Periods suck. Don't wear white. Even if you don't leak worrying about how obvious a leak will be should it happen isn't anyone's idea of a good time. If you do leak, white is the hardest to get looking clean again, obviously. Nobody is in a good mood on their period. There is a magical code among women that if you ask for a tampon/pad, no matter how little they know you, or how much they might hate your guts, they will give you one if they have it. And vice versa. Because women know how much periods suck.
I've finally figured out what the bare essentials are for dealing with a period, so I thought I would share that with you all today, as well as how to use these essentials when it hits.
Period Survival Kit
Here is a list of things you will need to get started:
Stain removal kit
- dish soap
- old toothbrush
- baking soda
Virtually un-stain-able items
- dark red/brown/black bed sheet set
- 5-7 pairs of black cotton briefs
Pads, Tampons, Liners, Menstrual Cups?
Total Beginner Kit:
- large overnight pads (for nightwear)
- mix of regular/light/heavy pads (for day wear)
- large overnight pads
- mix of regular/light/heavy tampons
- liners (always wear liners with tampons)
- menstrual cup
- reusable pads
- unscented ph balanced soap
- hot water bottle
- Midol or Tylenol and a muscle relaxant
- fennel and mint tea
Mood, Gas and Cramps
Drink a lot of water. I know you're probably bloating, but it helps to stave off cramps and headaches and you need the extra hydration to compensate for the million extra trips to the bathroom. As much as it kills you, get regular exercise throughout your period, or at least go for a nice walk. Exercise helps ease tension and works like an antidepressant. Chocolate helps with that too. I recommend dark 70-80% chocolate for the health benefits, but seriously, eat whatever kind you like it will make dealing with it easier.
If staving things off hasn't worked, and you have cramps, a little self massage or yoga can be helpful. I personally recommend balling up your fists and placing them on your lower abdomen, then coming into child's pose with the rest of your body and pumping your fists into your abdomen as you exhale. Hot baths and hot water bottles are also very soothing and help alleviate cramping. I found that using tampons seemed to make my cramps much worse, so check out what difference different sanitary methods make. And lastly, you have your Midol, if nothing else.
Gas and bloating can be a real problem, and can also be the cause of cramps for some women. Fennel and mint both help to sooth the digestive tract and make gas easier to pass (sorry not what you were hoping for, but it's better than nothing). I imagine there are herbal teas out there that contain fennel and mint but I just put dried mint leaves and fennel seeds in a tea ball and add hot water.
Pad, tampon, or menstrual cup? I am a huge menstrual cup fan. Not only is it the only thing I have ever used that hasn't leaked, needs changed far less frequently and is by far the most comfortable, it's the most eco-friendly and sanitary. It's best to do some research and choose a cup that best fits your needs:
The same youtuber also has plenty of information on how to clean, insert, and otherwise use menstrual cups on her channel.
For other more traditional types (pads and tampons), I recommend trying different ones until you get exactly the results you want. And then when you give up because that will never happen, try a menstrual cup. I know, some people do prefer those, I just know that I don't so I can't really make any recommendations.
Method 1: This method can be used immediately upon noticing a leak while the blood is still wet. Run soiled garments under cold water until it runs clear, add a little dish soap to the soiled area and hand-scrub the garment. Most or all of it should come out.
Method 2: This is method is for dried blood (because realistically when you wake up in the middle of the night to a bloodbath you are going to throw the dirty stuff on the floor and go back to sleep), or especially light materials. Run garment under cold water and apply soap and baking soda to stained areas with a toothbrush. This takes out just about everything.
Of course the best course of action is the one which requires the least effort, which is to just use clothing and bedclothes that won't show the stains so they can just go into the wash like normal and the spots magically blend into the fabric.
I hope you found this Take useful and interesting. Thank you for reading.