I’ve Gone Full Circle With Sanitary Products

periods women's sanitary product options

And the result is? I’m disappointed I have to bleed every month, and that’s that.

Let me give you the full story.

My experience of sanitary products as a young girl

I used to be adamant that tampons were the only way. I couldn’t understand why people would choose to bleed into what’s essentially a nappy. Now I’m on the side of the nappy wearers. I’ll explain why. 

I’ve always done sports. So getting my period and wearing anything other than a tampon hasn’t really been an option. 

Who decided a knicker line is a crime?

As a young woman, I felt I had to wear thongs with any kind of sports shorts or leggings. Because god forbid I showed a ghastly panty line. Or even worse, someone could tell I’m on my period or I have a leak. Period stigma is really, really annoying.

85% of young people have tried to hide the fact that they’re on their period from those around them. Citron Hygiene

Have you ever watched the movie ‘Superbad’? Go check out how bad the period shaming is in this film. When a girl’s trousers show some leakage, there are remarks such as “that’s disgusting.”

Us women need less of this if we want to manage our periods without being scrutinised or feeling worried about how we look. We already feel uncomfortable enough as it is. The film ‘Turning Red’ at least brings periods into the picture, but it still has to be done using a red panda as a metaphor? FFS!

Please tell me who decided that the outline of your knickers showing in trousers is a crime? Probably a man. So instead, we have to wear a piece string up our arse. Lovely. Cheers society. 

I also swam a lot when I was younger. And there is literally no other option than tampons if you swim. Isn’t that mad? Surely there’s got to be a smarter solution.

Anyway, through my teen years and probably until my late twenties, I stuck with mostly wearing tampons. Luckily, I don’t get heavy periods, so I rarely have the added worry of tampons leaking. Some women have to deal with leaking through tampons AND a pad whilst they are doing competitive sport. 

As the years of periods have taken their toll

Look, I’m in my late thirties now. And it’s funny how I have a completely different perspective.

Firstly, before you start shouting at me, telling me there are other options aside from tampons and sanitary towels, pipe down. I’ve tried them all. 

The sea sponge (who wants to have to squeeze a sponge in the sink to empty the blood, not me). The menstrual cup (it gives me pelvic pain for some reason, and yes, I have inserted it correctly). I’ve also tried reusable sanitary towels and I’m yet to find one that doesn’t make me feel gross and is comfortable. I do intend to do more research on this.

Anyway, back to the point. I used to only wear tampons. I couldn’t imagine bleeding into a nappy all the time. But nowadays, after having two children and going through all the delightful bleeding that pregnancy throws at you, I’m done with tampons. I’m done sticking something that feels very unnatural up inside me and feeling like there’s polystyrene between my legs when I walk. Anyone else feel like that when they wear tampons? No?

Claiming back my body

boscastle cornwall

Now, all I want to do is let nature take its course. I don’t want to intervene and stop the flow. I don’t want the discomfort of awkwardly shoving something in a hole, like a female plug. Do men have to shove something in their penis hole for five days a month? No they most certainly do not, and so I’m not going to either. 

I’m tired of periods and managing them. So I’m back on board with the sanitary pads. And sometimes, even a little free bleeding into thicker knickers. Because even though it doesn’t feel as clean, I feel like I’ve got control of my body. I feel like I’m letting it do its thing. 

I never imagined I’d feel this way. I still have to wear tampons on my heaviest period days if I’m being active or want to wear a nice outfit. But I keep it to a bare minimum. 

I’m not really sure exactly what I’m trying to say here with this post. Other than I’m fed up with the options. Do better product makers. Someone come up with something better than a nappy or a tampon. Something that actually works. Because as much as I want to get on board with all the eco alternatives, none of them are comfortable enough for me yet. 


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