There are 11 things you really, really can't do when you have your period.

Once a month, a giant list of things we are supposed to do is activated in our head.

Stock up on tampons. And pads. And gossip magazines and comfort food.

Wear dark clothing. Locate the heat pack currently collecting dust under a dark corner of the bed and ensure the extra-large comfort undies allocated for times like this are clean.

Check Netflix for new shows and remember that you will make it out of your period week alive.

But what about all of the things you’re not supposed to do when you have your period? Well, we’re so glad you asked!

Do not get a breast examination or a wax.

things to avoid on your period
Not this week, Satan. Source: iStock.

If you're the kind of person who likes to keep on top of grooming and healthcare, we're sorry to say that your period is the one week you need to take off.

For one thing, your pain receptors are heightened and your skin is particularly sensitive, so ticking that overdue bikini wax off your to-do list is an absolute no-go that week. Similarly, the change in hormone levels that go hand in hand with your period makes it the most painful and inaccurate time to get a breast examination and/or mammogram, so reschedule if you must.

Spring cleaning down there... just, no.

things to avoid on your period
Keep that shower head where we can see it, lady. Source: iStock.

No matter how many doctors confirm that vaginas are nature's very own self-cleaning ovens, some women just love to douche. And hey, by all means, you do you. But if you are going to, it's highly recommended that you wait until your period is through because throwing out your natural flora at one of your body's busiest times will only lead to heartbreak (and possibly a doctor's office).

Listen: a man has invented vagina lipstick to solve all those period woes. Post continues... 

Say a temporary farewell to salty and dairy-laden foods.

While chowing down on some rich, hearty, and calorie-heavy foods is something we all enjoy doing during our time of the month, it turns out we really should be putting down salt shaker and stepping away from the bowl of mac and cheese.

Aside from dehydrating the body and potentially making your cramps worse, salty foods also "contribute to the bloating/water retention that women feel around the time of their periods," Dr. Angela Jones, OBGYN tells Bustle.

As for dairy, Jones says, "Ever notice how much more gassy you are around the time of your period? Most of this is hormonal. Add dairy on top of that, and it’s like adding salt to the wound."

Do not, we repeat, do not, have unprotected sex.

While it's perfectly safe to have sex during your period, using protection is a must.

For starters, the age old myth of women being unable to fall pregnant during their period is just that, a myth. Secondly, a woman's cervix is partially open during her period, which means viruses, infections and other bugs are able to travel not just into the vagina, but potentially the cervix and pelvis. And no one's got time for that.


Smoking cigarettes or drinking coffee need to be placed on hold.

foods to avoid when flying
This ends in heartache, we promise. Source: iStock.

Okay, okay, you've got a reputation to cultivate, and being a brooding, coffee-skulling chain smoker is a part of that. Again, no judgment... unless it's that time of the month.

Sure, coffee wakes you up and makes you willing to look other human beings in the eye, but it also restricts the blood vessels in your body, which essentially goes against the very aim of the period game. Save yourself some pain and heartache and opt for tea instead.

And as for smoking, well, aside from the many widely known health issues associated with the habit, there's also a 2014 study from the University of Queensland that shows smokers experience more painful, drawn-out period pain each month. Do with that information what you will.


Skipping your workout and cutting your sleep time are not options.

Sleep over staying up, okay? Source: iStock.

Giving up the safe and holy place that is your couch during your period may seem like a ridiculous notion to some, but according to our old mate science, doing some exercise during your period is highly beneficial. Not only does it help your likely lagging energy levels, but it also helps alleviate cramps and sleep more peacefully, the latter of which is needed to ensure your hormone levels remain as balanced as possible throughout your period.


Don't forget to change your pad and tampon every four hours.

Stock up and stay safe, friends. Source: iStock.

This may seem painfully obvious and like a stern warning from your mum, but according to countless GPs, you'd be surprised just how often women forget to change their pads and tampons, particularly on the lighter days of their periods.

But according to Jones, it's an essential practice to uphold across the week.

"You should be changing your tampon/pad every 3 to 4 hours to avoid an unpleasant odour, bacterial buildup —which can lead to infections — as well as the dreaded bleeding through your pants," she says.