Features Lifestyle Wellbeing

We, the women: discussing a code red

Periods suck and for so many people, they are an inevitable little red blot on everyday life. There still exists a significant stigma around periods, a shocking fact considering that so many people experience them.

Although, recently, there have been a few instances of well-known women discussing their period publicly. One of my favourite examples of this is Fu Yuanhai talking about facing the  4 * 100m swimming Olympic finals during shark week. Despite this extra challenge, she still managed to come fourth in the final. Go Fu!

Talking about periods makes coping with them so much easier. So let’s do it! Personally, I find moaning about my cramps the most effective way of getting rid of them (shout out to my family and friends for putting up with it).

It is also worth stating that not all people that menstruate identify as women and not all women have periods. Here at The Student we want to do our bit to de-stigmatise periods. So, here is some advice for making leak week a little less painful.

  1. Pain Management: every period is different but, in my experience, none are comfortable. Painkillers, meditation, chocolate, stretching or a hot water bottle are all good ideas, if I may say so myself. Pick your favourites (or all five) and get to it.


  1. Period Trackers: are you always caught by surprise by your period? Well, there is an app for that! There are so many apps for that actually. Some of the most popular are: ‘My Cycles’, ‘Life’, ‘Glow’ and one more simply named ‘Period Tracker’. The trackers are helpful for a number of reasons: not only will they remind you when you are due, but they will also flag up irregularities in your cycle and keep you well informed of what is going on downstairs.


  1. Spoil Yourself: do whatever it is that makes you feel awesome. Go to the gym, lie in bed for six hours, eat your favourite food, take a revision break to study Netflix. Self care is so important! Especially when you are bleeding nonstop for three to five days.


  1. Be prepared! Regardless of how well you track your cycle, it can still be unpredictable. Periods are a pain (literally) but do not let them catch you off guard.There is no harm in keeping pads, tampons etc in your bag or generally nearby just in case. We have all been there. Honestly if you do not need it, your friends will. Free sanitary items are even available from the Advice Place in Potterow – simply walk in, politely ask if you can have some and you will be directed towards a cupboard brimming with sanitary towels and tampons.


  1. Laugh about it: periods are so so funny! Especially period euphemisms; some of my favourites include: shark week, the red scare, Aunt Flo, surfing the crimson wave and Erdbeerwoche (strawberry week). You’ve got this gang – period.






[Image: Thomas-Suisse @ Pixabay]


By Katharine Cook

An undergraduate Psychology student with a passion for strong coffee and student journalism. Lifestyle editor.

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