I’ve been educated this week. However, forget the maths and the endless amounts of chemistry equations; I’ve been taught about period poverty. My fellow blogger friend, Ash, wrote a really important blog post about how we treat periods as a deep secret in society but she also included a really good TedTalk about period poverty by a young woman called Amika which was really eye-opening for me. I learned that one in ten young women aged 14-21 can’t afford sanitary products. That was one of the many mind-blowing statistics that I heard in the video, I recommend to watch it.
Ash began a blogging tag where bloggers (like you and me) write about their period experiences to motivate people to start talking about periods and I’m very happy to write about it. Come and read it, even if you’re a guy or you haven’t started it yet (let’s educate all!).
I actually started my period on 1st January 2014. What a great day to start. It wasn’t just the day which contributed more to the awkwardness of the situation; I was on a middle of our family canal boat where hygiene is more or less forgotten about. Funnily enough, I actually have diary entries of 12 year old me describing the new process to you all so I’ll let her take over.
21st December 2013 (10 days before the period started)
‘blah blah blah…I’m starting to get a tummy ache;I think I’ve eaten too much’
Oh, how 12 year old Astrid thought.
4th January 2014 (3 days after my period started)
‘I have been really busy as I was in London (that’s where my canal boat was). On Thursday (morning) I started my period 5 minutes before we got in the car to go to Kent. It’s hard work having periods. Hopefully, it will not go off at school.’
Hard work?! There was blood everywhere. On my trousers and my sheets, it was everywhere. I was very descriptive in my entries.
5th January 2014 (4 days after my period started)
‘I missed school today because I had really bad pains in my tummy *wink* *wink* I missed sport!’
Okay, so I totally milked my period pains at the start to miss lessons but Jesus, they got worse during the year and I did actually need to not go to school. I was the boy who cried wolf so my mum didn’t fully believe my cramps until I start crying in agony haha.
Anyways, I was an early developer and I started my period before everyone else which sucked because I didn’t have any of those mates who I could confide in and be graphic about the bloody details without scaring them. However, I’m kinda happy that I was first as I became that know it all girl that everyone went to if they just started or if they needed advice. In some strange way, starting my period made me more confident as I felt all grown up. Although, I used to be paranoid all the time that I was leaking on chairs and that so maybe a different kind of confident.
As you can tell by the heading, I was at a sleepover. AND SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKER. MY PERIOD STARTED EARLIER THAN EXPECTED. However, it took me a good 3 hours to notice as my mates were doing a makeover (yes, very stereotypically girly) and when I stood up to look in the mirror, there was blood all over the carpet. Luckily, I was like 14 at the time so I wasn’t as mortified as I would have been a year or two earlier and my friends (Elle and Zoe) have seen me in most embarrassing and gross states so it wasn’t a biggie. Although, the biggie was yet to come. My mate, Zoe went on a scavenger hunt for period pants and I climbed into the bathroom to block this endless flowing of blood. My period is very very very heavy on the first day. I even had to go to my GP about it to get medication for it because I would puke and not be able to move from my bed because of the pain it caused. So when I pulled my pants down, all I could see was red. Literally. It was all over my thighs and when I did tidy it up down there, there was blood on the toilet seat. Wasn’t very pleasant. With the help with my mate’s motivation and just making the light out of it, we managed to sort it out and continue the sleepover.
The morning came. And the period blood was everywhere. All over the carpet again because I was sleeping on the floor. However, I had like 3 pads on and 2 pairs of leggings; I don’t know how I managed that. Bless Zoe though, she had to spend all day at home scrubbing it out but apparently, there is still discoloring or something. However, she’s puked in my room like 2 times so I guess this is payback in a way.
Tips and tricks
To track my period, I use an app called Clue which is the easiest thing to use and it actually gives you notifications about your predicted PMS or period days. It’s a really useful tool.
Anyways, I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and that you might want to write your own! It’s a great way to get rid of the stigma around periods and we get to know each other a little bit more haha.
See you soon,
p.s. I’m gonna tag my mate Sarah to write a period party post.