We each experience our periods differently – they’re unique to our bodies and hormones. But there are a few feelings and shared experiences most people with periods will be all too familiar with, and one of them is the panic that you’ve leaked. We've teamed up with Natracare who've put put together their 7 top tips for preventing leaks and managing them if they do happen.
How to prevent period leaks
On the topic of period leaks, the best-case scenario is usually to prevent them where possible. Here are a few small steps you can take to try and minimise the chance of leaking through your period products and clothes:
Check your technique
If you choose to use tampons or a menstrual cup, it’s important you insert them correctly to reduce the chances of leaking throughout the day. If they’re not in far enough or in the right spot you could be more likely to leak. Check out this blog post on how to insert a tampon properly, including handy pictures and videos.
Choose great underwear
Feeling secure and comfortable in the underwear you’re wearing will help you to avoid fidgeting with them and accidentally knocking your period products out of place. You could maybe choose styles with a bit more coverage for those heavy days - Y.O.U boy shorts really hug your body for an amazing fit, and they're designed to be subtle, supportive and super comfortable. They're also made from organic cotton, which will help your skin to breathe and prevent irritation.
On days when your flow is at its heaviest, you could wear a tampon or cup and a pad or panty liner at the same time. You could also wear a panty liner a couple of days leading up to and after your period. Natracare panty liners are soft and breathable, so you won’t feel like you’re wearing a full pad. They also come in a variety of shapes so that you can still wear your favourite underwear to celebrate the end of your period!
Conventional period products that contain super absorbents and artificial fragrances encourage you to wear them for too long. To avoid bleeding through your products of choice (as well as maintaining a healthy and happy vulva) we recommend changing tampons and pads every 4-6 hours, and panty liners every 3-5 hours. Changing your period products regularly isn’t just important for preventing leaks, it’s also essential for avoiding Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
Managing period leaks
While avoiding period leaks altogether is the goal for most, sometimes they just happen, and that’s completely okay. Here are a few tips for how to handle leaks that take you by surprise:
On the heaviest days of your period, we recommend carrying a “just in case of leaks” kit with you when you’re out and about if you can. This could include spare period products, some intimate wipes to help you clean up, fresh underwear, and perhaps even a fresh pair of trousers or a skirt. Carrying these spare items with you can help you to feel better prepared for any leaks you might experience and carry on the rest of your day seamlessly.
Whether it’s the first time you’ve ever had a period leak, or you’ve experienced them before, it can often catch you off guard at first. Try to take a minute to feel calm and remember that your period is normal and nothing to be ashamed of. If you’ve got spare clothes and products with you, great. If not, try to contact somebody you trust to help you out.
Be kind to yourself
It’s easy to feel self-critical about period leaks – the taboos surrounding period blood and the lack of acknowledgement that these things happen can make you feel as though you’ve done something wrong. In these moments, remind yourself that having your period is not doing something wrong, and that it is not your fault. Period leaks can add additional stress to an already highly emotional time of the month, so be gentle with yourself.
Have you got any tips for avoiding or dealing with period leaks? Let us know in the comments!
Natracare started in 1989 when founder, Susie Hewson, created the world’s first 100% organic cotton tampon. Since then, Natracare has been designing and producing products that are kind to our bodies and the planet. Natracare products are plastic free, biodegradable, and compostable, just the way they should be!