A Girl's Guide to Periods
Featured image credits: Annika Gordon @ unsplash
It’s that time of the month...
...so it’s finally happened to you! You went to the bathroom one day, saw something brownish-red in your underwear, and immediately decided you have cancer! Sound familiar?
Welcome to the club! Getting your period is a tale as old as time and, luckily, there is a world of experience to help you out. So have no fear! We’re here to tell you all you need to know to tackle this sticky situation with grace (and no stains!).
If you’re worried about suddenly bleeding out and think you’re secretly dying, don’t worry about it! Getting your period (or menstruating, as the scientists call it) is a completely natural and healthy part of growing up! Just as your body is growing and hair is starting to appear in new places, getting your period means your body is shifting from childhood to adulthood.
That doesn’t mean you’re dirty or a grown-up now! It simply means that your body is starting some completely natural new processes. Part of it is getting your period. This is basically your uterus shedding blood and some other slimy, chunky stuff (gross, we know) every month. As long as it’s a brownish-red colour and doesn’t happen abnormally often, you have nothing to worry about! Just make sure you change your pad every 6 to 8 hours and keep yourself clean. And welcome to the club!
Pads, Tampons, Panties & Other Options
Lucky for you, you're born at a time when there are dozens and dozens of easily available options to handle your periods! Do your own research – or ask a grownup for help! – to choose which method works for you. Below, we break down the basics.
The standard go-to and the oldest tool in the book, sanitary napkins – or pads – are the easiest to use. Dozens of brands, styles and sizes are available on the market, so experiment to find what works for you!
You might even want to use maxi pads for the first 2-3 days and then switch to panty liners for the last couple of days.
Every desi mother's nightmare, the tampon is the other most popular period product that you can find in the market. While they may not be everybody's preference, tampons are helpful for those who feel uncomfortable wearing pads or get skin irritation from them.
The new kid on the block, menstrual cups have recently become available in the local market and they are an environmentally friendly girl's dream. Performing the same purpose as a tampon but made with medical grade silicone, menstrual cups are reusable options that can be used for years without replacement
While they are not advised to be used without pads for those with a heavy flow, period panties are great insurance against stains and leaks! People with a light flow can even use them without pads and just wash out the blood.
At the end of the day, it is all about what you are comfortable with! Periods are super uncomfortable, yes, but they're also a normal and healthy biological process.
Remember to explore your options, educate yourself and choose what works for you – nothing to be ashamed about!