Blog Archives

Did Jordyn Wieber Really Need To Take Her Tampon Out?

For those particularly sensitive to a good menstrual kick, please skip this entry.

This has been a pretty big topic today with U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber being alleged of saying that, “I got to take out my tampon” after U.S. women gymnastics win the gold.

This entry is not about shaming menstruation or that it’s crazy to imagine the need for a tampon to be changed, but more for the amusement that it happened to be recorded/interpreted (if in fact what she said is factual). Let me tell you, I’m no lip-reader, but it sure as hell looks pretty close. Some have debated that she could also be saying she needed to, “take her tape off.” Apparently a lot of people have commented via twitter (one of which I re-tweeted) that she did indeed say that she needed to take her tampon out. Looks like we have some really detailed viewers would actually pay attention to someone’s mouth where the voice was barely audible (unless I have poor hearing or just haven’t turned up my speakers enough). If I were watching the Olympics and given the short amount of time that the camera actually panned close enough to see her mouth move, I highly doubt I would’ve caught that.

Suffice to say, it’s not like a girl having her period is any surprize. It’s just the overall “woh did she really say that?” value that attracts a lot of attention, it is JUST menstruation after all.

People have periods, don’t explode over one of those amusing face-palm moments 🙂 For the sake of sanity, I’ve disabled comments on this entry.

You can take a look at the video posted here: http://www.viddler.com/mini/73fa9125/

Thanks for ANCHORMAN at Kayo’s forum for bringing this item to light!
Advertisements

A Moldy Kotex Security Tampon? No Problem!

Yes… it is exactly what you think it is (well, probably at least)

Today, an article posted up by a lady seems to be spreading like wildfire throughout the menstrual-interest communities. I’ve seen it posted up in at least 6 menstrual-related sites and uncountable tweets/retweets in my twitter feed.

Since I don’t know the blog owner, I’m not going to risk reposting and running into copyright issues, so if you’re interested in knowing the full story by her, please read it here:

http://www.parrforthecourse.com/2012/03/tale-of-moldy-tampon.html

Apparently, the blog owner was about to use a Kotex Security tampon and by chance, she discovered that the tampon had formed mold when accidentally popped the tampon out of the applicator. Given that applicator-tampon users know that the tampon usually goes from inside the applicator directly in the vagina, one would have never seen the mold on the tampon until removal or maybe never if it had been covered by menstrual flow or dropped right into the toilet bowl/wrapped in toilet paper. Now I’m not saying that this type of stuff doesn’t happen with any tampon or to other brands, but certainly when it is publicized like this, it sure as hell gets attention. If you read through some of the comments on the blog entry, you’ll see quite a few individuals who recommended going to awareness groups and the media about this!

If you’re not aware of what effects mold has on humans, here’s a snippet from Wikipedia:

Molds are ubiquitous in nature, and mold spores are a common component of household and workplace dust. However, when mold spores are present in large quantities, they can present a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

Some molds also produce mycotoxins that can pose serious health risks to humans and animals. Studies claim that exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and in some cases death. Prolonged exposure, e.g. daily workplace exposure, may be particularly harmful.

Suffice to say, in my opinion, even though I recognize nothing in this world is “really clean” – knowing that the Kotex representative made this sound like a common occurrence really makes me think whether I ought to try even harder to pull my girls off from using tampons – or at the very least – use non-applicator tampons such as O.B. where at least you can get a visual inspection of the tampon before putting it in! I know people who follow my blog know me to be pretty pro-pad, but seriously speaking, at least if mold was forming on a pad, it’d be something you’d notice before it touches sensitive female parts.

I’ve seen saturated tampons, pads, sponges, menstrual cups, cloth pads, etc. and it doesn’t even trigger a reaction from me – but when this picture caught my eyes, I could feel my gag reflexes already. I know this doesn’t exactly affect me in the way it affects tampon-using women, but I don’t think I can ever see tampons the same after seeing this. I know within the menstrual community, it seems like there have been talk of people giving up Kotex-brand tampons, not just the “Security” line of them. Whether or not this will have a severe financial impact is one thing, but a customer lost, whether one or many is less revenue.

Times like these, it makes me really glad bebe doesn’t use tampons. I know I’ll usually leave a few in her drawers just-in-case she ever decides to try or really needs them for something like swimming – but I think I ought to start pulling them out and maybe just gift her a menstrual cup instead! Hell, I think the last tampons I dropped for her were U by Kotex tampons. I’m not saying those particular tampons would encounter the same issue (and yes, I do realize that EVERY product in this world has a chance for ‘defects’ or ‘unforeseen contamination’ but I just can’t accept that risk of her potentially sticking something like that into her vagina and NOT KNOWING. It’s kind of like when you use conventional tampons, you know there is a risk of TSS. Knowing and continuing to use them means you implicitly accept the risk. However, I don’t think it passes through the mind of women that they could potentially be injecting a molded wad of cotton in themselves!

What I can say for sure is that there ARE safer alternatives out there such as menstrual cups and cloth pads which can not only help reduce the likelihood of mold forming (with proper cleaning and storage of course), but a host of other healthy and environmentally-friendly benefits!

I was just about to send a comment response to the blog owner’s entry, but it seems like she has turned comments off for that particular thread.  I wonder if Kimberly-Clark representatives (or lawyers rolleyes) caught up with her or perhaps that she just wanted to bring closure to the issue. Nevertheless, I know some people will definitely scrutinize whether they want to continue using Kotex tampons (of any line/series) or tampons all together! I’m definitely going to have a talk with my girls whenever I can get a hold of all of them. Their health is important to me and I’ll have to definitely let my bebe know about this craziness should she ever go down the road of considering tampons! I definitely think I ought to start getting her some non-applicator tampons so she can at least get a visual surface inspection on the damn things!

I seriously hope that they will be, “diligently reviewing our manufacturing process to ensure this problem does not recur.” as they’ve promised, rather than giving that as a canned and politically-correct response. My stash is empty of Kotex products (just by coincidence) now and I think it’s going to take a while before I can get over this. Customer confidence is hard to gain, but easy to lose. Suffice to say, I’m not saying their whole business will collapse or anything because loyal customers, will be loyal customers… and who knows, maybe this incident is just blown out of proportion, but unfortunately with the world of the internet, “news” can travel quite fast… particularly BAD news. But what I do know is I wouldn’t mind investing in emptying out Kotex products from my girls’ cabinets and restocking them with stuff of other brands. Better yet, I can prod some of my girls a bit more to return to the good ol’ world of pads or even try shifting them onto reusables! Maybe in a couple months I’ll look into Kotex products again, but for the time being, it’s going to be pretty hard to get my girls or I back on their brand for a while!

Kotex Natural Balance – Replacing Original Lineup LIVE!

So as we expected based on the packaging wording, Kotex has now replaced the entire “original” line with the Kotex Natural Balance pads. As I indicated in a previous blog entry, Kotex’s change actually hit the shelves before the changes were fully made to their site. I suppose this was to incite hype and posts-of-speculation, akin to what they did with the U by Kotex series by “leaking” some information out. Certainly it caused confusion amongst many women when they reached the shelves to find their “usual” product missing. Their site now shows that they’re confirming the disappearance of their original line (other than what’s left in store stocks) which actually affects even their Kotex Security (Tampon) line. So now Kotex has two lines of products here in Canada, their “regular” Natural Balance series and their “premium” U by Kotex series. The changes are shown prominently on their site now, with changes to their “drops” rating using GREEN absorbency symbols and changes to their “features” which include: Soft on your skin, Keeps you comfy and pH aligned

 

Kotex Natural Balance - Site Changes

Kotex Natural Balance - Site Changes

Because the above picture needed to be shrunk to fit to this column, you will need to click on the picture thumbnail to get a better view. The good thing is that unlike when Stayfree moved from their original line to their Thermocontrol line is that Kotex decided that the Natural Balance pads are a full replacement of their original line and thus, it didn’t affect their offerings of wing, no wing and tampon choices. The LONG maxi still retains a non-winged version only for some odd reason – who knows why. Also, the replacement of the original line of pads and tampons ALSO include pantiliners.

Kotex Natural Balance - Tampons!

I think the “made in cotton” feature will be particularly nice for their tampons and I’m glad they thought about NOT including aloe in the tampon (as far as I know based on the marketing information) as that gets put up the vagina and would be introducing something foreign up there (besides the tampon itself). It’s also nice to know that they’re not adding artificial fragrances to the tampon, as I still can’t wrap my head about why someone would want a SCENTED tampon when it doesn’t really get smelly since it won’t contact with air until removal and disposal. Vaginas smell like vagina – not pretty roses.

I suppose I am really happy they decided to change their normal line and without hindrance to consumers in terms of not raising the cost or making “comfort” and “security” a PREMIUM thing. These changes are indeed body-positive with the inclusion of Aloe, vitamin-infusion and pH alignment (being very important for the prevention of vaginal infections or irritation). The aloe makes a great difference for prolonged pad-wear, even after saturation. Now with “prettying up” pads and tampons in mind, I see now they’re concentrating on making a better product without an increased cost to us!

Can You Feel My Menstrual Pain? – Esther Ku

So I was contacted by an American comedian Esther Ku about a parody video she recently made. I’m always skeptical about following people’s links – especially when the email is unsolicited, but after setting my firewall and antivirus on a super-duper-high-security-alert-mode, I decided to venture the link.  The video my made laugh, it really did – especially for the menstrual-lovers out there (and well naturally, menstruating women as well), you’ll be able to laugh at all the girly references in the video. I had one of my other guy friends check out the video and he missed out a lot of the menstrual references (and thus, failed to laugh) in there because he’s not as interested in menstruation as I am. The only thing about the video that made me roll my eyes was the colour of the menstrual flow. Yes yes, I realize that every woman has different “shades” of colour for their flow, but I think it was just a bit too orange to “be real”… unless realism was not what was sought for or to prevent any puking from occurring (but from some of the comments on the video, there are definitely some gag-worthy parts).

Of course beyond this video, there’s a story to go with it.

This is not her only video, but it’s on-topic with my blog here, but feel free to check out a bunch of other videos that I got a kick over:

  • Masturbatin’ Everday

  • Fistin’ the Night Away

  • I Get Off Alone

I have also looked up some of her stand-up material and a lot of it is quite racially-motivated and on controversial/taboo topics, they’re still funny nonetheless. I guess when it comes comedy, sometimes it can hit the wrong nerve, depending on the topic for some people, which may be a good thing if you can take a joke – or a bad thing if you’re the sensitive type.

What I do have to say is that seeing a North American Asian female doing such work really deserves merit on its own. In particular, some of the topics she uses in her videos, like masturbation, hardcore sex (such as fisting), and of course the most used jokes about Asian male penis size are definitely topics that are rarely touched upon by Asian females due to the usually, traditional and “well-behaved” upbringing. Suffice to say, not all Asians are brought up like that, however, it’s very surprizing to me to see an Asian female break so many of these “good-girl” barriers.

Beyond it all: Yes, I can feel your menstrual pain. 😆

Tampon Tuesday comes to Toronto on Sept 27, 2011!

Times like these I really wish I lived in Toronto! I’d totally love to support a night like this, particularly when this is the first-ever Tampon Tuesday to hit “near home”! If you live in Toronto or nearby, have some feminine hygiene supplies & time to spare, I’d highly recommend going to Jack Astor’s tonight (Tuesday, Sept 27, 2011) on 133 John St. from 5:00-7:30PM

http://www.tampontuesday.com/2011/09/tampon-tuesday-comes-to-toronto/

Everyone is encouraged to bring tampons and/or feminine hygiene products for THE DAILY FOOD BANK

CTV will also be present at the event, so who knows – if you show up, you might be aired on TV!

I actually wonder whether that many guys will show up or whether this would mainly be a female-event. If anyone does end up going, I’d really like to know how it went down!

Gail Nyberg and Carolina Gutierrez will be there to host the event. For those who may be unfamiliar with what this is really all about…: “Tampon Tuesday is a unique way to gather with other women in your community to NETWORK. SOCIALIZE AND GO WITH THE FLOW.

According to their “Tampon Counter” they’ve raised ~4000 boxes of tampons. The thing that seemed to catch my eye though is I noticed their banner tagline of, “Women helping women… one box at a time.” – well I guess that answers my question of whether male presence will really be welcomed, lol!

Scented Products – Pads, Tampons, Liners, Wipes & Sprays. Why?

So now it sucks that I have to point out this brand in particular, but, it’s right-on-topic with what I want to speak about. Being an avid fan of periods, perhaps I may not be as bothered by the idea of menstrual fluid, the sight, smell or even presence of it – but others may be, whether male or female. I can understand the fear that some girls may be self-conscious about their own smell or might even feel disgusted about their own smell that they would consider using scented products. This doesn’t just have to do with scented tampons or pads, but there is also quite a market out there of women who feel that they need to “feel fresh” by using things like vaginal wipes or sprays. My question is, “is it really necessary?”

Yes, our body does not emanate the most beautiful smells. Even those who use fragrance soaps and perfume – let’s face it, WE do not naturally smell good, we are only masking our own natural body smell. Suffice to say, it doesn’t mean we should discard hygiene and let ourselves smell like crap, but our body, especially our sensitive areas like our pubic region don’t need to smell like flower petals. Furthermore, we all know that these scents are just chemicals, so why on earth would we even consider putting chemicals near our private areas? If you don’t wash your face regularly with acid, then you probably wouldn’t want to stuff a scented tampon in your vagina. Sure, the chemicals in those aren’t as harsh as acid, but the bottom line is… that they’re still chemicals.

For many women who still continue to use conventional feminine hygiene products, disposable pads and tampons – they’re already subjecting themselves to many foreign materials and using scented products is just like adding salt to a wound. I’ve managed to persuade most of my girls who uses scented products to stay away from them or for ones who are self-conscious to only use scented products when they feel that their period smell may be exposed easily. We all like to smell good, I’m not sure how many people on this world enjoy smelling bad if they had a choice, but scented feminine hygiene products aren’t the way to go. Honestly, even a pad or tampon that has been worn to the maximum and leaking, menstrual fluid smell would still be minimal. As a female, ask yourself, how many people would even be close to your vagina? Unless you work in the sex industry or as a stripper, would there be that many people close enough to your vagina where they’d be able to smell you? It’d be perhaps, your partner or at least someone whom you are comfortable enough to be so intimately close to – so is covering up the smell that important?

 

 

Let’s consider scented tampons for a moment. A tampon goes inside the vagina and stays there until it’s withdrawn and then thrown away. Please feel free to justify the reasoning of why a scented tampon is necessary because once you pull it out, it goes right into the garbage or down the toilet. Would the smell of menstrual flow for the 2 seconds prior to disposal be so bad where it’d be necessary to have a scented product? Also, I’ve seen my fair share of scented products and really, even the most scented product isn’t enough to completely mask the smell of the menstrual fluid. Don’t believe me? If you have the guts, try it yourself. Scented pads are pretty bad because the pad is already rubbing against your pubic region the whole day and with tampons, it’s sitting inside your body for up to 8 hours a day, times the number of tampons you use per day. We may enjoy the idea of our outer regions smelling good and thus, we use heavily scented soaps or feminine wipes, but why does the inside of the vagina need to smell good? Douching has been a long-standing practice, especially for some cultures or backgrounds – but did you know that douching should be something that’s done only on the recommendation of a doctor? Douching can be bad for the vagina because it may upset the delicate pH balance of the vagina.

As I mentioned, I don’t know of too many of my girls who use scented products so for those who do or have used them, for what reason do you prefer scented products? I know some products don’t come with a choice, for instance, Stayfree pads used to have both scented and unscented versions – but not anymore as the all come slightly scented. I can understand if you’ve used a certain product for so long where you don’t feel persuaded to change products, but for those who are using a product such as Playtex tampons where they do have scented and unscented products – why would you opt to use the scented, especially knowing that it truly is unnecessary (or unless you have reasons to deem it necessary)? This is not meant to entice an argument or to say that those who uses scented products as “wrong” – but rather, let us discuss the pros and cons and weigh them as to whether using scented products is a sound idea.

For the women who use liners on a daily basis to stay fresh, then perhaps I can under that manufactures want to add scent to it to encourage the idea that a good smell is the way you stay fresh. You can’t stay fresh just by relying on a scented pantiliner, but also with proper hygiene and changing of underwear on a regular or daily basis. I understand that some women get discharge regularly or have to deal with overactive vaginal lubrication, which sometimes doesn’t have the most pleasent smell or causes that “damp” feeling against your vagina, but yet, isn’t that the point of underwear? Underwear was meant to provide us with a buffer between our bodily fluids and the rest of the world. I looked up the “purpose of underwear” and one important point that came up is that underwear is to “support and protect your genital“. With that said, a bit of gunk on your underwear isn’t going to cause major issues unless you have a very heavy discharge or soaking issue, then, I can see the necessity of wearing a pantiliner regularly.

The vagina, just like any part of our body requires “breathing space” and using a pantiliner every day prevents that. Pantiliners, as part of a pre-menstrual and post-menstrual application is reasonable, but every day is almost excessive. Beyond the consideration of having your vagina stuffed up by products, also consider wearing underwear that’s more air permeable. Wearing breathable articles of clothing may make you think that just exposes your “smell” more, but by improving the OVERALL HEALTH of your pubic area, you are helping it, not hindering it.

Remember the reasons why you chose scented products in the first place, review it and see if it still really makes sense to stick with them! If you want to smell good, consider all your other healthier options.

Buying Pads/Tampons with Your Significant Other

After a hiatus due to a prolonged illness, I am not back in action! My next topic was inspired as I was purchasing some pads to test in Walmart, seeing the reactions of male significant others, and the discomfort that was expressed between couples down the feminine hygiene aisle. I tend to take my time in this aisle, so no doubt during the very busy “back to school” season, I saw both young and old couples alike, with the females vying for these items before heading off for school or as a regular stock-up. I’m not sure how to write this article using proper wording and being sensitive to those who have perhaps gone through sexual reassignment, hormonal injections, people who have chosen to live an alternate lifestyle or even lesbian couples (since they’d be both ‘comfortable’ with the idea of a menstrual period), so I’m just going to write this in my stance of what Canadian society defines to be a male-female relationship.

So as I’m browsing the typical feminine hygiene products, I see a lot of guys walking past me with really uneasy faces – some more obvious than others, but all seem to express common-ground with each other, “let’s get the hell out of here as soon as we can!” and you can tell, because the second they leave sight of that aisle, their posture corrects themselves, their faces are no longer flush-red and they resume normal motion speeds. Of course, there are the odd guy who wanders into that section who don’t even flinch and good for you, but whenever there are males in the aisle with their female partner or friend, you can tell there’s a large air of discomfort – perhaps for both the male and female! I would say in general, most of the people who purchase these items with their significant other is when they’re living common-law or married. I’ve asked my male and female friends whether their counterpart are willing to purchase pads/tampons with them and most of them said no, or said only in major emergencies would they even consider it. Suffice to say, these are exactly “statistically proven” figures, but simply through questioning people who I happen to know – which may very well differ from “credible numbers.” Case-in-point, I recently went with a coworker to Walmart during a sale for tampons and she bought them in my presence and I even carried it for her all through checkout. It was quite comfortable and because she recently found out about my “interests” in menstruation. She admitted though, that did she not know that I was, “not grossed out by periods” that she would’ve asked me to wait in the car or wouldn’t have even bought it when she was with me.

I remember when I bought pads with bebe for the first time, it was such a comfortable experience for us both… I suppose given that bebe has always known about my “interest” that it wasn’t exactly a shocker for her or that she wasn’t used to talking to me about it. We were standing in the aisle and we were openly discussing which pads I recommend and which ones she usually buys. When I was with my coworker, I didn’t give as much of my opinion, since she only knows a degree of my interest and since we definitely don’t share the same comfort-level over her period as bebe and I do, I didn’t want to be the one “giving her pointers” about which tampons I would recommend or whatnot.

So to the guys, how many of you would actually go with your partner to purchase feminine hygiene products and to the girls, how many of you would let your male partner accompany you to buy these products?

Naturally, guys may feel uncomfortable in this aisle because it’s foreign to them and perhaps a bit embarrassing. After all, guys would not be accustomed to going down this aisle since they have no need for these products, therefore being there is almost like being that one guy who walks into a girls-only school or something. Sometimes, when a guy walks into this aisle, he gets a lot of looks from the females too, although luckily I haven’t been a victim myself of those “disapproving-stares” walking in… perhaps I look natural, lol. Once the guy “detects” the discomfort from others in the air, he will often try to escape quickly, for instance, you’ll often see guys trying to push the cart away, glance at other “non feminine hygiene things”, play with items inside the cart or he’ll put pressure onto his female partner to hurry up so they can leave. This is unfair as well to the female since she needs time to look at her options and choices and after all, shopping should be a pleasure and enjoyment right? We should not be rushed to make decisions. Guys will often look disgruntled as well for being in the aisle and you can tell the sigh of relief they have once they exit the section. It’s a privilege and an opportunity for us guys to be able to join our female partners to buy these items. It shows that they have comfort and trust and also it’s an opportunity for us to learn about our partner/periods. Remember that the discomfort may actually be two-way and the more discomfort you show as a male partner, the more your female counterpart may feel embarrassed, pressured or upset. Most females are quite open to buying male items, so why should we as guys feel embarrassed to accompany our female partners to buy her products? Don’t forget that for some women, it’s hard for them even to buy these items for themselves, so we should not heighten their existing discomfort as it is.

For the females, how comfortable are you when you buy these products with your male significant other? Do you let him pressure you into buying things faster, ask him to go look at something else or do you just take your time despite his discomfort? I saw an older man, who was buying some pads with his wife and he kept on pointing his cart out the aisle. The second his wife turned around and dropped one of the packages in the cart and while she turned around to choose another, the guy was already half-bolting out the aisle. The woman had to yell after her husband and told him to wait because she was not done. The guy sighed in exasperation and turned around and now with the extra attention attracted towards him now, the situation became even more embarrassing as you could see the man’s face going red like a tomato. A female entered the aisle shortly later and was browsing some tampons. I assume her partner came in (not sure if it’s a boyfriend or husband), but he wandered over and stood there with her. This guy seemed a lot more comfortable, but the girl did not. She stopped browsing and kind of glanced around – and gave the guy a really disapproving look. It appeared he didn’t clue in and it was clear she couldn’t comfortably concentrate on looking at her products with the guy’s presence. She prodded the guy to go, but he said to her, “I’m done getting what I need, just waiting for you now” – but the girl still asked the guy to go elsewhere. It was just kind of unfortunate that she was not comfortable with him being there. One could argue maybe they’re not that close, but looking at their buggy, they definitely seemed like a “couple” based on some of the stuff they bought together. Therefore, when it comes to buying feminine hygiene items, discomfort can and does exist on both sides of the fence.

Let’s all try to make shopping for ANY item a comfortable experience and be reasonably inclusive of each other, especially if there’s a relationship involved. If this person will be or already is a “special someone” in your life, then buying feminine hygiene items together should not be alarming. Achieving equality should be for both genders, not just women. After all, it’s pretty typical for women to buy male underwear, but yet, when a guy goes to buy female panties, he is likely viewed as a creep, pervert and is generally frowned. When a female buys male underwear, people will assume it’s for her son, boyfriend or husband, but when a male buys it, people will probably think it’s for him to wear or masturbate in, but not that he’s simply buying it for his daughter, girlfriend or wife. When you show patience and comfort with your partner as you shop with him/her, it makes the experience so much better and is fair to everyone. If she patiently waits for you to pick your choice of condoms, why should you not patiently wait for her to choose the right product so she doesn’t bleed all over you? 😆

Swimming/Water Activities on Your Period

Menstruating and swimming tends to be one of those inquisitive topics that I get from some of my male readers. I suppose given that many men are oblivious to the differences of a “pad” and a “tampon” – it would not be a surprize to have them ponder how exactly does a woman on her period, swim (or maybe I should say, swim without menstruating everywhere)? Indeed, when it comes to a girl’s period and swimming, almost one exclusive thing comes to mind – a tampon. Nevertheless, there are other options and maybe this will give both boys and girls, a different way to look at water-activities during a period.

I think it goes without saying, that using a pad while fully submersed underwater isn’t going to be a very reliable form of protection. That’s not to say it will be “useless” – but it won’t work the way it was intended to work. Because a pad is like a sponge, it will absorb any liquid, including the water – whether it be in a pool or open-waters. If you’re planning to have your lower-body fully submerged in water at any time during your water activities, I would highly suggest an internal form of protection, such as a menstrual sponge, cup or tampon.

Now of course, if your water activities do not involve lower-body submersion, it’s quite possible to use a pad for your menstrual protection needs. For those who wear a swimsuit, you can optionally wear underwear or an underwear-like article underneath your suit (i.e underneath your bikini bottoms or swim-shorts) to secure your pad onto and of course, you’d want to choose a colour which wouldn’t show through your outer-material. There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but some might consider it a bit of fashion faux pas. Because a swimsuit tends to be a closer fit to the body, you may want to use thin pads to avoid any bulging unless that is not a concern for you. Depending on how revealing your crotch-area is on your particular swimsuit, it may also be good to avoid winged pads. My own personal thought before talking to a few of my friends is that when I think of  “beach” and “period” – it automatically makes me assume a tampon is involved. However, in places like Japan or even most Asian territories – because tampons aren’t the ‘common’ method of menstrual protection – many girls learn to make do with pads and modifying their water activities. It is quite common for a girl to wear a pad under a swimsuit and just make sure she wades thigh-deep into water at most, to prevent the pad from properly absorbing her menstrual flow rather than water. The more common alternative then, would just be to skip the swimsuit, stay in some shorts and wear your pads as per normal.

I know there’s a lot of talk about whether your period “stops” or not in the water. While I understand the concept of water pressure in play here, your period does not stop in the water and just to make my point firmer, your period (a biological function) doesn’t “cease” just because you are in water. Do you stop feeling the need to go pee or poop on a full bladder when you’re in the water? No – so neither does your period. Some people who think their period stops might either have a light enough period where the blood might not necessarily show or that there’s enough water/polluted colour not to notice (such as in open-waters). A girl with a heavy-flow and not using proper protection will likely not last long in a swimming pool before someone begins to notice. Mind you, you could always “free bleed” in open-waters and people may not notice, but it really has to do with your own conscience and whether you feel it’s hygienically correct for your menstrual flow to be floating around in water that everyone else is enjoying themselves in. If you’re in your own pool, then hell, do whatever you feel like. I should make mention that conventional pad materials aren’t very friendly with drainage systems, so using a pad in the water and allowing it to “fall apart” might cause issues in common pool drain/water systems.

I know that when it comes to swimming (full-body submersion) that it really is a pain-point for girls who don’t use internal protection. One of my girls was an avid swimmer and was pursuing her lifeguard certificate. However, in her mid-teenage years, she reached menarche and at the time she didn’t use tampons, she gave up much of her training and potential career/certification due to her period being an impediment in her being able to attend courses and required training. Pads are still a very large part of Asia and Asian culture, so it’s not unusual for an Asian girl to decline water activities when she’s on her period or will only do some knee-deep wading and water-splashing. Even if they don’t want to use tampons (fully in their rights), I give them extra kudos for being a good sport and still attending beach/water-related outings. Many girls have also found interesting way of using pads and actually submerging their lower body in the water, so you can always try. However, there are always potentially embarrassing consequences when your pad gives out and everything that was “locked” comes leaking out or when your pad fully soaks up water instead of your flow and your period & clots just leave a trail on the water surface.

On an anecdotal note, I have swam with a friend who’s period started unexpectedly while she was racing me and I can verify the whole concept of whether the water pressure is enough to keep the flow in the vagina – it doesn’t. Your period was meant to be expelled from the vagina and while underwater, gravity still exists. I know it can be quite hard for a girl who really wants to attend submersion water activities and having her period, this is just one of those instances where I have to say, “suck it up buttercup” because there’s not many options when it comes to dealing with an active flow while under water without some kind of surgical assistance or internal menstrual protection. Anyone who’s read this blog for a while will know I’m not a big fan of tampons, but sure enough, tampons were invented for a reason and one of them, being a great form of menstrual protection for water-sports! If you’re lucky enough to own your own pool facilities, I suppose you could freely bleed in it – although I’m not sure if it’d be that easy to be swimming with others with that happening.

So to shorten the entire post down, how to deal with swimming and your period?

  • Use an internal form of protection (tampons, sea sponges, cups, etc.)
  • Don’t swim
  • Swim without protection (not recommend for public areas)

In closing, I’d like to add that swimming is a great activity to carry out while on your period if you can do it. Exercise is essential to maintaining good health, but also has great effects on alleviating period-related pains such as cramps or discomfort. If you’re not under so much pain that you’re ready to keel over, then some moderate exercise during your period will get your mind away from the pain, help you get your body in shape and not coop yourself up in the house!

Periods, Short Airplane Trips & Long-Haul Flights

Being the thrilled blog owner of MiM, I get the joy of receiving many quote-on-quote, “embarrassing” emails from readers and contributors alike with their own experiences of menstruation, particularly events which often trigger question marks. One of the ‘events’ that have been brought up on several occasions involved girls who have questioned me about how they should deal with their periods when flying. Now I have to say, it’s a great honour for me to receive questions from females, because it shows that I am at least, a trusted source of information regardless of my gender and “lack of realistic experience of menstruation”. I’ve flown a lot throughout my life, both short-haul and long-haul trips and you can’t imagine how many times I have thought about the pains of how menstruating women have to deal with the extra “responsibility” of dealing with their periods while on a flight – passengers and flight-crew included. I’m sure a few of the period-loving guys who read my site would smile at the thought of a cute menstruating flight-attendant!

Menstruation, being on up in the air or on the ground should be handled in pretty much the same way. After all, there hasn’t been a commercial aircraft I’ve been that didn’t have bathroom facilities, therefore, you one can change their feminine hygiene product within a private space. Planes, while with much credit to those who clean them, are often filthy with germs so you should take even MORE care when it comes to personal hygiene, i.e. washing your hands thoroughly before touching sensitive areas of your body or handling any feminine hygiene products. To avoid a bathroom faux pas, ensure that as your enter the facility that you lock the door behind you. Most aircraft toilets are equipped to be quite obvious when the door is unlocked/locked, because when it’s locked properly, it is displayed on the sliding switch and the lights will be brighter than usual. Granted I will admit that unless you are in Business or First Class, your bathrooms are quite cramped, but it is more than sufficient space for most people to maneuver and change supplies. There is usually enough space for even someone to put one foot up on the toilet, spread, to insert a tampon , cup or sponge for those who prefer this position. Like any public facility, please do take extra care to dispose used products properly (in the bins, don’t flush) and clean up after yourself. While I personally won’t faint or puke at the sight of menstrual fluid or a half-open, hanging-from-the-bin pad – I’m not sure there are that many people who would appreciate such a sight.

I would say it’s always prudent to keep some feminine hygiene supplies in a carry-on throughout your flight, whether you think you will be getting your period or not (well, unless you’ve gone through menopause I guess), because shit happens right? If you know you are due for your period (or even started), then obviously the decision should come even easier. When planning for the number of supplies to keep handy, think about the time you will be on the flight and figure out the number of them you will go through in that period of time – try to account for your heaviest flow. Do remember that depending on the number of passengers and the frequency that they use the bathroom, it may not always be available to you on-demand. Don’t wait until one of those last-minute-about-to-leak times before deciding to change up. Also, expect that lineups at the bathrooms usually occur when: the plane has just stabilized and the seat-belt light goes off, before/after meals and right before landings. Working around those times will usually help you get into the facility quicker. If your period has already started, try going to the bathroom and changing before boarding. You can also do so before lift-off, but it’s usually frowned upon to clog up the aisles as people are coming aboard. If you “expect your period any time” you can also likewise put on a pantiliner or smaller pad ahead of time (or a reusable product of your choice). Remember that tampons should not be used prior to menstruation, despite the convenience and comfort.

Every woman’s body is different, so while I will say that for most women, their menstrual activities aren’t affected, there are also some women who experience heavier-than-usual flows when flying. However, some of these cases don’t necessarily have to do with “the period itself”  – but that stress and anxiety may also cause changes in flow amounts. First time flyers, especially when it coincides with menstruating days can make the thought of flying stressful. Let loose, because stressing over the crimson tide will only make the matter worse! After all, think about female astronauts being in space, void of gravity and even they menstruate properly, so that should bring relief as to how much effect flying above the clouds will have on menstruation. Alternatively, there are pills that can delay or eliminate menstrual bleeding for the month, but in my opinion, it’s not the greatest choice because I really dislike messing with the body like that. If you’re the type that have heavy flow and really don’t want to deal with having to change and such, you can always use adult diapers (or if you’re the small girl, just baby diapers) that will probably absorb your entire trip worth of flow, if that’s something you’re comfortable with doing. Look on the bright side, you can even relieve yourself of urine and feces without getting up. I’m not sure how safe it is from a smell-standpoint though.

Now, fear not for the women who prefer not to carry any supplies with them or got surprized by their periods! Most plane bathrooms will usually have a stock of sanitary napkins in one of the bins or containers (See picture). Unless you’re one of those unlucky ones who get into a lavatory where some ladies needing the same products beat you to it, they are usually readily available. Suffice to say, the choice of products usually aren’t the greatest (only seen one airline that offered tampons as well) brands or sizes, but they will have to suffice until you get your hands on some better stuff yourself. However, now that I say that, I fly with Cathay Pacific a lot and I find that their choices of pads are quite exceptional, in fact, my most recent long-haul trip they had Kotex Whites (Hong Kong brand name) offered in the sanitary bin. As much as I was tempted to take one as a souvenir, I did also respect the fact that there might be a lady who needed this much more than I did, so I let it be. Worse-case scenario is that if they aren’t available, then you can always page a flight-attendant who can assist you with stocking it up. As much as a commotion that may make, it’s a better alternative than leaking at your seat and having to SIT in it for hours to come. You could always make the lovely toilet-paper pad to hold you up as well and inform a flight-attendant discretely and return to the washroom later to change into a proper product.

For those who are super-super cautious of leakage chances, you can wear disposable underwear (yes, they really do have them) or Lunapanties (I love them, despite not owning a pair, lol – It’s a great concept) to curb the fear. Just like ANY time on your period, being on a plane should be no different and making your period as comfortable as it can be! Heck, why not even consider Lunapanties with their inserts as a complete replacement for your period-traveling needs?! For the guys, if you really see a woman who seems to be in desperate need to get ahead of the line, do show a bit of sympathy by letting her take care of her business. Now of course, if you REALLY have to go, then take care of yourself as well first but try to speed it up a bit! I’m not sure if I’m just extra lucky, but there hasn’t been a flight I’ve been on where I had to stand in line for an extremely long time and there were probably at most, 3 people ahead of me. If you’re flying short-haul distance or flights that have stops, you can always disembark the plane (if permitted) to freshen up, including a more spacious area for you to change your products (or even buy some if you prefer certain brands/types).

Now we come down to the girls who are self-conscious about changing their products, especially disposable ones in the plane bathrooms. First of all, if you’ve never been on a plane, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a lot of “background noise” and even more-so when you’re inside the bathroom. Bathrooms are usually located at the front, mid-sections and end, where it is usually noisier due to engines, turbines and other mechanical things (I’m not a plane engineer, lol). Also, in each of these washroom sections, you can expect there to be the galley, therefore providing more “cover noise.” Rest assured, the likelihood of someone standing directly outside of the bathroom won’t hear your pad or tampon wrapper noise because there’s so many other distracting noises around them. For the extra shy, you can even flush the toilet and for your information, most toilet flushes on the plane are super noisy, enough to mask out a murder scream. Although the doors on the bathrooms are usually not thick, but I’m sure they have some kind of noise-proof material built within them, so the privacy  you’d get in a plane bathroom may even be better than the stalls in a mall.

Just like how many girls take their bags to the washroom, period or not, you can always do the same when you’re on a plane – people don’t think much of it. Being on a plane doesn’t mean you have to act differently or treat your period as if it has suddenly become a monster. Your period should be handled in a similar fashion – with the goals of being comfortable, protected and hygienic! You should also not take risks that you might normally do, such as waiting last minute to change (due to lineups) and that your repercussions of leaking on a plane might be more devastating than when you’re on land. I have read about women who have been so stressed out about flying that they have super heavy flows, so I would really recommend having some of the heaviest absorbency pads/tampons handy, even if you normally have lighter flows. If you’re the parent, guardian or even a younger female yourself who has not reached menarche or who has not achieved a regular menstrual cycle, then being prepared will give you that extra peace of mind, for yourself or on behalf of another female party. Checking frequently is also an option if you’re already on your period and really want to keep an eye on your flow. With so many people on the plane, most people don’t even look up to see if it’s the same person going to the bathroom all the time. With most large aircrafts, there are usually an assortment of 3-4 bathrooms per section (different classes), so if you vary between them, other passengers will be none-the-wiser.

If you’re flying for the first time, all I have to say is that you’re much safer in the air, than on the road. Also, flying is a wonderful experience, that not everyone gets to feel for themselves. Consider yourself lucky, enjoy your flight and better yet, enjoy your trip. Just as I always say, love your period, even if it comes on  your vacation because you can make the best of it!

Today, I sneezed so violently that my tampon came out. FML

Well as I was reading through my morning feeds, I could not help but snicker at this “FML”…

Today, I sneezed so violently that my tampon came out. FML

I took a picture of it in case it gets removed or something, but here’s the transcription of it:

Today, I sneezed so violently that my tampon came out. FML

That must’ve been quite a sneeze or someone didn’t put their tampon in properly (which apparently, is not that unheard of)..  Maybe I’m spending too much time thinking about this, but if this was while she was clothed (or at least had underwear on), I can’t imagine the tampon being able to go too far as it’d be constricted by a piece of undergarment (I guess the assumption is that she was wearing them). Otherwise, if this was over the toilet or something, it’d be pretty cool to be able to eject the tampon out without having to pull it – quite some talent I’ll say!

Cheers to strong vaginal muscles!

Link to the actual posting here, some of the comments are amusing.

%d bloggers like this: