NO BOYS ALLOWED. It's time for girl talk. No, seriously, you boys and men wouldn't even understand. But if you want to stick around, by all means, suit yourself.
I'll start by saying this: women's health is important. And I care about all things concerning women. I love women. So when my post advocating for women getting their annual checkups at the gynecologist was met with mixed reviews, it became more evident than ever that we women are fearful of talking openly about what's affecting our bodies.
But why? Are we ashamed? Embarrassed? Have we been taught that discussing it is distasteful, lacking class and/or couth? Perhaps in some settings these concerns are valid, but I believe there's a way to say everything. And yet sometimes, you just have to say: "Periods suck!" Lord knows they do. That's like a verifiable fact. I've learned through the years that they're a necessary evil, though, and incredibly cleansing for the soul. I feel so refreshed and renewed after mine that I'm even thankful for it. Until it comes back around to kick me in the ovaries, that is. The way I see it, we're all in this together. We can help one another. Any girlfriend you can't complain about your cramps to is no girlfriend at all. Write that down.
|Said annuals visit post.|
So, yeah. That time of the month. I call mine Big Red. Walk in the park, right? Ha! I read once that a women's rights group was advocating for companies to grant women one additional sick day a month just to be able to bear this terrible atrocity brought onto us by Eve the Great and Terrible. I'm all for that time off. We all have that one day in our cycle where we feel like we just can't go on. Sometimes, I have two. (As a matter of fact, I should probably begin to mentally prepare myself for the pain of childbirth, now that I think of it. *shudders*)
But what has made my last few cycles a bit more bearable are these adorable period panties (I know, we need a better name for em) from Bloom Undergarments. They're leak-proof, stain resistant, moisture wicking, and antimicrobial. Like me, founder Ashley West believes in having the candid but oh, so necessary conversation about periods. After all, we ladies go through the same things. And just like makeup tips and tricks, we all have some tidbit worth sharing. Bloom got started because a lot of women found themselves doubling up on panties during their cycle and thought they were the only ones. So Ashley created a panty to meet that need. When I got word, I just had to get my hands on a leopard pair.
I should note that panties in general are my jam. Sometimes I think to myself Omg I'm wearing the cutest panties today and that gives me the extra oomph I need to face any battle Mean Monday may throw my way. But when Big Red comes to town, it's more like Sweet grown-up Jesus, please don't let there be a leak. Leak--such a yucky word, in any capacity--but even more so when it comes to your body and clothing. It's literally the last thing you want. That's where Bloom comes in. Gone are the days where you have to double up on panties or ask your girlfriend to check your bottom for a stain when you walk across the room. They're pretty much a game-changer.
What I did was swap out the Blooms for my everyday (usually Victoria's Secret 7 for $20-something) panties and then followed my normal cycle behaviors. I tend to switch between tampons and pads, depending on my schedule. If Big Red drops in on a weekend or when I'll be at home for an extended period of time, I'll just wear a pad. I'm on my own schedule and can change it whenever. But if I'm ripping and running, I'll opt for a tampon. Because, you know, the feeling of the secretion can just be too much when you're out and about. Yeah, I said it.
Sometimes you'll lose track of time and there will be stains--it happens. But the goal is to never bleed through. Pun intended. I'm sure you know how it can be the devil getting stains out of precious panties. Not with Bloom! I even wore mine overnight--when I tend to be pretty heavy--and they washed away clean. They get a thumbs up for me. I tossed them in the wash on the warm/delicate cycle, skipped the fabric softener and they were good to go for the next time. I suggest having two or three at your disposal per cycle.
I would be remiss if I didn't share some of my own Big Red tips in this post, so here goes:
- Track your cycle. Seriously, it's the responsible thing to do. It lessens the likelihood of a surprise visit and mad dash to the nearest little girls' room. I use Clue. She's reliable and even tracks my emotions, pain, sleep level and fertile window. (Good to know someday when I'm married.)
- Sleep with a towel. I don't know the color or thread count of your sheets, but something tells me you'd rather they not be stained. When Big Red barges in, I always throw an old towel on top of my sheets for an extra guard.
- Summer's Eve can be your best girlfriend. Their cleansing cloths are great for carrying in your purse for a little refresher throughout the day. There are normal and sensitive skin options.
- Go bananas. I read somewhere that bananas help fight menstrual pains. I tried it and they work for me, so I stock up!
- Midol isn't the end all. I know it's created just for menstrual cramps, but that makes it more costly. I've found that ibuprofen works just the same, if not better. So don't break the bank!
If you have any tips that help you tolerate Big Red's visit, let me know in the comments! Check out Bloom on Instagram @girlsrockb and snag some pairs. You can get 20% off your entire purchase until March 15 using the code 'lifeisdeleesh20.' I hope they make your life as deleesh as possible and you can smile through the pain!