As much as I hate acknowledging that I’m biologically female, and thus considered by many the “weaker sex”, I feel like writing (much to my discomfort) about the subject of mensuration. Since the subject is rather squicky, I won’t be offended if anyone wants to skip over this post. I’ll be posting a CoA post in the next two weeks or so.
What got me thinking about the subject (more than I usually do) was my dad and my brother asked if I wanted to do a water Zumba class. I actually really dislike Zumba. It’s not my cardio of choice and I prefer kickboxing or something, I guess, “more manly” than shaking my hips. I hadn’t thought about it from the gender perspective before now, but that might be a reason. I know cardio work-outs aren’t “gender specific”, but Zumba is largely marketed towards women which is apparently a turn off for me. I also don’t like swimming anymore so combining Zumba and a swimming pool sounds like a special Hell.
The easiest way to get them to drop the conversation was to overshare and say, “Oh, I can’t. I’m on my second day,” since nothing gets people (not just guys) to change the subject faster than mentioning periods. My brother’s reaction was, “You mean your period? But I thought you’re taking birth-control?” Well, there’s a misconception I didn’t realize existed until now.
I had to explain that, yes there are some birth-control methods that can stop periods, but I actually can’t take those. When I switched doctors (because I was kicked off my parent’s insurance) I was fortunate enough to find this really nice young doctor right out of medical school. One question that came up when we were discussing birth-control options was if I had migraines with auras. I was a little surprised by the question, but the answer was “yes”. I had had only two migraines in two years, but both instances were preceded by auras that affected my vision.
The first migraine freaked me out because I was working out in the field with an environmental restoration crew and I had lost my peripheral vision. That’s really not something you want to lose on the job. When my vision cleared up I got a terrible headache and one of my teammates figured out it was probably a migraine. My second migraine was the more common(?) aura that people talk about were it’s a weird spot in your vision.
Because I had a history of auras my doctor told me that my birth-control options were now limited two. One specific pill or an IUD. Fortunately I don’t have my mom’s history of high blood-pressure or I’d have only one option, the IUD. The problem is I need birth-control because I have Dysmenorrhea, which is medical speak for “The Cramps from the 9th level of Hell”.
I’ve had bad cramps from my very first period onward and dealt with it for years with the hope that I would eventually grow out of it. I didn’t just magically grow out of it and, in fact, my cramps got worse and worse to the point of interfering with daily life. Since I obviously couldn’t call into work every month because of crippling pain, I started taking birth-control.
I just wish it wasn’t called “birth-control” because I’m not using it to prevent pregnancy from all the sex I definitely am not having. I’m borderline sex and romance repulsed depending on the day and today is definitely one of those days where everybody can keep their bodily fluids at least ten feet away from me, thank you. It’s a bad day when I don’t even want my cat in my personal bubble.
I appreciated it when my dad called my birth-control “hormone treatment” instead of birth-control because that’s what I’m using it for. He probably just didn’t want to think about having grandkids in any capacity because I’m not out to my parents as agender, but I appreciated it none-the-less.
Every six months I have to check in with my doctor with how the pills are working out and so far it’s working out pretty good. I’m actually okay with having a period every month because it’s reassures me that my body is healthy and functioning normally. I still have camps the first few days, but now I can take one dose Ibuprofen for them instead of the maximum daily dose of Acetaminophen. My liver is very grateful, I’m sure.
I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll keep having periods unless I want to risk surgery, but only as long as it doesn’t interfere with my quality of life. Regardless of the politics right now, my birth-control allows me to have shorter, lighter, and healthier periods. I still have cramps, but I have cramps that respond to painkillers now when they didn’t before. I can go to work without having to worry about taking several breaks to hide in the bathroom doubled over in pain. Before taking medication, on top of having the worst cramps ever I would also have terrible joint pain during my period. That’s also not an issue anymore.
I understand that being agender or non-binary and having periods is a weird subject, but for me having a “normal” period is a relief in itself. I’m just glad that I no longer feel like I’m being punished for having a female body. For now, that’s enough for me and my gender identity.