Today is World Menstrual Hygiene Day, a global platform that raises awareness of the challenges women and girls face worldwide due to their menstruation and works on solutions in resolving these issues. In celebration of WMHD, we have asked four bloggers to share their first period story, to help us break down taboos by talking about our periods and celebrating our bodies.
Claire Baker from @_clairebaker_
When I was fourteen, I got my period and didn’t tell my mum because I didn’t want to have The Period Conversation with her. I actually don’t remember the details at all besides an early encounter with a sanitary pad and my futile attempts to flush it down the toilet. This was the first of many lessons my menstrual cycle would have to teach me, and thankfully they’ve become a little less awkward as I’ve grown older and (hopefully) wiser. It saddens me that I can’t recall the moment that my body began to bleed for the first time (well, out of my vagina), but I’ve come to realise that this isn’t at all uncommon; plenty of women tell me they don’t remember their first period or details from their developing years. That’s okay, the human brain is a mysterious thing. But it feels important to me that we attempt to unravel this chapter of our lives and share stories that we can connect with our sisters on.
Bryony Farmer from @preciousstarspads I started my periods quite late. I believe I was actually the last person in my class, so I was really excited when I got it! I was just on my way out of the house to go on a camping trip with my Godparents, when I went to the toilet and lo’ and behold, there it was. I ran upstairs to my bedroom and dug in my bottom drawer to find the pack of pads my mum had bought me 4 years before which I could FINALLY use. I was so proud of my uterus. Unfortunately, I completely underestimated how heavy my first period would be, and I think I leaked through just about every piece of clothing I had taken on that trip. But it didn’t matter because (as far as I was concerned) I was now a woman, and that felt amazing.
Frances Cannon from @frances_cannon I got my first period when I was about 12 and I got it while I was on the toilet! My mum had always been very open about periods and what to expect and what they were, so it wasn't a super scary experience for me. My Mum gave me a bracelet to celebrate, which I still have (insert crying emoji)! My mum made my experience very special and I am grateful for that. I'm very aware that my experience was one of privilege. A lot of people do not have a supportive environment and having a period can be very scary and even dangerous; and may affect health (for example: not having access to hygiene products), education (having to stay home from school while on their period), or mental health (for example: trans or non binary people who may experience body dysmorphic disorder due to periods). I look forward to a world that is safe for and caters to the needs of all period-having folk.
Jasmine Jonas from @jcjlifestyle Think Carrie - but without the crazy Mother! I started my period very early (oh the joys) and definitely way earlier than my parents probably expected and so they hadn't even got to the point of discussing the bird and the bees with me, let alone periods. And so when the day arrived, I genuinely thought I was dying - blood, screaming, tears. The whole drama. But I remember the distinct thought of "YES, I won't have to go to school tomorrow!!!"
Share your period story in the comments and #nolimits to empower women across the globe.