4 reasons not to be embarrassed about your period

Let's welcome Aunt Flo to town

How many times have you tried to justify your feelings and emotions with ‘oh sorry, I must be due on?’ or felt guilty for cancelling plans if you simply wanted (and needed) to curl up with a hot water bottle and binge on the latest box set to help ease period cramps? No more we say!

The majority of half the population experience a period each month. Some arrive on time and come with minimal symptoms, others may be running later than your morning bus, and some only show up when they feel like it (why is it always when you’ve got somewhere important to be eh?). But, it’s probably a good idea to see your doctor if you’ve started having irregular periods and you haven’t in the past (unless you’re going through puberty, during which time it’s quite common for periods to be irregular). Periods are a thing of beauty and should be celebrated for the wonderful things your body can do (anyone who’s been to an aerobics class on a heavy period will know the struggle can sometimes be real…) but what do we do? We boss it and move on to the next.

So ladies, hold your heads high and let’s start being open and honest about all things the blob, girl flu, shark week, code red, AKA your fabulous period.

They’re completely natural

Do you remember your very first period? It may have been joyous and a time where you felt yourself becoming a woman, or it could have been an anxious time where everything felt confusing and strange. Either way periods are your body saying ‘OK mama, this body is mature enough to have a baby.’ In a nutshell, every month the lining of the uterus gets thicker and your ovaries release an egg – if this little egg isn’t fertilised then the lining of the uterus is released as your period. There’s a lot more to the period process, so take a read of what is a period to get the flo-down.

The more we talk about them, the more we’ll learn about our bodies

Have you ever had period pain and felt embarrassed to tell someone? Or how about feeling a little off kilter and not wanting to admit that your period is pending? The more we’re open and honest about our menstrual musings, the less of a taboo subject they become.

It can be easy to focus on the negative things you can feel during your period, but why not flip it on its head and talk about the positive experiences you had – perhaps you had less pain that month, or maybe you tried a menstrual cup and found it beneficial. Talking all things periods with your friends needn’t be embarrassing, as each one will have a different perspective on what a period means to them. Give it a go and it will help to break the taboo around periods; after all, when we talk openly we get a better understanding.

Periods can be a report card for what’s happening in your body, so while mild discomfort and PMS are often normal, things such as strong pain, dizziness and stronger mood swings may be worth speaking to your GP about.

Because men should know about them too

Have you ever witnessed the look of confusion and awkwardness when you tell a man that you’re on your period? Perhaps telling him you’d skipped ahead and watched a few box set episodes without him would’ve gone down better. So it’s time that we clued up the men in our lives about all things menstruation…

We’ve all had a giggle at school about anything to do with sex or periods, but could that still carry over with the modern man? We’re not saying that all men find periods uncomfortable or funny to talk about, but a lack of understanding could result in jokes meant to ease the tension. So here are the three things men should know about periods which could help the awesome ladies in their lives:

• Blood isn’t gushing out of our bodies at an alarming rate, and we won’t leak on you. In fact, on average a woman will lose 30ml-80ml of blood through a whole period

• Pre Menstrual Tension doesn’t mean the lady in your life will automatically be angry, sad, happy, moody and hungry all in the space of 30 minutes for no reason. The rollercoaster of hormones and the affect it can have on serotonin levels is real. So be kind and keep the hugs coming

• Yes, you can still have sex during a period, and yes it can still be awesome. Sex on your period can be love/hate, but it can be amazing as there’s added lubrication and her intimate areas are super sensitive so orgasms could be on the horizon – just remember to put a towel down and you’ll be good to go!

Your body is beautiful & you shouldn’t feel shame

Period or no period, your body is awesome and deserves to be celebrated, after all it has the power to create an actual human being – now that’s amazing. It’s also a time of the month that can be thought of your body being cleansed, so if you ever feel ‘dirty’ on your period then switch that to think about your body getting rid of something old (just like you’d do with a house move or when you break up with a partner… awks).

Your period is also a time to allow yourself to indulge and devote time to taking care of yourself, as stress, lack of sleep and enjoying enough 2 for 1 chocolate bars will eventually take its toll. It’s also perfectly OK to get in from work and lounge in your PJs watching cat videos on social media – whatever it takes to help you relax and tell your body ‘we got this’.

So, if you have heavy periods, no periods, periods once in a blue moon, period pain, dark blood, light blood, brown discharge, cravings, sore boobs, sweat, bloating or just feel a bit meh when you’re due on, then remember that it’s OK to feel however you feel and there’s always someone to talk to about your magical monthly cycle. It’s time for less taboos and more real talk. Period.