“Sally” first came to visit when I was twelve.
My best friend and I christened our periods so that we could secretly tell each other when we were menstruating. Because nothing is more discreet than a girl at the lunch table in the 1980s announcing that her friend with a name from the 1950s is visiting.
If Sally had been an actual person, she would have been the female version of Chris Farley. She always came crashing in at the worst possible times. She was bold and loud, arriving whenever she pleased, and making a grand entrance. Sally was the polar opposite of my best friend’s period, Vera, who made quiet, predictable entrances, and usually never left a mark.
Sally ruined several pairs of Guess jeans, countless pairs of floral underwear, and numerous bed sheets. She wreaked havoc on my teenage social life, keeping me from attending pool parties, going on dates, and being a likable person in general. Not to mention the fact that she always overstayed her welcome by about four days.
My husband first met Sally when she made her mark on our brand new mattress. He quickly discovered that Sally took her job as a cock block VERY seriously when it came to our intimate time. In retrospect, it’s amazing that we even had the opportunity to have four children; after each child, my period got worse and worse, becoming heavier and heavier.
After my fourth son was born, I had a tubal ligation. I thought this would give Sally the subtle cue that she was no longer welcome or needed, and that she should go find another woman to torture for 23 years. I was wrong.
It was after an embarrassing incident at work that left my office chair stained crimson and my work slacks ruined that I had finally lost my patience. I made an appointment with my doctor to find out what was going on.
He suggested that I get an endometrial ablation—minor surgery to remove the endometrial lining of my uterus—a procedure that I had never dreamed existed. My doctor told me that it would only take about six minutes, and that I would be under general anesthesia the whole time.
I immediately agreed that the endometrial ablation sounded like a fabulous idea.
After the surgery, I experienced a little cramping and light bleeding, but it was nothing compared to before. So, at thirty-five, I said goodbye to Sally for good.
I was giddy with the thought of never having to purchase another feminine hygiene product again. I felt liberated as I gathered my emergency stash of pads and tampons out of my car, office drawer, and gym bag, and turned them over to my nieces. I had climbed the Menstruation Mountain and there I stood, waving my stain-free underwear flag high. I had conquered the beast.
Having freedom from my period in my mid-thirties was amazing. I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, without worry. And as you can imagine, my husband was pretty excited about it as well.
Although the worst part of my period is gone, I still experience premenstrual moods wings and cravings, but I don’t really mind. Especially since I like to binge on ice cream once in a while, and it’s nice to have an excuse. And honestly? These symptoms pale in comparison to the suffering I endured before the ablation.
No, putting an end to the friendship with Sally was the best decision I have made. I haven’t regretted it once. Rest in peace, Sally.
This article is sponsored by Change the Cycle. One in five women are affected by heavy periods. If you are one of them and are ready to “conquer the beast” and enjoy life again, visit Change the Cycle’s website or Facebook page to learn about treatment options that may be right for you. And speaking of enjoying life again, Change the Cycle is giving one lucky In the Powder Room reader a $75 gift card from Spafinder. Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below. As long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental United States, you are eligible! Giveaway will close on 7/18/15 at 12:00 AM EDT.
(Pssst. We have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to lady bits. Of course we do.)