Having your period can be very stressful, because apart from battling cramps and mood swings you have to worry about period stains too. If you get them on your clothes while you’re out it can be both embarrassing and uncomfortable, while if at home you stain your sheets it can be a pain to wash them. Here are some ways to avoid staining while you have your period.
To begin with, keep track of your cycle so that your period doesn’t catch you off guard. A few days before it is due, start wearing a panty liner so that you don’t stain your underwear when it comes. Carry absorbent pads with you as well, so that if it comes unexpectedly you don’t have to start hunting around for a pad.
Get proper coverage
If you are wearing a pad, make sure that you wear it properly in order to give you maximum coverage and prevent any leaks. On the days that you tend to have heavy flow, wear a thicker pad that is more absorbent and change it frequently.
Try wearing tampons or menstrual cups
Tampons and menstrual cups can be more effective than pads in preventing stains, since they absorb the blood before it reaches your underwear. In case you’re not familiar with them, tampons are cotton rolls that are inserted in the vagina to soak up the blood flow while menstrual cups are silicon cups that are inserted in the vagina to collect the blood. These cups can be removed, washed and reused for several years, making them a much cheaper option than pads or tampons. Some people are not comfortable with the idea of wearing tampons or menstrual cups however, so it is a personal choice that you will have to make.
To protect yourself further, try doubling up your measures. You can do this by wearing a tampon and a pad together, so that the pad can soak up anything that the tampon missed. You can also wear two pads together – either put them lengthwise, with one closer to the front and the other closer to the back, or wear them in the shape of an upside down ‘T’, with one worn normally and the other perpendicular to it in the back.
If you are out and have gotten your period unexpectedly, try to borrow a pad from someone or buy one from a chemist. To avoid staining in the meantime, you can fashion a makeshift pad out of tissue paper, by taking a roll and wrapping it 7-8 times around the middle of your underwear. This will anchor it in place and save you from the embarrassment of having tissue fall out from under your clothes.
Choose the right underwear
Most women wear their older underwear while they have their period, so that their new ones don’t get ruined by stains. Try to wear thicker underwear that will absorb any leaks so that your clothes don’t get stained. If need be, double up on your underwear too, by wearing one pair on top of another for extra protection.
Be conscious of it
As much as pad companies try to advertise that you can wear their products and be absolutely carefree, in reality it is better to be conscious of it than to risk the embarrassment of staining. Restrict your movement to only what is necessary and avoid any awkward positions that might cause any leaks. Go to the bathroom often in order to check how your pad or tampon is holding up so that you can adjust or change it if necessary. Ask a friend to keep an eye on you and tell you if you’ve stained.
Protect the bed
Washing sheets can be a pain, and having to change them every night because of period stains can be a nuisance. Instead, take an old towel and lay it sideways over the area that you usually sleep on, so that if there are any leaks they will get absorbed by the towel and will not reach your bed sheet or mattress. You can also buy the kind of protective sheets that parents use for young children who wet the bed. Try to sleep on your side or your stomach rather than your back.
Wear dark colours
Avoid light colours when you have your period, because the last thing you want is a glaring red stain on your white trousers. Wearing dark clothing will not help to prevent the stain but it will help to keep it from being too visible. If possible, carry a change of clothes with you when you are out, or keep an extra pair at work for emergencies. If by chance you do stain your underwear or your clothes, soak them in a mixture of salt and water for an hour and then wash them as usual.