The recentish advert from a major tampon brand claiming power over your periods while zip lining or whizzing down a log flume has really pissed me off.
Why am I getting my knickers in a bunch over this? It’s the message that it is sending that tips me over the edge.
I started looking back through the adverts on youtube, and they ALL pretty much amount to the same. Use this tampon to plug up your fanny and you will be able to wear white, swim, jump about like a loony with you friends and forget all about being on your period. From what I can tell these were all written and directed by men, because I guess that’s how they view it. And this masculine message of dealing with our periods is churned out over, and over, and over again. Keeping the message strong that we just have to deal with it and ignore at our period at ALL costs. It must NOT STOP us from doing anything, and we just have to ‘man up’ about it.
Most women are paranoid about leaks whilst getting up from their chair, or their bed or the sofa or car. This is seen as a very bad thing, and yet if it was from your arm no one would give a rats arse about it, and would probably give you sympathy. I’m not saying leaks are something to get excited about, I’m just saying it’s blood and in my experience as a ex nurse, the stuff will try and escape whatever you do to it. It’s the selling point that it stops embarrassing leaks, which is so embarrassing that they can’t even use red liquid on the TV adverts. The deep shame and silence around our periods is quite astounding.
I haven’t met a women yet who want’s to do anything remotely active during her period, sometimes getting dressed is an Olympic event right?
Which brought me to think about sports women and what they do about it? Well the evidence is there, women that are bleeding during a tournament don’t do as well (who knew) but heaven forbid they actually talk about it! It’s actually made the press that women have mentioned it; in gasps of ‘they can’t say that’. The infamous photo of the runner Uta Pippig crossing the finish line after winning the Boston marathon in 1996 with blood running down her legs, left the commentators flustered and became a bigger talking point than her just having won her third consecutive marathon.
What message does this actually portray? That you have to choose between one or the other? What about working with your body (as much as you can) and doing both?
For women like me who have Endometriosis, what do we do? I can tell you now that it doesn’t matter how much technology goes into a tampon I would need to use about 4 at a time on the first two days of my bleed. A flow so heavy I have to sit on a towel along with my protection? That I actually can’t use a tampon because it is so bloody uncomfortable? What about me that has so much pain during my bleed that I would rather hurl myself off the bridge without a bungy? Will your clever string thingy do anything about that? Is that me having power over my periods?
Is having power over my periods making sure I do extreme sports or party till the cows come home when I bleed? Why is it any less hardcore answering to my bodies needs? What about the 50% of women in the country that have endometriosis and would actually like some power over their periods but it’s not happening because they are doubled over in pain, they bleed really heavy and there is no known cure? What about those women? What do they do?
Endometriosis can feel like the end of the road for your periods and fertility. After probably battling with it for years being told you have a myriad of other conditions, you finally get told what it is and then your treatment plan is hormones or a hysterectomy and a medically induced menopause.
There ain’t no sanitary product in the world that is going to give you power over your periods no matter what the techy stuff says.
My top 3 things to do if you have Endometriosis is this
1 – Reduce the amount of oestrogens you are being exposed to via your food or chemicals. Buy organic and clear out the exposure of parabens etc.
2 – Get involved with some exercise, yoga can be really effective at releasing the sticky web in your womb. Lots of hip opening and stretching in the pelvic area.
3 – Use Castor oil packs (except when you are bleeding), to help break down and clear the endometriosis from your body. It helps ease inflammation and improves circulation and the lymph system.
Even if you don’t have this condition, these three things will help your period and with that comes the power to get back into the driving seat of your cycle.