Christini's Journey From Divorcing Her Pain To Loving Her Period
Name: Christini Briggs
Location: The Colony, TX
Length of time using My Happy Flo: 6 months
Christini Briggs felt like she was living in a nightmare. Whenever that time of month rolled around, she went into prep mode— heating pads for the intense cramps, stuffing extra pads in pockets and bra straps for the heavy bleeding, calling out “sick” from work whenever Aunt Flo made her grand (and undesirable) debut. Even her wife knew to clear the schedule of activities leading up to her period. To say that her menstrual cycle was taking over her life is to put it lightly. “I used to say that each week before my cycle, the world was ending. Because even though my cycle was only five days, it would destroy my world.”
After being diagnosed with fibroids, Christini decided that it was time to reclaim her health and her uterus. She started cleaning up her diet, and at the suggestion of her wife, traded birth control pills for the plant-based ones of My Happy Flo. Within a couple of weeks she saw a drastic change in her once-heavy menstrual cycles. No longer was she canceling girl trips; she was now confidently wading in the Miami Beach waters at all times of the month.
Here, our You Flo Girl contest winner takes us on her period journey. From depression and discomfort to ending painful cycles, Christini shares how she stopped her world from ending and started living her best life. And that’s on period!
How old were you when you first got your period?
Eight years old.
Could you walk me through that experience? What was it like starting your period at such a young age? Do you feel like you were adequately prepared?
No, I was not prepared whatsoever. I was about to take a shower or a bath saw that I was bleeding and called my mom, telling her that I thought something was wrong. I could tell she wasn’t ready, but she told me that I was starting my period. So we sent my daddy to the store and he came back with a lot of questions. Every question he asked, I replied that I didn’t know.
My mom showed me how to put the pad on and the next day I woke up in pain. My daddy was so strict, he still made me go to school. So I went to school with no pills, just pads in my bag. And I guess I was playing too hard because I just passed out.
The teachers took me to the nurse and called my parents who were at work. I was in the nurses’ office hurting so bad and was so uncomfortable.
I wasn’t prepared for it. And my mom just showed me how to put a pad on. It wasn't until middle school that my friends told me I could take some pills. I was so uneducated, that I didn’t even think to take medicine. I just dealt with the pain. I built up a tolerance every time my period came.
So you were having heavy periods like this since the age of eight?
Yes. It started with me realizing that I was bleeding over. I didn’t even know what bleeding over was. All I knew was that it felt nasty.
So I developed a routine where anytime I went to the bathroom, I changed my pad. I didn’t care if there was only a spot, I was putting a new pad on. As a kid, I didn’t want to feel nasty.
But it wasn’t until high school that a friend introduced me to the big pads. Those became my best friends! It’s sad to say, but it’s true. If I knew I was going out, I would put on two to make sure I was covered.
All of these habits formed because I was OCD. My mom just showed me how to put a pad on. I’m not bashing her though, God rest her soul. I feel like my mom might not have mentioned taking pills because she took a lot due to her being bipolar and she didn’t want to expose me to pills. So, I get it. But she did tell me about heating pads. You know, the old school ones that you had to put water in.
Did you ever have conversations with your mom or anyone about how heavy your periods were? Or go to the doctor about it?
No, I didn't. For some reason, I just dealt with it internally. I was also told that’s just how it is. So I figured it was normal. Even with my friends, we never talked about it.
And I hid pads everywhere. My bra. My pockets. I would tiptoe away to the bathroom or try to open my pads quietly because I didn’t want anyone to hear that sound. I just subconsciously developed that horrible habit. It wasn’t until I started talking to my wife about my periods that she told me that it wasn’t good.
The doctor said there wasn’t anything wrong, I was having a heavy period. They said that it would get better as I approach menopause. But they did prescribe me 600mg ibuprofen.
Did the doctors ever try to prescribe birth control for the heavy bleeding?
No, but I tried birth control once I started having sex. And I bled for an entire year.
What method were you using at the time?
I was on the pill. And the reason they said I bled for a year was that I wasn’t consistent. I would forget to take it and then have to take two.
How were your periods once you stopped the birth control?
They went back to being heavy. I went back to the doctor and told them that I was done with taking birth control and they prescribed me stronger ibuprofen.
How did your periods effect you mentally and emotionally?
Since I was 12 years old, I questioned why God would corrupt my body with so much pain. Not only was it painful, but uncomfortable. So years and years passed, and I realized not only was I questioning God, but I was developing more and more negative thoughts around “that time” of the month. Those negative thoughts became acts of depression.
I stopped living life during that week, even if that week landed on my birthday. I let the pain every month control my inner glow and then I found out recently I have fibroids, which dimmed my light even more.
It started feeling like doomsday. I would text my wife and let her know that my period was coming and to not plan anything for us. And I would probably call into work on a Friday or Monday, depending on when it came.
I was not aware that others dealt with period related issues. So I didn’t tell anyone about the heavy bleeding, the intense cramping, showering three to four times a day, throwing up, having a bulging stomach from the fibroids, passing blood clots, and using over six pads a day. It felt like I was being torn apart from the inside, and I was also overdosing taking over eight pills a day just to have the pain still be at a minimum.
So how did you find out about My Happy Flo?
I started talking about my periods with my wife and she noticed how heavy they were. She would see me washing my panties out and was just so compassionate. There were times when to be safe, I would wear a pair of boxers and briefs, and she didn’t think it was normal.
My wife is an esthetician and follows a lot of Black-owned businesses on Instagram, and that’s how she found out about My Happy Flo. She then shared it with me and suggested that I try it. The packaging was cute and vibrant, and I liked the pink. It made me want to trust the brand because of how eye-catching it is.
Did you have any skepticism about if it would work?
At that point, I didn't care. I was desperate.
How has your periods changed since taking My Happy Flo?
My menstrual cycle has taken a complete one thousand and eighty! I have divorced my pain. I don’t even know when my cycle has arrived anymore. She comes so respectfully and quietly now.
My Happy Flo has done more for me than my counselor has, more than the doctors who wanted me to have surgery. It has done more than just regulate my cycle, it has truly been one of the steps to help me overcome depression, gain more confidence in my body, and not be ashamed to be a woman. It has helped my fibroids not be as hard and I am no longer afraid to go in public on my cycle.
I could care less if my period comes and it’s never been like that. I went to Miami recently and went swimming with a tampon while on my period. I didn’t think twice about it. It’s been amazing. When my periods come, I’m not worried about it.
How long after taking My Happy Flo did you notice a change in your period?
Two weeks. I would read online reviews and see people saying their periods changed instantly, and sure enough, during my next period, I was okay. I didn’t believe it at first. But I took them faithfully and the next month, I was down to two pads a day and minimal cramps.
In addition to My Happy Flo, have you made any other lifestyle changes?
I'm just being more health-conscious. So I can't say I’ve stopped eating meat completely, but I don’t feel the need to include it in every meal.
I would love to transition to veganism, but I’m just more aware of what I’m putting into my body. I was doing some research and I think that my fibroids and heavy cycles are linked to my gut health. So I’m just being more intentional.
But being on My Happy Flo has made me want to do more research. After realizing that heavy periods aren’t normal, it made me want to look into everything within my body to see what’s normal versus what isn’t.
How has your overall relationship with your period changed?
I feel more confident in myself just as a woman. And that's the most amazing part. As a woman, you don’t want to feel nasty and I shouldn’t have to overdose on pills. So with this new relationship, I can make it. I can get through it. My affirmations make so much more sense.
Especially with me just doing this interview. Before, I would have never done anything like this. But I’m more confident with speaking to others about my periods and I’m okay with that.
" I want to be that friend that buys all her friends My Happy Flo. Because the cycle stops with me."
Based on your past experiences, what advice would you give to others who are struggling with their periods?
Do your research and seek more natural remedies and talk more about it. Every woman will have a period. And I don’t know why it took so long for me to realize that. We shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
Men also need to learn more about periods. I feel like if my dad made me talk more, then I wouldn’t have been so ashamed. That’s where my shame came from. My dad didn’t want to talk about it. So more fathers need to talk to their daughters about their periods.
Also, be more conscious about what you’re eating and take My Happy Flo. There’s no doubt about it. Believe me, it works.
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