“I mean if there was any justice in the world you wouldn’t even have to go to school during your period. You’d just stay home for five days and eat chocolate and cry.” ~ Andrea Portes
So, you remember how a little while ago I told you how a bunch of people responded in Twitter polls when I asked them questions about their periods and menstrual products?
Well, I thought of a whole new bunch of questions. So, I asked Twitter those as well.
I asked quite a lot of questions; mostly about what people’s periods were like and whether it made a noticeable difference to their life when it came around – particularly when it came to work.
I also asked about how people first learned about what periods were and what attitudes towards their periods people had been brought up with.
Want to know what they said?
First off I asked people about how they experience their periods.
I always, without fail, get a day off in the middle. I have no idea why.
That last question led to some interesting conversations about how hormonal contraceptives and some medications can interfere with the frequency of periods.
Which then led on to:
And some conversations about menstrual cramps.
I got a Mirena fitted a few weeks ago in the hopes that it will mean that I don’t have to spend at least two days a month curled round a hot water bottle, zonked out on codeine.
It’s also supposed to lessen the bleeding so that I don’t become anaemic every time I come on.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
About periods and work more generally.
Their period also has an affect on most people’s mental health or at least moods.
I can nearly always tell when my period is due because I’m always teary and often have suicidal thoughts in the week running up to it.
Then we turned to pre-puberty when we first learned that periods were going to happen.
I was particularly interested in how people were taught to view their periods; as something shameful, embarrassing, totally ordinary?
This curiosity was mainly piqued by my own childhood experience.
I once absent-mindedly left a packet of sanitary towels in the bathroom and my dad had one of the worst tantrums that I can ever remember having.
It was pretty much forbidden in our house to give anyone else any cause to remember that periods are a thing that happen. Even my mum had to keep her tampons hidden under layers of stuff at the back of a shelf in her wardrobe.
Naturally, with this attitude my parents didn’t tell me anything about what to expect. Although my mum did give me a book called ‘Have You Started Yet’ in lieu, I guess, of having to have any sort of conversation about it.
As for anyone else:
This is sad, and one of the reasons I’m going to keep talking and asking about this stuff. I don’t want any more people than we can avoid thinking it’s not okay to feel relaxed about their own bodies.
Fortunately, everyone who responded stated their partners treated their periods as something perfectly natural and unremarkable. Although the reason I asked is that I know of some who wouldn’t, even, in a couple of cases where the partner also menstruates.
I also asked the following question because someone else wanted to know.
How about you?
So, what do you make of that? Does it match up to your own experiences, or what you might have expected to see, or not so much?
And, as I asked last time, is there anything else that you think I missed out that you’d like to me to conduct another entirely unscientific Twitter poll about?
Share your own thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.