Running and Your Period

So, first-off, if period and vagina stuff makes you uncomfortable, maybe this post isn’t for you.  But we’re all grown-ups, so come in!  Ladies, let’s chat.  Men, learn something that you can help your wife out with!

I have cramps for the first legitimate time in like, 5 years.

Thanks to Mirena (which we will talk about fully here in the future), I’ve managed to live, work, and run without much period or issue, which has been really really nice.  But Mirena lasts for a measly 5 years (totally kidding about the measly part), and it was coming up on time for me to get it taken out.  I’d made arrangements with my gyno to start on the pill prior to having it removed, which meant there was no gap in my coverage, but it means that for the first time in 5 years, I’m having a full-blown period with cramps, bleeding, bloating, and now I’m looking for a way to deal with it that isn’t necessarily going to require a sideline for me – especially on those weeks when I have a long trail run that could require me to change a tampon in the middle of the run.   Which is gross, but hey, it happens.

So my running and period options (given that I have a 12-miler on Sunday) are this, depending on where we are on Sunday.

Playtex Sport

I’ve been a fan of Playtex Sport for a while, and prior to me getting my Mirena, they were all I used, a lot in part because Playtex sponsored the state school I went to, so in my time at URec, all I’d have to do was scoop up a giant armful of them, and not have to worry about spending a dime on the stuff while I was living off of a student loan and a server’s paycheck.

Playtex sport was great because it was one of the more comfortable tampons I’ve used, and seemed to stay put when I was teaching classes or working out. I have not yet run a ton of mileage because I wasn’t running at the time, but I can say that for my activity level, epescially when I was at camp in the Poconos, that it it really did alright. Now, one thing I didn’t love was the scent that they put in all of their tampons – there’s no way it can be good for your stuff, and I don’t think that can be great for the environment, right?

So, though I’d given something called Instead a try in high school, which I really couldn’t get to stay in place, I reconsidered the Diva Cup. A friend of mine, Melanie, is making an epic journey across the world, and if you’ve ever traveled, you sort of know that tampons aren’t usually something you can just find at your local CVS, especially when you’re hiking 15 plus miles a day. She started using the Diva Cup, and recommended I try it. I researched it, and picked one up the other day.

Diva Cup
Diva Cup

Now, it looks a little intimidating, but evidently, you can keep it in for 12 hours, and the way it works is that you sort of fold it up, Nuva Ring style, pop it in, and once you get it to sit in place correctly, which is the tricky part in the beginning, you can wear it for up to 12 hours without any leakage, or a string sticking out (which unfortunately can cause some chafing difficulty as well).

I tried it over night. After a few trial times of getting it in, I got it to sit correctly and walked around comfortably and was able to sleep without any leaks or having to get up and changed anything. Plus the bit about poisoning yourself or the environment (which sounds super dramatic, I know), is taken care of by the fact that it’s a thick, rubberized material, not bleached and scented cotton. If you’re into that sort of thing.

So I will try to keep you guys posted on how this is continuing to work out for me, especially as I continue my prep for Chicago.

My super-active girls – how do you successfully deal with your period while you remain active?

7 thoughts on “Running and Your Period

  1. I totally appreciate this topic. I’ve heard about the diva cup and I know ppl who have used it buuuut it still seemed/seems very intimidating. I found out last year that I have endometriosis when I went off b.c for the first time since high school. Periods now can really be terrible so this is good to know! Keep us updated on how you feel with is while running etc

    1. I definitely will! Ugh period stuff can already be so uncomfortable, and even more so with endometriosis I’m sure. How do you keep the pain under control?

  2. I have Mirena right now so I get to enjoy the comforts of no period zone. However, my sister was touting the benefits of the Diva Cup and I would definitely try that out when my full blow period comes back to town eventually. I prefer O.B. tampons because they work the best for me, whether it’s light or heavy. I like to tell myself that the absence of the applicator makes them “better” for the environment. 🙂 If that string is hanging out, sometimes I ball it up and just kind of shove it up there to get it out of the way. They aren’t joking though when they say being active helps cramps – usually the endorphins help you get over the hump.

    1. Mirena was such a wonderful addition to my life! I was so sad to see it go, but I wasn’t quite ready to have another one put in. I will definitely consider it again once I’m really done with kids and stuff.

      I used to use OB tampons, and I found them to be really really absorbent. I have not tried the trick with the string but I may try it for the next time I have to use a tampon!

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