Period Hacks: What to Use (or Not) if You Forget Your Menstrual Protection.
Most women and transgender men have their menarche, or first period, in their preteens to early teens, or around (12-15 years of age). It is said that once one has her or his first period that one’s period starts to become regular within about 6 years. So in theory, after about 6 years into our periods we should be able to fairly accurately predict our next period with a period tracker, right? Wrong! Some women’s and transgender men’s periods are so inconsistent that even the diligent planner can been thrown off by a period that comes way too early or way too late.
So what should you do if this ever happens to you? What if you forget to bring a few extra tampons or pads in your purse?
We’ve got some period emergency backups that you can use...or not. Some may be a little crazy or bizarre but when your period strikes unexpectedly...sometimes a girl’s/guy’s gotta do what a girl’s/guy’s gotta do!
Hack #1: New Moms, You’ll Thank Us Later
A woman responded on a survey that she, "Didn't know what to do, so shoved a whole diaper into [her] pants and walked with a very wide stance for the rest of the day. Really absorbent though!"
Hack #2: We’ve Gotta Sock’it to Ya
Another woman responded that: "I was on the train from London to Penzance with absolutely no sanitary items (although I did briefly consider my empty chips bag), so I used one sock for half the journey and the other for the other half. Immense sock-and-sanitary-towel shopping spree when I got to Penzance. Immense."
Hack #3: Bath Sponge Anyone?
Who would have thought to use a bath sponge? This respondent did: "Thought I was being clever by choosing the most absorbent item in the bathroom. However, it was shaped like a starfish and made me look as if I was smuggling bunnies in my leggings. Although I maintain that it was absorbent."
Hack #4: The I Hope No One’s Going to Need This Solution
One respondent confessed that she had actually used gauze from the office first-aid kit:
"I stole it from work, praying that no one would have a serious cut later that day on my floor of the office."
Hack #5: The She Used What? Backup
If you’re really in dire need of a backup and didn’t wear socks why not use some cardboard from an Amazon box? That’s what one respondent did but her advice is that it’s "Not recommended for long periods! (Pun not intended)."
Hack #6: Try a Leaf
Out in the middle of nowhere? Try a leaf. This survey responder did: "I got my period while camping. Luckily it wasn't a nettle or poison ivy leaf." Hey, if it worked for Eve why not you?
Hack # 7: The “Tried-and-true” method
Michelle Petropoulos, U by Kotex expert, has this advice for when nature strikes unexpectedly:
“First, I would ask a friend for help. We all have been in this predicament before. I would be all too happy to help a fellow girlfriend in need. Picture a friend, acquaintance or even a stranger walking up to you asking if you have a pad or tampon she could have. Knowing what it is like to need one, we are all too happy to be able to help another. I have actually felt really bad when I have been asked and didn’t have anything to offer. If you don’t have anyone you can ask, there are still other options. If you’re sitting on the toilet and realize you just started your period, there are no women around to ask, try this. Start unrolling toilet paper, place one end on your underwear right where you would place a pad (if you had one) and start wrapping around and around. Then with the loose ends tie a knot on the underside of your underwear. Repeat a second time. This self-made pad should last long enough to get you through until you can stop by a store or go home for a change.”
Or if you expect to have a light to moderate flow that day you could just buy some period panties and always be prepared around that time of the month when you expect your period will strike. Learn more about the benefits of using period panties by clicking here!