The Monthly - Lesa Hannah

Finally, a candid conversation about periods. We get it. Periods are personal. Choosing empowerment over embarrassment, we’re here to give a real-life lesson on menstrual cycles and our bodies.  And what better way to do that than from hearing stories about periods from our colleagues, friends and people we have met on this incredible journey. So join us as we talk about- yep, you guessed it - periods. #leaveyourstain

Who are you (we’d love to get to know you!) and what are your pronouns?

I am a freelance writer based in Toronto and my pronouns are she/her.

 


Photo credit: Justin Aranha

 

How did you first learn about periods?     

Probably a combination of grade 5 health class as well as reading Judy Blume’s seminal Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.  

 

Do you remember your first period conversation? Who was it with and what was that like?

I honestly don’t! 

 

When did you get your first period?

It was the summer before I started Grade 8, so I was just about to turn 13.

 

How was it? What happened?

I just woke up one morning, went for my morning pee and there it was.

 

Do you try to take extra care of yourself while on your period? If so, how?

I already take iron supplements but I am extra sure I don’t miss them at this time. 

 

What are your favourite period products?

Nixit and Period Company’s period underwear. Between those two, I am completely zero waste. 

 

Is there anything else about your period experiences you want to share?

Just that I always forget it’s coming, spend a few days crying over anything and everything and wanting to hoover up snacks. Then it arrives and I think “RIGHT, that’s why I was insane.” And then it happens all over again next month. 

 

How are you navigating guiding your teen through her period?

I was with my daughter the first time she got hers. We were at Centreville and she emerged from the bathroom stall confused about what was in her underwear so I looked to confirm that it was indeed her period and got her a pad. Following that, it was a matter of teaching her about the hygiene surrounding it, such as how often to change her pad, and that period underwear and dark pants were her friend during that time. She's not ready to try a cup or tampons just yet and I respect that, as someone who didn't get comfortable with tampons until her mid-20s, so I've let that go. But I hope to convert her to a cup at some point. I don't recall my mom advising me on anything when I was her age; I probably just figured it out myself. So I'm glad we can have an open dialogue about it. Also, my 9-year-old son has not been shielded from period talk; in fact the other day, as he ran upstairs, he announced he was getting a pad for his sister while she was in the downstairs bathroom. I beamed with pride and adoration.

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