What to wear on your period in the pool

We’re all about that girlpower, and we know you are too.

That’s why we’re giving you the lowdown on what to wear on your period in the pool.

We’ve all been there: you’re at the YMCA for some swim practice, and then WHAMMO—your period hits. What’s a girl to do?

Well, don’t worry! We’ve got your back. We’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of five items that will make sure you can still have fun in the pool while keeping your tampon secure (and your dignity intact).

What to wear on your period in the pool

If you’re a person who loves swimming, the pool is one of your favorite places to spend time. But what if you have your period? Do you have to give up swimming for a week? Or can you still go to the pool and swim during that time?

In this article, we’ll explain what to wear on your period in the pool, as well as how to maintain hygiene when you’re menstruating. Let’s get started!

If you’ve ever been in a pool at the same time as someone on their period, you know how awkward it can be. Laying out in your swimsuit while a friend is wearing a tampon is one thing, but what if you have to get into the water for a swim?

Does that mean covering up with a towel? Or swimming in what’s essentially underwear?

Not anymore! We’ve come up with some tips for wearing your period gear in the pool without revealing anything.

If you plan on swimming, use a tampon or menstrual cup to prevent leakage while you’re in the water. You can use a pad or period underwear, if you prefer, for most other activities.


We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

When it comes to menstruation, there are a lot of myths surrounding periods.

From attracting sharks (not a thing) to getting pregnant during your period (it’s totally possible), the best way to combat misinformation is to talk about it.

So, whether you’re heading to the beach or spending a day by the pool, here’s what you need to know about your period and water.

It may not flow as much, but it doesn’t actually stop
Although it may seem like it, your period doesn’t really stop while you’re in the water.

Instead, you might be experiencing a reduction in flow due to the water pressure. Your period is still happening; it’s just not flowing out of your body at the same rate.

In other words: You still need protection to prevent leakage
Just because your period isn’t quite as active while you’re in the water doesn’t mean it’s going to stop completely — especially if you’re frequently moving in and out of the water.

If you’re worried about someone noticing that you’re on your period (not that menstruation is anything to be ashamed of!), try not to stress. You definitely don’t have to avoid the water altogether.

You have a few different options, though!
There are many safe and effective options for preventing leakage when you’re in the water on your period. The most important thing to consider is your own comfort.

Whether you’re using tampons or something different, changing whichever menstrual product right before you go is a great way to prevent leaks.

Tampons
Tampons are a great option for managing your period while swimming.

Not only are they discreet and easy to use, the only thing you really have to worry about is concealing the strings in your swimsuit.

Just be sure to change your tampon frequently, use the lowest absorption possible, and wash your hands before use.

In rare cases, not doing so can lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS). It can be life threatening if left untreated. It’s best not to risk it!

Menstrual cups
Menstrual cups are another great option for swimming on your period.

They’re generally considered safer than tampons. Plus, they collect more blood than tampons or pads.

Many are reusable, which is always a bonus.

Unfortunately, menstrual cups aren’t always the easiest to use, but it does get easier with practice.

Just make sure you change your menstrual cup every 6 to 12 hours, depending on your flow, and always practice good hygiene.

Menstrual discs
Although menstrual discs aren’t quite as popular, they’re still an effective option for preventing leaks during your period.

Similar to menstrual cups, these discs collect period blood versus absorption (aka tampons).

Many people find menstrual discs to be more comfortable than cups or tampons, making them a great option for anyone with an active lifestyle.

However, menstrual discs have many of the same downsides as menstrual cups.

They aren’t always easy to insert (especially at first). Most menstrual discs aren’t reusable, meaning you’ll need to bring a backup or two.

Period-friendly swimwear
Thanks to technology (and some really cool companies), there’s been a surge in period-friendly underwear and swimwear that makes swimming on your period a breeze.

Instead of worrying about a separate product, period swimwear has leak protection built-in. Several companies, like Ruby Love, offer period-friendly swimwear.

Or you can opt for a pair of period-friendly underwear from Thinx, which carries gender-neutral menstrual underwear that can be worn under your favorite swimsuit.

The downside to period-friendly clothing, however, is that it can get expensive. Plus, it’s not always recommended for heavy flows. You have to worry about washing it after each use, too.

You can always use another option — like tampons or a menstrual cup — as your main form of protection and rely on period-friendly bottoms as a backup.

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But pads and liners are a no-go
It’s not that you can’t wear pads or liners in the water during your period, but it generally isn’t recommended.

These products are built to absorb liquid, so they aren’t just going to absorb your period. They’re also going to absorb the water around you.

Translation? Things are probably going to get uncomfortable.

Plus, the adhesive doesn’t always stick well to swimsuit fabric, so you also run the risk of losing a pad or a liner in the water.

But if you’re in a bind, there’s no rule that says you can’t wear a pad in the water. Just make sure you take extra steps to secure it, and change it frequently.

While we’re here, there are a few other myths to let go of
Myth #1: Everyone will know you’re on your period
Except they won’t. Period products work pretty darn well, so no one will know unless you want them to know.

Myth #2: You’re going to leak in the water
Look, that might happen, but chances are slim.

Even if you do leak in the water, it’s going to dissipate into a much larger body of water — so the chances of anyone noticing it are slim to none.

Myth #3: Swimming on your period is unsanitary
Contrary to popular belief, the chemicals used in public pools are actually there to keep things clean. They help prevent the transmission of any bloodborne diseases, so you’re good.

Myth #4: Periods attract sharks
Sharks have really good senses of smell, so they pick up on more than just blood in the water.

They also sense urine and other bodily fluids — which they aren’t into — that will deter even the most curious shark from trying to make you an afternoon snack.

Still worried? There isn’t any research to suggest that periods increase the likelihood of a shark attack, so you really are in the clear.

Bonus: Swimming may actually help relieve any PMS-related cramps
Still need convincing before you hop in the water on your period?

A 2018 study looked at 70 people who experience PMS and concluded that swimming (much like any aerobic exercise) significantly decreased many of their physical and psychological symptoms.

This means that, while you might not be interested in a super heavy workout during your period, engaging in some light physical activity might be exactly what you need to find relief.

The bottom line
Although having your period isn’t always the best feeling in the world, there’s no reason for it to sideline you.

Whether your period popped up on vacation or your friends invited you on an impromptu pool trip, there are several options for managing your period while still enjoying the water.

Do what makes you happy. If that involves getting wet, then dive on in!

Jandra Sutton is an author, freelance journalist, and entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people live full, happy, and creative lives. In her spare time, she enjoys nerding out, Krav Maga, and anything related to ice cream. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

HEALTHLINE RESOURCE
Interested in exploring products for menstrual symptoms?
Discover our recommendations for medically-verified CBD creams, oils, gummies, and bath salts that may reduce menstrual cramps and other related symptoms.

Last medically reviewed on February 26, 2020

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Medically reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., MSN — Written by Jandra Sutton on February 26, 2020

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What to Expect from Your First Period (Menarche)
Overview
Timing
Early signs
What to do when it happens
Length
Blood loss
Pads, tampons, cups
If you bleed through your clothes
Smell
Swim and other activities
How to ease cramps
Other PMS symptoms
Overall frequency
How to track it
Are periods forever?
Pregnancy
See a doctor
For parents or guardians
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

What causes menstruation?
Menstruation is a result of puberty. This is when your body becomes capable of reproduction.

When your menstrual cycle begins, your estrogen levels increase. That causes the lining of your uterus to thicken.

The uterine lining thickens so it can support a fertilized egg and develop into a pregnancy.

If there isn’t a fertilized egg, your body will break the lining down and push it out of your uterus. This results in bleeding — your menstrual period.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a period for years or you’re waiting for your first one — periods can be difficult to navigate.

This article will go over everything you need to know, from how to find the right menstrual products and dealing with cramps to saving stained clothes.

When will I get my first period?
Most people start their periods between the ages of 12 and 13.Trusted Source However, it’s normal to start your period a little earlier or later, too.

As a general rule of thumb, menstruation will start about two years after your breasts begin to develop.

What signs should I look for?
Some people start their periods without any warning. Others may experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in the days leading up to their period.

Symptoms of PMS include:

acne
abdominal bloating
soreness in your breasts
back pain
constipation
diarrhea
feeling more tired than usual (fatigue)
feeling extra emotional or irritable
food cravings, especially for sweets
clear or white vaginal discharge
You may find it helpful to carry a “period kit” in your bag so you’re not caught completely off guard when your period begins.

This may include a:

clean pair of underwear
pad or tampon
wipe
pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol)
ADVERTISEMENT
At-home testing for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
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My period just started — what should I do?
If you’ve started your period and don’t have something to use for the blood, try not to worry. You can fashion a temporary pad out of toilet paper to hold things over until you’re able to get a proper pad or tampon.

Here’s how:

Take a long section (at least 10 squares) of toilet paper and fold the layers over each other.
Place this where a pad would go — along the panel of fabric between your legs (called the gusset) that’s in the middle section of your underwear.
Take another length of toilet paper and wrap it around the “pad” and your underwear a few times. This will help hold the tissue in place.
Tuck the end of the tissue into the top of the finished wrap. You now have a makeshift pad.
If you’re at school, you may consider asking your teacher or nurse for a pad or tampon. They’ve been asked before — trust us.

How long will it last?
Your first period may only last a couple of days.Trusted Source

It may take a couple of months for your period to settle into a regular schedule and consistency.

Once it does, your period may last anywhere from two to seven days each month.

How much blood will I lose?
Although a person’s first few periods are often light — bringing a few spots of red-brown blood throughout the week — you may have a heavier flow.

Your monthly period will follow a more consistent pattern once your hormones stabilize.

According to Planned Parenthood, the average person loses up to 6 tablespoons of blood during menstruation.Trusted SourceThat may seem like a lot of blood, but it’s usually about 1/3 of a cup at most.

Heavier bleeding isn’t necessarily cause for concern. But if you feel like you’re losing too much blood, tell your guardian or talk to the school nurse.

You should also tell a trusted adult if you:

have to change your pad, tampon, or menstrual cup every one to two hours
feel lightheaded
feel dizzy
feel like your heart is racing
have bleeding that lasts more than seven days
Your guardian or other adult may need to take you to see a doctor to talk about your symptoms.

The doctor can help determine whether you’re losing too much blood. They may be able to give you medication to help relieve your symptoms.

What can I use to stop the bleeding?
You have several different options you can use to stop the bleeding.

You may need to try a few different types before you find what works best for you.

You may also find that your needs change over time. What you use to manage your first couple of periods may be different from what you use after you become more comfortable with menstruation.

Period underwear
Period underwear is a relatively new invention. It’s like regular underwear, except it’s created with a special fabric that absorbs menstrual tissue and traps it within the fabric.

You can usually use one or two pairs throughout your entire period. Just make sure you wash them according to the manufacturer’s directions after each wear.

Different types have different levels of absorbency. If you have a lighter period, you may be able to rely on only these.

If you have a heavier period, you may enjoy using period underwear as a backup to prevent accidental leakage.

There are a ton of different brands out there, but they all work in a similar way. Knixteen and THINX, for example, have pairs specifically for tweens and teens.

Pads and panty liners
Sanitary pads are rectangular pieces of absorbent material that you stick inside your underwear.

All pads have a sticky strip on the bottom. That’s what attaches the pad to your underwear.

Some have extra material on the sides, known as “wings,” that you fold over the edges of your underwear. This helps keep the pad in place.

Pads typically need to be changed every four to eight hours, but there isn’t a set rule. Simply change it if the material feels sticky or wet.

They come in different sizes. Each size is made to accommodate a different level of bleeding.

Generally speaking, the smaller the pad, the less blood it can hold.

You’ll probably use a more absorbent pad at the beginning of your period then switch to something lighter once the bleeding slows down.

You may also find it helpful to wear a heavier pad overnight so you don’t have to worry about leakage.

Even the largest pads are still quite thin, so you shouldn’t be able to see it through your clothes. If you’re worried that people might be able to tell, stick to looser-fit bottoms.

Panty liners are smaller, thinner versions of a sanitary pad.

You may find it helpful to use them a couple of days before your period is supposed to start to prevent accidentally bleeding on your underwear.

You may also want to use panty liners toward the end of your period, as the bleeding may be spotty and unpredictable.

Tampons
Tampons are absorbent, tubelike menstrual products. They’re inserted into the vagina so they can absorb menstrual fluid before it reaches your underwear.

Some tampons are sold with plastic or cardboard applicator tubes. These tubes are designed to help you slide the tampon into your vagina. All tampons have a string on one end to pull it out.

As with pads, tampons come in different sizes and overall absorbencies.

You may fluctuate between sizes throughout the week:

Slim or junior tampons are typically smaller. They work best for lighter flows.
Regular tampons are considered average in size and absorbency.
Super or super-plus tampons are the largest in size. They work best for heavier flows.
Although some manufacturers sell scented tampons, avoid these. Fragrance can cause irritation inside the vagina.

When it’s time to insert, gently push the tampon inside your vaginal canal until only the string remains outside of the body.

If your tampon has an applicator, grasp the tube and gently pull it out. The tampon should remain inside your vagina.

When it’s time to remove the tampon, pull on the string until the tampon is free.

Tampons must be changed every eight hours at most. Leaving a tampon in for more than eight hours can increase your risk for irritation or infection as a result of the bacteria present.

Menstrual cups
Menstrual cups are another option. Similar to tampons, cups are inserted into the vagina where they collect blood before it exits the body.

Cups typically come in two size options — small or large — that are based on overall age and experience with childbirth.

You’ll likely find the smaller model more comfortable and easier to insert.

The insertion process is similar to that of a tampon. Although your product should come with step-by-step directions, you can also check out our guide to insertion and removal.

Unlike pads or tampons, most cups are reusable. This means that when it’s time to change the cup, you simply take it out, clean it, and reinsert.

Cups must be changed every 12 hours at most. Leaving a cup in for more than 12 hours can increase your risk for irritation or infection as a result of the bacteria present.

Depending on the brand, reusable cups can last anywhere from 6 months to 10 years with proper care.Trusted Source

What if I bleed through my clothes — are they ruined?
Not necessarily! Before we get into the nitty-gritty, know that leaks happen to everyone.

When you first start your period, you’re learning about how much you bleed, how much your menstrual product can hold, and when your flow is heaviest.

If you can, keep a couple of stain wipes in your bag. They can help get the worst of the stain out and hold things over until you’re able to clean the fabric properly.

You can also tie a jacket or sweatshirt around your waist to help cover the stain until you’re able to change.

When you get home, try this method to get blood stains off:

Soak the stained fabric in cold water as soon as possible. Warm or hot water will cause the stain to set into the fabric, so make sure the water is cold.
If you have stain remover handy, now’s the time to spray it on. Make sure the affected area is completely soaked. Allow it to sit for as long as the product’s label recommends.
If you don’t have a stain remover — or you want to double up on your technique — rub bar soap or dab liquid soap into the affected area. You should get a small lather, where little bubbles appear on your pants.
Rinse and repeat the soap scrub until the stain lifts.
If the stain doesn’t remove all the way, you can wash the clothing in the washing machine. Just make sure you use cold water instead of warm or hot.
Allow the clothing to air-dry. The heat from the dryer can make the stain set permanently.
Can other people tell that I’m on my period?
Nope! You don’t look or smell any differently. The only time someone might be able to smell the blood is if you leave your pad or period underwear on for longer than recommended.

Remember, scented panty liners and other menstrual products can irritate your vulva. You should avoid using these.

If you’re concerned about odor, gently cleanse your vaginal area with warm water.

Can I still swim and play sports?
You definitely can swim and participate in other physical activities during your period. In fact, exercise may help reduce cramping and discomfort.

If you plan on swimming, use a tampon or menstrual cup to prevent leakage while you’re in the water.

You can use a pad or period underwear, if you prefer, for most other activities.

What can I do about cramps?
Although cramps serve a purpose — they help your body release the uterine lining — they can be uncomfortable.

You may be able to find relief by:

taking over-the-counter medicines, like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen sodium (Aleve), according to label specifications
applying a cloth-covered heating pad, heating wrap, or other heat pack to your stomach or lower back
soaking in a hot bath
If your cramps are so severe that you feel nauseous, are unable to get out of bed, or are otherwise unable to participate in everyday activities, talk to a trusted adult.

They can take you to see a doctor to discuss your symptoms. In some cases, severe cramping may be a symptom of another underlying condition, such as endometriosis.

Are there other symptoms?
In addition to cramping, you may experience:

acne
abdominal bloating
soreness in your breasts
back pain
constipation
diarrhea
feeling more tired than usual (fatigue)
feeling extra emotional or irritable
food cravings, especially for sweets
clear or white vaginal discharge
You may not experience these symptoms every time you have your period. They can come and go depending on your body’s hormonal fluctuations.

How often will I get it?
Your period is a part of your menstrual cycle. This means that, with time, your period will usually be on a predictable pattern.

The average menstrual cycle is about 28 days. Some people have one that lasts 21 to 45 days. That’s completely normal, too.

It may take up to 6 years after your first period for menstruation to occur at a regular interval.Trusted Source That’s because your body has to learn how to release and regulate your reproductive hormones.

How do I keep track of when it will come?
Although it may take a couple of years for your period to settle into a predictable rhythm, you may still find it helpful to track your symptoms.

This will allow you to look for patterns and be somewhat prepared when your period does come.

You can also use this information to talk to your school nurse or other healthcare provider about severe cramps or other concerns.

To do this, mark the day your period started and the day it ended on your phone or paper calendar.

If you don’t want others to know what you’re tracking, you can use symbols or code words to help you identify when you’ve stopped and started.

As a general rule, your next period will probably start three to four weeks after the last one ended.

You can also download an app for your phone. Some examples include:

Clue Period Tracker & Calendar
Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker
Eve Period Tracker App
Fitbits also have a period tracking option.

Will I have periods forever?
You won’t have a period for the rest of your life, but you’ll probably have it for quite some time.

Most people will have a menstrual period until they go through menopause. Menopause occurs when the hormones that increased to trigger your first period begin to decrease.

Menopause typically begins between ages 45 to 55.

Stress and other underlying conditions can also cause your period to stop.

If you begin experiencing any unusual symptoms alongside a missed period, talk to a doctor or other healthcare provider.

If you want to stop having a period, you may consider talking to your healthcare provider about hormonal birth control.

Certain forms allow you to skip your period whenever you like — or stop it entirely.

Can I get pregnant?
The short answer? Yes. Pregnancy is possible anytime semen comes into contact with the vagina.

Although the onset of menstruation is widely regarded as the start of your reproductive years, it’s possible to become pregnant before you’ve had a period.

It all comes down to your hormones. In some cases, your body may begin to release ovulation-causing hormones long before it triggers the start of menstruation.

And when you do begin menstruation, it’s possible to get pregnant if you have sex during your period. It ultimately comes down to where you are in your menstrual cycle.

Using a condom or other form of birth control is the best way to prevent pregnancy.

When to see a doctor or other healthcare provider
Talk to a trusted adult or reach out to your healthcare provider if:

You haven’t started your period by age 15.
You’ve had your period for about two years and it isn’t regular.
You experience bleeding between your periods.
You experience severe pain that prevents you from completing daily activities.
Your bleeding is so heavy that you have to change your pad or tampon every one to two hours.
Your periods last longer than seven days.
If you call to make an appointment, tell the person who’s scheduling it that you’re having problems with your period.

They may ask you to write down details about:

when your most recent period started
when your most recent period ended
when you first noticed your irregular bleeding or other symptoms
Tips for parents or guardians
As a parent or guardian, it can be tough to know how to guide a young person through their first period.

If you haven’t already, you may find it helpful to:

Reassure them that getting a period is a normal part of life.
Stick to the facts. You don’t want your individual history — good or bad — with menstruation to shape their outlook.
Explain different menstrual product options and how they’re used.
Help them create a period kit that includes a pair of underwear, stain wipes, and menstrual products they can easily store in a backpack or locker.
You can also share any life lessons you’ve learned throughout the years. For example:

Which pain relievers work best for cramping?
Do you have any go-to remedies to ease bloating?
Can you use baking soda or other staple ingredients on stains?
HEALTHLINE RESOURCE
Interested in exploring products for menstrual symptoms?
Discover our recommendations for medically-verified CBD creams, oils, gummies, and bath salts that may reduce menstrual cramps and other related symptoms.

Last medically reviewed on April 15, 2019

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Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI — Written by Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA on April 15, 2019

8 Underwear Rules to Live by for a Healthy Vagina

The 6 Best Next-Gen Menstrual Products

How Kelp Can Actually Help You Lose Weight and Balance Your Hormones

The No BS Guide to Healthy, Well-Groomed Pubic Hair

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Know Your Flow: How Periods Change as You Get Older
Intro
A word on pain
Teens and younger
20s
30s
40s
50s
Shedding the period taboo
Here’s a bit of trivia for ya: Courtney Cox was the first person to call a period a period on national television. The year? 1985.

Menstrual taboo has been a thing long before the 80s, though. There are many societal, cultural, and religious customs across the globe saying what can and can’t be done during a period. And pop culture has been equally unkind.

Thankfully things are slowly catching up, but a lot is still left wanting. One way to shed this period taboo is to simply talk about it — call it what it is.

It’s not “Aunt Flo coming to visit,” “that time of the month,” or “shark week.” It’s a period.

There’s blood and pain and sometimes relief or sadness, and sometimes it’s all that at the same time. (And another thing: They’re not feminine hygiene products, they’re menstrual products.)

We reached out to a doctor and a bunch of people with uteruses to get the lowdown on what it’s like to have a period — from puberty through menopause and everything in between.

Take pain seriously, even at a young age
Before we start, it’s likely many of us with uteruses have had our pain not taken seriously. Maybe you were taught this was just how periods were gonna be. But your pain matters.

If you experience any of the following around or during your period, don’t hesitate to seek out a healthcare provider:

pain in the pelvic region
painful periods
lower back pain
pain in the lower abdomen
long periods
heavy periods
These symptoms likely point to a menstrual disorder.

Many of the common menstrual disorders get diagnosed later in life, like in your 20s or 30s. But that doesn’t mean they actually started occurring at that time — it’s just when a doctor confirmed it.

Don’t hesitate to get help, however old you are. You deserve treatment.

Tweens and teens: Often messy, but nothing to be embarrassed by
On average, people in the United States get their first period at around 12 years oldTrusted Source. But that’s just an average. If you were a few years older or younger, that’s normal, too.

The age you are when you first get your period depends on a bunch of factorsTrusted Source, like your genetics, body mass index (BMI), the foods you eat, how much exercise you get, and even where you live.

In the first few years, it’s common for your period to be irregular and unpredictable. You might go months without any hint of it and then boom, red Niagara Falls.

“Menarche, the beginning of the menses, is very much reflective of menopause because initially, and at the end, we’re not ovulating,” says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of OB-GYN and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine.

Our menstrual cycle is governed by our hormones. The physical experience of a period — the bleeding, cramps, emotional swings, tender breasts — all comes down to the amount of hormones our body is releasing at any given time. And two hormones in particular dictate our cycle.

“Estrogen stimulates the growth of the uterine lining, while progesterone regulates that growth,” Minkin says. “When we’re not ovulating, we don’t have the regulatory control of the progesterone. So you can get these willy-nilly periods. They come, they don’t come. Then there can be heavy, intermittent bleeding.”

Katia Najd first got her period a couple of years ago when she was 15. In the beginning she experienced a relatively irregular — though totally normal — cycle.

“My period was very light at the beginning and lasted for about a week and a half,” Najd says. “I also had about two periods a month, which is why I decided to go on the pill to regulate it.”

It’s common to feel shy, confused, and even frustrated about your period at first. Which makes total sense. It’s a brand new, often messy experience that involves a very intimate part of your body.

“I used to be so afraid of leaking in middle school (I hadn’t even started my period, but I was afraid I would start and then leak) that I would go to the bathroom like every half hour just to check,” says Erin Trowbridge. “I was petrified of stuff like that for years.”

Growing up Muslim, Hannah Said wasn’t allow to pray or fast during Ramadan when she was menstruating. She says this made her feel uncomfortable, especially when she was around other religious people. But thanks to support from her father, she didn’t internalize too much of the stigma.

“My dad was the first person to know I had my period and bought me pads,” she says. “So it’s always been something I’m comfortable talking about, especially with men.”

Similarly, Najd cites the support of her family as one of the reasons she doesn’t feel negatively about her period.

“I have two older sisters, so I was used to hearing about it before I ever started,” she says. “It’s something every woman has, so it’s nothing to be embarrassed by.”

ADVERTISEMENT
At-home testing for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
LetsGetChecked’s PCOS test measures key hormones that may impact your menstrual cycle, ovulation, metabolism, and more. Order today for 30% off.

The 20s: Getting into a groove
So, periods are all over the place in the beginning. But what about with a little more time?

Your 20s are your fertility heyday. This is the time your body is most prepared to have a baby. For most people this means their cycles will be the most regular.

“As one gets a little more mature going through the menarche stage, they start ovulating. When you start ovulating, barring anything abnormal going on, you start having more regular monthly cycles,” says Minkin.

But if you’re in your 20s, you could be reading this thinking: “No way am I having kids anytime soon!” Fact: People are waiting longerTrusted Source to have children than ever before.

Which is why many folks in their 20s continue to use birth control or get on it. BC can further regulate your cycle if it was all over the place before. However, it can take a while to find the right type of BC.

But depending on the kind of contraceptive and the person, starting BC may also create all sorts of changes — some negative enough for a person to switch.

Aleta Pierce, 28, has been using a copper IUD for birth control for over five years. “[My period] got much heavier after I got the copper IUD. Before, when I was on hormonal forms of birth control (NuvaRing, the pill), it was much lighter and less symptomatic.”

Period sex: To have or not to have
Between the years of 20 and 29, it can be an important time to figure out adulting — including what kind of sex feels good. For many, this includes deciding how they feel about period sex.

“I’m more comfortable now with period sex than I used to be,” says Eliza Milio, 28. “I’m usually very turned on right at the beginning of the cycle. However, it’s very rare that I have sex when I’m on my heaviest two days of my cycle because I get so bloated and crampy that all I want to do is eat ice cream in sweatpants. Not exactly sexy.”

For Nicole Sheldon, 27, period sex is something she’s OK with leaving in the past.

“Period sex isn’t something I engage in often. I used to have more of it when I was younger, but now it just seems too messy unless I’m taking a shower,” she says.

You don’t have to avoid period sex if you don’t want to, though. It’s safe to have — just a bit messy sometimes. Do what feels good for you and your partner.

When symptoms may mean something more
The 20s are often the decade when many people become more aware that their symptoms may be a sign of a menstrual condition, like:

polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
endometriosis
fibroids
premenstrual syndrome or PMDD
abnormal bleeding cycles
painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
If you’re still having pain, a super heavy flow, long periods, or anything else seems funky or off in general, seek out a healthcare provider.

The 30s: A mixed bag, but almost sacred
Your 30s are likely a mixed bag when it comes to your period. Early in the decade, you’re probably still regularly ovulating and can expect your period to be much like it was in your 20s.

For some, this may mean pain. And a lot of it.

“[I experience] stabbing, debilitating cramps in my lower back and ovaries, tender breasts and insomnia in the days leading up, and intense waves of emotion, causing me to cry at the drop of a hat,” says Marisa Formosa, 31.

But despite the physical discomfort brought on by her period, Formosa feels emotionally connected to her monthly cycle.

“Over the years, I’ve developed a fierce pride and defensiveness of my period,” she says. “It’s almost sacred to me. I believe it ties me to the earth, to the seasons, to the circular patterns and cycles of life and death. So the cultural disgust and shaming of periods, which I have internalized as much as the next person, pisses me off.”

Time for the pregnancy talk
Our bodies might be ready for kids in our 20s, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us are. In fact, the fertility rate for cis women in the United States over 30 rose more than any other age bracketTrusted Source in 2016.

Pregnancy can do a number on the body. The changes are innumerable and vastly different for each person. But one thing’s for sure: No one gets their period while they’re pregnant. (Though some spotting can occur).

In the months directly after giving birth, you may get your period immediately, or it could take months to return.

Minkin explains that the return of a person’s period largely depends on whether they’re only breastfeeding, supplementing with formula, or exclusively using formula.

“When you’re breastfeeding, you’re making a lot of a hormone called prolactin,” says Minkin. “Prolactin suppresses your estrogen formation and keeps you from getting pregnant.”

For Allison Martin, 31, giving birth was a welcomed reprieve from her naturally heavy flow. But when her period did return, it came back with a vengeance.

“There were a glorious six months without a period because of breastfeeding,” she says. “But now my nighttime bleeding is so heavy I have sometimes slept on a towel to prevent bloody sheets. This is usually for just two nights a cycle, and I recently discovered the hugest-ass pads known to the world. It has solved this problem!”

Perimenopause
For some, the mid-to-late 30s is the kickoff to a brand-new journey: perimenopause.

Defined as the 8 to 10 years leading up to menopause, perimenopause is a result of your body producing less estrogen and progesterone.

“Eventually one will get to perimenopause where they’re making estrogen without making progesterone, or growing the lining of the uterus without control,” says Minkin. “So again you can have these crazy bleeding patterns.”

While it’s totally normal to start perimenopause in your 30s, most people will really get into the thick of it in their 40s.

And as always, if you’re experiencing pain or something doesn’t feel right, book an appointment with a doc.

The 40s: Playing the guessing game
You probably won’t escape your 40s without losing a few pairs of undies because, similar to the years after your first period, perimenopause is all about random and unpredictable bleeding.

For most of her adult life, Amanda Baker knew what to expect from her period. She bled for four days, the first being the heaviest and the following three gradually tapering off. Then at 45 she missed a period.

“I’ve been a wreck ever since, spotting nearly every day, or a random unpredictable gush of blood, just near-constant bleeding of some kind. This week [has been] heavy bleeding and large, palm-sized clots,” says Baker.

Although the 40s are a common time for perimenopause, Minkin cautions that irregular periods alone aren’t enough to say for sure that someone is experiencing it.

If you suspect you’re perimenopausal, be on the lookout for other corresponding signs and symptoms, such as:

a drier-than-usual vagina
hot flashes
chills and night sweats
trouble sleeping
moodiness and emotional ups and downs
weight gain
thinning hair and dry skin
loss of breast fullness
You don’t necessarily have to call up your doctor when you start perimenopause, but they can prescribe medication if needed. The usual go-tos — exercising more often than not, eating right, sleeping well— can do a lot to improve symptoms.

The 50s: Bring on the menopause
Most experts agree a person officially has menopause when they haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months. In the United States, this happens, on average, at age 51.

Most people can expect their perimenopause symptoms to ease throughout their 50s as they approach the end of ovulation. Some complete menopause much earlier or much later.

Aileen Raulin, 64, went through menopause when she was 50. Although she no longer gets a monthly period, she still experiences hormonal fluctuations.

“Before menopause, mid-cycle I felt irritable and I would have stress incontinence,” says Raulin. “Now I still notice that moody time every month, and I have to wear a pad.”

Minkin says that as long as a person has ovaries, it’s possible to see some hormonal activity. Although for the vast majority of people over 60, there won’t be much activity at all.

Going through menopause can be an emotional roller coaster, and not just because of the hormonal swings. Cultural representations of people with menopause are hard to come by. It often feels like a subject that we’re not supposed to talk about.

Let’s change that.

We don’t have to do anything more than be honest and our authentic selves, as Viola Davis recently did when explaining menopause. (That Jimmy Kimmel had to ask her for the definition of menopause is another story.)

Talking about your flow, whether you have it or not, helps you know yourself.

Ginger Wojcik is an assistant editor at Greatist. Follow more of her work on Medium or follow her on Twitter.

HEALTHLINE RESOURCE
Interested in exploring products for menstrual symptoms?
Discover our recommendations for medically-verified CBD creams, oils, gummies, and bath salts that may reduce menstrual cramps and other related symptoms.

Last medically reviewed on May 16, 2019

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Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — Written by Ginger Wojcik — Updated on December 27, 2019

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Period Syncing: Real Phenomenon or Popular Myth?
Origins of the theory
Research
Lunar cycle syncing
Obstacles to proving
Takeaway
What is period syncing?
Period syncing describes a popular belief that women who live together or spend a lot of time together begin menstruating on the same day every month.

Period syncing is also known as “menstrual synchrony” and “the McClintock effect.” It’s based on the theory that when you come in physical contact with another person who menstruates, your pheromones influence each other so that eventually, your monthly cycles line up.

Some women even swear that certain “alpha females” can be the determining factor when entire groups of women experience ovulation and menstruation.

Anecdotally, people who menstruate accept that period syncing is a real thing that occurs. But the medical literature doesn’t have a solid case to prove that it happens. Keep reading to find out what we know about menstruation cycles syncing up.

The McClintock effect
The idea of period syncing has been passed down from mothers to their daughters and discussed in dorms and women’s restrooms for centuries. But the scientific community started to take the idea seriously when a researcher named Martha McClintock conducted a study of 135 college women living in a dorm together to see if their menstrual cycles aligned.

The study didn’t test other cycle factors, like when the women ovulated, but it did track when the women’s monthly bleeding began. McClintock concluded that the women’s periods were, indeed, syncing up. After that, period syncing was referred to as “the McClintock effect.”

But what does current research say?
With the invention of period tracking apps that store digital records of women’s cycles, there’s a lot more data available now to understand if period syncing is real. And the new research doesn’t support McClintock’s original conclusion.

In 2006, a new study and reviewTrusted Source of the literature made the assertion that “women do not sync their menstrual cycles.” This study collected data from 186 women living in groups in a dorm in China. Any period syncing that appeared to occur, the study concluded, was within the realm of mathematical coincidence.

A large study conducted by Oxford University and the period tracking app company Clue was the biggest blow yet to the theory of period syncing. Data from over 1,500 people demonstrated that it’s unlikely that women can disrupt each other’s menstrual cycles by being in close proximity to one another.

A much smaller 2017 studyTrusted Source keeps the idea of period syncing alive by pointing out that 44 percent of participants that were living with other women experienced period synchrony. Period symptoms like menstrual migraine were also more common in women living together. This would indicate that women might influence each other’s periods in ways beyond the timing of their menstruation.

Syncing with the moon
The word “menstruation” is a combination of Latin and Greek words meaning “moon” and “month.” People have long believed that women’s fertility rhythms were related to the lunar cycle. And there’s some research to suggest that your period is connected to or somewhat syncs with the moon’s phases.

In one older study from 1986, over 28 percentTrusted Source of participants experienced period bleeding during the new moon phase. If this data set of 826 women held for the entire population, it would indicate that 1 in 4 women have their period during the new moon phase. However, a more recent study conducted in 2013 suggested no connectionTrusted Source.

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Why synchronicity is hard to prove
The truth is, we might never nail down how real the phenomenon of period syncing is, for a few reasons.

Period syncing is controversial because we don’t know for sure if the pheromones on which the theory hinges can influence when your period starts.

Pheromones are chemical signals that we send to the other humans around us. They signify attraction, fertility, and sexual arousal, among other things. But can the pheromones from one woman signal to another that menstruation should take place? We don’t know.

Period syncing is also difficult to prove because of the logistics of women’s period cycles. While the standard menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days — beginning with 5 to 7 days of your “period” during which your uterus sheds and you experience bleeding — lots of people don’t experience periods that way.

Cycle lengths up to 40 days are still within the realm of what’s “normal.” Some women have shorter cycles with only two or three days of bleeding. That makes what we think of as “period syncing” a subjective metric that depends on how we define “syncing up.”

Menstrual synchrony might often appear due to the laws of probability more than anything else. If you have your period for one week out of the month, and you live with three other women, odds are at least two of you will be having your period at the same time. This probability complicates research into period syncing.

The takeaway
As with many women’s health issues, menstrual synchrony deserves more attention and research, despite how difficult it may be to prove or disprove. Until then, period syncing will probably continue to live on as an anecdotally proven belief about women’s periods.

As humans, it’s natural to connect our physical experiences with our emotional ones, and having a period that “syncs” with a family member or close friend adds another layer to our relationships. However, it’s important to note that having a period that’s “out of sync” with the women you live with doesn’t mean anything is irregular or wrong with your cycle or your relationships.

HEALTHLINE RESOURCE
Interested in exploring products for menstrual symptoms?
Discover our recommendations for medically-verified CBD creams, oils, gummies, and bath salts that may reduce menstrual cramps and other related symptoms.

Last medically reviewed on January 23, 2019

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Medically reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., MSN — Written by Kathryn Watson on January 23, 2019
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You talk period cramps and how you’re PMS-ing with friends. Chances are you’ve even bonded with a random stranger in a public restroom over the woes of forgetting to stash a menstrual product in your bag before heading out.

It’s easy to get real about periods, but it doesn’t get any more real than period farts. Yes, period farts. We know they’re a thing. You do, too. It’s time we talked about them.

Being especially gassy on your period is common, and so is that smell. That smell that causes you to blush at the realization that something so dank could possibly come out of your body.

Why it happens
Gas before your period as well as during is usually caused by fluctuations in hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone.

Rising hormone levels in the days leading up to your period can do a number on your stomach and small intestine. These higher levels of estrogen cause gas, constipation, and trapped air and gas in your intestinal tract.

Right before your period starts, the cells in the lining of your uterus produce prostaglandins. These are fatty acids that function much like hormones.

Prostaglandins help your uterus contract to shed its lining every month. If your body produces too many, the excess prostaglandins enter your bloodstream and cause other smooth muscles in your body to contract — including those in your bowels.

This can lead to flatulence and changes in your bowel habits, which is fancy talk for period farts and the dreaded period poops.

It may be a symptom of something else, too
Gas and other gastrointestinal (GI) issues during certain stages of your menstrual cycle are pretty common.

But in some cases, they may be a sign of an underlying condition.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a common condition of the large intestine that causes:

cramping
bloating
gas
abdominal pain
Several studiesTrusted Source have found that IBS symptoms, including gas, are worse during your period. People with IBS also tend to have more intense period-related symptoms, like severe cramps and heavy periods.

Endometriosis
Endometriosis causes the tissue that lines the uterus to grow outside the uterus, sometimes even outside the pelvis. GI symptoms are commonTrusted Source in people with endometriosis.

Like IBS symptoms, endometriosis symptoms also tend to worsen during your period. These symptoms include:

gas
bloating
constipation
Painful periods, pain during sex, and heavy periods are also common symptoms.

Why they smell so bad
The smell. Oh, the smell.

There are a few reasons why period farts smell have such a… unique scent. The main reason being that your gut bacteria change during your period, which can make flatulence extra fragrant.

The food you eat also contributes to the smell. But it’s not all your fault that you want to — and maybe do — eat all the junk when on your period.

Period cravings are very real. There’s evidenceTrusted Source that high progesterone levels related to your period trigger compulsive eating and dissatisfaction with your body. Together, these can make it hard to muster the energy to care about what you’re eating.

Reaching for dairy, starchy carbs, and sweets change the smell of your farts for the worse and can cause constipation.

Speaking of constipation, the buildup of poop can cause bacteria and odor to develop, too, making for some even smellier toots.

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What you can do
Farting is a biological process that we can’t really get away from. Even smelly farts are pretty normal. This doesn’t mean you’re destined to clear a room for three to eight days every month until menopause, though.

PUT A CORK IN IT
Here are a few ways to put a kibosh on period farts, or at least make them less smelly:

Drink plenty of water to help move waste through your body more efficiently.
Exercise to help you stay regular and avoid constipation.
Eat smaller portions at a slower pace to improve digestion and limit gas production.
Take a stool softener or laxative if you tend to get constipated during your period.
Try to resist the urge to binge-eat more often than not when you’re in the throes of PMS and your period.
Stay away from carbonated beverages. They can make you gassier.
Avoid foods that make gas smell worse, like cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
Take an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen (Advil) to reduce the production of fart- and poop-inducing prostaglandins.
Talk to your doctor about birth control pills. They may reduce or eliminate uncomfortable period symptoms.
The bottom line
Farting is totally natural. We promise you’re not the only one experiencing some seriously funky farts during your period.

A few tweaks to your diet and lifestyle that are good for your health anyway may be all you need to put an end to period farts.

Speak to your healthcare provider about medical options, like birth control pills, if you’re experiencing other symptoms that may indicate an underlying condition.

HEALTHLINE RESOURCE
Interested in exploring products for menstrual symptoms?
Discover our recommendations for medically-verified CBD creams, oils, gummies, and bath salts that may reduce menstrual cramps and other related symptoms.

Last medically reviewed on June 6, 2019

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Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI — Written by Adrienne Santos-Longhurst on June 6, 2019

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As a menstruating teen, the worst thing that could’ve possibly happened was almost always related to periods.

Whether it was an unexpected arrival or blood soaking through clothing, these worries often stemmed from a lack of discussion about menstruation.

Free bleeding aims to change all that. But there can be a lot of confusion around what it means to free-bleed. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. What is it?
    The premiseof free bleeding is simple: You menstruate without using tampons, pads, or other menstrual products to absorb or collect your flow.

There are two sides to free bleeding. Some view it as a movement intended to normalize periods in society. Others are forced to do it out of financial necessity.

There’s also more than one way to go about it. Some people wear their usual underwear — or entirely forgo underwear — while others invest in period-proof clothing.

  1. Is using a pad or panty liner the same thing as free bleeding?
    Free bleeding is often about revolting against the need for specific menstrual products.

Although neither of these products are inserted into the vagina — so the blood does flow freely — they’re still part of the menstrual product category.

  1. Why do period panties and other blood-collecting clothes count?
    This is where things get a little confusing. It’s easy to lump the likes of period panties into the menstrual product box, but these newfangled items are different.

For starters, they’re designed to feel natural, rather than an addition to your body or underwear. Plus, they look just like regular underwear.

Their fabrication also allows you to go about your everyday life without worrying about your period.

Most are made with multiple layers of fabric that each have a different purpose.

For example, one brand, Thinx, uses four layers in its products:

a moisture-wicking layer
an odor-controlling layer
an absorbent layer
a leak-resistant layer
At the end of the day, period-proof designs are menstrual products. But the personal freedom they provide has solidified their place in the free-bleeding category.

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  1. Is this a new thing?
    Free bleeding has been around for centuries.

Although periods aren’t mentioned a lot in historical texts, people in 17th-century England would either free-bleed, use rags to soak up the blood, or fashion makeshift tampons out of things like sponges.

Free bleeding in those times, however, may not have been an intentional choice. It’s more likely that little else existed.

It isn’t exactly clear when the modern free bleeding movement began, although menstrual activism became prominent in the 1970s.

The first reusable item was being worked on before this time, though. In 1967, a patent for a “protective petticoat” with a “moisture-proof material” was registered.

Earlier designs tended to rely on plastic films to soak up blood. Today’s period-proof clothing is much more advanced. It uses specially designed fabric to absorb liquid without the need for a plastic lining.

As well as technological innovations, the emergence of the internet helped the popularity of free bleeding. One of the earliest online conversations on the topic appears to be this 2004 blog post.

Now, numerous people have opened up about their free-bleeding experiences, artists have tried to promote it via Instagram, and one marathon runner’s bloody leggings hit headlines across the world.

  1. Why is it so controversial?
    Although some ancient civilizations believed period blood was magical, the idea that periods are dirty and should therefore be hidden away began to seep in over the centuries.

Some cultures still actively shun people who are on their periods.

People in Nepal, for example, have historically been banished to hutsTrusted Source when menstruating.

Though the practice was criminalized in 2017, the stigma persists. This has led some to adopt workarounds to the law.

Many Western countries have also struggled to normalize this bodily process, with the “tampon tax” at the forefront.

And, whether it’s free bleeding or something else, anything that aims to tear down decades upon decades of societal belief is bound to cause some contention.

  1. Why do people do it?
    People are drawn to free bleeding for a number of reasons.

Some of these — like the fact that people enjoy their natural state and feel more comfortable without menstrual products — are simple.

But many are more complex.

By refusing to hide their periods, some free bleeders are on an intentional mission to normalize menstruation.

They may also be protesting the “tampon tax.” It’s a common practice in which traditional menstrual products are priced as luxury items.

Others may free-bleed to raise awareness of period poverty and the fact that some people don’t have access to products or sufficient menstrual education.

Then there’s the environmental aspect. Disposable menstrual products result in a huge amount of waste.

Around 20 billion pads and tampons are thought to end up in North American landfills every year. Reusable items like menstrual cups reduce this figure, but so do period panties and full-on free bleeding.

  1. Are there any other benefits?
    Experts note that free bleeding has no proven health benefits. There are several anecdotal ones, though.

People have experienced reduced menstrual cramping and tend to feel less discomfort.

If you switch from tampons to free bleeding, there’s also a reduced risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

Although the overall risk is relatively small, wearing the same tampon for too long or wearing one that’s more absorbent than necessary has been tiedTrusted Source to TSS.

Even finances can improve. Buying period-proof clothing may cost more at first, but you’re likely to save more money in the long run.

And if you prefer to wear your usual underwear, you may not spend a thing.

  1. Is it sanitary?
    Period panties and similar items of protective clothing tend to incorporate antimicrobial technology designed to keep germs at bay.

But, when exposed to air, menstrual blood can give off an intense smell.

It also has the ability to carry bloodborne viruses.

Hepatitis C can live outside of the body for up to three weeks, while hepatitis B can remain viable for at least seven daysTrusted Source.

However, the risk of transmitting either of these conditions to another person is low without through-the-skin exposure.

  1. Are there any risks to consider?
    There’s only one other thing to think about: the potential mess that free bleeding entails.

If you choose not to wear period-proof clothing, the heaviest bleeding days of your cycle could see blood soaking through your underwear and clothes. This tends to be during the first couple of days.

Blood may also leak on any surface you sit on. While this may not be much of a problem at home, there could be some issues when out in public.

  1. How do you go about it?
    Here are some pointers if you’d like to try free bleeding:

Make important decisions. What do you want to bleed on? When do you want to do it? Where? Once you have all the answers, you’ll be in the best position to try it out.
Start in a safe environment. For most people, that’s at home, but it can be anywhere that you feel comfortable. This will allow you to get to know how your period works and what to expect from your flow.
Use a towel when sitting down. Some people only choose to free-bleed at home, ensuring they sit on a towel to prevent blood soaking through to furniture. When you’re first starting out, this is a good strategy to abide by. It’s also helpful to place a towel on your bed at night.
Venture outside only if and when you feel comfortable. You may only choose to do this toward the end of your cycle when blood flow is the lightest. Or you could free-bleed in public throughout the entirety of your period. The choice is yours.
Pack extra underwear and clothing. If you’re leaving the house and know there could be a chance your period soaks through your usual clothing, consider packing a few extra pairs of underwear and a change of pants. Most period-proof items are designed to last all day, so you shouldn’t need to worry if you’re wearing them.

  1. What period bottoms are out there?
    Thanks to the increasing popularity of free bleeding, several companies have designed high-quality underwear and activewear that allow you to go about your everyday life stress-free. Some are even appropriate for the water.

Here’s a few of the best options available.

For every day
Thinx is one of the biggest period-proof brands. Its Hiphugger panties can hold up to two tampons’ worth of blood, so they’re ideal for the heavier days of your cycle.
Knix’s Leakproof Boyshort is another comfy style. It comes with a thin built-in liner and technology that can absorb up to 3 teaspoons of blood, or two tampons’ worth.
Lunapads’ Maia Bikini panties can be customized to suit your flow. Wear alone on lighter days, and add an insert when you need a little more protection.
For yoga and other low- to moderate-impact activity
Modibodi bills itself as the “original” period underwear brand, even branching out into activewear. Its 3/4 leggings can absorb between one and 1 1/2 tampons’ worth of blood. They can also be worn with or without underwear — whatever you’re comfortable with!
Three layers of fabric make up Dear Kate’s Leolux Leotard. It’ll keep you dry, is resistant to leaks, and can do the job of up to 1 1/2 tampons.
For running and other high-impact activity
Thinx’s Training Shorts appear to be the only period-proof running shorts on the market. With the ability to absorb the same amount of blood as two tampons, they come with built-in underwear to keep you comfortable while working out.
Ruby Love’s Period Leggings claim to have maximum leakproof protection, letting you do any exercise with ease. Their lightweight liner means you can wear them alone or with underwear if your flow is particularly heavy.
For swimming
There aren’t many period-proof swimsuits around, but Modibodi’s One Piece can be used on the lighter days of your cycle. On heavier days, you may need additional protection.
If you’re on the lookout for a bikini, try Ruby Love’s Period Swimwear. Mix and match this bikini bottom with any top. It comes with a built-in liner and leakproof technology for all-day protection.

  1. What if you just want to use the underwear you already have?
    You can always free-bleed into your regular underwear! Just bear in mind the blood is likely to soak through pretty quickly.

Make sure you have plenty of spare underwear (and a change of clothes) on hand to change into.

As your period becomes lighter, you may not need to change as often or at all throughout the day.

  1. How to get blood out of your clothes
    The key to removing any kind of stain — blood included — is to avoid applying heat until it’s gone.

If your menstrual blood leaks onto your usual underwear or clothing, rinse the item under cold water. Sometimes, this is enough to remove the stain.

If not, spot-treat it with one of the following:

soap
laundry detergent
a product specifically designed for stain removal
hydrogen peroxide
baking soda mixed with water
With the first three, dab the product onto any lightweight fabrics. Feel free to scrub a little harder on denim and other tough materials.

Hydrogen peroxide can be useful for tougher or dried blood stains, but it can also fade dye. Be careful with any darker items.

To do this, dip a towel or cloth into the chemical and dab — not rub — it onto the stain. Leave on for around 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing off. Covering the treated area with plastic wrap and laying a dark towel over the top is said to increase the overall efficacy.

Alternatively, you can combine baking soda with water until a paste is formed. Coat the stain in it, leave the item out to dry, and brush off.

You can typically use the same treatments on clothes and bedding. Once the stain is removed, wash the item as you normally would.

Cleaning clothing designed for periods is much simpler. Once you’ve finished wearing the item for the day, immediately rinse with cold water.

You don’t have to stick it in the washing machine after every use, but when you do, place the item inside a laundry bag and put it on a cold wash.

A mild detergent is fine to use. Avoid bleach or fabric softener, though. They can reduce the absorbency of the design. Finish by air-drying.

The bottom line
Ultimately, free bleeding is all about you. You decide how you want to go about it, how often you want to do it, and everything else that comes with it.

Even if it doesn’t sound right for you, just talking about alternatives to traditional menstrual practices is an important step in ending the stigma around periods.

What to wear on your period at home

You’re home, and you don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing. You can let your hair down and relax, but there are still some things to consider when you’re on your period.

When it comes to what to wear on your period at home, comfort is key. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style or function. Here are a few ideas for what to wear on your period at home:

-Sports bras: They’re comfortable and easy to wash! If you want something a little more stylish, try a camisole or tank top with shorts or leggings underneath.

-Pants: Chinos or jeans are great options because they’re comfortable and durable enough for everyday wear but stylish enough for going out in public if necessary (if only because denim just looks good). Be sure to check the pockets before washing though—you don’t want any surprises waiting for you after the wash cycle!

Periods are a natural process that every woman has to go through. It is a monthly cycle that happens in your body, which you have no control over. It can be painful and uncomfortable at times but there are many ways to make your experience more tolerable. In this article, we will discuss what to wear on your period at home

It’s that time of the month again, and you don’t have to worry about what to wear.

You might be wondering why you should even care about what you’re wearing on your period. Well, it’s because your clothes can tell people a lot about who you are and what you stand for. But more importantly, it can make or break how comfortable you feel throughout your day.

The first step is knowing what type of clothes work best for you while on your period. If you’re looking for something that is both comfortable and stylish, we’ve got just the thing for you!

Check out our new line of pajamas for women! We’ve taken all the guesswork out of finding just the right look: every piece in our collection has been designed with comfort in mind—and they’ll never leave you feeling self-conscious when it comes down to it.

High waist skirts or pants (ideally stretchy or loose) will help you take care of the bloating showing up. And the slight pressure might even help with the cramps. Make sure you don’t strangle yourself in tightness. Now, jeans might not be a popular choice during periods.

Best Outfits To Wear While On Your Period
We spill the secrets to staying comfortable and cool.


All products featured on Teen Vogue are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

For a lot of us, our periods come once every month. It’s different for everyone, but the gist of it is this: cramps are painful and uncomfortable, our hormones are wild and we cry and spiral sometimes. Times are tough when we’re menstruating, so we’re enlisting the help of our clothing (and warm tummy tea) to make things a little bit easier. Getting dressed while on your period isn’t solely about wearing comfortable clothing, the goal is to also feel good about yourself when your body may physically be feeling worn down.

So how do we cope during those rough few days every month? We’re not saying we’ve got it down to a science, but we do have some period life hacks up our sleeve (like how to remove period stains). Elastic waistbands are our best friend, so are extra soft fluffy fabrics (especially terry, ahem scroll for some of the comfiest sweats we own). Load up on extra accessories and wear sunglasses to help with those period migraines but also to look chic. We asked 10 editors to share their I may be bleeding but I still look good and I’m comfortable looks, scroll down to see their best tips and tricks.

  1. Lauren Caruso, Site Director at The Zoe Report
    “When I have my period, I generally don’t like to wear anything that touches my body — especially in the summer. I gravitate toward loose shorts, body-skimming dresses, and heavier fabrics (just in case). I’m forever paranoid so my only outfit hack is the same one that worked in 8th grade: a jacket around my waist. Other than that, it’s just about being comfortable.”

Image may contain: Clothing, Dress, Apparel, Gown, Evening Dress, Robe, Fashion, Female, Human, Person, and Woman
Veda Playa Cotton Maxi Dress
$298 AT VEDA
Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Skirt, Human, Person, and Dress
Which We Want Jennifer Knit Short
$68 AT NEED SUPPLY CO.

  1. Bianca Valle, Holistic Nutritionist
    “This tee is so soft and cozy and loose! It’s perfect for the bloat and made of hemp with natural dyes. And bike shorts are so comfy, easy, and flattering. They make me feel cute while my ovaries do their thing.”

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Shorts, Human, Person, Female, Woman, Eva Josefíková, Dress, Footwear, and Shoe
Liana Soto Short Set
$57 AT LIANA
Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Female, Human, Person, Face, and Girl
Back Beat Rags Stone Distressed Hemp Crop Tee
$39 AT BACK BEAT RAGS

  1. Amrit Sidhu, DJ and Consultant
    “I love these shorts, they have a super comfy elastic waist and I have them in almost every print. They look good with anything, a vintage tee or an oversized tailored shirt. You can do some strong accessories since to glam it up! A fun beaded bag or some drop earrings are always the move. And sunglasses always help when you’re feeling a little under the weather. Period fun fact: Australia doesn’t have tampon applicators so it took me a little bit of time to get used to it, now I can’t imagine otherwise (biodegradable ones of course).”

Image may contain: Clothing, Shorts, and Apparel
MICHAEL KNAPP

Eric Emanuel Basic Short
$88 AT ERIC EMANUEL
Image may contain: Sunglasses, Accessories, and Accessory
Retrosuperfuture Drew Mama Red Sunglasses
$167.90 AT RETROSUPERFUTURE

  1. Lauren Eggertsen, Fashion Editor at Who What Wear
    “I always love wearing dark-colored slip dresses when I’m on my period. I find that they are loose and comfortable yet still flattering. I opt for a darker hue for obvious reasons and typically style it with a low strappy sandal or simple sneakers. As far as outfit hacks while on your period go, I would recommend not wearing anything too tight around your midsection. At least personally, I find that I never know what my period can throw at me and how my body will react, so I would rather be safe than sorry with a slinky dress. It basically feels like I’m still in my pajamas.”

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Footwear, Human, Person, Pants, and Shoe
Zara Metal Leather Mid-Heel Shoes
$99.90 AT ZARA
Image may contain: Dress, Clothing, Apparel, Human, Female, Person, Woman, and Skirt
Silk Laundry 90s Silk Slip Dress
$175 AT SILK LAUNDRY

  1. Naomi Elizée, Assistant Market Editor at Vogue
    “My period is the worst. I have severe cramps and bloating so when it comes to what I wear it has be comfortable or else I would be miserable all day. My go-to outfit is always a ruched dress because it puts light pressure on my stomach to help with the cramps and hides the bloating! I’ll usually pair the dress with sneakers to be comfortable throughout the day! One outfit hack is wear any and everything with an elastic waistband, trust me!”

Image may contain: Clothing, Footwear, Apparel, Shoe, and Sneaker
Converse Chuck 70 High-Top Sneakers
$85 AT FARFETCH

  1. Mi Anne Chan, Beauty Editor at Refinery29
    “We all have “period” underwear, the stained, beat-up rags we dig out of our panty drawers when our period hits. Or well, I had those undergarments before I started challenging myself to have a completely waste-free period. Now, I’m a dedicated period cup user (there’s a learning curve but once you get it, it’s so worth it, not just for the waste-free element but because it’s honestly more comfortable than pads and tampons IMO!) and Thinx lover. I only have one pair of Thinx (the Air hiphuggers) and I usually wear these the first day of my period before sliding in my cup for the rest of it. I adore them. They’re easy to wash, absorb a full day’s worth of blood for me, and best of all, feel pretty comfortable all day. It’s easy to find sub-pair pairs of bike shorts, not so easy to find the perfect pair and these might be. They’re stretchy-but-firm, ridiculously comfy, and rarely give me camel toe. To be completely honest, I have no exercised in these at all, but I have worn them throughout multiple periods and while retiling my balcony and they feel amazing throughout all these activities.”

Image may contain: Clothing, Shorts, Apparel, Human, Person, and Thigh
Beyond Yoga Spacedye Biker Short
$58 AT BEYOND YOGA
Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Human, Person, Hair, Underwear, and Lingerie
Thinx Air Hiphugger Underwear
$32 AT THINX

  1. Imani Randolph, Creative
    “I tend to wear loose dresses or slip skirts when I’m on my period for two reasons: 1) They’re very freeing, thus don’t contribute any pressure and worsen my cramps. 2) They give me the opportunity to add a layer of defense (spandex shorts) between my underwear and my outfit, which makes me less fearful on my heavy flow days.”

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Dress, Female, Human, Person, Woman, and Skirt
ASOS Design Bias Cut Satin Slip Midi Skirt
$45 AT ASOS
Image may contain: Dress, Clothing, Apparel, Human, Female, Person, Sunglasses, Accessories, Accessory, Woman, and Skirt
Ganni Seersucker Check Maxi Dress
$270 AT GANNI

  1. Adrienne Faurote, Fashion Editor at Marie Claire
    “Believe it or not, I’m notorious in my office for wearing white during that time of my month. I think it’s my way of telling myself, nothing is going to stop you. I don’t think having your period should sacrifice your style! In the comfort of my house, or my weekend look – I’m all about a matching set. Recently, I’m obsessed with these tie-dye Cotton Citizen sets. There’s nothing better than being comfortable and not feeling guilty about being bloated.”

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Hair, Blouse, Human, Person, Sleeve, and Dress
Wilfred Elia Dress
$110 AT ARITZIA
Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Overcoat, Suit, Coat, Human, Person, and Pajamas
JUSTIN DENNIS

Cotton Citizen Brooklyn Sweats Ultramarine Rain
$225 AT COTTON CITIZEN

  1. Michelle Li, Fashion and Beauty Editor at Teen Vogue
    “I’m not above dressing in head-to-toe sweats during my period. And I’m a strong believer that you can make sweats look good and dressed up with the right accessories. I love a matching set, but during my period when I’m feeling a little funky I’ll mix-and-match my sweats. These two brands make the softest sweats, great for when you’re menstruating but also when you’re not! I especially love the Madhappy sweaters because of their terry fleece which is perfect year round. Drool!!!”

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Sweater, Sweatshirt, and Hoodie
Madhappy French Terry Hoodie
$130 AT MADHAPPY
Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Female, Human, Person, Woman, and Hair
Lou & Grey Signaturesoft Super Plush Sweatpants
$79.50 AT LOU & GREY

  1. Bianca Nieves, Commerce Editor at Teen Vogue
    “I used to hate wearing dresses when I was on my period because I just felt my pads weren’t secure enough and I would simply stain everything. Now though, thanks to the biking shorts trend, dresses have become my go-to when Mother Nature arrives because I get the best of both worlds. Biking shorts are tight enough to make me (and my pads) feel secured and dresses make me feel cute even if I want to curl myself into a ball and fill my bloated belly with dark chocolate.”

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