Women have an estimated 450 periods during their lifetimes. That’s a LOT of bleeding. Chances are we all have period memories that we’d rather forget.
So, in the gory, gooey, icky, sticky spirit of Halloween we asked all our lovely BGP supporters, volunteers and friends to dig deep into their whimsical pool of period experiences and share their most horrific, eye-popping, palm-sweating, dizzying period horror stories.
Kick back, grab yourself a Bloody Mary and cringe over these panic-inducing anecdotes and be glad that it hasn’t happen to you (yet).
“I went for a Brazilian a few years ago. Legs up. Hot wax. Pain. More hot wax. More pain. Strange sensation. Strange, abnormal sensation from down below, deep inside me. The horror. As the wax strip was firmly pressed down by the therapist, it had masterfully attached itself to my tampon string. So, as it was pulled away, out flew the tampon, and with it, my dignity.” – we'll call this gory storyteller Ruby Wax
Overheard in the coven of three witches...
Witch 1: My second ever period… I stayed over at a friend’s house and woke up with blood literally everywhere. All over me, all over her, all over the walls…
Witch 2: TELL ME HOW IT GOT ON THE WALLS?!?!
Witch 1: Your guess is as good as mine!!
Witch 3: Sometimes, it just gets on the walls.
“Whilst in Brussels I bled through to my clothes before I got the metro. I sat tight on the train and made it to a park. My all-in-one was fortunately black, but nonetheless, an all-in-one. I located some trees, but everywhere I turned, I could see someone – so they could presumably see me. I managed to get an extra towel in, like an expert contortionist, but as I did, I felt a massive clot land on said towel. So I ended up by another bunch of trees squatting in some brambles, waist height with a cardie tied around my boobs. Clothes were salvageable, but my dignity wasn’t."
– Cara Squats
“I dropped my Mooncup in a public toilet and it rolled out under the cubicle door into the main bit and it was very busy and I died.” – Georgia (who has since passed and gone to period heaven)
“My first period started at my first ever gig at the MEN arena, aged 13. It happened immediately after Marilyn Manson had thrown a bottle of water into the audience (which hit me square in the face). At the time, I was being pushed and shoved by hoards of sweaty, overweight Goth men who wanted to get to the front barrier. My poor uterus was being crushed in the process. I remember an unfamiliar squelch, followed by a hot flush, which I put down to embarrassment from what I thought was pissing myself. Next thing I know, I was backstage in the First Aid area lying on a bed with the sound of ‘Disposable Teens’ in the background." – Erica Exorcist
“When my dog was a puppy he would eat literally anything he could get his paws on. Food, tissues, socks… he hoovered it all up. One day, he started choking violently and we all gathered around, worried that he was going to cough up a lung. But no, not a lung, just a used sanitary pad he’d managed to dig out of the bathroom bin.” – Lily Leaks
“The first time I ever babysat, I thought it was gonna be super chill. Baby was asleep. It was only for an hour. Got given £20. Krispy Kremes. Coke in the fridge. Sky. I sat down on a brand-new white sofa. Perioded all over it. Spent the entire hour scrubbing away, which only worsened the spread. Gave up. Told them I’d spilt the Coke. Never babysat again.” – Fanny Jones
“On a second date the night ended on the guy’s futon. Sexy time happened and then we fell asleep and woke up in the same spot the following morning. All of a sudden, he said, 'Ah, I think you might be bleeding!' I looked at his hand, which was covered in blood. Then I looked down at the bloody hand-prints on my boobs, stomach, thighs… everywhere! The futon looked like someone had been murdered on it. Luckily the guy handled it like a champ. He got me a towel and I got in the shower and when I came out he'd cleaned it all up. He also took me to a tulip farm later that day as a 'Sorry your uterus is tearing itself apart' treat.” – Sammy Scream
"I was in Scotland for the Ultra Race and had camped the night before. Woke up with blood all over my sleeping bag. Panic. I’m late. Baby wipes to the rescue. Start of the race line, wearing shorts. Cute guy to my left says, 'Excuse me, your leg is bleeding'. BANG. I ran 12 miles with blood down my leg." – Ultra Gusher (we salute you)
"My first try with a menstrual cup was when I was staying at my mum's house. We went out for the day and when we came home I had a spot of blood on my (back-up) pad so I decided it was time for the cup to come out. Easier said than done. Try as I might, I could not get a grip on the stem. The cup was not budging.
'We may have a problem,' I told my mum and explained the situation to her. She looked at me slightly blankly to start with but only a beat later said 'Do you want me to have a look?'
What other option did I have?
Picture the scene: I'm lying on my back on my mum's bed with a towel under me, ankles together, knees apart when my mum walks in wearing a pair of blue surgical gloves, her glasses and carrying a pair of long-nosed pliers.
She positioned the kitchen spotlight directly at the area and there then followed a period of 10 minutes where my mum had two or more fingers and a pair of pliers UP MY VAGINA trying to locate the end of the menstrual cup. It wasn't working.
'We're going to have to go to A&E,' mum said. But it was neither an accident nor an emergency (sort of) and I didn't want to be the girl who went to A&E to get her menstrual cup removed.
We adjourned to the bathroom, me squatting on the tiles and mum sitting on the hallway floor coaching me... 'It's okay if you get it all over the tiles, it'll wipe up.'
By this point I had become a human doughnut, my hand nearly all the way inside myself, fingers in a claw shape, trying to find the edge of the cup to be able to break the air lock holding the cup up there. Another 20 minutes passed of this, where we hoped my brother and his girlfriend weren't about to make a surprise return home (cos although we're from Norfolk, that's hard to explain). And then, we finally heard that satisfying sound - like taking the first spoonful of trifle out of the bowl at Christmas - as the airlock broke and I managed to wiggle it down a bit.
When I got the cup out my mum's words were 'Let's see!' and the amount in it was truly disappointing."