When you first start getting your period, every month bring a fresh wave of discovery, awkwardness, and panic. I’m sure you remember the first time you discovered a period stain in your clothes at school, or the several times your period started and you had no pads or tampons and had to use toilet paper instead, right? Those first few months–hell, first few years–require a lot of trial and error, realizing what works for you and what doesn’t, what your body can handle and what it can’t, and I think we underestimate how strong all of us vagina havers are for putting up with all that craziness without totally losing it!
But whether or not you’ve had your period for just a couple of months or 10 years, you’re still going to slip up. You’re going to stain your bedsheets every now and then and you’re going to forget to put extra tampons in your purse. That happens, but no matter what, you should avoid these eight period mistakes that you’re probably already making.
You Take Pain Meds On An Empty StomachI know, it's tempting to pop some pills first thing in the morning when you feel cramps, but put a little something on your stomach first or else you'll feel even more miserable. Oh, and if you're specifically taking pain meds designed for periods, make sure you're not taking them at night. Those pills usually have caffeine in them to help you avoid drowsiness...but that's the last thing you want before hitting the sack. iStock.com
You Think Your Period Is Done Way Too EarlyWe've all been there: It's the fourth day of your period or so and you figure, hey, why waste a tampon that's going to end up dry in eight hours anyway. Your period is over! And then...bam. Your undies are stained with a surprise surge of blood or old, dark colored blood sludge that is a pain in the butt to deal with. Dude, please, don't put yourself through dry tampon torture but at least wear a panty liner. It's for your own good. Carrie
You Don't Track Your PeriodI know I talk about this every chance I get, but it's so worth it and I want everyone with a vagina to do this: Track your period with an app. My personal favorite is Clue, a period tracker which tracks everything from menstruation, to ovulation, to your mood, discharge, pain, sex drive, skin condition, etc. I know so much more about what to expect from my body now, including what part of the month will riddle me with ovulation cramps and when y discharge is going to be next level ridiculous. Clue
You Get Painful Beauty Routines Around That Time Of The MonthYour pain tolerance is low during your period, which means that anything that would normally just cause a little bit of pain is going to hurt like hell. So you'll want to avoid any beauty routines that you know are going to be a pain, like waxing, threading, getting braids installed, etc. iStock.com
You Wash Your Period Stains With Warm WaterDON'T WASH OUT YOUR PERIOD STAINS IN WARM WATER. I REPEAT, DON'T USE WARM WATER. Warm water can help keep the stain sealed into the material, but cold water won't. My Mad Fat Diary
You Wear Scented TamponsFragrances totally don't jive with your vagina's PH balance, so please, you avoid any and all possible irritation, stick to unscented tampons. Trust, nobody will notice. If anything, your scented tampons are more likely to kick up a gnarly smell than unscented ones. iStock.com
You Avoid ExerciseThe last thing anyone wants to do during their period is exercise, I know. But please, don’t avoid it. Not only can exercise help ease menstrual cramps, they can also help elevate your mood…and we all know how important THAT can be during that time of the month. Some Girl
Using Only One Menstrual Collection MethodWhether it's fear or a lack of curiosity, you shouldn't necessarily stick to one thing your whole menstrual life. Scared to try tampons since the last time you tried five years ago? Give it another go. Hell, maybe consider trying a menstrual cup instead! Don't feel like you should stick to one method and one method only. iStock.com
What other tips make your period a lot easier to handle? Tell us in the comments!