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Period Survival Guide

Period Survival Guide

Menstrual hygiene awareness day took place on May 28th, so we’ve put together a little guide for the girlies that can help during that time of the month. We have chosen to cover a few topics we feel are important, and included some advice to help with the symptoms we regularly experience as females.

PMS Management

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition which occurs during the luteal phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Symptoms of PMS include anxiety, breast tenderness, bloating, acne, fatigue and headaches - lucky us! Up to 90% of women have experienced some form of PMS during their reproductive years.

Some supplements may be helpful in managing PMS symptoms. Studies have suggested that evening primrose oil may be effective in treating PMS symptoms such as low mood, irritability and bloating. Evening primrose oil’s benefits may be due to its high content of gamma-linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid. Research has shown that gamma linoleic acid improved severity and duration of PMS compared to placebo, and it has also been found effective in the treatment of acne, a common symptom of PMS, due to its ability to modulate inflammatory processes. Yay for GLA!

B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium and magnesium are essential for normal hormone balance, so it is vital to get adequate amounts of these from your diet or with the help of supplements if needed.

When compared with placebo, vitamin B6 supplementation has been found effective in relieving overall PMS symptoms, especially low mood associated with contraceptive pills. Vitamin B6 is found in foods such as chicken, fish, eggs and wholegrain cereals. Magnesium supplementation has also been found to decrease the severity of water retention, low mood, cravings and anxiety related to PMS. Magnesium is found in wholegrains, dark leafy vegetables, legumes and nuts.

Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient deficiency and is the leading cause of anaemia worldwide, and heavy menstrual bleeding is one of the many causes of iron deficiency anaemia. In fact, the average woman loses 14mg of iron per period, and women with heavy periods may be at risk of developing iron deficiency anaemia as they will have a harder time replenishing their stores to compensate for losses. 

Personally, I like to take a multivitamin with iron and B vitamins during that time of the month to compensate for potential losses of iron and other nutrients, and to help prevent anaemia. You could also change your diet slightly during this time of the month to consume more iron and more nutrient dense foods, but if you are experiencing severe symptoms during menstruation this may be difficult to accomplish - it’s okay to use the help of a multi!

Digestion and immunity

And it doesn’t stop there, changes in digestion during a woman’s cycle is a commonly discussed topic; gastrointestinal symptoms are common perimenstrually due to changes in hormone levels. Progesterone (which peaks during ovulation) relaxes smooth muscle, which can lead to constipation, whereas prostaglandins (the hormone responsible for uterine contractions) may cause smooth muscle contractions which can enhance gastrointestinal pain and diarrhea.

In addition to that, women are more prone to illness 7-10 days after ovulation starts. During ovulation, oestrogen levels drop and progesterone levels rise, which leads to a suppressed immune system after ovulation starts due to the immunosuppressive effects of progesterone. If you happen to catch colds every month like clockwork, now you know why!


Most of us can relate to the cravings for chocolate during that time of the month, right? We experience cravings during our menstrual cycle due to changes in hormone levels. Although it could be related to a drop in magnesium levels prior to our period (dark chocolate is a source of magnesium), it's completely normal and the majority of women share the same experience. We specifically see a change in eating habits, especially an increase in foods such as sweets, desserts and salty foods. This leads to an increased intake of carbohydrates which can help increase serotonin levels and alleviate some of the symptoms we experience - thank you carbs!

It's important to remember that it is ok to give into these cravings to some extent - especially when it can help us feel better. However, it is also important to avoid binging or overindulging on any foods - as this could contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms (it’s all about balance!)

What Are the MOBU Girlies Saying?

We’re mostly women working at MOBU, and here’s what the girls said when we discussed what can help during that time of the month. It is important to listen to your body and be gentle with yourself. Try to stick to your regular routine but don’t forget to check in on yourself. It’s okay to have to take extra breaks, to skip a workout, or to give in to cravings. And hot water bottles, ibuprofen, and watching something on TV can work wonders on those down days.

    What helps you get through that time of the month?


    Let us know by commenting below!
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    1 comment

    • Do you do 50+ multivitamin for women.

      Dawn Head

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