How to Get Through School on Your Period
As if school isn’t hard enough already, coping with a period on top of that is not ideal – especially when you’re unprepared. So how do you get through school on your period? In our guide to surviving school on your period we cover everything from facts on what happens during your period to tips & tricks. Here’s how to get period ready, classroom or not…
How to Survive Your Period at School
First of all, knowledge is power. So, educating yourself around the subject of menstruation will ensure you have a good understanding of what to expect and hopefully make you feel more at ease. There’s plenty of information available, but here’s a few questions answered about menstruation to get you started…
When does menstruation start?
Menstruation ‘officially starts’ with the ‘menarche’, the first menstrual bleeding you experience and culmination of a series of physiological & anatomic processes of puberty.
It typically occurs between the ages 8-16 or around 2 years after the first signs of puberty, however this age range differs from culture to culture and has changed over time. If you experience yours at a different age, remember: you’re not different or wrong. Your period starts when your body is ready.
If you want more information, read our tips on what to expect from your first period.
What happens during menstruation?
Often called your ‘period’, menstruation is your body discarding the monthly build up of the lining of your uterus. Menstrual fluid (a mixture of blood, tissue & natural secretions) flows from your uterus through the small opening in your cervix and passes out from your body through your vagina.
During the menstrual cycle, the uterus lining builds up in preparation for pregnancy. If you do not get pregnant, oestrogen & progesterone hormone levels begin falling, which tells your body to begin menstruation.
How heavy will it be?
Everybody is different. On average, people lose around 60ml of menstrual fluid (it’s a lot less than you think!), some find their first period to be incredibly light and others experience heavier flows. Pay attention & get familiar with your flow.
Will it be painful?
Period symptoms vary person to person, from headaches and back pain to mood changes, nausea & abdominal cramps. If you do experience excessive pain, it’s essential to talk to your parents, teacher or a nurse about it as it could be a sign of something more serious like endometriosis.
How to Get Rid of Period Cramps at School
There’s nothing worse than having to sit and concentrate when you have period cramps, especially when you’re at school. Period cramps can often be crippling and all you want to do is curl up and watch Netflix in bed, right? But sometimes we can’t do that, so there are a few things you can do to help ease the pain when you have to go to school...
- Try taking some painkillers in the morning. If the pain is really bad, maybe even check the school policy to see if you can take them throughout the day.
- Drink lots of water. Drinking lots of water can reduce bloating during your period and alleviate cramping.
- Eat up! Some food can help ease period cramps .Try eating a banana during your lunch break – believe it or not, bananas are generally known to ease period cramps as they are rich in fibre and potassium and potassium deficiency can result in worsened cramps. You can also try treating yourself to dark chocolate (it’ll help the period cravings too!) as it relaxes the muscles by giving you a boost of magnesium. Read our blog ‘Eat your way to a happier period’ to find more foods that benefit your health and wellbeing throughout our menstrual cycle!
- Try doing some exercise. Yes, we get you. You probably don’t feel like doing PE on your period, but exercise can actually help ease cramps too – so don’t be scared about exercising when bleeding. Exercise increases blood circulation which can help reduce cramps. It can also combat the hormonal mood swings you may get by relieving any stress! Check out our blog ‘Better than a hot water bottle: using gentle exercise to treat period pain’ to find out more ways you can ease your period from yoga to swimming.
- Try tracking your period symptoms each month so that you can prepare for the days that you’ll likely be heaviest or in most pain. Whether you use an app or note down your symptoms taking into consideration questions like, How heavy are you bleeding?, or How are you emotionally feeling today?, can help you track your cycle so that you can prepare for your period.
What to Do When You Start Your Period at School
It's a good idea to make sure you always carry some tampons, pads, spare underwear & anything you’ll need in case your period starts unexpectedly. This way, you can simply pop to the toilet and use one of the period products you have. Forgot them that day? Don't panic! Periods are nothing to be ashamed and don't feel as if you can't as a teacher or friend for one.
If you don’t come on your period, someone else might need it, so it’s always nice to be able to help someone else too. Get best prepared for your first period with our ‘First Period Pack’, which is full of everything you’ll need, and need to know, for your first period.
The most important thing to remember? Menstruating is normal, natural & this has happened to almost everyone who has a period. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Always be kind to yourself & to others.
How to Choose the Best Period Product for You at School
Some people like the ‘security’ of pads with wings or period pads, whilst others prefer the ‘freedom’ of an insertion method like tampons or menstrual cups. Just know, whatever you choose, it’s the right one for you and your body. Take some time to research different options, there’s plenty of choice out there!
At &SISTERS, all of our reusable and organic cotton period care is hypoallergenic, PH neutral and gynaecologist approved. It is important to use organic cotton period care, not only because it biodegrades over 6 and 18 months rather than 500 to 800 years, but because organic cotton has zero synthetics, chlorine, bleach, or any of the other nasties in mainstream period care that can irritate your vagina.
How to Deal With a Heavy Period at School
If you experience a heavy period at school, don’t worry. You’re definitely not the first & you won't be the last. It’s always a good idea to carry extra period care products on your heavier days and maybe even a spare pair of pants for reassurance.
One great option for heavy days are period pants. A saviour when it comes to heavy bleeding as you don’t need to worry about leaking or changing, our nüdie period pants are the perfect solution. Soft, discreet & extra comfy, you don’t need to be worried about them being seen through your uniform. Plus, they absorb the same amount as up to four tampons, so you can wear them for up to 10 hours. Hello, freedom! Read up on our nüdie pants.