Hot menses mess!

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Feministing fave Margaret Cho has some (Tampax) pearls of wisdom to share:

Let she who is without menstrual stains throw the first tampon.

Amen, sister. Who among us hasn’t flipped a mattress at least once? Who hasn’t had a month where they’ve gone through, like, two boxes of super-absorbencies? Who doesn’t have a few pairs of stained cotton underwear that only comes out of the drawer once a month? (You know — the C team. As in, you’ve got your A-team underwear — the cute stuff that fits really well and that you feel great in; and B-team underwear — ill-fitting, or slightly old, or not that cute; and finally your C-team, which is basically your period panties.) Anyway. Thanks, Margaret. We love you.

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  • Elizabeth

    I don’t have underpants hierarchy because ALL my panties are black. That’s what happens when you’re lazy/never have a tampon.
    Embarrassing story:
    I had sex for the first time about three days before my period, but I figured I was safe because I was on the pill. Well, I was that time. And the second time. The day before my period was due I had sex for the third time, which was also my first experience with woman-on-top. It was great, until I looked down and realized that I had begun my period all over the crotch of my partner. I was mortified and near tears, but he simply told me it was ok, threw the sheets in the wash, and ran me a hot shower.
    Guess who I’ve been dating for the last two years?

  • lyndorr

    This is not exactly convincing me to try the Diva Cup though I’ve started to actually consider it. Am just wondering how long it actually takes for it to get easy.
    I have no unusually embarrassing stories thankfully. There was always a sweater or jacket around when I needed it. But ugh, I remember sleeping away from home and having lousy sleep because I was afraid of staining sheets. Which I hadn’t done for years till a few days ago. Boo. And I remember sleeping on towels.

  • Yoshimi

    I used to have really heavy periods before I went on the pill, and for a while in ninth grade I got a lot of nose bleeds. I remember waking up once, on the first day of my period, not knowing which bleeding orifice to take care of first. I think I started at the top and worked my way down!

  • annajcook

    Hey lyndorr,
    I’ve been using it for about 72 hours and I feel like I’m getting the hang of it :). So while I’m not plugging the particular product, I wouldn’t want to discourage you from trying it!
    It probably helps if you’ve ever used a diaphragm or cervical cap–I haven’t, but I think the principle is roughly the same.

  • White Goat

    Thank God for the pill. It made me regular, AND lightened the load (so to speak).

  • dhsredhead

    A few weeks ago I had pretty much all stain free black undies…until…my house burnt down and I decided for whatever reason to go with blue, gray and white undies and also my mother in law decided to do me a “favor” and buy me ill fitted underwear in gross flower patterns and ugly colors. It also so happens that even though I saved my diva cup from the fire, it isn’t working as well as it did before and this month I got quite a few leaks…and a unexpected period that showed up without causing me nausea or back pain 24 hours before it showed up. So I now have quite a few B and C undies.
    FYI on the diva cup I have found that leaks happen if I don’t dry my cup after washing it. Those little holes always need to be clean as well for it to work. It also helps to try different folds, they are pretty self explanatory, the 7 fold and the pinch down fold. Oh and of course it can be hard to remember to push back and not up. I’m thinking of getting a different style of cup…

  • fatsweatybetty

    I was a really early developer so I got my period when I was nine, way before any of the other girls I knew. And of course, for the first several years it was so heavy that I have too many embarrassing leakage stories to count. On particular favorite of mine was bleeding on a friend’s carpet during a sleepover.
    Word to the person who mentioned not being able to sleep on your back. I was always paranoid about TSS, so I didn’t want to sleep with a tampon in. So I ended up having to use THREE HUGE PADS the first few nights of my period to deal with the crack-drippage. Gross.
    I worship birth control for saving me from long, heavy, cramp-filled periods. And I absolutely love the Keeper (which is like the Diva Cup). I struggled a bit at first, but I just kept trying different positions and folds until I finally got it. I recommend lubing up the rim and putting one leg up on the toilet seat. As far as dumping, I can go anywhere from 8-18 hours and I never have problems with leakage, but I still use a liner overnight. It holds a couple ounces so having to change it every 45 mins sounds a little worrisome.

  • http://brokenporcelaindoll.blog.co.uk Bunny

    Oh my god, yes the heavy and embarrassing periods. I don’t have any hierarchy for my pants because…
    OH dear, I hope I’m not the only one who gets this…
    Even my non-period flow seems to… damage my undies. I am clean and healthy and scent-free, and yet even when not being visited by the dreaded cramp-demons and the blob-monster my discharge seems to have magical undies-bleaching properties. Seriously, I just put up with having to buy new knickers on a very regular basis. Does anyone else get this, and is it just a case of me buying cheap pants?

  • rhian

    Well, vaginal secretions are pretty acidic so it’s not really surprising. I haven’t had that problem with most of my underwear but there have been several pairs that get bleached. It’s not true of all though… maybe try a different kind!

  • Micing

    Growing up with a single parent, I’ve managed to regale my poor Dad with tales of menstruation. To his credit, he had no problems buying pads or tampons and whatnot and I think that he considers it a badge of honor to not be squicked out. :)
    I started using the DivaCup five months ago. I can’t go back. The first two days I dump out the cup twice and then the rest of the time it’s once per day. I’ve found that I only need the really light pads for the first two or three days. Using it at night has so far been awesome.

  • oenophile

    Try sleeping on your side if you don’t want to stain the mattress.
    I have light, pain-free periods, but that wasn’t always the case. (FYI: eat less meat and drink less coffee if you want this happy state of being. :) )
    I’m a huge klutz, so my embarrassing period stories are usually when I manage to get blood all over myself when I take out a tampon. Worst one was when I sat on a friend’s suede couch afterwards and got a huge clump of blood on it. :( Thankfully, we cleaned it up before her husband got home, but he kept asking about who spilled what on the new couch.
    When I was in college, I stayed over my boyfriend’s hosue and got my period during the night. When I woke up, my jeans were covereed in blood. (Thankfully, the couch was okay.) I had to beg him to take me home before going out for breakfast – “I feel gross, I need to brush my teeth, I want to put on some clean clothes, etc etc.” Finally, I said, “I’m bleeding all over my sweatshirt and will start bleeding all over your car if you don’t take me home RIGHT NOW.”

  • Taisa-Marie

    Even my non-period flow seems to… damage my undies. I am clean and healthy and scent-free, and yet even when not being visited by the dreaded cramp-demons and the blob-monster my discharge seems to have magical undies-bleaching properties. Seriously, I just put up with having to buy new knickers on a very regular basis. Does anyone else get this, and is it just a case of me buying cheap pants?
    I have the same issue too and have since my periods first started. I always explained the ‘bleached’ stains on my black panties as them accidentally getting put in the load with the whites.

  • Gretchen

    I had the WORST most heavy long ass period until I got on the pill. I went 11 days once and there was one day I had to change my over night pad three times in two hours.
    Every day was an overnight day.
    Now, I’m on the pill, which keeps my period in check (except for the month in which I was having a nervous breakdown- Aunt Flo came about a week early that month) and I use a diva cup. I change it about once a month, and use cloth pads to catch whatever the diva cup doesn’t.
    My daily non-period discharge is …yellow-ish. Gross, right? Or maybe thats not a really “feminist” thing to say- I should be really proud about my discharges! lol
    I hate it because it stains my white underwear this yellow color and I have to use bleach to get it out. And bleach is bad for the environment. But I suppose I kinda balance it out by not throwing any menstrual products away.

  • EG

    Meh. I just can’t be bothered. When I was young–a teenager–I used to flip out about bloodstains. But a few years ago, when I was in my mid-20s, I sat down and figured some things out. I got my period for the first time when I was 14. My mother didn’t go through menopause until she was in her mid-50s. In between, except for a couple breaks when I have kids (I dearly hope), I will be menstruating once a month. When I get my period, it lasts for six or seven days, with a very heavy flow on the first two or three. That’s two-three days of heavy flow every month, twelve months a year, for forty years. I’m just gonna figure on staining stuff every so often and not care. Seriously–I’m gonna run around struggling to flip a mattress because someone I’m sleeping with might find evidence that I went through puberty? I’m gonna sort my underpants? Nah. I’d rather take a nap.

  • Waterpixi

    Ah, menstrual mishaps.
    I didn’t get my period until I was going into the tenth grade, and I was so embarrassed at being such a late bloomer I didn’t want to tell anyone I had it. So I would steal my mom’s supply of Kotex, but unfortunately she didn’t know she was supplying two women and we ended up running out—unfortunately right when I needed them most. On one of my heaviest periods all we had were pantyliners and I really hoped I could control my period flow throughout the day (HA!). I ended up with my flannel shirt around my waist and left stains on every seat from homeroom on. I think at the time I didn’t realize I could go ask the nurse for pads, or I was probably too embarrassed. I threw my stained underwear in the laundry chute as a signal to my mom. I think, actually, all my sisters did it that way too (no, “hey Mom, I’m a woman now!�, just, “here’s my bloody undies, you know what it means�)My other serious mishap happened in college, when I was taking SCUBA lessons at an indoor pool in a middle school. Because I’m sort of on the small side, I was fitted with essentially a child’s wetsuit, which was cut high at the legs like a bathing suit (everyone else had shorts-type wetsuits). The night before my roommate had coached me how to use a tampon, which I truly hadn’t mastered yet. During the SCUBA lessons I suddenly had to pee like nothing else. I was terrified the blood was going to go everywhere just based on the pressure from my bladder and I ran out of the pool to the bathroom, which had that one-sheet-at-a-time bathroom tissue (the kind that dissolves immediately, which it did in my hands since I was soaking wet from the pool). I was bleeding past the tampon at that point, and there were no dispensers for any type of product in the middle school locker room (no that I had a quarter in my wetsuit, anyway). I stayed in the bathroom until near the end of the SCUBA lesson. Ugh.
    Love the underwear hierarchy.

  • http://http:randomstabbing.blogspot.com Doctress Julia

    Oh, yes. I had the 8th grade chair staining experience- wrote a note to my (thankfully )female teacher that said, “I have to go- I have my .” Except the period was really big. Um, in emergency situations I have used anything from fast food napkins to washcloths, socks (even removing one that I was wearing). I go travelling alot… and I get teh periods that make me cramp so bad I pass out, get cold sweats; puke. And I bleed like a stuck pig. OK, now you know.

  • blinkpanties

    Many of you have commented on the common stained “C team” panties that you use during your period. I totally hear where you’re coming from, and am trying to start a company that makes panties using a stain-repelling fabric that also releases stains when washed. This new line of panties will allow us to wear sexy, attractive panties during our period without worrying about menstrual spills that occur even when using feminine products.
    We’re doing market research to find out what styles women would like and other relevent information that will help us develop the best product possible. If you would like to take our online survey, we would greatly appreciate it! The link is: http://www.tigersurvey.com/survey.php?survey=5260.
    Thanks so much!
    Blink Panties

  • blinkpanties

    Many of you have commented on the common stained “C team” panties that you use during your period. I totally hear where you’re coming from, and am trying to start a company that makes panties using a stain-repelling fabric that also releases stains when washed. This new line of panties will allow us to wear sexy, attractive panties during our period without worrying about menstrual spills that occur even when using feminine products.
    We’re doing market research to find out what styles women would like and other relevent information that will help us develop the best product possible. If you would like to take our online survey, we would greatly appreciate it! The link is: http://www.tigersurvey.com/survey.php?survey=5260.
    Thanks so much!
    Blink Panties

  • blinkpanties

    Many of you have commented on the common stained “C team” panties that you use during your period. I totally hear where you’re coming from, and am trying to start a company that makes panties using a stain-repelling fabric that also releases stains when washed. This new line of panties will allow us to wear sexy, attractive panties during our period without worrying about menstrual spills that occur even when using feminine products.
    We’re doing market research to find out what styles women would like and other relevent information that will help us develop the best product possible. If you would like to take our online survey, we would greatly appreciate it! The link is: http://www.tigersurvey.com/survey.php?survey=5260.
    Thanks so much!
    Blink Panties

  • blinkpanties

    Sorry! Didn’t mean to post three times. Also join our facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=11837130801&ref=mf!