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?
Lynette: Lynette Medley Founder/ CEO No More Secrets Mind Body Spirit Inc. She/ Her
Nya: My name is Nya McGlone and I go by She/Her pronouns.
How did you first learn about periods?
Lynette: When I actually got my period was the first time I learned anything about it. Before then I had no idea what it was so I sadly learned their version of a PERIOD that day.
Nya: I first learned about it from my mother. She literally just started talking about it after she looked over my puberty book I was given by my godmother.
Do you remember your first period conversation? Who was it with and what was that like?
Lynette: It wasn’t pleasant at all. Very directive and intimidating. My mother basically said you are now a woman so you can’t act like a little girl anymore. You have to stay clean and away from other people because it’s not something to be talked about. She handed be this ugly period belt to wear and super pads with long ends to hook in them. She looked st me firmly and said , You dont talk about it with anyone because its nasty and disgusting. It’s also considered a curse.
Nya: Yes I do! My first period conversation was with my mother after I found out about it. At first, I personally was super excited and wished to get my period soon so I can be closer to that of an adult. I saw it as a coming of age and was taught from my mother that getting a period was something to be proud of as it was a natural occurrence, in a celebratory way. She even started showing me the various products to use and how to use them early. One time, when I thought I had gotten my period, my mother gave me a surprise gift bag of pokemon cards and a transformers movie.
When did you get your first period?
Lynette: Age 9
Nya: Age 11
How was it? What happened?
Lynette: It was horrible and terrifying. I bled through my underwear and clothing and had no idea what was going on with my body. I honestly thought I was dying. When I told my friends they thought the same because most of them had no clue what was going on either. So I was sent home and my mother told me I had my PERIOD and now I was a woman. When I think back my period actually came on slightly a few times before but I thought I was sick or something so I just threw the underwear away and didn’t tell anyone.
Nya: It was terrible. It was Easter Sunday and I was wearing a cute white suit. It came on while I was in church, forming a big red stain on my outfit. I was embarrassed and unprepared because it came on out of nowhere. My mom of course kept me calm and reassured me but all my past wishes of wanting a period were tossed out the window that day the moment I experienced the cramps. I started wishing I DIDN'T have a period.
Do you try to take extra care of yourself while on your period? If so, how?
Lynette: Yes I take longer baths and showers , drink teas and exercise. The main thing is attempting to stay comfortable. I suffered from an extremely heavy flow with a lot of clots so heavy pads and bathroom access was always my top priority.
Nya: I try to. I resort to heating pads and just trying to relax as much as possible.
What are your favourite period products?
Lynette: Pads Tampons and Cups
Nya: Pads - overnight / size 5s / orange and purple
Is there anything else about your period experiences you want to share?
Lynette: Yes, I really struggled when I first was on my period. Heavy bleeding, cramping, nausea and headaches. It was a horrific experience because I had to plan my entire life around it. Going to school and work was the worst and it bothered me that no one seemed to care that I was suffering. Eventually I found a healthcare provider that realized my menses wasn’t normal and that I needed surgery to remove portions of the lining of my uterus to control the bleeding. That was the best day of my life.
Nya: Even though I have a period, I still have to work and take care of daily activities. That's why it's rather hard to relax or take care of yourself because the world doesn't stop because of your cycle. If I have access to these products with no problems, how do you think people who don't have any access have to deal with their cycle?
Have the last challenging months affected your period and if so, how did you best navigate?
Lynette: No it hasn't. I've been fortunate to have ongoing access to Menstrual supplies and privileged to have the freedom of choice. I certainly am aware that so many don't have that luxury.
Nya: No it hasn't. I'm blessed to be able to have access to these products when I can but there are plenty of other persons who are without and certainly need our help.