My 301st Period (or thereabouts)

I got my first period when I was 14. I was away with my Mum in Adelaide by ourselves (in a family with 4 kids this was some lucky break) so it was as good as it could be until she called my Dad to tell him on the carphone which had my brother AND his friend that I had a crush on it and I died with embarrassment. The End.

Except it wasn’t. No, no, it’s been 28 years since and every month my period comes and every month it surprises me despite using period trackers and being fairly in tune with my body. Give or take the 3 years that I was pregnant and then breastfeeding there’s been some periods had in my lifetime when I think about it.

Now I have been very lucky with my period over the years…it’s been a straight bat situation where I suffer from little pain and despite the inconvenience of it all, it’s been manageable. In fact, I suffer more when I ovulate with quite a lot of pain, it’s like my body struggles to lay that egg.

Since kids the hormones have been worse for sure – mood swings and surging hormones make for some interesting times for everyone that’s for sure. Just ask Rob and the girls when I lose my mind over a badly stacked dishwasher on day three. I have a period tracker (I use LIFE which is free and I use very simply to track the days) I have recently listened to a Podcast with Lucy Peach: how to period like a unicorn which was very interesting to listen to the cycle and what is going on with hormones and energy levels throughout the course of a cycle (worth listening to if you can) and am generally trying to be more in tune with my body rather than being surprised. Again. It’s only been 28 years Beth, get your shit together.

But now I am 42 and things seem to be changing. Again. And not in a great way. Maybe it’s the start of peri-menopause (although I really haven’t had any significant symptoms to make me believe that I am there…yet) but my 42 year old period now comes every 3 weeks. Yep. Just when you thought you had done your time, it pops up more than ever. WHY? It’s heavier and there’s not enough evening primrose oil in the world to soothe me on day three.

I KNOW I am not alone with this. These changes that I know every single one of us go through and yet there doesn’t seem to be much info on it does there? Heavier more frequent periods. Revolting moods. I want to know what your period looks like these days so we can all give each other virtual back rubs and pass the fruit and nut around because dear LORD haven’t we done enough already? You may want to check out some friend’s podcast: THE HOT FLUSH that covers all things peri-menopause (but I’m not quite hot flushing/sweating yet).

What does your period look like these days?
I don’t actually want to see it, but you can tell me.
Are you heading into Per-menopause?
Do you get your period every 3 weeks now too?
Got any hints or tips to share with us that isn’t bloody essential oils I can get wholesale access to?


  1. Mirena. No periods. Done!
    And yes I had endless spotting and bleeding with it at first, and had it taken out. Then someone else said to stay on the pill for the first few months of getting a new one, so I tried that, and haven’t had a period in 9 years.

  2. Linda Jenkins says

    Regular periods started at 14. No issues. Heatlhy pregnancies.Starting heading to Menopause at 49 – all dried up now at 54. For me the hot flushes were the worst as they greatly disturbed my sleep and they were a bit embarassing in work situations!
    Then after some very heavy bleeding and investigations I had a Mirena inserted to even out the hormones. No issues since then. Hope that is not too much of an overshare?

  3. Ah! the joys huh?!
    I’m twining with you on a lot in this post Beth. I too am a ‘77 vintage and started when I was 14 (got mine on Fathers Day so it’s 29 years this Sunday). I had a breezy 21 years of a regular 26 day cycle with a 4 day period. After my son was born when I was 35, my periods decided to go rogue and present me with a scene out of Dexter every 14 to 18 days. I couldn’t sneeze, laugh or cough without the sheer panic of thinking I’d flooded everywhere. My moods matched the murder scenario and I was just a hormonal mess. Sex was a no go zone which was also a nightmare.

    My Ob-Gyn told me about a Mirena uterine implant and I’ve not looked back. Had in popped in in her rooms 3.5 years ago and will get another in 1.5 years. NO Periods once my body got used to it ( about 4 months) and my moods are back to normal, except when my child blatantly refuses to get dressed in the morning ( buts that’s normal right?!).
    It’s not for everyone and I strongly urge people to research and discuss with your doctor, but it’s been a life/game changer for me.

  4. Leanne Cutajar says

    I started my periods when I was 11. I was always regular, and they lasted 6-7 days. I’d get PMS symptoms like headaches, nausea and general shittiness but I managed them and “put up with it”as that was my normal (more on that below).
    My periods then changed after I had my daughter at 34. They got more unpredictable, heavier then not heavy and not as regular. Total chaos.
    I had my son at 36 and after having him they completely went into a spin. They got more painful, heavy and I was virtually haemorrhaging every month. I remember one period they lasted over two weeks. I then made an appointment to see my amazing OBGYN. He suggested the Mirena, which I then had put in place. It was a bit weird to begin with, then I felt so much better as my periods were more regular and lighter.
    Three years after having it placed my periods began getting heavier again and I just didn’t feel good. My iron levels didn’t exist and after having a massacre type incident when out to lunch with my husband I made an immediate appointment with my GP to then see my OBGYN again. The GP said what I thought was my normal wasn’t and that I shouldn’t have to feel like that anymore.
    After my consultation with my beautiful GYNO he suggested an endometrial ablation. He said it isn’t for everyone but if I was certain I’d finished childbearing then, that could be an option. So after talking with hubby who didn’t hesitate, we booked in for the surgery and I haven’t looked back since. I haven’t had my periods for, coming up, 3 years now and it is the best thing I’ve ever done. I still get hormonal but I’ll take that over what I’d been through anyday.

  5. Oh what a timely post as I was just at the doctors,again, talking about my messed up vagina & irregular periods (insert fed up emoji face here!)
    I got my period at 12! And up until baby number 4, I was on a 28 day cycle & it always arrived on a Monday around 9am. I would last for 5-6 days with one day in the middle where I wouldn’t bleed. It was pain free, light & not an issue. But for the last 5 years I’ve been on a 28 day cycle, sometimes 24 & sometimes 28. Sometimes it’s heavy, sometimes it’s pathetically light. Sometimes I spot in between. It’s fucked. In the past 6 weeks I’ve had my period THREE FUCKING TIMES!!! I’m so over it. I was tested last year to see if I was peri. Nope. Just a mega bitch getting hot flushes who can’t sleep & has irregular periods. FUN!!!
    I wish my body would just make up its mind about what it’s doing & then do it properly! I’m on day 3. God help my family, especially my kids who I have to get ready for book parade this morning.
    P.S also listened to Lucy Peach & quite like her theory on it all.

  6. Open honesty and full sharing:
    Started at 12 yo with regular 4 weekly periods. Went on the pill at 13 due to super heavy flow and mega cramps lasting the full 7 days. Was on the pill till 20. Came off and everything had calmed down. Had the copper IUD in at 21, gradually made cramps worse. Had it removed at 24 and a Mirena put in. I still got my peroid, dispite my sister not getting hers with the Mirena. Had it removed at 27. Now aged 30 I am just starting to feel my ovulations and am more aware of my cycle.

    A typical period now is 4-5 days long with heavy bleeding and mega cramps (what I’d imagin labour feels like. That bad!!) from clots for the first 24hrs, almost to the dot. Then no pain and reduced flow which continues to slow down to nothing for the next 2 or so days. Then the residual fluid takes a day to clean out.

    I am prone to pretty bad PMS in the few days leading up to my period as well as my boobs almost doubling in size and being very tender. Going from a DD cup to, this past period, most likely an EE-F cup. Along with hormonal achne on my chin and sometimes sholders and upper back.

  7. I’m with you on this one – things do change and it’s no fun! One thing that will really help you is to start taking a product called happy hormones – it’s an Australian based company and all natural. I’ve been taking it for 18 months and can honestly say I’ve never been in a crappy ‘ I want to kill everyone’ mood since! I couldn’t live with out it ( actually I’m too scared to stop taking it as gods knows what will happen! )

    My story is a little different as I recently had a hysterectomy at age 42. Due to extremely heavy periods that almost made me anemic and fibroids it was the best decision for my health especially after I’ve have three babies and she has done her job. The thought of never ever having a period again has been worth it!

  8. Caroline Coady says

    Another vote for the Mirena. Just had a new one put in at the age of 45 so this will take me through to 50 when hopefully Mother Nature will sort herself out!

  9. My period has never been steady. In my twenties it came with increased pain. I’ve never been able to have contraception with hormones because it straight up sends me bat shit cray. After my child rearing years I finally got the diagnosis of Endometriosis, a year later Adenomyosis. I was holding onto my uterus for the very romantic notion that my sister may need it to house her second child (as she herself has battled with both sis’ as well as Pcos). With the joy of her finally falling pregnant with her second child also came the reality that I could ditch the organ that has housed 3 beautiful babies. I still have my overies. So we’ll see how the hormones go. But I’m so pleased with my decision to forgo the 3-5 weekly agonising contraction-like pain.

  10. I’m one of the lucky ones – I’ve never had any problems, always been pretty regular up until maybe six months ago when I had a couple with a 3 week gap, a couple with a 5 week gap – no peri-menopause symptoms and then bam! (and I’m whispering this because I’ve been too scared to say it out loud in case it isn’t real …) 10 weeks, and counting … I’m hopeful that is it, done! and I’m so excited (but whispering … because you know, if you tempt the fate Gods …). Funny story, well not really, but why I’m actually remembering the dates (because like you I’m hopeless, oh period? yeah it is that time, crept up on me, again). Broke my ankle on 23 June (which happens to be my brother’s birthday, not related to the break at all), last period 24 June … for once, I can actually remember the dates properly – just when it is timely too! (btw – I’m 50yo and after 5 children well and truly believe my reproductive system has done its bit and can turn off now).

  11. Gah, periods! I’m 38yo and down to 21-23 day cycle that is often horrendous. I’ve tried the contraceptive pill (many types) in the past but they really effected my mood. Unfortunately having the Mirena also led to clinical depression. It’s not so common but worth mentioning. It looks like I have to ride this rollercoaster and hope menopause is early and kind.

  12. I’ve had many period issues over the years, I have endometriosis, always heavy periods, endometrial cysts, and more.
    After 3 children I am now mid forties, and we aren’t having anymore.
    I tried the Mirena, and had heard wonderful things about it, I couldn’t wait. But it was hell; I had awful migraines with it and had to have it out.
    After an especially awful last few years, very messy, painful including several hospital stays, I had an endometrial ablation. Best thing I ever did!!!!!!
    Since then I have had only light or no periods and no stomach cramps, no mood swings, I am like a totally new me 👍😍😎🥳

  13. I am the same Beth. Only mine comes with joint inflammation and body aches and pains along with everything else and ovulation is the worst. I had the Mirena for three years post Arlo and was good for about 1 1/2 of those then had some complications and needed it to be removed under general. Not fun. It works really well for some. Just not me. I see a Functional Medicine doctor and am on Premular (a natural Medicine to help with hormone imbalances) but after having blood tests to check hormone levels will start taking a low dose of progesterone as well. She thinks my body isn’t making enough after relying on the Mirena to do the job and I actually have too much estrogen thus the periods every two-three weeks. I wish I could have rode out the IUD until menopause or maybe not have started it all. Enough of this shite already!

  14. Yay for this post and everyone’s comments. I feel like many of us were raised in a period conversation vacuum and left to work it out for ourselves in a haze of confusion and anxiety. Interesting to hear how different everyone is. My period started when I was 12, it was heavy and gross and when I started on the pill in my late teens I skipped it virtually all the time. After having kids my moods have been HIDEOUS to the point where I self-diagnosed with PMDD and went on anti-depressants. My cycle lasts 25 days now and periods last about a week. Hoping to know more about peri-menopause before it hits so at least I know what to expect for that stage. Women have such a raw deal with their bodies!!

  15. I got my first period when I was 12. Regular as clockwork, every 28 days right up until I turned 44. Two babies, one at 23 & 26. No real issues apart from the inconvenience factor. At 44 they started arriving every 24, 25 days or 28, very unpredictable. They became heavier too and much more painful symptoms, the sore swollen boobs were probably the worst. Ovulation is particularly worse now too and the timing is all over the place. Your guess is as good as mine as to when it will arrive! I’m 50 now , had my tubes tied when I was 27! Yes I know very young, but I never wanted any more children. Can’t wait for the fookers to stop permanently.

  16. I’m 44 and my periods moved to every two weeks at one stage a few years back. I took vitex (agnus castes?) herb pills for it, just the Thomsons brand from the chemist and it works like a dream to get then regular again. I’ve been on and off vitex for over five years and checked with doctors and it has minimal known side effects. Recently I went off it again and my periods have been 3.5 weeks regular for about six months straight. Buuuut, I have new symptom! Gone are my swelling boobs (gutted) and now I’m getting raging headaches leading up to my period. Whoop! I too am also worse during ovulation for pain and got mine at 14.

  17. I’m 50 and I had pretty standard periods every 28 days up until my mid 40s. The first symptoms I had were then irregular periods, then light, heavy, light then skip a few then a couple of months with two periods a month. The scary part were a few crazy heavy ones that meant I had to stay home when they occurred as they were a bit scary. The hot flushes started in the middle, but they weren’t so bad for me, only a couple a day for about 3 minutes. The moodiness and forgetfulness are a bit relentless, but I am coming through that now. All my friends at the same stage think that we are getting early stage dementia, and we all laugh about losing keys, forgetting names, not remembering your address or phone number.

    For me the peri menopause was about a 5 year journey, but now I have not had a period of 9 months and hot flushes only once or twice a week. Fingers crossed I’m at the other end of it all.

  18. I’m 41. Met my crimson friend at 13. 18-25 took the pill (got me through shitty painful periods and helped with my skin) got lots of headaches though. Stopped it to have kids and have never taken it since. Had 3 little gems between ages 27- 31 and after 2nd and 3rd gems my 18 -21 day cycle began. I have battled with the rollercoaster of anaemia for around 6 years now, finally trying an iron infusion late last year which worked really well for me, I got 7 months out of it before feeling like I’d been hit by a truck again. The initial few days after I’d had it done I felt a bit off but after a week I wouldn’t have known I’d had one. Doctor said I wouldn’t notice a drastic change but should gain more energy and feel better in myself which I did because boy oh boy I knew when I was low again. Taking iron tabs atm (maltofer) as don’t make me feel nauseas and when I have time to feel a bit yuck for a few days I’ll be having the iron infusion again.
    I have had the mirena and ablation recommended to me by gyno but I’m happy managing for now. If I do end up doing something it will be the uterine ablation as I’m not a fan of what I’ve heard about the Mirena.
    My other tips for my heavy and at times embarrassing flow is modibodi undies, reusable/washable briefs with an absorbency layer in them. They are my 3rd barrier in addition to super tampon and pad on day 2 and 3.
    For moods I’ve been taking MDNUTRITIONALS FemBalance (for around 4 years) which has made me feel less like screaming like a crazy lady I don’t recognise. Husband commented on the difference too (chemist said he had husbands coming in thanking him).
    I was also going to an acupuncturist who bought me an 3 extra days on my cycle while I had the time and $$$ to go. She also has me on Chinese herbs which help me feel balanced and I’ve continued taking those for 2 years now (plus the other stuff, lol).
    To note/share my last 2 periods have detoured I had this 6 week break of no period (pregnancy crossed my mind briefly but husband has had a vasectomy so didn’t think it would be that, wasn’t) when period came it was pretty pleasant (if that’s a thing), not too heavy, then 1 week after finishing bam it was back with total aggressiveness (was like my body was saying you didn’t think you’d get that lucky did you, arghhhhhh). So here I am riding the “peri menopausal” rollercoaster too.
    Power to you Beth and all the other amazing period troopers out there!!!!! I look forward to another instalment on this topic x

  19. I’ve been a bit more in tune with my body over the last couple of years as we’ve tried for another baby. Every now and then I click that another ‘symptom’ is a part of my cycle. I’ve just realised that the x rated dreams that leave me feeling all hot afterwards are clue that my period is about two days away.

  20. Mirena. Best thing ever for me. No periods, level hormones.

    It was advised to me when I couldn’t take the pill any more (risk of stroke) and I was starting to get heavier more frequent periods with age.

  21. I’m 51 currently per menopause I believe. The past year has been tough.
    Wearing two tampons at least the first few days with spas as well during workdays. I bleed so heavily and suffer with hormonal migraines and constant cramps and breastfeeding tenderness

    There has been one or two weeks where I haven’t had a period or I ah e been late getting them. But at the moment my first day consists of a migraine and a super heavy flow.

    I was always regular growing up. With a 9 month hiatus when I was overseas. Had children at 27 and 30.

    I have been to the GP and had a mirena suggested. I’m not sure.

  22. Thank you Beth for starting this conversation.
    I have 3 kids and am also 42 and periods have been so so heavy and I eventually found my iron levels were really low. I self diagnosed PMDD too as was (and still am) having bouts of quite bad depression prior to each period and twice a year for about 2 or 3 weeks which are a nightmare for my family. I have opted to try the pill – Yasmin (I also tried Qlaira but that didn’t agree with me – 2 heavy periods one month!), and have gyno referal to discuss Mirena and ablation in Oct.
    Whole thing is exhausting and I just want to feel happy and energised again! Exercise helping and Yasmin too I think.
    Good luck everyone – surely we’ve done our womanly dues already!!! We can get through this but agree – there is not much info or warning yet it seems to be a common theme!

  23. Periods have been hell since day 1. I started at 13, was seeing a gyno by 14 as periods were excruciating. I went on the pill to try and help that. (and was too scared to tell anyone at Loreto as I felt they’d think I was a slut lol) diagnosed with PCOS. my period has had a life of its own through most pills. I could have a stretch where I fit my period for 3 days every 6 weeks, then it flipped and for 18 months I had my period last 6 weeks with three days in between. So I apse you could say I’m regularly irregular. Period pain has been a constant issue, and I think I went through every pill in the market.
    After I had my first child at 32 I got the mirena which didn’t stop my period, but as soon as child weaned herself at 14 months I got a migraine, that didn’t stop, spent 3 months seeing neurologists etc then husband said he saw migraines can be a side effect of mirena. Got it removed and within a few weeks the migraine went away.
    I have had the best results using a nuvaring. It’s the only one that actually controlled my cycle, and even let me skip periods.
    Now I’m breastfeeding child 2 that I had at 36, and so cannot use the ring, we also found out that now the mini pill causes migraines. Anything with progesterone does. So I’ve been on estrogen therapy for past few years. In the past 2 years I had my period twice, figured it was menopause but blood tests say no… For the past few months I’ve had a period again, still painful and makes nauseous, still irregular. So I guess not menopause. They switch from being so lite they don’t even touch a liner, the next one will be so heavy I wear nighttime pads all the time. Also agree with modibodi being awesome!
    I recently saw an article Mrs Woog shared about a new operation to hold off menopause until you are 70!
    Who wants to keep getting periods until they are 70????
    In a perfect world I’d be able to have a hysterectomy now

  24. Lucinda Cullen says

    At 47 your story sounds very familiar.
    Fully loaded with life, full time work and full time study. Four girls and two son in-laws now.
    Ive recently found a podcast with incredible information on the subject that has flipped my life in a positive direction. I’m focusing more on self care and the rest is following along nicely! (So far🥴) My family are commenting, “Whatever you’re doing Mum keep it up! You’re inspiring!!”
    Ha. That’s nice. I was kind of a nightmare to live with (for them and for me) a short while ago.
    The post cast is “Not Your Mother’s Menopause” by Dr Fiona Lovely. And it’s been a life saver.

  25. So unfair! I am 45 and have been having horrendous periods for the last year (usually pretty insignficant). I caught up with some high school friends just before things started changing – they are almost a year older than me – and they were telling me about ‘flooding’. I hadn’t heard the term before and was horrified. Lo and behold, it started happening to me too. Not sure what to do, I hate the thought of it being like ‘this’ (also every 3 weeks now) for potentially another 10 years until menopause. Mixed reports re: the Mirena. I tried a low dose pill awhile ago and it totally messed with my mental state. I wish we had a button we could just turn off once we were done & dusted with having kids! I mean, what is the point of it..??!!

  26. Poly cystic ovaries . Periods all over the place or not at all for years & now we 49 they come regularly. FFS I’m not excited at all. I’m a bitch not day 3 but an entire week pissed of that I have it pissed off cause hormones are wacky . I’m a big believer in acupuncture I have this once a month to make me a nicer person for me & for all people I come into contact with !!!!

  27. jenny power says

    Mirena, it didn’t stop my period altogether like it does for some, (damn it), but my period is now short and light, like panty liner light, no need for a tampon. I am 53 and first had the Mirena inserted in my early 40’s, (I’m on my second one now, they last 5 to 7 years) the best thing! I have never had any trouble with my cycle, it would come and go like clockwork, no pain or moodiness, BUT, just when I didn’t need my period anymore, they got heavier, so the Mirena seemed like it was worth a try, it is not for everyone, and absolutely the best for me.

  28. Oh man, I hear your Beth. I got my first period when I was 12…and they pretty much sucked (from a pain point of view especially. I was even prescribed Panadeine Forte for many years) and they continued like this until I had my first child. (Pretty sure that massive 5.1kg baby cleaned my insides out somehow) But now…at the ripe old age of 44 years and 10 months…they are beginning to really piss me off yet again!
    For the last 18 months or so, they are totally unpredictable. Sometimes coming every two weeks, and at other times coming every 6 weeks or so (Dear lord give me strength, is there no reprieve!!!!) And the heaviness of some of those periods defies logic. I was even on this tranexamic acid thing for about 18 month, which at that point my doctor at the time, suggested I have a hysterectomy (over reaction much doc? Hence why she is no longer my doctor) Seriously why should I just have to “whip it out” because I’ve finished having children? What century are we living in people!?
    What I have learnt, is that if there is a god… it’s certainly a man. As no other woman would do this to her sisters at this stage of her life. Also, never trust your period tracker, that things lies like nothing i’ve ever met before. There is NO relief from PMS (sorry hubby and children, but some months you guys not putting away your toothbrushes really is the last straw!)
    I’ve been through all the testing up at the doctors. Had a couple of pelvic ultrasounds (bloody awful things they are) found some dodgy looking cysts (which made me nervous for a couple of months, as I have a history of ovarian cancer in my family) only to surprise both the doctor and myself when those things just disappeared! Weird I know, but I was very relieved.
    But one thing I have discovered after talking with other friends about this very same problem, is that there are quite a few of us going through the same thing, you included Beth. And I have just resigned myself to the fact that I just have to keep riding this so called wave until it stops. At which time I will probably be relieved, but am also dreading at the same time. As it seems to bring dry skin, wrinkles and a plethora of other “treats”
    But one thing a midwife friend of mine has recommended, and which has helped me recently as far as heavy periods go, is the good old fashioned Ponstan. As it has mefanamic acid (I think that’s what is is anyway) which helps slow that flow. So I say Ponstan users, 40 something ladies unite!
    Big hugs on this crappy journey we call womanhood Beth.
    xx Manda

  29. Amanda Borchers says

    Ok…. after reading these post comments I’m going to bite the bullet and get a Mirena like my ob suggested 2 yrs ago!! Mine has been much worse after my two kids as well.. and pain during ovulation which i didn’t get pre-kids.. and a lingering Iron deficiency thanks to the heavy flow!

    Haven’t wanted to go on any contraception due to Cancer history in the family, but I believe the Mirena is a safe option in that regard!

    Thanks for the post Beth!


  30. I got my period when I was NINE!! NINE!!!! I am 45 next week, I’ve had tests and I’m nowhere near peri-menopause…. not sure if that makes me happy or sad? I’m super regular, one month heavy and heavy belly (new in the last) next month light and over quickly. I think I’ve done my time though, 36 years is plenty long enough and I hope I can eventually breeze through menopause! PS I don’t even want to count how many I’ve had… one baby, two pregnancies, twin Angel girls, countless IVF, I’ve definitely been through enough x

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