Schools and society only teach you so much about this perfectly natural monthly event. If you are born with a uterus(including a womb and vagina), unfortunately you will experience periods, not to mention all the interesting side effects. Below I have listed a bunch of them, and many we do not often get the chance to discuss. For some reason talking about periods is seen as a taboo, but it’s time to put an end to this, there have been numerous articles challenging this taboo. It’s time for uterus holders to stand up and say “Yes I have a period, and yes these are parts of my experience. It’s not all good, it’s not all bad, but it is bloody”.
- Using pads during the night can get very messy if you move a lot in your sleep (like I do), expect to wake up with blood creeping towards every edge and having bloody creases.
- You will know immediately if you have put your tampon in incorrectly.
- Pulling a tampon out sometimes feel like the most impossible task, it just doesn’t want to leave.
- Every so often you will catch yourself when inserting a tampon with an applicator. Skin and hair.
- Sanitary products are EXPENSIVE. Expect to pay out loads in your life time, unless you invest in a menstrual cup.
- Tissue does not make a great emergency pad but desperate times equal desperate measures.
- Some pads will feel like you are wearing a nappy and you will worry that everyone can see it.
- Sneaking to the toilets with a pad or tampon up your sleeve will feel like the walk of shame, trying not to rustle the packet in case you ‘give the game away’.
- Pulling out a tampon at the end of your period will feel dry as a desert.
- All the way through your period, removing your tampon will give you the urge to use the toilet. Badly.
- RANDOM BUTT PAIN. Yes there is a name for that extreme shooting pain that you get through your bum during your period, making you jump out of your seat and hold your cheeks until the pain goes away.
- If you come on during the day it will feel like your uterus has spat at you for forgetting about it.
- Sensitive nipples. Everything will feel like sandpaper!
- If you suffer with painful cramps, there are never enough painkillers to fully dull the pain without OD’ing.
- Hot? Cold? Who knows? Hot flushes are a nightmare, especially in summer.
- You have never been more aware of your labia than when you are on your period. Hello pulsing.
- You will bloat in places you didn’t realise you could…
- …and as a result nothing will fit like it did the week before.
- Periods are NOTHING like the sanitary product adverts, it is not blue, you will not be able to dance the night away and least of all will you forget.
- It won’t always be the same colour. Don’t expect to see just red.
- Just because there’s no blood, doesn’t mean it’s over.
- Clumps of stuff are terrifying but nothing to worry about (do see your doctor if they seem excessive)
- You will dread every time you have to poop.
- Sex on your period is possible, but involves a few extra stages to get prepared and to clean up.
- Not everyone gets emotional on their period, but if you do, you will have absolutely no control over your mood. One minute laughing, the next uncontrollable anger because the remote fell off the sofa.
- Suddenly feeling wet as if you’re turned on and not realising your period just started.
- Worrying about the smell. Yes it is distinctive, and can be very strong at the height of your flow but you are(usually) the only one getting close enough to smell it.
- Wondering whether you are on your period or actually crumbling from the inside.
- Being paranoid that everyone knows you are on your period.
- It will feel like the longest 7 days(more or less depending on the individual) of your life but the rest of the month will seem to fly by.
- Going to the toilet at work or school and forgetting your sanitary products. Mild annoyance or bane of your existence.
- Even worse, forgetting to bring any products with you at all and having to ask around before resorting to tissue.
- Feeling illogically embarrassed when you have to tell someone you’re on your period.
- Mood swings will continue even once your period is over, just ride through them.
- Getting angry when people assume you’re on your period because you’re angry and you actually are.
- The feeling of relief when you come on. You’ve successfully completed another month without getting pregnant. Even if you haven’t engaged in any sexual activity (or any that would result in conception).
- Relief again at finally coming off your period, but dreading the next one, yet panicking if it’s late. Forever an emotional roller coaster.
- Seeing blood stops bothering you, it’s just another thing to deal with.
- You will ruin at least ONE of your favourite pairs of underwear, and many more standard pairs in the beginning.
- White is the last colour you’ll want to wear, even if there’s no possible way you could leak.
- Sitting on the toilet for ages to see how much will come out before you have to go pretend your uterus isn’t escaping your body.
- Coming on randomly during the day and having to the shuffle-walk to the toilet in an attempt to ‘keep it in’.
- Being absolutely certain you’ve come on, you can feel it, you’re sure you’ve leaked through, you’re in some sort of pain but get to the toilet and there’s no sign of anything.
- Getting excited when you find out someone else is on their period at the same time and feeling that mutual understanding.
All pictures courtesy of Period Humor.