Blood Normal

#bloodnormal Stories

Women have been made to be ashamed and embarrassed for having their periods, but now they are speaking up and starting the conversation.

Check out these stories from women sharing their #bloodnormal stories.

“… I got told that I always have to hide the fact I’m on my period from the rest of the family …”

Hiding it from my family

“At a young age, I got told that I always have to hide the fact I’m on my period from the rest of the family because they were guys. That let me to feel very embarrassed, dirty and ashamed every time I got my period since it was something I got taught to hide so well. It then even resulted in me not being able to warm up a heat pack for my cramps because my family would’ve seen. Luckily, I have great friends and even some of my guy friends bring up the topic who talk about it more casually than me. They’ve made me feel comfortable with everything.” –  Anonymous

 

Manager Issues

“I came back from the bathroom at work and my manager quizzed me on why I went upstairs to the staff room toilet. When I told him I needed to grab tampons, he yelled at me for telling him something he didn’t need to know” – Emma

 

Class Clown

“So this guy was the class clown, the guy everybody laughed with. One day in Year 8, I got my period. It was early so I wasn’t expecting it and wasn’t wearing a pad. It was then I realised it was leaking though my dress. I put my hand up to have the teacher come to my table, today the teacher called me to him. I was horrified , what was I going to do!? I got one of my friends to go up to him and tell him I had a situation and couldn’t stand up, I was sitting at the front and everyone would see. The teacher understood and let me go get cleaned up, so I quickly stood and hurried out of the class. It was all good until I reached the door, and I hear “Oh my god! Her period is leaking through her dress!” from the class clown. I was horrified, the whole class knew and they were looking in disgust, horror and laughing at me. The few that felt bad tried to help me. These were a couple of good friends and my teacher, who was a guy. I was so surprised he wanted to help! I felt so ashamed yet supported at the same time. The teacher and I still joke about it to this day. Girls, don’t be afraid, and guys, don’t you ever laugh! That girl has been bleeding for days and is still alive!” – Kaitlyn

“… She told me ‘Some women just have heavier periods. Good luck’ … ”

Swimming Fiasco

“Late last year, I went to a pool party at my friend’s house. There was a couple of other friends there, some of which happened to be male. I get really paranoid about lots of things – periods being one of them – and i was hysterically scared of getting my period at this pool party. Before I left, I grabbed a small pouch and packed and packed a couple of pads ad tampons just in case.My friends and I swam for a bit, then we got out and went back inside. We were sitting around and one of the guys decided to go through my bag. I sat there watching him ruffle through my stuff, oblivious to the fact that he would soon find my pads and tampons. He grabbed the pouch and took one look inside and he looked horrified. It was as if he couldn’t believe that I was carrying tampons around with me. I shrugged it off as if it was nothing, but I felt so embarrassed and shameful deep down.

At this time, I swam a lot. I wend into a couple of swimming comps here and there. After this ordeal at the pool party, I quit swimming. I don’t know why – every time I swam I thought about the time when the guy found my tampon stash. I now have this image in my head that females shouldn’t swim at all. I applaud all other females who do swim but I can’t bring myself to take it up again” – Maddie

 

ER Emergency

“Around 6 months ago, I was sitting in the ER, midway through my cycle and realised that my tampon was close to leaking. I didn’t have any products on me as I had gone with my father and was in a rush. I looked inside the one toilet and saw no sanitary products of any sort, I asked the nurse for some and she told me that non were provided. I was stuck there, 14 years old, excruciating pain, and about to soil my trousers with blood. So, I went to the toilet, cleaned myself the best I could, and wrapped toilet paper around the inside of my knickers” – Kia

 

Doctor Issues

I had been on five different varieties of the Pill to try and combat my period problems and I was feeling so alone and desperate. Then I found this female doctor whose bio said that she was passionate about “women’s health”. Thinking I had found my saviour, I booked an appointment. I described the years of period drama; the heavy flows and the pain, the occasional faints, and the 2AM alarms to change my pads. She ordered an external ultrasound. Nothing else. It didn’t show much and she simply prescribed me ANOTHER type of the Pill and told me “Some women just have heavier periods. Good luck”. I felt like some crazy, dramatic person who has no grasp on period reality. It had taken me 11 years to realise that it wasn’t normal and this doctor undid progress with eight words. Luckily, I found another doctor and gynecologist and they discovered that my hormones were doing messed up things to my body. I didn’t need a “good luck”, just someone who listened and took me and my period seriously” – Meg

“I was horrified, the whole class knew and they were looking in disgust, horror and laughing at me”

The Female Body is a Taboo Topic

“Growing up my parents were and still are incredibly conservative and traditional. Anything about the female body was taboo. My mother would be especially discrete about periods and bodily functions. I remember the first time I got my period when I was 9 years old, I had no idea what was going on. All my mother said to me was to “be careful, you can get pregnant now”. I had no idea what was happening in my body until grade 6 when we had health class at school. It was especially upsetting because my mother was a nurse and show have been the one to talk to me. Once I started getting my period more regularly, and I knew when I needed pads and tampons, I was unable to openly ask her to buy me some. The words ‘pads’, ‘tampons’ and ‘period’ were never uttered at home. She’d simply ask if I was ‘unwell’ and then buy me some. the very fact she is my mother made it hard to feel accepted at home when I could barely speak to her about the most natural of things” – Vibusha

 

“It isn’t that bad”

“In Year 11, I had to sit out of physical education because my cramping was awful and my medication (the pill and ibuprofen) wasn’t enough to keep it under control. My teacher told me she “had bad periods too, it isn’t that bad”. Thankfully a girlfriend stood up for me and kept me company. Turns out I have endometriosis” – Artemis

 

Dropped Pad

“it was about half way through Year 7, and I had my period for almost a year at this point and was beginning to get used to. One day, I was class like usual and I was walking up to the teacher’s desk. Our school uniforms have tiny pockets that barely hold anything, and I struggled to discreetly hide my pads in my pockets but I made it work. Somehow, without me realising my pad must have fallen out of my pocket and onto the floor, and one of the boys in my class noticed. My entire class burst out laughing and the boy picked it up and began throwing it to his friends and being really immature. All of the girls in my class begun whispering to each other, laughing and the rumors begun around my grade. I was beyond embarrassed. I was upset that even my teacher didn’t offer me any support or resolve the situation. I left the classroom and to this day have not lived that incident down. I wish that this was never an issue, and instead was normalised as this really shouldn’t be something to laugh at someone for” – DeeDee

“The words ‘pads’, ‘tampons’ and ‘periods’ were never uttered at home … she would simply ask if I was ‘unwell'”

First Period at School

“Well, let’s start off by saying my first period wasn’t a walk in the park. I was sitting in my maths class, I was in Year 7 and had a weird feeling (you know the feeling). Well, I had no idea what it would be so I just ignored it and then the worst happened, I sneezed. I was wearing a skirt so after a few minutes I saw blood running down my leg, but luckily my math teacher let me go to the toilet. So, I got to the bathroom and lucky for me, there was no toilet paper in the stall, so basically I was stuck in a stall, blood everywhere with no toilet paper, and once again lucky me, it was last period so I waited until the bell rung. I walked to the gate and as I walked past the gate, a few girls in my class giggled to themselves, I knew that they knew because I left the seat covered in blood and a trail coming out out of the door. So I hopped in the car, horrified to tell my mum. It was a pretty quiet drive home. When we got home, I went straight to the bathroom change and cleaned myself up and went to my room, I was balling my eyes out thinking that something was wrong with me. My mum came in and said “So, you got your period” and I was just horrified. My mum was actually so helpful so I felt so much better, but the next day. At school was just the worst, people were laughing at me, I was already emotional enough, it just made it worse. So yeah, that’s my story.” – KB

 

Sport Class

“Once I was in sport class and I had really bad cramps. My sports teacher was a male. It got so bad and I was bleeding through my pants (luckily my pants are dark blue). I went up to him and asked to go to the toilet but I knew he would say no, so I said that it was a ‘girl emergency’. he spoke so loudly and there was so many people around, saying “well, if it’s such an emergency, how about you share it with the rest of the class?” I was so embarrassed that I ran into the toilets and stayed there for the est of the lesson”  – Hannah

 

First Tampon Ever

“I went to a Christian school with zero education in Health/Puberty/Sex Education. I got my first period in class and well before any of my friends. I was so embarrassed and I could feel it going through my underwear and school skirt. I very ashamedly asked my teacher (who was so lovely) if she had a pad, but she only had tampons. I had no idea how they worked! So I didn’t apply it properly. Minutes later, I waled out of the bathroom and back into class, and to my horror, I saw everyone pointing to the ground and between my legs, the tampon had fallen onto the ground covered in blood. I wanted to disappear.” – Ana

 

” … and to my horror, I saw everyone pointing to the ground and between my legs, the tampon had fallen onto the ground …”

Yes, We Exist!

“I’m non-binary and I have been medically diagnosed with endometriosis for nearly five years now. I’ve so often been told that it’s not appropriate to openly talk about endo and periods. Like, really?? No wonder so many people just suffer with horrible periods for years in silence. The stigma that it’s ‘only a women’s disease’ sucks, and the thought that you can’t be transgender/non-binary/queer if you’re open and comfortable about having a period is rampant too. Yes, we exist! I’m determined to be loud, proud, queer endometriosis warrior!” – KittenPunk

I Set the Rules

“I think as young girls we get the impression from the moment we find out about periods that they are something secretive. I don’t believe this is necessarily the intention, but it’s certainly the way it comes across. We’re told not to tell any other girls about periods, because their mums will tell them when they think it’s appropriate. We’re given a cute little bag to ‘hide’ our pads in. We’re separated from the boys at school to be talked to about periods. We use other terms for it to avoid saying ‘period’ or ‘menstruation’. I know most people mean well and it’s all done in the name of privacy (which we all deserve and many of us want), but how often are young girls assured that getting a period is not something they have to be embarrassed about? How often are they told they don’t have to hide their menstrual hygiene products if they don’t want to? How often are they told it’s okay to tell someone they are on their period or talk about period-related things if they want to?

I got my period for the first time when I was ten years old. I hid my ‘supplies’ discreetly in a small zip-lock bag inside my school bag. I struggled being the only person in my class to have a period. I told a few of my friends about my period, but insisted on it being kept a secret. Of course, that didn’t last. News spread. I distinctly remember the day I discovered that so many people I hadn’t told somehow knew about it. I remember bursting into tears, feeling humiliated. As time passed through and more girls got their periods, I realised the normality of it all. But any discussion of it was still done in hushed tones, especially when boys were within an earshot. I still continued to smuggle my pads in bags and pockets. When I went to the toilet, I still tried to unwrap my pads as quietly as I could, even though just about all the girls and women in the toilet no doubt knew about periods. And I never questioned why I did all this.

Until one day. One day when I decided I just couldn’t be bothered. I couldn’t be bothered to hide it. I carried my pad in my hand, in public, to the toilet, and the world didn’t end. Nobody died. Nothing exploded. No tragedy occurred. I simply went to the toilet, took care of my business, and left. So that’s how I do it sometimes now. I don’t fret in situation where I don’t have a bag or I don’t have pockets. I just carry it in my hand. No big deal. Sometimes people will offer to let me hide it in their bags, but I just say no, it’s fine, I don’t need to. The common misconception though is that I don’t care about privacy. That couldn’t be more wrong. I take pride in the fact that I owe no one any information whatsoever. But sometimes, I just can’t be bothered. Sometimes, I just want to go to the bathroom and change my pad without having to smuggle it like a dangerous weapon or illegal substances. Sometimes, I just want to feel like something that happens to half of the world’s population isn’t shameful. And sometimes, I just want to see the horrified expressions on some people’s faces when I carry a pad out in the open for all to see. It was empowering for me to discover that privacy and discretion occur on my terms. I can be as secretive or as open as I like, and it can change from day to day, situation to situation. I set the rules. I think anyone who believes women should have to be discreet and hide their periods regardless of whether they want to or not need to stop and contemplate why they feel that way. Hopefully most realise they are being ridiculous. As for those that don’t, well, that’s their problem to deal with. I can’t be bothered to care” – G

Boy Talk

“There was a day when boys were talking about periods and saying that it were gross and if a girl got their period they would never come near her. I was on my period which made me scared to let anyone know that I have my period” – Maya

“I’m determined to be a loud, proud, endometriosis warrior!”

Endometriosis Pains

“From about the age of 15, I have been in horrific pain from my periods and ust over all pain and constant bleeding. My mother took me several doctors which they all told my mother I was lying about my pain, vomiting all the the time at school and all the whacked out things I was experiencing because I was trying to get out of school. I wasn’t. I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 21. Thank god I met my manager who knew exactly what was going on and booked me in with a specialist.” – Twix

 

Incorrect Information

“When I was a teenager, I had my period in Religion class. One of the other girls in y class also had her period and so she asked me to borrow a pad discreetly and left. Sometime later once she returned, I felt the need to also ask the teacher to use the bathroom without making it obvious to the other co-ed students. “No, I know you’re lying to me” was the teacher’s response when I told him I had my period and I REALLY needed to use the facilities. “No you’re lying. Two girls can’t have their period on the same day”. Being in a Catholic school, I was mortified as he practically shouted his news to the class. All the boys started to snicker and the girls were equally horrified to think a male teacher could think that girls don’t share periods on the same day. I was mortified and felt the blood rush to my face as I was put on the spot, questioning me about my own body. I stood up to him and say “I can bring you proof if you so desire, but I’m going to use the bathroom” and walked out. To this day, I am concerned that the teachers at the school do not have the correct knowledge regarding periods.” – Sam

 

Period Newbie

“When I first got my period, I was in Year 8 and I didn’t know I was getting it that day because it was so new and wasn’t sure how to calculate when it come next. I got up from my seat to be excused to go to the bathroom, but the teacher declined my request so I had to sit back down. The class ended and I got up to hear a bunch of girls laughing at me, I went to the Front Desk and the lady behind the counter came to help me get my period stains out of my dress (which was light blue). If it wasn’t for her, I don’t what else could have happened. Felt so gross and ashamed. Now if I ever see anyone with a leak, I’ll always offer to help!” – MCM

“No, you’re lying. two girls can’t have their period on the same day”

New Year, New Class

“It was the start of a new year, and I had no friends in my class. The whole of Year 9 had to do a religion test and during the test, I got super bad cramps. I put my hand up and asked to use the bathroom, the teacher shook his had and I sat quietly. I looked down and I could see red all over the back of my dress. I instantly stood up and walked to the door. EVERYONE saw. I was panicking so much that I couldn’t breathe. Luckily I ran into my friend while grabbing my bag and she lent me some clothes. This made the rest of my year very hard of me and I wished my teacher had understood.” – Abby

 

Welcome to Womanhood

“When I got my first period, I was 11 years old. I knew what to expect – blood, pain, gore, the crinkling of pads. I had the talks and I knew what to do. but on that fateful day, I was caught with my pants down. Literally. I had gone to the toilet and found my underwear stained with brown sludge. Was I not wiping properly? I was so worried I was soiling my underwear. So i cleaned myself up and got on with my 11 year old life. But it happened again. I’d soil my pants for a second time. And I was worried. Is this an incontinence problem? Show I be wearing nappies? My mum came into my room after the second day. she’d been doing the washing and had my underwear in her wants. “You need to use a pad now, you can’t bleed through your undies every time.” If you can believe it, the older the blood is the darker it is. Which was a relief to find out and a curse to know. I’d been secretly welcomed to ‘womanhood’ under the guise of doing number twos. I laughed to myself as I cleaned the blood off. It was brown. But it was nothing that some soap and cold water couldn’t fix.” – Cpowe

 

Relief Teacher

“I was in Year 8 and half way though class I got my period. I had a relief teacher and went up  to him and asked if I could go to the toilet, he then proceeded to ask my I needed to go now. I told him I got my period, and he got mad when I told him that, and was disgusted with me for the rest of the class.” – Mekayla

” … they all told my mother I was lying about my pain, vomiting … all the whacked out things I was experiencing because I was trying to get out of school.”

Time to Celebrate!

“When my girls got their periods, we had a cake to celebrate the beginning of womanhood. It changes it from something to be ashamed of or embarrassed by into a right of passage, which it is. You are no longer a child but a woman. Be proud!” – Kirsty

 

Ironic Health Class

“So it started off like any normal school days in primary school. I remember being in a health class (how ironic) when I felt the WORST pain I had ever felt before. I asked the teacher if I could g to the toilet, and when I got there I had actually bled through onto the outside of my clothing. This was my first period. I fixed myself up with some toilet paper, as I didn’t have anything on me and I didn’t want to ask anyone and walked back to the classroom. I remember everyone looking at me, and then sitting back down next to my best friend and she whispers “We all saw the blood on your pants, are you okay?” I felt so incredibly embarrassed that day. 12 year old me hated that boys and girls in my class had literally seen my period blood! Now 6 years later, I just laugh at that situation, I know there is nothing to be embarrassed about, it’s completely natural!” – KB

 

First Kiss

“I was in the cinema with my boyfriend at the time , and as I shared my first kiss with him, I felt this feeling down below. I know exactly what it was – my period. As I stood up, I saw red on the chair and my boyfriend freaked out and was like “Oh my goodness, you’re bleeding!”. I was so embarrassed.” – Tammy

“You are no longer a child but a woman. Be proud!”

Sleepover Visitor

“I unexpectedly got my period at a sleepover and got blood all over my pajama shorts and sheet. It was so embarrassing. Thankfully, I have amazing understanding friends who love me. But at the time, I wanted to disappear.” – Charlie

 

“Just My Body Adjusting”

“Around a year ago, my doctor convinced me to change my contraceptive pill to a lower dosage. I immediately stopped getting my period, in which my doctor advised it was likely just my body adjusting to the new pill. Three months go by and still nothing – no period. I went back to the doctor and was told that I was likely just stressed and needed to do more ‘relaxing’ things … yeah, right. fast forward to a year of NO periods and I was able to seek help through traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture which resulted in me FINALLY getting my period back. Too many women are afraid to seek help with period conditions for fear of embarrassment. I hope this message inspires people to know that it’s okay to have problems with your period, what’s NOT OKAY is doctors belittling female hygiene problems.” – Billie

 

Waiting at the Bus Stop

“When I was 12 years old and in my first year of high school, I got my period while lining up for the bus home. When I left the bu line up to go to the bathroom, some of my ‘friends’ told the older boys who were a few grades above us what had happened. The older boys bullied me for a long time after that and bus rides home from school were stressful and humiliating, especially for a 12 year old.” – NLM

“Too many women are afraid to seek help with period conditions for fear of embarrassment”

School Bullying

“I got my period when I was was just about to turn 9 years old when I was in the middle of no where at my sister’s netball game. No one had pads except for my best friend’s mum. I went to school 2 days later and told my friends, no one at my school had their even though there were over 200 students at the time. A girl who I thought was my friend went and told everyone about me having my period, even all the boys. They all bullied me after that but luckily I had my best friend to get through it with me.” – Brooke

 

Blood Sacrifice

“For years, I used to get the worst periods, completely debilitating and could barely move. And for years my period would last well over the 7 days. I always believed that this was normal so never got it looked at. During my adulthood, I had two boyfriends who were so grossed out by my periods that they didn’t even want to see me, or even help me if I needed it. Even to get tampons or pads from down the street, they told me it was my problem to deal with. 14 years later, I got my period for more than 100 days. I went to the doctors to find out why. After seeing 5 doctors, all they would tell me that it’s my hormones or it’s just a phase my body it going through. I found a doctor that would listen. She sent me to a gynecologist who treated me terribly, I went back and asked for a new gynecologist, but next thing I knew I was in hospital having laparoscopic surgery. I found out that I had endometriosis, that is the chronic pain where the lining similar to the lining of the uterus attaches itself to the outside of the uterus and the organs in the area. my new partner is incredible – he is there for me whenever I need him, he buys me pads and tampons, and even if I bleed through during the night he will wash the sheets. I believe if guys weren’t told that periods are gross as they were growing up and periods are more normalised the better and easier time young girls will have dealing with it. Also, please if you believe your periods are worse than your friends and you feel ongoing pain all the time, please see your doctor or gynecologist and find one that listens. I’m not 31 and it took me until I was 30 to get diagnosed and multiple doctors and multiple gynecologist. It’s worth it to make sure you’re okay.” – Caitlyn

 

Blood Sacrifice

“I got my period without realising in my science class. I stood up in front of everyone to ask my teacher to go to the bathroom. I noticed everyone looking at me but didn’t think much of it. In the bathroom, I found my skirt soaked with blood and had to wash it in the sink and turn it the other way around. Back in class, my chair was completely separate from the desk, pushed all the way out in full view. I found that my period blood was all over the chair like a blood sacrifice. Worst. Day. Ever.” – Perthgal

“I got my period for more then 100 days … all they would tell me that it’s my hormones …”

Family Gatherings

“When I was 12, I was with my mum, aunt and a few of my male family members. I was wearing white underwear for a nice dress and I knew I had bled through a little bit. But my mum yells out :You’re bleeding, you need a pad. Anyone have a pad?” And it was so awkward.” – Amara

 

Becoming a Woman

“I grew up being told that getting my period was me ‘becoming a woman’. But weirdly, no one was to know that I was now ‘a woman’. I had to hide pads from any male around me, and my dad was heavily praised for buying my sister and I our pads because that was the standard set for men – buying pads for your daughters when they were bleeding out of their vaginas made the men special. Even today, I struggle with pulling a pad out of my bag and walking to the bathroom to fit it in when I’m outside, because I’m still conscious of men seeing me carrying a pad. If I don’t have a smaller purse to put it in, I just don’t put a pad because I’m more afraid of them seeing me carrying a pad than I am of being uncomfortable and possibly bleeding onto my panties. Still working to undo that way of thinking.” – Red Not Blue

 

Heavy Periods

“I was around 14 and had severely heavy periods and would have to change my maturity pads every hour. One day I was walking around school and I heard people laughing but didn’t know why. So i went to the toilet. My period had gone through my pad, knickers, tights, kilt and my jumper, and no one told me, not even my friend who was walking behind me. So I called my mum in tears and had to get picked up.” – Thya

“I grew up being told that getting my period was me ‘becoming a woman’ … but no one was to know …”

Uncomfortable Chat

“So I’m dating someone and they are a girl. They are about the same age as me and she finds periods gross to talk about and I want to tell her why I’m in pain every two months but’s going to make it awkward. My best friends and I can always end to talking about it but I just want to talk to her.” – Kellsey

 

Celebrations Cut Short

“I lived with my dad for the start of my teenage years. I got my first period at Year 6 camp, and the female teachers were so kind and helped me out so much. As soon as I got home, I got really excited and told my dad because I was always taught that womanhood should be celebrated. Long story short, he got grossed our by me mentioning it that he almost threw up. I never talked about it after that and I always had to sneak money out of his wallet for hygiene products. To that young girls reading this, periods are normal! When you first get it, celebrate if you want! Don’t let old people (especially men) who’ve never experienced it git in the way of that.” – Annabel

 

Brown Paper Bags

“I go to an all girls school, a place where it should be normal and expected for us to have a period. Although, that’s not the case. When we go to the front office to ask for a pad, they are put in a brown paper bag and it is then smuggled into our pockets like it’s an illegal substance. Or if we need to tell our teacher something that’s happened period related they make us go outside the classroom to tell them. Why can’t we just be open about this natural factor of life! Something that we can’t control is always shamed upon! I just want to break the taboo around it.” – Sarah

” … they are put in a brown paper bag and it is then smuggled into our pockets like it’s an illegal substance”

‘Only Women Can Get Them’

“So I’m a transgender boy, and whenever I get my period, my week is filled with dysphoria and sadness. I’m always so ashamed to ask my mother to buy me pads because I’m scared she’ll see me as a girl. I wish we could end the stigma around periods and how only ‘women can get them’” – Plague

 

Hush Hush

“As a young girl, I had a very supportive family who were open about periods, cycles, bodies and everything going on – I even got a cake when I had my first period. However, not everyone grows up like that, I was one of he only girls in Year 6 who had their periods (as far as I was aware) and there was no sanitary bins or awareness at school. Around the time I got my first period, (I was 10 years old, quite young due to my hormonal issues I have later spent years trying to diagnose and seek help for) ‘dacking’ of the pants was massive at school, people would go around pulling each other’s pants down and I was so freaked out that I was going to get ‘dacked’ while wearing a pad. Because of this, I didn’t wear a pad to school and then well I don’t think I need to explain how the story ends … My point is that from a young age people are taught to hush hush about what is going on in their bodies and other people aren’t aware what is going on or tease you and make fun of you for it. I think that it would make girls’ lives so much easier if period education started in primary school for both girls and boys so that you don’t have to feel weird or different when your body is going through changes like that! It should be praised rather than shunned as it is the most natural thing you body can go through and is how life happens in the first place!” – Mimi Belle

 

Sister to the rescue

“I was sitting in my Italian class in Year 8 one day and I could tell my period had just arrived. I asked to be excused to use the toilet but was denied and had to sit there for the rest of the class bleeding and in paid, holding back tears. Thankfully my older sister rescued me with her spare gym shorts to get me through the rest of the day.” – Lorraine

“It should be praised rather than shunned as it is the most natural thing you body can go through … ”

Learning On Your Own

“I got my first period when I was 10, I was on a camp with 27 boys and only 1 girl, who was younger than me. I had no idea what to do because no one had talked to me about it before. My mum worked for the military at the time so I lived with my dad and brother, who knew nothing about it. I was left to figure out everything on my own, it took me ages to work out how to use a tampon.” – Tayla

 

Note Please

“I was in Year 8. It was summer and we had swimming at school (keeping in mind, I was petrified of the idea of tampons at 13). If we didn’t bring togs for swimming we had to run laps of the field. I had gotten my period before my swim day. I told my female teacher I wouldn’t be able to swim on my swim day. Being the oldest girl in the class, I thought she would understand instantly why. But she told me I needed to bring a note … I told her again later that day and she once again said my parents will need to sign a note. I told my mum and she thought it was so silly! I brought my signed note in on my swim day and she told me to sit in class and complete my work. However that day, I had horrible cramps and pain, so I asked her if I could ring my mum to come and get me. She said no, and told me that she gets cramps and she talks a walk and told me to do the same. For a female teacher, I thought she would understand these issues for a 13 year old. I was hurt that I wasn’t listened to and felt miserable for the rest of the day!” – Mikkie Mouse

 

Guy Friends

“I have mainly guys friends and I feel that telling them I have bad cramps (my period makes my scoliosis pain worse and sometimes can’t even walk) because I’m on my period or just venting about how sometimes I feel crappy because I’m on my period (we all have those days) has made periods seem more normal for them and for me and I’m honestly grateful they don’t say ‘ew’, instead they say ‘oh’ . If we act as if periods are normal, other will too!” – Sarak

“For a female teacher, I thought she would understand these issues for a 13 year old”

Teary Lesson

“One time I was in class and I got my period, I felt it trickling down my leg. The class has ended but the teacher was keeping everyone back. I told him I had to go to the bathroom because it was an emergency and he wouldn’t let me. He saw blood on my seat and down my legs but wouldn’t let me leave the room until I was finished my work. I stood there in tears as the whole class laughed and whispered about me” – Robyn

 

Betrayed

“I was in Year 8. A few girls in my class knew I was getting my period and would ask me questions about it for when they start. However, one day I got my period during P.E and it was 2 weeks earlier than usual. Turns out it came early due to the enormous amount of stress my teacher was putting on me for the school production. During P.E, I felt the period feeling and asked to go to the bathroom. She declined me and made me continue to run. After I ran laps she let me go to the bathroom. I smuggled me pad bag in my hoodie and went to the bathroom and cleaned myself up. On the way back, the girl who would ask me questions about periods saw me quickly shove my smuggled pad bag away. She giggled to herself and then went and found another girl from my class, whispered to her while both making eye contact with me and giggled. I felt ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted. Most of all betrayed.” – Mikkie

 

It’s Not Normal

“In the last few years of high school, my period pain was so severe (such as bad back and stomach aches, so bad that I would fall to the ground and couldn’t move) it cause me to frequently visit the sick bay. One day I was in sick bay and one of my teachers came in and said “you need to get up and come ot my class or I’m going to fail you”. Turns out years later I had 8cm endometrioma on one ovary and a 7cm cyst on the other one with Stage 4 endometriosis found. Not enough conversations are being had about the amount of pain/heaviness your period should be … everyone kept saying that this was normal!? GIRLS NEED TO KNOW IT’S NOT NORMAL and to listen to your body!” – Mandi

“I felt ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted. Most of all betrayed.”

Yellow Mellow

“At the start of this year, I had gotten my period unexpectedly. My school had casual clothes day so I wore a yellow skirt. I was sitting down in my lesson but I stood up and noticed that my period blood has soaked through my skirt. I asked a couple of girls if I could use their jumpers to put around my waist, considering it was hot outside. They all said “No, use someone else’s”. The period blood was still visible so people teased me” – Marina

 

Kicking Goals

“One day, I was on my period and I was heading to the bathroom with my best friend. I had hidden my pad into my jacket, in my armpit. But the pad dropped on the floor, my best friend and I both went into shock because lunch just ended and people (boys) we’re heading inside. So my best friend’s first instinct is to kick the pad towards the entry door from lunch. This boy, Mark, walks inside and sees a blue pad on the floor and is disgusted. I look at my best friend Alisha and we both screamed after she had kicked the pad. I grabbed it and ran into the bathroom and my best friend and I laughed it off in the bathroom” – Zoe

 

Womanhood

“I got my period at 15. I didn’t tell my mum for 2 weeks. When I did she cried and hugged me. She welcomed me to womanhood, and told me to never be ashamed. To this day I tell her everything.” – Monica

“She welcomed me to womanhood, and told me to never be ashamed”

Synced

“In middle school, I had barely any friends and one day an old friend from primary school was complaining about her cramps (we were in the bathroom). I was like “OMG, me too!” and as it turns out we were synced. We are best friends now and are always synced. Gets pretty crazy sometimes!” – Mathidugh

 

The Go-To Girl

“I was one of the first out of my friends to get my period at the age of 11. Girls and boys would get separated into different rooms to learn about their own puberty traits. Going into high school it was the same. My friends started to get their periods in year 6, 7 and 8. Some were okay with it but other felt ashamed with the way people would act and would be too afraid to ask anyone if they had any spare pads. Teachers would give us a time frame. One day a friend and I went to the toilet and she got her period. I asked her if she was alright. She sounded a little stressed but said she was okay. I knew though, I said to her, if she needed a spare pad I have one and that I would get it for her. She thanked me. She had a single father and didn’t know how to bring up to him too ashamed to ask. I would make her a little kit to get her through the week until she was ready to talk to an adult about it (it took 2 years, but her father had met a nice lady who helped her and told her father about it, he was all good with it and told her not to stress). Another time, I got my period and I had to do the same thing. Go back to my bag and go to the toilet again. The teacher confronted me and said that I took too long, in front of the class and said that I would get a detention and I said out loud in front of everyone “Please consider a longer time frame for girls, you know we have periods too”. I put the teacher on the spot and she apologised and said I didn’t have to attend a lunch detention. I was known as the girl at school to always have spares, I didn’t want any girl to feel ashamed or stressed if they couldn’t buy any or ask an adult. We also had machines where we had to pay $1 for a pad or tampon. The machine was very unhygienic. A lot of girls that I wasn’t even close friends with would ask if they could get one and I didn’t mind. I was happy to help! I would always tell my friends, “don’t be ashamed of something natural. One day it will get better and can be brought up casually in conversation”. I’m happy to see that 8 years later a lot has changed and hopefully soon with Libra promoting ads on television and social media, it will be something that no girl or woman will ever have to feel ashamed of.” – Emsy

 

Never Told

“No one told me that my period might not come every month. My first one was uneventful but then after that it was incredibly irregular, heavy and extremely painful. When it did decide to come, I had no idea and was in such pain I couldn’t even go to school. It could range from 4 months to 20 days apart. I was never informed that was a thing” – Blkpntm

“I was known as the girl at school to always have spares, I didn’t want any girl to feel ashamed or stressed if they couldn’t buy any or ask an adult”

Friendship Group

“I got my period when I was 12 years old which I considered a late bloomer, but I was the only one in my friendship group who got it. We would never talk about it and I would like that I had it because everyone else thought it was weird and gross. I also also so embarrassed that every day I was on my period, I would go during class so that at lunch time no one would know if I had it. Now after a year, my friends and I literally talk about it all the time and I feel normal for once. I’m so happy that I just opened up” – Paige

 

Netball Awards

“I was in a restaurant with my netball team and I had a very heavy period. It was my first one and I was expecting it but forgot to bring a pad in with me. I felt it start but couldn’t get up to check because they were doing awards. I got an award and stood up to receive it and everyone started laughing at me – my period had soaked through my dress and onto the chair I was sitting on. I ran to the bathroom and somebody told the restaurant staff. They made me pay extra to have the chair cleaned!” – Moodyteen

 

Sport Excuses

“I suffer from really painful period cramps in my stomach, lower back and thighs, which get so bad that I can barely stand up and if I do, I faint. In year 10, I had an older female PE teacher who believed that having period cramps wasn’t a good enough excuse to skip sport, as exercise can help relieve them. I would constantly get into trouble for sitting out and using them as an ‘excuse’. I would have thought being a female she would understand” – Kenz Dunne

“… my friends and I literally talk about it all the time and I feel normal for once. I’m so happy that I just opened up!”

Early Bloomer

“I got my period when I was 8 years old. I was such a confused little girl I honestly thought I was dying, but my mum found out and explained everything. I felt so cool when she told me it was part of being a woman. So when I went to school, I asked my best friend if the same thing happened to her. She was so grossed out and told everyone. I was so embarrassed. I never spoke about it again.” – Annaliese

 

Girl Camp

“When I was in primary school, you were seen as ‘gross’ by the other girls if you has your period so I pretended that I never had one, even though I had. When I got to high school, I was so embarrassed and refused to tell anyone about it, even though so many girls were so open about it. When I was in year 8, I went on a trip with 56 girls that I had never met before. It was then that I discovered that it was just another everyday thing. Girls would have pads in their suitcases and would talk about it. It was then that I had become more open about my period and I felt so much better about it!” – L Ellen

 

Let it Rip!

“I use to freak out in high school when I had my period, and would try and not change my pad during the day. I thought that the person in the next stall would hear the wrapper and know that I had my period and think I was disgusting. Sometimes I would half rip the pad pocket open at home so it was quieter at school. Now I just let it rip! There’s no shame in going to a public bathroom to change your pad, because it’s completely normal and all women do it!” – Madeline Rose

“It was then that I discovered that it was just another everyday thing … I had become more open about my period and I felt so much better about it!”

Blood Stain

“So this all started in Year 7, I was sitting in class and there was a huge blood stain on the chair but I didn’t think anything of it. But what I didn’t know was that I had my period and there was a massive blood stain on my dress and I was walking around school with nothing covering it up, no one told me. It was only until I got home that my mum told me I had my period. I was so embarrassed” – Cait

 

Time to Speak Up

“I still remember it like it was yesterday, I was in Year 8  and remember being super sick and painy leading up to the day I first got my period. Of course it was at school, my DAD was a single parent, and my friends were late bloomers. So there I was all alone with blood pouring out of my body, you know just your everyday Monday. If we had more open conversations about woman (and girls) and our periods, young woman wouldn’t go through isolating times like the ones I had. And ladies we need to speak up, speak up about the pain, the normalcy, the love of what our bodies can do, because if it was the men that went through this, business would shut down for the week when all the blokes synced up. But honestly we should be amazingly proud, I’m a mama these days and I wish I could go back and tell that terrified 15 year old that one day she would be a bad ass mama, raising the hell out of an amazing little girl, who will NEVER fell the way I felt. Her mama is out there fighting the good fight, kicking ass and taking names. Xo #bloodnormaI” – Courtney

 

Grumpy

“Something that people always say to me is “She’s grumpy because she’s on her period” in all honesty, I think that is one of the most disrespectful things a person can say to a girl. I always feel like I’m not allowed to be upset  or angry because people think I’m on my period. So I have to hide my period AND emotions” – Amara

“… ladies we need to speak up, speak up about the pain, the normalcy, the love of what our bodies can do … ”

Period Lesson at Camp

“When I was 11 years old, my class and I went on camp. This was when my period hadn’t even started. It was the third day in when I got cramps and I didn’t know wheat was happening. I went to the bathroom and found drops of blood on my undies, no one told me what a period was, and I didn’t know how to deal with it, so I left it. The next day, I heard girls talking about me and a blood stain around there. Only one of them confronted me about it, gave me pads and told me all about periods. I was so embarrassed because of all the boys that saw it too …” – Shalise

 

Street Talk

“A few month ago, my boyfriend and I were walking down a street, having a nice chat, then he decides to put his hand in my back pocket of my jeans. This is where I always keep a pad of tampon when I’m on my period. He grabbed the pad, wondering what it was and held it up in the middle of the street. Funny thing is that I was more embarrassed than he was, when I told him what he held in his hand” – Thelesia

 

Cool Teacher

“It was the first week of Year 8 and I had already started having my period regularly. So I walked into class, and I found out that I had a male teacher – he was cool. It was really hard to tell him that I had my period, then I realised it’s normal. He was really understanding.” – Alisha

 

“Funny thing is that I was more embarrassed than he was, when I told him what he held in his hand”

Paranoid

“In Year 7, a couple of boys I was at a park with spotted a stain on my shorts. I ran home to check what it was. It was a huge period leak. I had no clue that pads could leak. I hoped the boys wouldn’t remember what they’d seen. The next day on the bus they went through my bag without me seeing and threw all my pads around the bus. I become paranoid about leaking and went to the toilet at every lunch break  to check until Year 10.” – Evie

 

Figure It Out

“I started my period when I was 8 years old and I didn’t know what it was. So I went to school like normal and at morning tea I stood up and my whole chair and skirt was drenched in blood, so I sat back down. My teacher (who was a male) asked why I wasn’t going out to play and I told him what had happened. Instead of helping me, he told me that I’d figure it out and left the class. Luckily, one of my friends came to find me and got her teacher. She helped me get cleaned up, a pad and a new skirt. I was so embarrassed but from then on, if I ever saw someone in the same situation or someone asked for a pad or tampon, I would help because I know exactly how it feels. Now, I realise it’s normal and I shouldn’t be embarrassed.” – Tallulah

 

Soccer Game

“I play football/soccer, whatever you want to call it. It was just before our game and my sister just dropped me off at work so that a lady could drive me. I wouldn’t get out of the car so I started crying, my sister didn’t know what to do and so my mu came running. I said I was bleeding and my mum knew right away. She took me inside and told me how to work a pad. I came out and my dad came to me and said “She didn’t have to tell me, I knew straight away”. All the boys asked where I was the following game and all I could say was “I was sick”. I’m so thankful that my sister, mum and dad were so nice and kind. This was when I was 13 years old. It’s completely normal, don’t worry.” – Kitkat

“Instead of helping me, he told me that I’d figure it out and left the class”

Disaster School Day

“I was in Year 7, and I was at school one day and I had been sick the week before so I needed to finish an essay. I was in the library finishing it and two boys were sitting on the table next to me. I ended up finishing before the, and when I stood up there was a puddle of what just looked like water because it was a black chair, but I instantly knew it was blood. I went to grab my jacket to tie around my waist but I left it at home that day and I was wearing a light grey dress. I could feel blood on my legs as well. My friends were in the library as well but they weren’t near me they were on the other side of the library and to get to them I would have to walk past a class of Year 12’s and a class that my crush was in. So I had to find a way to get to my friends so they could somehow help. All I had was a few pieces of paper that had my work on it, so I had to cover it and hold it behind my back covering all the blood and somehow made it to my friends. They were amazing and gave my their jackets and a spare pad they had in tier pocket and went up and told the teacher for me. The teacher wrote a note and I had to go to the office. I thought it was all going to be okay, but they didn’t have any dresses I could wear in my size that weren’t broken, so I had to wear a dress that was 4 sizes too big and missing a button on the top. There was like 5 people in the office who all knew what had happened to me. Even though I had a pad, I didn’t have any spare underwear and they were covered in blood. I had to sneak my phone out and called my mum to pick me up, and I didn’t end up handing in my essay, so when I handed it in it was late and I got a lower mark. I thought the day was so bad but this girl who might have been in Year 9 or something run up to me and said “hey, don’t be embarrassed, this happened to me too not to long ago, and my crush who is now my boyfriend had to tell me I had blood on my dress”. That made me feel so much better. This day sucked so bad but luckily it has never happened again. Girls should be more open about their periods (if they feel comfortable about it of course) and not be ashamed because it happens to everyone and you are never alone.” – Bella

 

Car Rides

“We were in the car driving and I felt my pants becoming wet and my period was already 3 weeks late so I didn’t think anything of it. When we stopped again, I went to the toilet and there was blood everywhere. I messaged my mum and told her and she came and gave me undies and a pad.” – Romany

“Girls should be more open about their periods … and not be ashamed because it happens to everyone and you are never alone.”

Understanding

“I remember in Year 8 after lunch, I had really bad cramps and it was that painful. My friends helped me tell my male teacher, I told him I had my monthly and he was very understanding. Now, he offers me pain killers for my pain” – Alisha

 

Back Again

“This happened when I was 13 and only had little knowledge of my period. Since I had my period for only a few months, it was still irregular. Because of this, I assumed that I had skipped my period. So, I didn’t bring any supplies as a just in case. I was at my brother’s footy game and as I sneezed, I felt wet on my butt. I soon realised it was blood and I freaked out. I had to use my jumper to cover myself up and quickly told my mum and she took me home.” – AA

 

Unexpected

“Once in Year 9, I thought my period was over so I stopped wearing pads. Then in math class, I felt it again, so I went to the bathroom to find it had come back big time. I had leaked through my underwear and shorts under my skirt. I had to text my classmate to bring me my bag which I had spare underwear in. She told our teacher and I was so embarrassed. Luckily, my teacher understood and let me go to sickbay for the rest of the class.” – Katherine

“I soon realised it was blood and freaked out. I had to use my jumper to cover myself up …”

Don’t talk about it

“Every time I mention periods or getting my period, most of the boys I talk about it with get grossed out and don’t want to hear anymore. It makes me so upset because it’s natural and healthy and I shouldn’t feel ashamed  about it, but I do.” – Xohueren

 

Kind of Knew

“I’m pretty sure I was 11 years old when I got my first period, we were only just beginning to learn about the human body through school. It happened in class and I kind of just knew what had happened, I realised my hand and signaled my teacher to come to me. I was the only girl in my grade who had actually gotten their period so I was quite embarrassed. I whispered to my teacher that I think I had gotten my period and she quickly walked into the store room and for me the little period packs they hand out in primary school and told me to go to the bathroom. But as I stood up, period blood was all over the back of my dress. Everyone in the class saw and the boys had a field day as the insults flooded in. I went home early that day crying because I was so embarrassed.” – Nyah

 

Thrift Store

“I had got my period when I was helping my grandma work at a thrift shop. I didn’t realise until my mum had got there, but it had leaked onto the back of my pants. My mm cleaned them in the toilet sink to realise there was no hand dryers. We had to dry my pants with a paper towel. It w as so embarrassing at the time but know it’s just another funny story.” – Rachel

“… period blood was all over the back of my dress. Everyone in the class saw and the boys had a field day as the insults flooded in.”

Bloody Awesome Friend

“I was in a movie with my best friend. I thought it was just sweat because I live in Queensland. When I got it, I told my friend straight away. She asked me what size I was in shorts, she said to stay right there and bought me new shorts, undies and supplies and told me that it was fine not to pay her back. Since then, I have paid her back with things (mainly tuck shop icecream), we are still friends to this day and let me tell you one thing – my friend is #bloodyawesome.” – Anonymous

 

Misbehaving

“On the last day of Year 7, I had the most painful stomach cramps I have ever experienced. I went tot he bathroom to find I had just gotten my period … As I was not prepared I went to a friend’s class to ask for some pads, when I returned to class a little later, my male teacher pulled me into the backroom and demanded that I tell him where I had been. Embarrassed and ashamed, I explained that it was a girl problem but he was not satisfied and would not let me out (going as far as blocking the door when my friend tried to pass me some Panadol). He then threatened detention and a phone call home to my parents about me misbehaving. By then, I was a emotional wreck and half my classmates heard what was going on. He marched me down to the school office and declared to his other staff members, “This girl has just gotten her period, can we get some pads!?” I was mortified and cried all the way home. 13 years later and this still causes me anxiety.” – Emma

 

Happens to Us All

“Of all the stories you hear about leaks and having to be discreet, here’s one for the older females and some normalisation for younger females too! I would have been about 26 and had started back at work after maternity leave so my cycles were a bit off still. I knew I was expecting my period so I had a small liner on. Midway through my shift, my period arrived and in full force, I completely leaked through and onto the chair I was sitting on (I work with under 5s so i was mortified in case they saw blood – they don’t hold back). I quickly cleaned the mess and called my boss into the classroom and explained the situation, she organised a cover staff member for me and sent me home to change. I couldn’t thank her enough for being so casual and understanding and not making me feel any worse than I already did! So there you have it ladies, it happens to all of us, been years after getting you first period!” – Normalise

“I couldn’t thank her enough for being so casual and understanding and not making me feel any worse than I already did!”

Take a Bow

“When I first got my period my FAM were so proud but they always told me, when you go to school don’t tell anyone. So one day at school, I had my period and went to go get a pad out of my  bag ever so discreetly when “zip”. I was zipping my pad bag and it was the loudest sound. Everyone looked at me. I froze and everyone was still staring at me while I was trying to shove a pad up my jumper sleeve so no one would see and as I walked out of the class it fell out of my sleeve. I didn’t notice, so I get to the toilet and rip my pad off and reach into my sleeve to get the new one to realise it wasn’t there and that I had dropped it. One of my classmates (a boy) started to knock on the girls toilet door. I was so embarrassed but I got up with no pad in my undies and opened the door. He was standing there and gave me the pad he said everyone saw me drop it. So I put it on and walk back to the class. As I walked in, EVERYONE looks at me. I step in and took a bow and walked back to my seat!” – Samara

 

Don’t Want It

“When I first started my period I was 11 years old. I knew about them, I just didn’t want one. I woke up with blood in my pants and all over the sheets. I’m at school now in Year 12 and I’m still scared that i’ll bleed through the chairs. My mum always says to take a shower so no one can small you, but can people smell you?” – Sophie

 

No More Shame

“When I was 13 years old, I got my first periods and for months I didn’t tell anyone. It was at a time in my life when my family was a mess, with my parents on the brink of separation and I thought it was a burden. I had learned about periods very superficially in primary school, but it was limited. My mum hadn’t been incredibly open about her own while I was younger either. So when I got it for the first time I said nothing. I had a little “starter pack” from a Sex Ed class and then would raid my mum’s stash, one or two pads or liners a a time. I was embarrassed about it and lacked the skills and confidence to talk about what was going on. I didn’t even tell any friends at school, because non of them had gotten theirs yet. I tried to raise the issue many times but something always came up or got in the way. I had it a few time before, then I didn’t get it for a few months. Then one day in the summer holidays with a house full of people, after bleeding through my shorts just before we were going to go swimming I told my mum, with many tears and hysterics which she assured me were’t necessary because it was okay. I still to this day can’t pin point why I felt so much shame around getting my period but I certainly made up for it now. I talk openly with my friends about it. I make sure the teenagers that I teach Health and PE to understand it – both boys and girls. I’m glad things are changing because no young girl should ever feel the shame I felt, and I know that sadly many other girls around the world have it far worse than I did when it comes to shame and taboos surrounding menstruation.” – Erin

” I’m glad things are changing because no young girl should ever feel the shame I felt …”

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