Strict Vegetarians: How long is your period, how heavy, how painful? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How long is your period?
1-2 days 2 4.44%
3-4 days 19 42.22%
5-6 days 15 33.33%
7 days or more 9 20.00%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 23 Old 11-01-2007, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi folks,

I was just listening to a radio show and the natural health person was saying something that I've oft heard repeated: eliminating all animal products will greatly reduce the length of your menses (optimum being 2 days max) and the heaviness of your flow and the pain associated with it. Being a strict vegetarian for 4 years, this was not the case for me. Oftentimes, I felt like something was wrong with me or I wasn't doing something right despite the fact that I cooked a lot from scratch and was really devoted to my diet. Maybe I switched my diet too fast? Here I was, strictly vegetarian with no noticeable improvement in my menses. I was still going for 6-7 days, very heavy on the first 4 days (overnight pads all day long) and pain like you wouldn't believe.

What did help my menses was 1) having a baby (could get through a period with hardly a cramp and never anything bad enough to take advil for) and 2) switching to cloth pads (period went from 6-7 days to 3-4 and I could use panty liners for the entirety). Needless to say, I felt and still do feel scammed or duped because for me, becoming strict vegetarian was supposed to mean the end to a lot of the illnesses I had (allergies too . . . they did not clear either). I really thought it was an answer directly from God to my prayers and that therein lay my healing. The only reason I could think of to stay vegetarian was because I did not and do not want to kill something else in order to eat it especially when it's clear to me that either way (omnivore or vegetarian), my health basically stays the same. It also makes me hesitant to try to promote my way of eating because I don't feel like I'm a shining example of vegetarianism. I feel like someone would be justified to ask, "Hey, you're vegetarian but you still have allergies". I've also turned into somewhat of a cynic and really don't want to hear any more from these "health gurus".

Anyway, what has your experience been specifically with your period but feel free to elaborate on other health issues you have seen healed or abated or stay the same as a strict vegetarian/vegan?

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#2 of 23 Old 11-01-2007, 07:34 PM
 
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going veg has definitely reduced the time of menstruation for me. from 6-7 days to 3. It is heavy for around 24 hours. I have been veg for going on 13 years. I have never had very painful periods. the first day I have cramping and that's it.

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#3 of 23 Old 11-01-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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"Other..." I have always had a problem with sporadic bleeding once the initial menses is over, but once I stopped eating meat and dairy it decreased significantly. My period will last about 2-3 days (down from 5-8) but then usually I will have a daily episode of sporadic bleeding for the next 1-3 days.

Before being vegan it was heavy bleeding for 4-8 days and then sporadic bleeding for another week (or more!) after that.

However I also have had babies in between and I think childbearing can alter menses too. I'm not an expert though.
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#4 of 23 Old 11-01-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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I selected 3-4 days. My periods definitely got shorter when I switched to a Diva cup.
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#5 of 23 Old 11-01-2007, 08:10 PM
 
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I was a vegetarian before I got my first period, so I can't compare. I can say that switching to the diva cup made them slightly shorter and definitely lighter. I went from 7-8 days to 5-6 days.

Just a little fyi, taking quercetin +vitamin c has made the biggest difference in my allergies.
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#6 of 23 Old 11-01-2007, 08:34 PM
 
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I have been a strict vegetarian for about 13 years. No animals (that includes fish) no milk, light on some dairy such as cheese. My period is usually a full week - heavy & crampy. I have reaped no benefits in this area for being a long-term veggie!
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#7 of 23 Old 11-02-2007, 01:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
It is heavy for around 24 hours.
Interesting, once my periods shortened after going vegan, I started to get the 24 hour "flood" too and then things taper off over the next day or two.
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#8 of 23 Old 11-02-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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I've been a strict vegetarian for 16 years, my periods have always been heavy and lasted 7+ days. My cycles are short, too...like 21 days or so.

Recently my periods have gotten shorter and the color has changed too (sorry if TMI). Not sure if that can be associated with anything diet-related though. My family has an early menopause trend so maybe it is that...who knows.
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#9 of 23 Old 11-02-2007, 01:33 AM
 
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i've been veg for over eighteen years.

i picked 5-6, but that's total time now...it used to be closer to 11 days. i have no cramps, no bloating, no PMS...nothing other than flow.

the women in my family traditionally have quite a bit of problem with their menses...i'm happy to not be among them.
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#10 of 23 Old 11-02-2007, 01:51 AM
 
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I used to have horrible periods - long and very painful. I went on birth control for a number of years, which helped, but now that I'm off the pill and a vegetarian, my periods have improved even more. The only aspect of my life that's changed has been my diet . Just another perk of not eating animal products, I guess!
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#11 of 23 Old 11-02-2007, 08:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
Interesting, once my periods shortened after going vegan, I started to get the 24 hour "flood" too and then things taper off over the next day or two.
Hey me too! Weirdness. I never thought it was related to going vegan though but maybe it is. Hmmm.

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#12 of 23 Old 11-02-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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My periods are now usually three days (used to be six) but the best change was that my cycles lengthened from less than 21 days to 27/28 days. A huge improvement for me.

Kimberly: blogging wife to Todd and work-at-home-struggling-with-work/life-balance adoptive mama to Adam (2005) and Leah (2008)
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#13 of 23 Old 11-02-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HelloKitty View Post
Hey me too! Weirdness. I never thought it was related to going vegan though but maybe it is. Hmmm.
I haven't been vegan in over 4 years : I don't eat alot of dairy though. maybe 1 serving a day. somedays none.

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#14 of 23 Old 11-03-2007, 09:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
I haven't been vegan in over 4 years : I don't eat alot of dairy though. maybe 1 serving a day. somedays none.
I eat very little dairy, especially when I know it is close to my period. I get cramps when I have it in close proximity. I used to get cramps everytime even w/o dairy, but having children changed that. Now my only really aggrivating symptoms is a nasty headache a few days before. Having children made everything much more regular, too.
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#15 of 23 Old 11-03-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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My periods have become more "compact" since I've cut out most dairy products...they've always been basically 3-4 days, but then they just "trickled" on and on and ON for several days more. Cutting dairy has really helped with that. It's also helped with the emotional side effects...that whole "screaming crying b!tch" thing has really gone down.

I can't address the pain issue, since I've had two c-sections, and each one resulted in a FEROCIOUS increase in cramping. Oh well.

Holly

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#16 of 23 Old 11-03-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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No change for me once I cut out meat and/or dairy. Still just as painful and lasted about 5 days.

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#17 of 23 Old 11-03-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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it hasn't changed much for me. also, it's hard to compare since I was on the pill for 4 years out of 5 being vegan. now which influenced what? If at all my flow is SLIGHTLY lighter.

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#18 of 23 Old 11-03-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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Mine last about 4 days and, like some of the pps mentioned, tend to be somewhat heavy on day one and then pretty light for the remaining days. I don't really think that they are super-heavy at any point, though in that I use regular tampons even on day one and can go a few hours before changing them.

I'd don't have a lot to compare pre-veggie, though, b/c I was already o/l vegetarian when I got my first period and went vegan about 2 yrs later. I've been vegan for 19 yrs now. My periods also are not particularly painful. I did get worse cramping and breast tenderness pre-babies, though.
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#19 of 23 Old 11-04-2007, 05:14 AM
 
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It's usually 4-5 days, heavier (probably a medium flow compared to most other women) on the first day and light the rest of the time.

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#20 of 23 Old 11-04-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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I am a strict vegetarian - and have been for about nearly 13 years now... I would call myself a vegan, except I eat cheese every now and then so can really only call myself a veggie! hehe....

Well. I use a mooncup and that has only shortened my period by about 2 days since switching from tampons. So my period is still about 7 days long! ....Before I had my son my cramps used to get so bad that I would be bed ridden for at least a day and have to be on some heavy painkillers! I guess having a baby has changed that! - Because I dont even need to take a mild painkiller I dont think I even have cramps anymore! lol...My flow is the same though - its just changed 'when' (before my son - it was heavy in the begining then lightened out towards the end - now its light, then heavy towards the end making a dramatic change to light flow before its done with...tmi I know! lol)....

So tbh with you - I am not sure being a strict veggie...let alone a veggie at all - has made much a difference when it comes to the whole period thing!

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#21 of 23 Old 11-05-2007, 05:23 AM
 
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I had no idea that veganism should affect my menses! Or at least nobody told my body that... Nope, they are still a full week, and fot a couple of days flooding and cramping. Cup has helped a lot, must admit.

(To be honest, the main reason I have so long menses is the coppery IUD. I definetly refuse to use any hormones, so this is the only option. But even without it my menses were almost a full week.)
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#22 of 23 Old 11-05-2007, 05:48 AM
 
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ive been veg almost my whole life...
mine are usually 3 days long and not painful at all...
uncomfortable yeah but painful not at all.

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#23 of 23 Old 11-05-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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I can't say that the length and severity of my period has been just about being vegetarian. I also think using cloth pads and a diva contribute since I'm not having the chemicals in disposable products close to my body. But I went from periods that were 6-7 days to on average 2-3 (I chose the 3-4 day option because it's more often 3 than 2)
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