pantiliners? I had no idea such lucky people existed.
      I have noticed my diet and stress level influences my period greatly. Maybe if I ate vegan and was constantly relaxed I would get it done with a tampon too.

      • OrigialTessa says:

        I’m fine with just a tampon, and I change it not terribly frequently, but I by no means have an easy time around my period. My mood gets so FOUL, and I get so low and anxious, I feel like I am crawling out of my skin and about to explode for about five days leading up to my period. I can’t sleep, I cry at about everything, and every single person I know is the most annoying human being on planet earth. I’m aware that it’s me and not them, and I still can’t seem to function. Lower down I wrote about my recent discovery about taking calcium, and it has really helped me. My PMDD “mood and behavioral” symptoms are off the charts.

      • Merry says:

        I saw watched a Buzzfeed challenge on youtube in which six women were filmed free bleeding on their heaviest day while going about their daily business at work and school. Free bleeding means no sanitary products, just panties and your clothes. They barely left any stains on their panties much less the chairs they sat on. I can only conclude that some women literally just menstruate three drops of blood and call it a heavy day.

      • OrigialTessa says:

        Certain birth control can make your period about as light as a paper cut. That used to be me until I found out I had a blood clotting disorder and I had to go off the pill.

      • A says:

        I became vegan a year ago and my periods have become easier and easier. One to two days shorter and only one day on painkillers as opposed to three.

      • Prettykrazee says:

        Yes. I’m one of them. Just OB Ultra for my first two days. I have trained myself to get up in the middle of the night to change. OB regular for the next two. And if I’m not off by then it’s just a pantyliner.

        And my diet influences my cycle as well. One of the reasons I cut meat out of my diet 20 yrs ago. My cramps were so much worse when I ate meat. But I’m not a vegan.

      • Tiddlesbored says:

        Agreed. She’s just putting things into perspective. LD has been very open about suffering endometriosis, and the 13 day bleeding is just one of the symptoms. Right now she must surely dealing with anaemia and all the tiredness and weariness it causes. Really disgusting to see some people take so lightly a health condition that in many cases causes infertility.

        Dealing myself with a 12cm myoma and on treatment for surgery I can tell you she’s not walking down rosey lane.

      • jwoolman says:

        Definitely experiment with stretching exercise also, in addition to trying different supplements for specific problems (calcium and B vitamins are good to try, there are probably others). My cramps vanished when I started routinely doing just a few minutes a day of yoga warmup exercises (no standing on my head or getting down on the floor needed in my case…). I imagine I was so marginal that I just needed a little more muscle tone in that area. Worth a shot even if it just reduces the pain level rather than completely eliminating them. I had noticed before this that my cramps were worse if flow started at night and woke me up rather than during the day when I was active.

        Anyway, yoga to any degree might be a good starting point. I’ve mostly kept up the warmup exercises for decades and noticed I also had fewer problems with neck and back strain when I did especially if I fell on the ice, for example (did I mention I’m a klutz also?). My balance improved within a week or two of starting also (as judged by how easily I could stand on a chair when needed, it suddenly became easy rather than risky) even though I started very slowly (adding one exercise to the routine every few days) since I am not a natural at such things.

        I just used a book with good drawings, if you’re more social a class would be helpful. I never got very far in the full routine especially since it’s really hard to do some of it with a cat trying to get on top of you whenever you sit or lie down on the floor… Gave up on that when became outnumbered by two cats. Also the book said to not do the headstand if you’re congested, which I always am, so I stopped at that point. But even so, the warmup (done standing) made a big difference for me. Never would have guessed that five minutes or less a day would do that. I assume other stretching routines would also work, but yoga was the furthest away from traumatic gym class that I could get.

        I wonder how much information there is about how menstruation practice and problems have or have not changed over the centuries. We have very different diets and very different exercise levels today than most people had in former times. Some problems are obviously more complex, but others may be helped by changes in diet and exercise.

      • Egla says:

        Mini tampons here for the first three days. Then I just use pantiliners for two more days. But I have horrific pains the first day and the second I feel numb and not in a good way. I use painkillers as soon as I feel the pain starting. If I miss that window I don’t even take the painkillers anymore as it seems to do nothing once is on, sadly. I have been to the emergency room twice. I have low blood pressure, and I mean low during the first day. The funny parts is that a week prior I am horny as hell. I mean even just touching me is orgasmic and I crave chocolate and all kind of super sweets. After my period I am like a “wet mouse”. Meaning I loose my sparkle for some days. For my friends it’s so obvious but not to my boyfriend sadly. I think he is stupid lol

      • Down and Out says:

        @OrigialTessa Try 5-HTP for the mood swings. It’s really helped me. I have pretty bad mood symptoms, too, much worse than any physical pain. For me the cause was physiological–my serotonin levels plummet. There’s usually about 2 days out of the month where I’d go to bed crying if I could sleep at all. But 100mg/day of 5-HTP helped.

    • Detritus says:

      I can even get away without pads sometimes at night. It just stops.

      But I’ve had my period for a month straight and had to take meds. So, win some lose some.

      • Shambles says:

        Ugh, you are so lucky on that one count. On the first night of my period, I just have to accept the fact that I will wake up soaked in blood. It sucks.

      • Luca76 says:

        I’m the opposite super regular 4 to 5 days max but extremely heavy and painful periods that can be debilitating.

      • Merry says:

        @Shambles

        Do you have a SO? If so, how do you prep him? I ask because I use a menstrual cup at night and heavy duty pads and try to get up every two hours but sometimes there are very messy accidents. I worry that if my guy sees this, he will be grossed out and stop seeing my as sexy.

      • Shambles says:

        Merry,

        I do! I’m lucky to have a boyfriend who is wonderful, and a hippie. I say “hippie” because he doesn’t get grossed out easily. More importantly, though, he understands that my period is a function of my body that I have no control over, and no reason to be ashamed of. If we’re spending the night together, I’ll let him know I’m on my period as an explanation for why I’m grumpy, in pain, and/or not in the mood to have sex with him. But he doesn’t make me feel like I have to explain myself to him, thankfully. He’s let me sleep in his boxers before, and I bled thorough on those. I told him I’d wash them and give them back, and that was that. He’s also helped me wash my own pants that I bled on. He’s really great.

        All of this is to say, if your SO is right for you, they won’t see you as any less sexy over something that your body does naturally. I know not all guys are as open and understanding of it as mine, but you should NEVER have to feel ashamed of your period. If you spend the night, I would just tell him, “Hey babe, I’m on my cycle right now and it can get pretty heavy at night. Just be aware that I might have to clean up a bit in the morning.” And if he makes you feel bad about it, or makes you feel un-sexy for it, maybe he’s not the one?

      • detritus says:

        @Shambles Ugh. That is the worst.
        First day of the Red Wave and I need to change tampons every hour and wear one of those giant diaper pads, I think I would die if I had to do that. I hate pads. HATE THEM SO MUCH. Sitting in your own blood is so gross, but what else do you do overnight? You deal because bloody sheets are worse.

        @Merry, everything Shambles said. And since we are already in TMI area, I’m gonna go all out on this one. If he can’t deal with period blood he needs to man up and get with the program. Aunt flo visits most of us for 1/4 of our lives, and if he wants to be getting friendly with your lady bits he needs to deal with the reality.

        So, the TMImobile!
        In my experience, banging on your rag helps a lot of guys get over it. Start in the shower if they (or you) are squeamish, and sex (orgasms really) can help with your cramping. Plus, its a birth control victory. Red flag means no babies.

        But in the end, he should be able to deal with reality. Almost all women get their periods, it’s just a fact of life. If he can’t deal with it then he’s not mature enough to be worth your time. He doesn’t need to love it, but he needs to accept that sometimes the sheets will get stained.

        If your period is heavy enough you are going through a cup and a night pad every two hours you may want to touch base with a dr though.
        That cannot be good for your iron levels or sleep.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Oh how I envy you. In a good month, I’m light on the first day with mild discomfort then heavy for two days then it starts tapering off the next two days. But I definitely cannot leave off a pad at night. Including spotting, my period lasts eight to nine days. On a bad month, I get horrible cramps, womb pain, diarrhea and nausea.

    • Sam says:

      There is no need to have some sort of contest oh who has the worse flow. We all suffer from it. There are also other symptoms we have to suffer from even if they have a light blood flow.

      My sister has a horrible case of endo. Last year she was bleeding for 6 months from fist size blood clots to spotting. Thankfully it’s stopped and we removed a benign growth. But She has pain pretty much every day even with light flow. Likesharp stabbing pains to pain shooting down her legs.

    • Dippit says:

      I’ve spent the last two years as: tampon (during the day); plus a heavy-duty nighttime pad (long tunic tops or dresses to cover bulge); sitting on a towel when at home or my parents’ house etc; sleeping on a towel every bloomin’ night – and leaking; clutching a hot-water bottle; being on about 20 days of every month; paranoically asking someone I trust when out and about to check my rear clothing for leakage when sitting too long etc… so I envy all with lighter periods however long they last.

      I’m just awaiting age and biology to take its natural course.

      Recently, on a short-term work contract, I was in places of the world where maintaining such hygiene is very difficult. When I was younger I spent prolonged time in such places and rarely though about it – this recent trip by peri-menopausal me had me feeling much more cavalier about it all and I had to take the approach that if there were a bit of leakage because I couldn’t get to facilities then it happened and ce sera. There are places in the world where we can’t afford to be precious about such things and life ain’t a Bodyform advert for women.

      Still, I hope I don’t have to wait out natural biology much longer.

      • Syko says:

        I feel your pain. I was actually one of those women who had 2-3 day periods so light that one tampon would have taken care of it (although I did change more often), and then here came peri-menopause. Two periods a month, each 8-10 days, and so heavy that some years later, when looking through my wardrobe, I realized everything was black, because black clothes didn’t show it so much when I leaked. Everything I owned was blood-stained. I couldn’t use tampons any more because the clots pushed them out (I know, TMI). I had to buy the hospital-size pads that they put on you after childbirth, and wear two at a time. This went on for ten years. I went to several doctors during that time. One did an endometrial biopsy and called me to tell me I was normal, no problems. Another tried a shock dose of hormones, which sent me into a 41 day period. I finally just gritted my teeth and lived with it. Finally the year I was 52, I only had three periods, and then nothing for a year. I thought I was done, everyone told me that once you go a year without a period, you’re done with them. However, Mother Nature played one last joke on me and I woke up one morning to find I’d started a period. Thankfully, though, that was the end of it. Other than the monthly and bi-monthly hemorrhages, though, I had it fairly easy since I’d never been crampy with periods (only bitchy), and I never had a hot flash.

        I do not miss Aunt Flo in the slightest.

    • Kelsey says:

      Alix, for years my periods were so light that I could manage them with ONE tampon. No cramps, no acne, cravings and they lasted two days tops. After I had a vaginal birth (my first was a c-section) I seriously thought I was dying because I had never bled that much. I called the nurses in like five times because I was bleeding sooo much. When I think about my birth story, my first thought is sitting in the hospital shower with all that blood. My periods went back to normal and a year later I got the copper IUD and holy hell! My periods were so heavy I could go through easily 20 tampons and nighttime pantyliners (during the day) and the PMS lasted a full week prior to the period arriving. It was an entire two week event every month. It was insane.
      Anyway, before my birth I wouldn’t have believed you about your version of spotting but now I’ve experienced a range, I do!

    • Wren33 says:

      That’s me. Super heavy extra duty overnight with wings last for two hours during the day on my heaviest days.

  5. Frannydays says:

    I can relate to this post because I woke up three times last night with the worst cramps. For some reason I thought it’d be a good idea to stop birth control to help myself lose weight. Did not help. Gave me pimples and the most viscuous period. Probably TMI :/

  6. Little Darling says:

    Kaiser – there is a FB group called Menstruation Nation. You should check it out.

    Like lena, I suffer absolutely awful PMDD and have endo as well. Periods, or the onset, can literally make it hard for me to even roll over in bed. I start symptoms right when I ovulate. Leaking is beyond, I call on the floods for my first two days, where when I stand I quite literally bleed out. Not even a slight exaggeration. It’s rough!! So, for once, I feel for Lena. This is a rarity.

    Sidenote, there is a suppository, if you have a medical marijuana card, that helps with cramps and relaxes your uterus.

    The more you know. (:

    • Shambles says:

      Right there with you, LD.

      Sometimes ovulation feels like an actual period, I’ve vomited from the severity of my cramps before, and I bleed through so frequently it’s almost depressing. And at night? Forget it. I know the moment I stand up from sleeping it’s going to be a crime scene.

      Good old Mary Jane is my best friend for instant pain relief.

      • Little Darling says:

        Shamby! We are period twinsies. My period can make me sick as well, vomiting and nausea. Forget about sneezing! That can bring forth the red seas too.

        Try the CBD oil on your back and front, and honestly, look up the suppository, it’s called Foria. <3

      • Shambles says:

        Thank you for the info, my darling (pun intended)! I’m looking forward to commiserating with you over our twin periods. Yay!

    • detritus says:

      Lovely darling! I am so sad you have to deal with endo. Did it get better for you post-pregnancy?

      Also, I have never heard of this suppository, thank you!

      • Little Darling says:

        detritus, yes it got SO much better for years after having my babies, but starting acting up again as I started hitting perimenopause. <3

  7. JulP says:

    My period lasted about that long when I switched from Mirena (which caused horrible cystic acne) back to oral BC. It was terrible :(

  8. xena says:

    I started to menstruate at the age of 10 in a regular cyclus of 14 days every 3 weeks, lasted till I was 16 and then it slowly with emphasis on slowly went down over the course of the next 10 years to 8 days every four weeks. Incredible pain plus warming bottle scars all over my belly included. Diagnosed with endometriosis at 32. Doctors yelled at me, disdained me and mistreated me due to being too sensitive and in too much pain during examinations. There cannot be enough famous women who call doctors out and warn women and girls all over the world. Usually I do not like Lenas attention seeking ways, but this is really important.

    • Blue says:

      ^This. I was told at 16 that I would just have to get used to it and was also brushed off by multiple doctors to the point I stopped going in my mid20s and thought this must be normal.
      (I’m old there too, Internet wasn’t as widespread).
      Fast forward to 36 and having a 278 day long period before someone finally took me seriously :S

      We need more women in the public sphere to talk about endo, about PCOS, etc.

      • Colleen says:

        @blue, I understand completely. My problems started at 14 and thru the years I’ve tried everything. Birth control of any kind makes everything worse. Therefore I haven’t been on bc since I was 28. I was told at 26 that a complete hysterectomy would fix everything. Um, no thank you. I just deal. Diet changes haven’t helped. But at this point, I’m headed into menopause anyway, so I won’t tell have to deal much longer. But nearly 6 months? How do you deal? Ugh. I just wanna give you a hug.

    • Frida says:

      This happened to me, only I was diagnosed with Von Willebrand’s Disease, a blood clotting disorder. My hematologist says it’s super common among women, but many go undiagnosed by doctors claiming that 2-week periods and horrific cramps are “normal”.

  9. ell says:

    i also like to bond over periods. although for some reason it seems that all my close friends have light/ painless ones while i don’t, which sucks.

  10. OrigialTessa says:

    I read about six months ago that calcium can really help with PMDD, which I have terrible time with, and IT DOES!! I take a calcium chew every morning with my cereal and I am a different person around my period now. Less mood swings, less cramping and bloating, and less aversion to my poor husband who goes from Don Juan to me one week to Chewbacca the next, I swear. I recommend everyone give it a try. It’s worth at least a try.

    • Little Darling says:

      It TOTALLY does. Seriously!!

      I like Calm with Calcium, it’s an amazing drink, the magnesium and the calcium together are unbeatable for the mood swings etc.

      Collagen gelatin in the powder form is also really great at regulating horomones.

      I use both daily in liquid. The Calm is a nice tasting drink when mixed with water, and the collagen I mix in with Tulsi tea rose flavor. Research has shown that Tulsi can lower elevated stress hormone levels, improve the body’s response to stress, and enhance mental clarity.

      • OrigialTessa says:

        Thanks for the tips! I am a believer for life. I can’t believe there aren’t PSA’s telling this to every woman. It’s life changing.

    • Kaiser says:

      This is a great tip, thanks!

    • Celebitchy says:

      I will try this too!

    • Erinn says:

      If you are prone to kidney stones, watch out when taking calcium supplements – they’re linked to kidney stones. But also having a calcium deficiency can cause oxalate levels to rise which also results in stones. I think they say the ‘safest’ way to do it is to get calcium from your foods rather than supplements.

      • jwoolman says:

        People don’t always absorb calcium from foods (especially dairy) very well. For kidney stone formers, calcium citrate can be a safe form but the most important thing is to drink lots and lots of water to keep precipitation low. You can google for various recommendations, but I’ve seen research suggesting up to four liters per day and to spread it out over the day, even interrupting sleep to do it if needed.

        Calcium and magnesium are good for muscle and nerve pain in general. I have a family problem with leg/foot cramps and when those are happening or I’ve bumped into too many things (or once when I fell off a bicycle…), chewable calcium at high doses can help quickly. Nonchewables take about an hour to kick in, chewables only about 10-15 minutes if they are going to work for your problem. During one acute episode of leg pain when I was younger, it relieved the pain for several hours and made the difference between being able to walk up and down the stairs and having to crawl… You have to experiment to see what you need in acute episodes. I avoided more than 2 grams (2000 mg) calcium for an acute dose, nowadays I seem to need at least 1000g up to 1500 mg. I keep some chewables by my bed just in case. I keep an eye on calcium levels in my food and supplement as needed to keep such problems at bay. At least when I was younger, I found that calcium supplementation does have a preventative effect for me.

        Balanced calcium and magnesium is a good idea in general supplementation (half as much elemental magnesium as elemental calcium). Using various forms of calcium can help if you’re not sure what you absorb best. I used to take a supplement that had calcium from three different sources (different chemical compounds of calcium).

    • Down and Out says:

      I take calcium, too, and it does help with some symptoms. I also take 5-HTP to battle the moods swings caused by drops in serotonin. My serotonin levels plummet to the point where I’ve felt despondent and suicidal–it’s really, really bad, and it’s really tough to keep in perspective and know that it will pass.

  11. littlemissnaughty says:

    All I wanna yell is “Get thee to a gyno!” Even if it’s just a one-time thing, she might want that checked out.

    I’m torn on how much period talk is too much. I think mentioning it or trading experiences and/or funny/crappy incidents is perfectly fine. But I know women (very few) who talk about it in detail and they talk about it a LOT. Who knows why. I hate periods, even if mine are short and usually right on time. But PMS and cramps can be a bitch. So once it’s over for the month, I usually don’t want to deal with it or talk much about it until it’s time again.

    • xena says:

      But what if the gyno is mistreating you? The experts who finally helped me did not even pretend to be surprised about how I was treated before. There’s a high chance that you describe incredible pain to doctors and they will ignore you. And that’s why it matters to know that there are experts out there who want to take you seriously and diagnose and treat you. I have experiences with austrian and german doctors – this are not countries where you expect to be so substantially mistreated.

      • Erica_V says:

        ^this – I used to get migraines with auras at least once a month if not twice. My gyno had me taking Loestrin 24 as a birth control. I lost my insurance and she wouldn’t see me so I went to Planned Parenthood for my birth control. My NP took one look at my chart and said “you have migraines with auras and you’re taking THAT?!?! You’re going to have a stroke!”

        From that day onward I have been on a progestin only pill and I have had only 2 migraines in 5 years – both holiday stress related.

        While telling this story to my former sister in law, who worked as a pharmaceutical rep, she quite boldly told me that my dr was probably being paid by the phama company to push that drug and it was likely she knew what she was giving me was bad but didn’t care.

        Long story short – I don’t always believe doctors always work in our best interests and I agree with you that it’s easy to be mistreated.

    • LooseSeal says:

      She’s spoken at length about her endometriosis so if her experience is anything like mine I’m sure she’s been to myriad gynos. Sadly, most of them are completely unhelpful when it comes to endo. I’ve been told it’s in my head and that some people just have low pain tolerances. I’ve been accused of just trying to get drugs. Doctors have told me I just need to have a baby because it’s a great treatment. Yeah make a human to treat my cramps! I’m doing great now but mostly because of experimenting with diet and other holistic methods I’ve read about in endo communities online. I have a great OBGYN now but I was well into self treating by the time I found her.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I didn’t know about her endometriosis. I honestly cannot listen to her for too long (she did one of those roundtable things and I wanted to slap her) so I wasn’t aware. That sucks.

  12. Sixer says:

    IKWYM, Kaiser. I quite miss talking about my periods since I got shoved into a chemo-induced early menopause. I don’t miss the periods but I do the camaraderie in talking about them. I’m reduced to waffling on about the single old lady hair on my chin. (One day it’s not there. The next day it’s a quarter inch long. How does that work?) Not so much fun, at all.

    • Little Darling says:

      WTF is up with the rando freaking black chin hair that happens with horomonal changes? I hit perimenopause when I was 36 and BAM black chin hair. One long guy.

      Sorry about your chemo Sixer, I had no idea. Glad you’re healthy and well.

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      @Sixer
      Hugs! Glad you are well now.
      I never had any ‘camaraderie’ of talking about them, maybe because I must be the only woman on earth who never had any PMS…. I never had ‘much’ either and got a cycle of about 35-40 days for my whole life (it only changed in my 40ies).

      • Sixer says:

        I had a long cycle like that too. I never kept up with it well and Aunt Flo always came as a surprise (and an accident sometimes!)

      • jwoolman says:

        I was fairly regular until the Reagan Administration. So I’ve always blamed Reagan’s awful stress-inducing wars and warlets for that… :)

        But I always had early warning – within the 24 hours before flow started. I would get an unmistakeable hand tremor. Not fun but useful.

    • Kaiser says:

      I also love to talk about facial hair, but that feels like a conversation fewer women want to have. I pluck my chin hairs, no apologies. They are thick and black and I hate them.

      • Celebitchy says:

        I swear by surgiwax, the brazilian kind, for your face. (I like the formula better than the facial wax they have.) You just microwave it and there are no strips. You have to make sure it’s the right creamy consistency before applying it and is not too hot.

      • Little Darling says:

        I get my chin threaded full stop nowadays, but that one hair always pops out before it’s time to go again. I will DEF. try the surgiwax!!! Thanks CB.

        Kaiser – my bff got me tweezers for the car, so I could take care of the strays.

      • Kaiser says:

        My skin is so sensitive, most waxes make me break out, thus… I pluck. It’s a whole grooming ritual at this point.

      • Sixer says:

        I have only the one and it’s the bane of my bloody life! I want to know how it is NOT there when I brush my teeth before I got to bed and, by the time I get up in the morning, IS there and is nigh-on half a bloody inch long.

        I could moan about this for days.

        I pluck. Since it’s just the one shitty bugger.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Sixer, it’s probably lighting. You know what will always show it? Dressing room lighting.

        I wax and pluck. Thank you, mediterranean genes. “Oh you have such lovely hair, it’s so thick and dark and shiny.” Yes. You know where else that sh*t grows? Everything comes at a price.

      • Sixer says:

        I think it likely is lighting – and my eyes, since I’ve taken off my glasses by the time I brush my teeth. But I will still hate The Chin Hair with a passion. I’m dreading the day it gets a twin.

      • lucy2 says:

        I felt so, so alone in that until other women began talking about it.
        Laser works for me, it’s not permanent but definitely helps. Otherwise, tweezers.

      • Shark Bait says:

        I often pluck my chin hairs when I am bored. No shame. Sometimes I will do it in the passenger seat of a long car ride and my husband teases me mercilessly. I have tried waxing, but there a a few stubborn hairs that just won’t quit!

      • Amanduh says:

        Sixer: Bugger!!!!!! I’m Canadian but my Granny was from Surrey and I find myself calling everything a ‘bugger’…My ode to her, I suppose. I only found out its true meaning last year!!!! Still love the word and use it to describe anything from my cats to my kids.
        Very versatile.

    • susanne says:

      Heh. Mine is blonde, and no one can see it, but I can feel it. Maddening. I’m not in peri quite yet, so I’m sure blondie will gain some friends. I do not stand for it. Plucked immediately.

  13. Shambles says:

    Normalize periods!!!!!

  14. Insomniac says:

    This thread makes me very grateful for my hysterectomy. Don’t miss Auntie Flo one bit.

  15. Lucy2 says:

    That’s rough, and I’m all for talking about it and normalizing the discussion, but anytime it’s Lena I feel like she’s just doing it for attention. :(

  16. manda says:

    13 days is bad, I wonder if she’s on the pill? She should see a doc, she may have fibroids or something.

    My period story: I am close to 40 (in like 3 days….) and my periods are like 2 days max. I use like two tampons total. I really got nothing going on. I am so worried I am going to go through early menopause, even though my doc says its fine. I always thought hooray for menopause, but now I am more like, please, not yet!!! Remember that episode of Golden Girls, when Blanche went through it and Dorothy explained that she was thrilled to be rid of hers? I figured I’d be a Dorothy, not a Blanche.

    I’m sorry for all you guys that get bad cramps! I know they are awfullllllll!!!!!

    • Erinn says:

      Happy early birthday, Manda!
      I’m on depo and one of the common side effects is lack of period. And once that happened I was celebrating hard. We’re thinking about having a baby in the next couple years, and I honestly dread going back to having to deal with periods again. I always had a lot of pain and had pretty heavy ones, so this has made life a lot easier. I also have fibromyalgia which amplifies pain – including menstrual pain unfortunately. It sucks because I’ve felt like an old lady since I was in Jr High as far as pain goes, so getting to skip a monthly pain spike is pretty nice.

    • Sixer says:

      Happy early birthday from me too!

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m soooo a Dorothy. I can’t wait to be done with it. I’m 40 also, and got it at 11, so I’ve had enough! In high school I’d end up at the nurse’s office, I’d get so much pain and nausea. It’s gotten better, but I still occasionally get bad cramps and/or PMS. Some months it’s all fine, others I feel like I’m dying. And I always get one random zit and a back ache. Boo.

    • manda says:

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, y’all!

  17. ash says:

    got mine at 10 after I wished for it because I thought I would be a woman like my mom (my idol)…LOL

    but yea I had the 10 day periods with heavy clotting and bleeding and all that jazz…. but honestly , for the last 3 years I always get mine at work or in the middle of the night like 3am…. its so peculiar lol.

  18. Linda says:

    There is hope down the road. I completely stopped having my period at 42 years old. The last month’s before were a bit harsh with lots of bleeding and frequent periods. One time lasted about a month. I am 62 now. Never had a hot flash or any other problems. It is glorious to have these problems as a 20 year old memory.

  19. Melibea says:

    And we need to know this because….

  20. Maura says:

    I once had my period for 20 days! That was so so horrible. 😭😭😭

  21. Scarlet Vixen says:

    I grew up with 4 older brothers and a mum who NEVER talked about ANY bodily functions, so I never knew ‘period talk’ was a thing! I was scared to death when I got my first period. Eventually (like, after 3yrs) I worked up the courage to ask Mum about her periods, because mine were all over the place. She said she’d always had hers for 4 days, every 28 days, never had a single cramp. When Menopause hit she literally just stopped having periods. I thought, “Well, maybe there’s hope for me yet.”
    NOPE. For 25 years I had: 9 day long super heavy periods (super plus tampon AND an overnite pad every 2 hours) every…21-37 days. Massive cramps both front & back, groin pain so bad I could barely stand for more than 5min at a time before it felt like my uterus was going to FALL OUT, nausea, diarrhea, low blood pressure to the point of almost blacking out, pimples, lack of sleep, you name it. I switched to a menstrual cup for a few years because I felt like I was filling up my own landfill (HIGHLY recommend it!!). But by 36 with 3 kids I just couldn’t live with my periods running my life anymore. I got an IUD, and now I barely even spot anymore. Still have occasional backache & depressed mood, but my IUD has literally been life changing.

    I don’t think we women get enough credit for going thru life with periods, doing everything that men do, while the people around us never know. We may complain to our girlfriends here or there. But, I have gone thru military training, sleeping in a fox hole with no access to showers while menstruating. I’ve worked retail/customer service jobs side by side with men and have hundreds of customers a day while no one ever knew I felt like I was going to die at least 1 week out of every 3-4. Women in government, in the medical field, in construction, in childcare, etc etc just going about our business every fricking day while suffering for decades. We are bad ass, ladies!

  22. serena says:

    Dear god.. I cannot even imagine.. It’s just awful having it for 5 days, even 1 to be honest, but 13?? I’d go insane.

  23. Thaisajs says:

    It happens. My cycle got messed up a few years ago and I have heavy, scary bleeding for more than 10 days at a time for several months. I went to the doctor and had to go on birth control pills to get my hormones under control. It took a few months but things went back to normal.

    I honestly don’t know why she’d want to talk about this in public, tho.

  24. Brittney Buckley says:

    I’m on day 20 right now. Ready to rip out this IUD… but afraid to be without it in our scary new country.

  25. Lindy says:

    This thread is everything. Periods and chin hairs and bonding over those things. :-) I often think about the fact that on a given day, I’m running around at the office, doing a million things, being a kick-ass single mom at home, sometimes in the middle of excruciating cramps, or extra-heavy days (always fun having to duck out of meetings to go change your tampon) or working through a miserable hormone headache.

    Can you even imagine guys doing any of that? They couldn’t.

  26. Malificent says:

    My record was eight weeks — not always a heavy flow, but non-stop. I tended to have very high progesterone levels, so I would go 4 or 5 months without a period and then get one that lasted for weeks. I’d get some signs of a period more or less monthly, but no flow. Lots of bloating (another charming progesterone side effect). But when I did get periods, fortunately I only had minor cramping.

    • NorthernStar says:

      @Malificent: oh the progesterone bloat! I had the Mirena for almost 10 months and it felt like I was 11 weeks pregnant the whole time. I could not take it anymore and had to have it removed.

  27. NeoCleo says:

    I no longer have a period and I DO NOT MISS IT ONE BIT!

  28. tealily says:

    Mine used to be 3 days long, all through my teens and early twenties, no joke. It was amazing. These days it’s a full week or more. Just another part of my youth I didn’t appreciate until it was gone.

  29. miasys says:

    Period talk is SO important! Wish this came from anyone but her. Surprised she even noticed tbh, since her head is stuck so far up her ass. Before my endo was dx, I had a 3 mo borderline hemorrhagic period with a Mirena. Apparently some women do not tolerate it well (surprise!). After years & years of un/misdiagnosed endo, had a hysterectomy a few years ago & went from debilitating, chronic pain to completely pain free almost overnight. I’ve had many, many talks with my 13 yo daughter about periods. While she may not be looking forward to it, she’s definitely not afraid of it & knows my experience won’t be hers(she also has no idea of how much pain I was actually in). What kills me is that for many of her friends, the only talk they get is the one from school.

  30. LaMaitresse says:

    I’m 48, peri menopause, never been on birth control because of disordered eating (concerned it would make me “fat” with “big boobs”). My periods have always been 7-9 days, bad cramps, worse now, and the chin hairs, well, I could have donated them for my brother’s hair transplant! I also have a funny thing now going on with the hair follicles on my bikini line, I get cysts for no reason, and my dermatologist recommended laser hair removal which I’m not thrilled about since I don’t want to spend 2k to have a bald bikini, not my preferred look, but the cysts are painful. Has anyone else had the hair follicles go crazy on the bikini, it’s hormones, and sports manly that does it.

  31. I Choose Me says:

    When I was younger the cramps used to be so bad that I wished I would die. Spent many days in the bathroom vomiting and going to the toilet. Went to various doctors and I’m told I don’t have endo and it would get better once I get older and my cycle becomes more regular. It did get better and now I only have pain, cramps etc., during the odd month or so. I know a few women who do have endo and they say the pain is beyond imagining.

    All that to say I feel for every single woman who has a rough time of it.

  32. Carmen says:

    When I was in my late 30s I developed fibroid tumors which caused periods and cramps that lasted two weeks at a time and were so horrible I was literally screaming in pain for half the month. I was also severely anemic from losing so much blood every month. After a D and C proved useless, I finally opted for a hysterectomy at age 38 and it was the best days work my doctor ever did. No more pain, no more periods, and I had a normal menopause 15 years later.

  33. LIS says:

    sorry but endometriosis isn’t a “small illness” it has ravaged many lives with pain and infertility, mine included. I was bleeding nearly all the time before they took my 2nd ovary out, and then they left remnants, so I continued to bleed and ache after that surgery even. 7 surgeries in ten years, the last being hysterectomy, which isn’t indicated for endometriosis but it is for adenomyosis which I had as well. it gets to be a lot. she is likely not only complaining about the 13 day swamp ass (bc tampons are a thing of the past, trust.) but the possible impending loss of her fertility.

    • L says:

      I’m sorry you’ve suffered so. I added my endo story earlier up this thread of comments. To say it bothers me when people belittle those who suffer with it, is a massive understatement. Only those who have gone through it know how terrible it is.

  34. Emily says:

    I feel for Lena. I have PCOS and had a bad reaction after my second dose from the birth control shot. I ended up bleeding regularly for a month. Much love to Planned Parenthood for helping me through that.

  35. Rocio says:

    I LOVE period talk!!!!! Mine lasts between 5/7 days the most. Sometimes I get the worst cramps, specially at night. I woke up feeling like I’m dying but nothing that a painkiller cannot solve. Sometimes they are painless. I’ve never taken birth control pills or hormones.

    • Jegede says:

      All this is me too.

      Except mine have NEVER being painless.

    • nicole says:

      Me too, when I was younger my cramps could be really bad for the first day, then after that I was usually fine, now that I am early forties, my periods have no cramps hardly at all, and they can last for three days, stop for two, and then come back for another couple of days, they seem to be getting easier as I am older, but I have never used a tampon in my life, always pads, but I have been loosing weight and on a diet with regular exercise, so I think that helps big time.

  36. So is that why she cuts her bangs crazy??

  37. Eden75 says:

    I feel her pain and feel sorry for her. Endo is no joke. I can’t stand her otherwise but I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. My mother suffered from that and had a full hysterectomy at 29.

    I suffer from long periods as well, 10-14 days, every 14 days. I do not have Endo but suffer from a series of other not so fun issues and keep hoping to enter menopause but so far, no dice. I will take hot flashes and lack of sleep over this any day. The doctor’s office is my second home and we have installed a Mirena to help. Before the Mirena, mine were 15-20 days every 10 days or so. Fun stuff I tell ya. This out of whack hormone s**t is, well, shi**y.

  38. Spiderpig says:

    Talking about periods is not comparable to talking about the flu because the flu is not stigmatised. I dislike Lena but she’s 100% right to talk about and destigmatise and normalise menstruation.

  39. GigiC says:

    My worst was 7 weeks and heavy, back in 2014. Not normal at all. Painful and by the end I was so weak and could barely get out of bed without getting dizzy. But I had no health insurance then and the doc wrote it off as not a big deal. Come to find out, it was a hormone problem that I’ve been since working on to correct.

    I think discussing menstruation and women topics are extremely important.

  40. Wiccanwonder says:

    Oh the joys of Depo injections. 7 years without “Lady Days” no cramp, no foul moods, no black granny knickers. Working with horses and riding every day it was really a blessing. Whoever developed it, I salute you!!!!

  41. me says:

    God women have it the worst. Periods, pregnancy, and then menopause. Like why God why? Couldn’t men have gotten some of this lol? I know it’s all a natural process so women can bear children (that will grow up to hate you anyways lol), but if it’s such a natural process shouldn’t it be less painful…or not painful at all? Jeez men have it so much easier it’s really not fair.

  42. Nicki says:

    Hopefully, if anything, this story just generates positive dialogue within the greater reaches of the world about women’s bodies, and about reproductive health.

    I’ve had 13-16 day periods a few times, it’s zero fun! I totally get it.

  43. EMAu says:

    I don’t understand the fascination the US media has with this woman.