Why you shouldn't be embarrassed about period stains
Here at &SISTERS, not only are we passionate about your menstrual health and the planet, but we’re also passionate about tackling period shame. Today we deep dive into one specific area of period shame we’ve all felt once in our lives: period stains & leaks.
Everyone has either seen someone who’s had a leak or been the leaker themselves. How have you reacted? Have you made a large announcement in front of an onlooking crowd and then the leaker was carted off somewhere to spend the rest of their days in exile as an outcast of society? No, of course not. You probably pulled them aside, let them know and helped them get cleaned up. No drama, no fuss - just letting someone know they’ve had a leak.
In an ideal world it should be no more than telling a friend they’ve got some spinach in their teeth or a pen mark on their face. But there’s something insidious that’s been ingrained into us from birth and that’s the lie that your period is dirty, disgusting and you should absolutely hide it from the public by any means necessary. What is there to be ashamed of? Without your menstrual cycle no one would be here. For centuries (actually make that a millenia or two) women have been forced to hide their menstrual cycle like it’s an infectious disease. We’ve been forced to believe that our period products should be fragranced or have ‘rustle-free’ packaging so no one knows you’re getting a pad out in a public toilet.
How many times in your life have you shoved a tampon up your sleeve and discreetly excused yourself? How many times have you hid the fact that you’re bleeding from your vagina so you didn’t make anyone feel ‘uncomfortable’? Exactly. Which is why we’re here to tell you, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Especially something silly like a period stain.
We all experience leaks. It’s a fact of menstruating life. And usually, there’s not much you can do about it, but we do have a guide all about period leaks and how to deal with them - it’s a handy read! Just like life itself, periods are messy. In its simplest term, every 28 days (give or take! We’re all different, sis) your uterus sheds its lining and a combination of blood and mucosal tissue discharges through your vagina. So, things are bound to get messy. Accidents are bound to happen.
Pretty much half the population have or are going to have a period during their lives. So, all of those people are going to have around 450 periods, that’s around 3,500 days menstruating each and that also means around 10,000 pads or tampons will be used and who knows how many pairs of panties are going to be destroyed by an early arrival or heavier-than-usual flow.
So, if that many people experience the same thing, why is there little to no support? Why do we feel the need to hide away? As far as we’re concerned, your cup leaking or your pad overfilling and leaving a little red stain on a cushion or your favourite pair of jeans is no more embarrassing than a spaghetti stain on a clean white t-shirt.
If someone tells you that you’ve had a period leak, of course you’ll feel a little embarrassed, you’d feel exactly the same if you managed to smudge your mascara down one side of your face and someone told you to check yourself out in the mirror. Remember, they’re just trying to help, just like you’d do the same for them.
The next time you bleed onto your office chair, start your period just as you get your holidays or sleep over at a friend’s only to discover a red patch on the blow-up mattress - shrug it off. These tiny, insignificant stains can be easily dealt with (have we told you about our intimate stain remover remüvie yet?) and just like the blood, the wine or the spaghetti, any initial embarrassment will come out in the wash. This ain't no period drama - it’s real life.
Got any questions about period leaks & stains? Or just desperate to tell us about the time you leaked all over your aunt’s favourite chair (oh wait… That was us!) then drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org