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February 20, 2023
Image by Jason Leung on Unsplash
From period sex, to clots in your period blood, to why your flow is sometimes brown, to "we've got how many holes?!", we've compiled and answered some of your most FAQs about periods on @MoxieHQ TikTok.
According to Health Direct, it's pretty normal to get your period anywhere from 9 - 16 years old (though over the past 18 years of Moxie we've met people who have got it even younger, at around 8). So if you're 13 and you're yet to get your period and aren't experiencing any other unusual symptoms down there (like abnormal bleeding, pain, bloating, or anything else that seems odd), there's probably nothing to worry about just yet. If you're worried or unsure, talk to a trusted adult and ask to see a doctor.
It's not uncommon for your hormones to take some time to regulate if you're new to periods. It can take months or even a year or two to start seeing a regular monthly bleed. If your period is really sporadic, painful, heavy, or goes completely awol and doesn't come back for months at a time (or of course, if you're ever worried about it in any way at all), make an appointment to see your Doctor.
The colour and even the texture of our period blood can tell us a lot about what's going on down there. Brown or black period blood usually means that it has been sitting in the uterus a little longer and has oxidised. It's usually nothing to worry about, but if it's accompanied by intense pain, large clots (roughly the size of an Aussie 50c coin) and heavy bleeding, it's a sign that it's time to check in with your Doctor.
Clots - those gel-like blobs you sometimes see in your period blood - usually occur when your period is a little heavier (like, the first day of your period) and are caused by blood coagulating in the uterus.
Clots in your period flow are quite common - if they're less than the size of an Aussie $1 coin (or a US quarter) and you're only experiencing them only occasionally, they're probably nothing to worry about. If they're on the larger side (more like the size of a 50c coin), are happening more frequently and accompanied by a very heavy period (like, you have to change your pad or tampon every hour or so) then it's best to get checked by your Doctor, as your clots may be caused by an underlying condition.
Firstly, your hymen doesn't really 'break', it's actually flexible and stretchy and it will likely break-down and tear over time from doing regular daily activities like exercise (but yes, it can tear away with sexual intercourse, too). It even stretches to accomodate your period to flow through. Amazing, hey?! You might notice some light pain and a tiny bit of spotting as it does shed, but most people don't really notice anything at all.
The thing many people seem to get wrong about the hymen is that it's not a film that covers your entire vaginal opening (this can happen, but it's really rare - see your Dr. if this is you). The hymen is actually more like a soft, flexible piece of tissue that goes around the opening of the vagina - size, shape and thickness will be different for everybody.
So in a nutshell, don't worry about this - it's really nbd, you probably won't really notice it.
Read on for more about the hymen.
Yes you can, as long as you're comfortable inserting them into your vagina; which might initially be daunting for some people. You don't have to use tampons - there are lots of options and different types of products to choose from, so use whatever works best for you and what you're most comfortable with. Your body, your flow, your choice, Moxette. But if you do choose tampons, always be sure to read the label and follow the directions for use.
If you've never had sexual intercourse, this one really comes down to whether or not you feel comfortable inserting a tampon into your vagina, as the feeling of insertion might be a bit daunting. There's also lots of talk around 'virginity' and whether or not using a tampon (or a cup) means that you'd no longer be a 'virgin', because a tampon or a cup might tear your hymen*.
There are many different beliefs about what losing your virginity actually means, but we feel it's fair to say that most people believe that you can't lose your 'virginity' to a tampon or anything else you're inserting into your vagina to absorb or collect your period flow.
* the hymen is a thin veil of tissue that stretches around the opening of the vagina that most people with female sex organs are born with. It can stretch to allow period flow through, and even tear at different stages of life; and, not just due to sexual intercourse, but with sporting activity, masturbation, or some people may not even have a hymen at all. Hence the condition of the hymen really should not be a measure of someone's 'virginity'.
If inserted correctly, you shouldn't feel you're wearing one, but you may feel a bit of resistance when you insert if you're new to tampons. We suggest you start with the smallest size until you get used to inserting. Your period flow will help act as a bit of natural lubricant and may assist with the discomfort of any friction, but you could also use a small squeeze of personal intimate lubricant on the tip of the tampon to help giude it in.
If you feel resistance or a 'chaffing' sensation when removing your tampon, it may be that you're using a size/absorbency that's too large for your flow (in which case, size down), or, it hasn't absorbed enough and you may be removing it too soon. Although, never leave your tampon in for more than 8hrs at a time, irrespective of whether or not it has fully absorbed.
People born with vulvas and vaginas have three holes. From top to bottom:
- the urethra (a teeny hole where you pee from)
- the vagina (where your period flow is expelled from the body)
- the anus (your bum, where you poop from)
Your tampon or period cup is inserted into the vagina (the middle hole).
Your vagina is not a bottomless pit - it's actually not that deep, so whilst your tampon or cup might feel 'stuck' on the rare occassion (see next Q&A), it can't actually get lost. What goes in must come out!
It's pretty rare for this to happen TBH, but if it does happen to you, don't sweat - it can't go very far, and you'll be able to get it out one way or another.
If your period cup gets stuck, check out this handy FAQ but if it's your tampon that has buried its way up there and won't seem to budge, the first thing you'll want to do is get into a low squat position as this will help to shorter the vaginal canal and make it easier to reach.
Next, if you can find the string, gently pull on this to see if you can wriggle out the tampon. If not, reach into your vagina with two fingers and feel for the base of the tampon. If you can grab it and gently pull it out, great! You may also want to insert your index finger once you've removed your tampon, just to ensure to excess fibres have been left behind.
If you're still unable to remove your tampon, make an appointment to see your Dr as soon as you can, or head to the emergency room and they will be able to remove it for you.
Remember: you don't want that tampon in for any longer than 8hrs, so get it out as soon as you can.
Again, it's super rare (like, pretty unlikely tbh) but not impossible for this to happen. Same as above - we suggest getting into a squatting position as this shortens the vaginal canal and helps you reach the tampon easier. You should be able to reach in and grab the base of it enough (we suggest two fingers, thumb and pointer) to pull it out but if not, head straight to the Dr or ER and they'll get it out for you. Don't be embarassed - they've seen it all before and it's more important that you get it out.
Just as you normally would. Those of us with vulvas and vaginas pee from a different hole, the urethra, that's located a little higher up from the vagina, where our flow comes from. And so, we can comfortably pee with a tampon (or period cup) still in place. If you have a tamp in, you just might want to tuck the string out of the way so it doesn't get wet in the process.
Technically yes, as your tampon sits in a different 'hole' to where you poop from, but straining your bowels can sometimes dislodge a tampon and partially push it out of the vagina - and so, it's probably best to just remove your tampon prior to pooping and then inserting a fresh one once you're done.
Medically, there is no reason not to enjoy a bit of frisky fun whilst on your period. Arousal during menstruation for a lot of people can be heightened, particularly due to increasing levels of estrogen and testosterone on around day 3. Some people find that orgasms can even help curb their period cramps.
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PSA: The information posted here and on @MoxieHQ TikTok is intended to educate and inform only, and does not constitute or replace a personalised diagnosis from a medical professional. If you're ever concerned about anything relating to your intimate health, please make an appointment to see your Doctor.
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