Here is a typical example of what’s been happening to me once a month for the past thirty years:

  • Two days before period: Stayed in bed all day. Cried a lot. Felt utterly crap. Lots of self loathing.
  • Day before period: Full of energy. Cleaned house from top to bottom. Applied for three jobs. Went for a walk. Met a friend and made them laugh a lot. Randomly booked into hairdressers, changed look. Felt positive about life.
  • First day of period: Vile stomach pains paracetamol won’t touch. Want carbs. Lots of carbs. Preferably pastry. Nausea. Horny as hell. Think Sigourney Weaver’s Zuul in Ghostbusters.

    Once a month for over 30 years now. (Source)

    There’s no doubt that it’s more acceptable now to have a conversation about periods than it was when I was an awkward, scared young teenager embarking upon the mysterious monthly adventure that is “the curse”. Whilst my grandmother’s term for that marvellous monthly trip down the red rapids might seem terribly outdated, the older I get, the more I find it a suitable phrase to describe the hell that is a period. Whilst I’m all for a world where I should feel free to say, “Just popping to change my tampon”, I’m afraid I’ve come to despise articles that make periods sound as though they’re a special time signifying that women’s bodies are somehow magical with miraculous capabilities and that the bleeding itself should be almost revered.

    Because for over thirty years now I’ve been magical once a month – apart from those three great nine month holidays when I grew humans inside myself instead.

    Yeah.

    Those were a nice break.

    I fact, if I’m honest, I’m as sick of periods being talked about as though they’re something to embrace (let’s all raise our Mooncups together) as I am of period shaming (only talking about it in hushed tones or laughing about PMT/chronic mood swings because, y’know, women, once a month, eh? Eurgh!/Lunatics!”) This goes on despite the fact that once a month approximately 50% of the female adult population experiences the ovarian explosion. And the worst thing? Compared to a lot of women I know, I don’t even suffer that badly.

    So I demand a cure for menstruation: it’s bollocks.

    Periods are incredibly irritating, I agree, but so is Candy Crush and I’m forced to endure friends requesting me to share that with them on a regular basis.

    My youngest daughter is ten years old and we talk about her starting her period a lot. She’s nervous, as all girls are, and I reassure her and try to make her feel OK about it. The truth is though, that I don’t want her to have to deal with it. Any of it. The bleeding itself, the practicalities, or the awkwardness. (The other day she came home from school telling me about the boys in her class who had been laughing when her teacher said “During the Victorian period” and I was proud of her for telling them off…but really? Why does this still happen?)

    Yes, periods are a natural process that women’s bodies go through for around forty years of their lives (oh my god, forty years) but it’s horrid and I hate it. I shall be on a long train journey tomorrow and then staying with people I don’t know that well. I’ll put a pad on as well as a tampon in in case I can’t change on the train and I hit an overflow situation. Will there be a bin in my hosts’ bathroom that I can put my used tampons in? I’d best take my own towel to dry myself when I get out of the shower just in case, despite my best efforts, I streak blood onto it when I’m drying off. I’m just so sick of having to think about this stuff. And if you just turned your nose up at any of that, then tough. Periods are incredibly irritating, I agree, but so is Candy Crush and I’m forced to endure friends requesting me to share that with them on a regular basis.

    And I dare any MP to debate “luxury item” tampon tax with me today. I’ll kill ’em, shag ’em or eat ’em.

    Going to Greggs.

Kim Eberhart About Kim Eberhart
Kim is a writer who enjoys celebrity gossip a lot more than she lets on.