One of the things I’ve noticed a lot of lately is slime. And by that I mean pant slime, not just standard child slime, which can be found approximately mid-way down my thigh or located in the blindspot no man’s land of my shoulder/breast. A quick straw poll among the ageing crone population that makes up my friendship group shows that many of us seem to be struggling with really painful and obvious ovulation post-kids. There’s so much goo in trickling out of me some days I feel like I could just slide my kids into the playground on a sledge. Who knew that this was a thing? No one warned me. It seems I am destined to spend more or less half of every month feeling – well, not terrible – but ‘a bit shit’.
I get my period, which, since having the copper coil fitted, is a slow and creaking process that begins with the dragging heave of my womb lining slipping away, one teensy little marmite teaspoon at a time. After maybe two or three days of pain and yeast-based product, enough to need a titchy towel, but not enough for anything else, I enjoy one to two days of psycho shower scene. Suddenly, on these days, I’m a ‘jumbo’ user and still taking agonising dashes to the stinky loo in Waitrose when I realise that elephant-sized is not enough for me and my vag. After that couple of days, things are more or less fine. But the point is, the period is not the end of it. I’ve also started getting the shits while I’m on, to the point where poop is pouring out of me like water. I can’t eat anything, I’m bleeding, and my tummy hurts….and yet this is a thing we’re just meant to get on with, and not be a moany cow about.
Then, after a week of being more or less zit and pain free, along comes the ovulation part of the month. Fuck me, it’s sore. This time it’s a bit like the egg has got itself a teaspoon, melted it down and created a whopping egg shiv, that it’s using to stab my insides over the course of three or four days. I can only imagine it’s because – as we are constantly reminded – ‘mature’ women (i.e. post -35) start to jettison their eggs. I guess those babies are just rolling out of me like cinema maltesers into my mouth, lemmings over the side of a cliff.
Again, this comes with a side order of the runs. Not as severe, but not ideal. I count myself as a feminist and periods are one of those issues that are becoming easier to mention without the rolling of eyes and PMT jokes ensuing but still leave you feeling like a bit of a whinge. I saw a great sketch by Amy Schumer on becoming president and getting her period the other night, and of course several female athletes have acknowledged not being at the top of their game because they were on the jam rag this summer.
I can’t help thinking that if men had blood coming out of the end of their penis for a week a month, while they simultaneously struggled with moderate to severe diarrhoea, the world would be a very different place.