15 Things I Would Like to Share On My 15th Period Anniversary

by - September 18, 2021

This year, coincidentally, I was aware of my period anniversary date and when I calculated the years, I was happy for another coincidence! 15 years since I first started chumming and there's just so much to talk about this Aunt Ruby, I tell you. It's been a love-hate relationship. From cribbing about her arrival during my travels to waiting days for her to come, sometimes she's as punctual as a sand clock and sometimes she makes me panic as she's late by a few days (sometimes, even weeks!) Whatever the relation I share with my periods, in the end, I'm always grateful for it. 

15 years of "blossoming into a woman", I remember my first experience. It was Ganesh Chaturthi and only me, my grandma and my brothers were at home then. I visited the toilet to find blood in my urine. I panicked and told my grandma about it. Just in 7th standard, I knew a little about periods. My grandma called my sister who was having a pizza party at her bestie's house. "Come over, Rutuja has started menstruating," she panicked over the call, "I don't know how to wear a pad so I can't teach her." My brothers were in the bedroom, having no idea what was going on in the living room. My sister finally arrived to an angry and impatient grandma and then taught me how to wear a pad.

It had become such a joyous moment for everyone that my uncles also smiled and said, "Rutuja has grown into a woman today." I remember the smile on my younger uncle's face particularly; it was filled with pride and emotions. Meanwhile, my aunt bought an extra underwear for me. My brothers still remained clueless about what was happening. 

Whew, such a sweet memory! I've always had many period stories to tell but the day my period started has been really memorable. 


1. Go for Biodegradable sanitary options

I would like to begin the post with the most important point that I'm hoping evokes some awareness: making a gradual shift to biodegradable options such as biodegradable pads, period panties, tampons, menstrual cups, and cloth pads. Do you know? About 12.3 billion sanitary napkins are thrown in India every year according to a study. It's high time we considered eco-friendly options. Agreed they are a bit towards the expensive mark but if you calculate, you won't be spending that much of an amount on the biodegradable options every month. 

2. Tampons are really difficult to put in

As contradictory I can get from point number 1, but my first-time tampon experience hasn't been a walk in the park. I tried it again and though it was a bit better than the first time, tampons are a big no-no for me. This sanitary option is a good option for travels and is eco-friendly, but if you're not comfortable having something inserted at all times, then consider going for other options. 

3. Avoid taking a period-pain relief pill unless you’re dying. No, seriously. 

When I had visited a gynaecologist many years ago for a killer period pain every month, he prescribed one medicine to me. He asked me to take it only when the pain is unbearable. I see a lot of girls pop a pain relief pill every month and although their gynaecologist may have given a go-ahead for the same, I suggest enduring a little pain and taking a pill only if you're travelling or outdoors such as in college, office, parties, etc. If you're at home, go for other measures to ease the pain. (Read the next point)

4. Amrutanjan is a great pain relief balm

My go-to, ultra-powerful pain relief balm is Amrutanjan. It works wonders on stomachaches and I always have it with me on my travels or when I know my period is due. I recommend the yellow coloured tub. Alternatively, a few girls love having hot water bags to curb the pain. Go for a miniature version of a hot water bag so that you can carry it around on your trips, college/school or office. 

5. You may feel like cribbing about your periods but be grateful about it

I realised it very recently but some women have period-related issues like the absence of eggs, PCOD/PCOS, or some issues that do not let them menstruate every month. And although those that menstruate regularly might jokingly say, "How lucky!", it's quite a grave issue. Women who don't bleed regularly––or not at all––face problems in conceiving so the next time you crib about your periods, please keep in mind how grateful you actually are for having a healthy system. 

6. Mood swings before periods are inevitable and eventually, you have to accept this fact

Off late I've come to an agreement with my hormones that I'm going to be moody before periods. And now it happens so consciously. I can actually tell I'm cranky or overthinking or depressed or weepy because I'm PMS-ing. I resort to my besties. I text them, I ask for their attention, I share my stupid thoughts, but eventually, I let all these thoughts go away because, at the back of my mind, I'm now one hundred per cent sure it's all my hormones talking and that, the reality is completely different. 

7. Invest in longer pads for travel and sleeping

Having periods during any important event or travel can kill your mood. It's mostly due to the fear of stains, changing pads, abstaining from holy rituals, swimming, etc. But there's one thing you can strike off from the list, and that's the fear of the stains. Invest in pads that go beyond 315 mm with wider backs for extra protection. Such pads often have 'overnight' written on them. You might think it's an additional expense but trust me, if you have anything important planned, longer and wider pads are gonna save you a lot of hassle.

8. Make a period emergency kit

You can either physically make one or just have it floating in your head. A period emergency kit is super essential for when you're due and plan a trip/sleepover out of nowhere. It's also a good idea when you start PMS-ing and suddenly realise your due date is close and you already have to go to the office/college.

9. Initially, you might have a 13-day long period but later it hardly lasts to 3 days every month.

For the young girls who have just started their periods, don't worry, you might be bleeding for 13 days now but once you're older, it'll come down to seven and then to just 3 days. Heck, some women also bleed properly for a day and a half, and then it's brownish discharge or nothing at all. Imagine looking at a clean pad at the end of the third day!

10. Go for cotton pads to avoid rashes

I just hate those pads with a gel coating, they are so harsh on the skin! I prefer going with smooth pads, especially those that are made with cotton as they're so soft and comfortable. Wearing pads should be a delightful experience because there's so much you're enduring already!

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11. Pantyliners are a good option for the fourth and fifth days of periods but a bit of staining could be seen

I discovered pantyliners many many years ago. And I've been recommending them to most girls I meet. Pantyliners are saviours for the last days of the period when you just refuse to wear a full-size pad. They catch the brown discharge well so you're sorted on the last days. Also, if you know you're due tomorrow and you're crazily PMS-ing, just wear one and sleep. Just this month I had worn a pantyliner and woke up with periods in a full swing. My complete liner was full of blood and there were no stains on that part. It did a great job in absorbing blood as well! 

12. Do not wash hair on the first, second and preferably third days of the period

I do not have any scientific backing for this statement and I'm just blindly following this tip passed down from my mom. But refrain from washing hair on the first, second and third days of the period. It's said that when you chum, your body heat is on a rise and showering can cool it down all of a sudden affecting your health. According to Ayurveda too, head bath during periods can lead to Vata related issues. 

13. How to feel better when you're anxious?

During, before or after periods you feel cranky, moody, weepy, anxious, depressed, bloated, angry...For me, it usually happens before periods when I overthink a lot and feel depressed. That's when I talk to my best friends, go out for a run/walk, watch a cringe movie, have something chocolaty, look fabulous, shop something or cry. It makes me feel better. Overthinking can ruin relationships because you simply cannot think straight. During such times, running towards someone who can deal with your mood swings is a good idea. 

14. Know these period travel tricks that I’ve curated from personal experience

I had made a list of period hacks during travel for an easier life on the go. From enduring the pain to perfectly wrapping used pads, check out all of it in that post!

15. Follow period hygiene!

Lastly, staying hygienic during periods is a must. Shower every day with hot water, especially ensure hot water hits your lower back as you'll instantly feel relaxed. Take a head bath on the fourth day. Wash your towel on the fourth day and use a fresh one. Keep your vagina clean and dry. Use intimate wash to clean thoroughly (although it is not recommended, I use it during my periods for a cleaner, fresher feel). Wrap used pads properly; remember that actual humans segregate your waste so they shouldn't come around a badly wrapped used pad while they do their job. Wash your stained clothes separately and then put them in the machine with some antiseptic liquid such as Dettol. 

Hush! So much for that 15-year period anniversary! 

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