Periods are a little bit like toddlers. Sometimes they’re really well behaved and quiet and do exactly as they’re told. Then other times they’re hugely annoying, embarrassing in public and draw all over the walls. Except by ‘walls’ we mean your pants.
If your period’s ever gone rogue, you’ll know what we’re talking about – you thought it was over and then BAM! You weren’t expecting it for another four days and then suddenly it’s blood city. You’d just put a tampon in, but tampons are futile against this beast of a period.
In the interests of doing some internet-wide lady-bonding and reminding us all that we’ve ALL been there, we asked around for some of the worst times people leaked, Titanic style… and how they survived. Not a single one of these people died from humiliation, which is nice to know.
“I once went to a friend’s sleepover while on a really heavy period. When I woke up in the morning I just KNEW I’d leaked in the night, and was convinced my pyjama bottoms must look like a war zone. But instead of just telling my friends like a normal human, I decided the best way to deal with this would be simply to stay in my sleeping bag until I could get dressed and sort myself out. So I hopped along to breakfast in it, like a giant maggot, and hoped everyone would just think I was endearingly kooky. (They definitely didn’t).”
“When I was 14 I was having really heavy periods and bad pain. I was on my heaviest day feeling pretty grim and of course we had PE at school and for some reason I always wore GREY jogging bottoms. I was running around the sports hall and was convinced I could hear girls laughing and saying my name but told myself I was being paranoid. I sat down and one of the really popular girls came up to me and said, “Er, are you on your period?”. It was of course all over the grey trousers. So I ran off and changed back into my black school trousers, thinking that would be the end.
But the blood was already all over my underwear and body, and I was a pretty shy kid so didn’t tell anyone and went to my next class. It then leaked all through my school trousers, so to stop it going on the chair I sat on my blazer. By the time I made it home there was bloody over almost every item of school uniform I owned.”
“My Grandma’s funeral. I brazenly wore a red dress in celebration of her life, so I *think* I got away with it.”
“It was the first day of a new job and I had felt a little bloated, but put it down to stress. Part way through my induction, I felt the familiar wetness – but thought I had some time. At the morning tea break, I stood up and realised I had bled through my skirt and onto the white chair. I spent the rest of the induction glued to my chair and at the end, had to pretend to hunt through my bag for something until everyone left, then dash to the bathroom to clean not only myself, but the chair.
“I met a very sexy guy at a party, but I had a boyfriend. A month later, after my boyfriend and I had broken up, my best mate and I are on a plane to New York to have a girls’ weekend, who should walk on but SEXY GUY. He says hi, we chat. An hour into the flight and I start to feel weird. I’m on your average period, put a tampon in before I got on and everything… but I check myself and we’ve never seen anything like it. It’s like I’ve spilt a pint of blood on the outside of my jeans. I started to panic, my friend calms me down and says just go to the loo, pad your knickers and change your tampon, you can’t really see it when you stand up. So off I go – but there’s someone in the loo. Then sexy guy gets out of his seat to talk to me. I am LEAKING. He tries to chat me up and say we should meet up in NYC but all I can think of is ‘I HAVE BLOOD EVERYWHERE’. Then when I go to the loo he waits outside, so I had to be speedy enough that it didn’t look like I was having a poo – and also so that when he went in, it didn’t smell of period. Joy.”
“My boyfriend at the time worked for an old folks home and I’d decided to be adorable and go and surprise him after work with a picnic (I wanted my life to look like a Nicholas Sparks novel apparently). Anyway, he was late getting out of work so I went into the old folks home and hung out with some of the people who lived there and they told me about their grandchildren. I could feel something dripping down my leg and initially I just thought my tampon string had escaped, but one of the ladies I was talking to said, “Sweetheart, you might want to go to the bathroom.” I looked down and there was literal blood dripping down my leg like a slow motion red raindrop, and it was all over the back of my skirt. I ran to the bathroom and rinsed my skirt in the sink. Turns out I’m not really made for Nicholas Sparks-style romance.”
“During an exam in high school. All over the chair, all over those nasty school uniform trousers. Still traumatised.”
“I leaked onto the couch cushions of our rented holiday home when I was about 15, and was so mortified that, after dabbing the blood meekly with a sponge, I flipped the cushion over without telling anyone. THE VERY NEXT DAY my parents had friends over, and someone spilled their drink on the same cushion… and that is how my period stains were exposed to a room full of middle aged people.”
“I went to the doctor about period pain when I was, like, 14. Stood up afterwards and I’d leaked on the chair. It was in the shape of a massive tear drop which said everything tbh. I didn’t mention it. Just looked at it, look at my GP, tied my coat round my waist, then did my first ever walk of shame.”
“Worst ever (and one of the heaviest) was on holiday (OF COURSE), on safari miles from anywhere (OF COURSE). When I finally found a cinderblock roofless outside loo in the middle of the f*ckin’ Serengeti, I was disturbed in the middle of my loo-paper wadding botch job by three baboons sitting on the wall above me, watching very seriously. Yay for the great outdoors!”
Image: Hailey Hamilton