Embarrassing Period Stories: Why We Should Talk About These OMG Moments
Posted byChristine Yu
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the interview participant in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Hologic, Inc.
Note: This blog post is written based on an interview with Dr. Jonathan Zaidan, MD, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist practicing at Women’s Excellence in Lake Orion, Michigan.
Embarrassing period stories: They are every woman’s nightmare. From stained pants on date night (white pants, of course) to a ruined mattress to cringe-worthy tales of swimsuit snafus, our periods are the best at having the worst timing. Even Amy Schumer, in her movie Trainwreck, imagines a potentially humiliating scene where the guy she’s dating finds a Game of Thrones-like tampon floating in the toilet.
Here’s the thing. We ALL have OMG embarrassing period stories. Yet, we don’t always hear about them because it’s a hush-hush topic for some. But menstruation is a normal part of life and yes, accidents do happen.
You’re Not Alone
According to Dr. Jonathan Zaidan, MD, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, he hears awkward stories from his patients all the time. “[My patients] all have embarrassing period stories where they are wearing shorts and they were on the bleachers watching a baseball game and there’s blood on the aluminum,” he says.1 Another often-told story? How his patients’ periods ruined their anniversary or big vacation.
“Everyone’s gone through this,” he says, even if they’re relying on a tampon and pad or doubling up on pads. It’s not uncommon for uncomfortable moments to affect women at home, work or school. Some women even take days off because of heavy bleeding and keeps them from doing the activities they love. “That’s not what the woman of today wants,” he says. “She doesn’t understand why it has to impact her life.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Share
While there’s no magic cure, one thing you can do is share your embarrassing period stories with your trusted friends (and doctor too!). Not only will it get the elephant off your chest and give you and your friends a good laugh, but the more you talk about your period, you’ll know that you’re not alone in facing these challenges.
Plus, talking to other women is one way to know how your monthly cycle compares to others or if your bleeding is abnormal. “It’s like it’s just normal for women to have bad cramps, bad bleeding and heavy periods, that they have to suck it up and live through it,” says Dr. Zaidan. But that’s not always the case.
“It’s kind of like working too hard. Before you know it, you’re working 80 hours a week and you don’t realize it and all the people around you think you’re crazy! People do the same thing with their menstrual cycle,” he says. “They may have started using two pads once in a while or using a tampon and a pad one day per month when they were bleeding heavy. And before you know it, it’s three days a month or they’re doing it every day. And now, they’re not bleeding heavy two days. They’re bleeding heavy for six days.”
If your periods are affecting your quality of life, it’s time to figure out what’s going on. “The biggest thing women need to do if they have heavy bleeding is be evaluated by a competent doctor,” says Dr. Zaidan, someone who is committed to understanding your symptoms and helping you feel better.
1“Interview With Dr. Jonathan Zaidan.” Telephone interview by author. December 5, 2016.
- Posted by Christine Yu
- On February 22, 2017