‘Tis the season for festive fun. But are periods festive? Well today, we are going to dive into the magical world of period gifts and festive fun. A massive shout out to the amazing people who managed to create such unique gifts.
1. A uterus shaped pillow
Your uterus might not feel as happy as this pillow but we think this is a fab way to start. This cute uterus shaped pillow is perfect for cosy days and stress relief. It is surely going to make you smile!
2. Period Board Game
The Period game (yes you heard us correctly) is a fantastic fun gift for all. Not only is it a bit of light hearted fun but it is a great way to learn. A period board game seems the perfect period gift.
Period Power is an incredible book starting with a story of Nadya’s first period. It challenges the stigma and misconceptions surrounding periods and is super accessible and informative. A definite read and a fab period gift.
4. A swear-filled colouring book
This is a perfect way for relieving stress and venting through paper. Enjoy the relaxation of colouring with space to share frustrations and have a laugh.
5. Essential Oils
Essential oils can be a great way to relieve period pain and tension. PMS ease has a blend of floral and fruity scents that make you feel more relaxed.
6.A bold T
The hello I am menstruating t-shirt is great way to challenge the stigma surrounding periods. It is fun and bold- a perfect period gift.
7. Lilypads reusable period pads
Reusable period pads are a great way to reduce your environmental waste created by periods as well as save some money. Our pads are super comfy and soft making the perfect period gifts.
So you are fed up of using the plastic crinkly disposable pads. You are looking for a comfy, sustainable alternative or a backup to tampons or cups. You have probably come across reusable pads and reusable period pants.
But how do you pick between the two?
Well today, I am going to give you a rapid overview of both. Hopefully this will help you make a more informed decision or will convince you to try one for the first time.
Reusable products can be a great way to cut down on plastic waste. Disposable products can contain up to 90% plastic and with the average person using over 11000 over their lifetime that is a lot of waste. Think of all the time you will save not having to empty the bathroom bin or having to go to the shops every month. Reusable products are always there which can be a great way to save time and money. Reusable underwear and pads are worn then removed, washed and reused. This means you may need more than one to get you through. Most reusables can be washed with your regular washing so no extra washing is needed.
So let’s start with period pants…
Reusable period pants entered period world pretty recently and has been rapidly growing. Period pants are what they says on the tin. Rather than adding products to your underwear you buy underwear with absorbent material built in. Pretty cool! Reusable period underwear can be great for wearing as a backup or alone. However the absorption will vary for different products and brands to make sure to check.Period underwear can be a great way to try a new product. There are lots of companies selling reusable underwear including Thinx, WUKA and Modibodi. Find out more on their websites to learn more.
Now let’s chat about reusable pads
So reusable pads are probably more recognisable. Reusable period pads are period pads made from textile absorbent materials. They are attached to your underwear using wings which fasten using poppers or buttons. Reusable period pads can be made of a variety of different materials depending on the brand but generally they have a soft material for the outside top layer, an absorbent material for the middle layer and a waterproof bottom layer. This ensures that the pads can absorb liquid but feel soft and comfortable.Reusable pads can be another easy swap. Either to back up an internal product or to use alone. They differ to reusable underwear as they are worn as well as your normal underwear.
But what one for you?
For some, reusable period pads may be easier or more accessible. Reusable pads tend to be cheaper than underwear allowing you to buy more pads. Pads may also be easier to change throughout the day compared to underwear however this is a personal preference. For others who do not want to use pads, underwear may work better. Other than slight differences, both products are great ways to cut down your plastic waste. They can be an ideal additional product or a product to be used alone.
Fancy trying reusable pads? Lilypads are super soft and absorbent and are available in packs as small as 2 to start you off with. Shop now.
Do periods smell? Period smell is commonly misunderstood. We are bombarded with images and advertisements which imply we should cover the smell using floral smelling products. But do periods actually smell? And is it normal for periods to smell?
What is period blood?
To start with, we need to understand what period blood is. Period blood is not like blood which comes from a cut. It is a mixture of the blood from the uterus lining, vaginal fluid, bacteria and thickened endometrial cells.
Do periods smell?
Short and simple answer; yes. Periods do smell. Like any vaginal fluid there is a slight smell. It may smell different depending on how long it sits in your uterus before leaving. The smell is caused by bacteria mixing with old blood in the vaginal canal. Period smell is completely normal.
But is the smell strong enough for others to smell it? Although you might notice your period smell it is very very unlikely that others can.
Periods are a natural process and so any smell is nothing to be embarrassed about. Everyone with a uterus will experience it too so it is not something which only affects you- do not worry.
A sign the smell might not be quite right…
If you notice a drastic change in the smell of your period or it smells fishy it may be a sign of something different. A strong fishy smell can be a sign of bacterial vaginosis which is an infection caused by a pH imbalance. So if you are worried please visit your GP or nurse, it is usually easily treated.
Adverts which imply we need to cover the smell are really problematic. They create inaccurate depictions of vulva and vaginas implying they are somehow dirty and need to be covered. Not only is the smell pretty similar to our usual scent, the perfumes the adverts are promoting are commonly harmful to our bodies natural pH.
Therefore, you do not need ‘douches, perfumes or perfumed products. At any time. Vaginas are pretty amazing and are self-cleaning ensuring that bacteria is kept out. Water works perfectly or if you really feel the need to use soap try a neutral pH soap with no nasty chemicals. Finally, Disposable period products with perfumed chemicals can actually make the smell stronger.
As we have mentioned, period smell is completely normal. But a stronger smell can be avoided.
Here are our top tips:
Avoid chemical disposable products: Disposable period pads contain lots of chemicals which can actually make your period smell stronger.
Keep dry: Excess blood can lead to a stronger smell so it is important to stay dry. Make sure to change products when full. Lilypads reusable pads use a magic material which quickly absorbs any liquid keeping you feeling try. Shop our pads today.
Keep clean: Although perfumed soaps should be avoided it is always important to keep clean especially after exercise so make sure to wash your vulva outside. However, excessive washing our douching can actually make it worse as the pH will be impacted.
Want to keep up to date with our chat about periods join our chatty community which chats all things periods and leaks here.
Period sex; some of us love the idea and some of us are utterly freaked by the idea. So today I thought I would dive in to the topic. Introducing period sex to those of you who have not even thought it was a possibility, sharing some tips for trying it for the first time and introducing some ideas as to why no one should be made to feel ‘gross’ or ‘dirty’ because of their sex life or their period.
What is period sex?
Period sex is what it says on the tin. Sex during your period. It is not any more complicated than that. Of course, period sex will introduce some new factors into the game.
The main factor is blood and there are not many ways to avoid it (although there are some). So before we go any further, if you have a fear or phobia of blood, period sex might just not be for you. However, if you do not mind blood but get freaked by period blood keep reading.
Why your period can be great for your sex life…
Sex during your period should not be any shock to anyone. People with periods can spend up to 7 days a month on their period. It should hardly shock any of us that we might want to have sex during that time. It is odd to assume that for a week every month people with periods lose all interest in sex and should just accept that. Secondly, sex can be fab on your period. Your hormone changes can actually make you more likely to want to have sex than at other points on your cycle.
My view is that if someone wants to have sex on their period they should be able to and if they do not want to then there should be no pressure to do so. It is as simple as that. However, if you are not having period sex because of external pressures then that is something we can question together. A great way to start, can be spending time reflecting and asking yourself, is this my feelings and decisions or someone else’s. What is it about period sex that is freaking me out? Am I worried about my partners reaction? Is it feeling self-conscious about myself? Is it that I find periods icky?
How can you address these misconceptions or fears?
There is not enough time in this blog to dive into all of this but I hope to plant some seeds of thought that you can explore yourself.
A key and to me a really important way of understanding more about your attitudes to sex is communication. Either with yourself or your partner. If you are worried of your partners reaction, express that to them. It does not have to happen right away or as bluntly as you might think. Ask about their thoughts on periods in general to get an initial insight. Write them a letter. Send them a text. Communication can be tricky, especially when it comes to sex. It is important to remember that communication (although clear for both) can be in whatever form works best for you so do not feel like you have to set an agenda style meeting. Do what works. Mhairi and Alison dive into period sex in their latest episode of the Time of the Week Podcast- listen here.
Tips for coping with the mess of period sex….
If your fear or barrier is the mess then lets chat blood. I am not going to deny that there is a chance period sex will be slightly messy. But it probably will not be as bad as you think. Here are some tips for containing the mess if this is one of your barriers to trying it out.
Shower sex (Caution advised): Sex in the shower can be an easy way of avoiding mess. Please be careful for slips and maybe give the shower a clean after to avoid any flat mate or house member conflict.
Towel: The towel on the bed can be an easy way to try and avoid any bedsheet stains. Although the chances of it moving are pretty high it might provide you with a little reassurance. For lazy people like me who are thinking well now I have to wash a towel, just leave the towel and wash your sheets after (cold water to remove blood stains!)
Menstrual discs: So we chat a lot about menstrual cups but have you heard of the disc? The disc is similar to the cup but is placed higher up your vagina at the base of the cervix. Rather than using suction it just uses gravity and pretty much blocks the blood from moving down the vagina canal. It collects blood like the cup and is emptied and reused. A selling point of the disc is that because it sits high up in the vagina near the cervix, the vagina canal is empty. This can mean you can wear it during sex- make sure to chat this through before you try and decide if it will work for you and your partner. More info here.
Who cares attitude: The easiest way to enjoy period sex is chat, be open about your worries and the fact it could get messy and just go for it.
Lilypads disclaimer: Period sex is great, remember to still wear contraception to avoid STIs or unwanted pregnancy. Although your chance of getting pregnant is small during your period there is still a chance.
No one should be made to feel ashamed during sex on during your period and yes you guessed it during both. Too often women and people with periods are made to feel gross and our feelings are neglected. By reflecting on why we have strong feelings against period sex we can better understand the forces at play which want to control or shame our bodies. Being open, honest and clear with your sexual partners about those feelings can be great way to learn and feel more confident, whether you want period or sex or not.
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