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Men’s Guide on Messy Menstruation

Hi Guys,

For those who are involved with a female partner/spouse or even a daughter, I’m sure at one point or another she will likely encounter period leakage, either through an unexpected start of menstruation or leakage as a result of a misplaced/overflowing feminine hygiene product. There are of course women who have a period accident and think of it as no big deal and if that’s the case, kudos! However as a guy, you have the role to ensure that your female companion or daughter is not embarrassed or ashamed at what happened. Period accidents are common whether you know it or not and women may simply not choose to share that type of intimate detail. However, as a husband/boyfriend or as a father, it is necessary for you to understand and know how to deal with such accidents when they occur. Period accidents unless it is negligence are often uncontrolled and should not be labeled as being “her fault” because IT HAPPENS. To spare you guys from throwing up, I’ll omit any pictures that I originally wanted to put up regarding period stains.

Dakota Fanning - The Runaways

To elaborate, in general, I consider a period accident to refer to a situation where a woman menstruates on an unintended area, in most cases, their panties/underwear. Accidents can often vary from small to large accidents, depending on the degree and area of saturation, which are often determined by the location of leakage, the cause of leakage, the material where the leak occurred, the amount of time before the leak is found and also the level of flow which was leaked. Leaks that have the largest impact are usually those that occur during sleeping hours since one may not notice the leak until she wakes up. Also, period accidents may not be very noticeable at first if it’s just a bit of damping (since a pad generally has a degree of dampness to it), but if it leaks in the right place it may go undetected until it “shows” out external clothing. This is often a mortifying moment for a girl, so as a partner, you should definitely provide her a way to avoid prying eyes such as giving her something to cover it up or even buy her some clean articles of clothing for her to change.

Lady Gaga - Tampon String Performance

Period stains can happen anywhere and anytime (assuming she’s menstruating). Period accidents that involve a sudden start in her period can usually be avoided by keeping an accurate track of her menstrual cycle. Most girls do this so it may not be necessary for you to be involved in that (unless you choose to), however, if she does not, help her keep track as that can prevent an unexpected start of her period where she does not have any feminine hygiene products available or already “on” to prepare for her start. However, some girls even before they start being to have ‘period symptoms’ where they experience certain feelings in their lower abdominal where they have an idea that their period is about to begin, even without doing explicit tracking. The method of tracking a girl’s menstrual cycle only works well if she is already “regular” and does not have irregular cycles. The use of pantiliners or a small pad is advisable when the beginning of menstruation nears.

Alternately, period accidents occur when a feminine hygiene product is not placed in the correct spot (or gets shifted as a result of moving) or if the product is over-saturated. In cases like these, accidents may be avoided by choosing a higher absorbency product or changing more frequently. For pad users, using tighter underwear which helps keep the pad closer to the vagina will help reduce the “space” in between the pad and vagina, preventing the flow from landing on an unintended target. Understandably, women cannot “control” how/where the flow comes out (even if the only exit-point is through the vagina). Putting a pad in the correct spot, where flow is likely to contact at the “strongest” point pad is advisable, although this takes experience over-time to figure this out. For tampons, finding one that contours to the shape of the vaginal canal is an excellent idea. However, like ANY product, over-saturation can and will occur, so knowing how long a product will last or keeping a good eye on it will prevent a period accident from occuring. Using pads with wings can be good or bad because with wings, it MAY prevent side leakage… although at times, having the wings actually CHANNELS the leak to happen – so, I shall reserve my comments on whether it is better to ues pads with or without wings. Pads are a bit more eaisly checked than tampons. The trick to knowing the saturation of tampons is to slightly tug on the string. If the tampon comes out with ease, then it has already reached a point of saturation where it will smoothly slide out. If there is resistance, the tampon is still ‘dry’ and does not need to be changed (unless it has been used for a period of 8 hours or for hygienic reasons).

There’s a few things that guys can do OR offer to a girl in regards to period accidents such as…:

  • Consider using overlapping pads for overnight to allow more protected coverage area
  • If a woman is in too much pain, learn how to change her feminine hygiene product for her – yes, it is not “pretty”, but you are a MAN
  • If she’s prone to leaking at night, lay down towels, use old sheets or plastic/vinyl padding so that a period leak doesn’t get onto the bed itself and make cleaning easier
  • Find some old pants or panties which you don’t mind getting leaked on, use them during your period
  • If you are tasked to do her laundry or she needs assistance to get out period stains, soak the garment in cold salt water and then follow it up with bleach (if appropriate for material/colour). It is important to not use the dryer when still getting out period (blood) stains. Using hot water may cause the blood to set into the fabric.
  • When it comes to period stains, it is always best to tackle it while it is still wet. The longer a stain stands for, the harder it is to get out. Avoid using chemicals to remove period stains as a good mixture of vinegar works well
  • Wear panties that are darker colour and nylon as it is the easiest material to clean
  • If you require intervention from cleaners, first try to use environmentally-friendly dishwasher liquid as it helps break-down the blood stain’s chemical bond
  • Use alternative products like menstrual cups, sea sponges or cloth pads which generally last longer than conventional pads/tampons
  • You could try using incontinence pads or underwear (Poise Pads/Tena Pads) which have an extremely large absorbency capacity
  • The last resort would be to use chemical cleaners or detergent
  • Use a combination of pad + tampon for those with extremely heavy flows… however, those who plan on sleeping more than 8 hours should be aware that they will need to get change it to prevent the increased risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome)
  • Try using hydrogen peroxide

[I swear I had a few more things in my head and after dinner, I totally lost track… will fill it in once it comes to my mind]

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