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Zosia

Period-havers: How to Hide it at Work?

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Zosia

So, I guess I’m just looking for tips or something, or maybe how you got over feeling self-conscious about people knowing you’re on your period at work?

 

TMI I suppose: For all of my period-having years, I’ve done the whole hiding-a-pad-in-my-shoes thing so when I’d have to change it at school or work, I wouldn’t have to carry anything to the bathroom and nobody would notice. I was never comfortable with tampons (and I’m a little paranoid about menstrual cups now...I’m worried about them getting stuck, but I’d maybe be tempted enough to try them?). I switched over to period undies in December, and I don’t particularly want to switch back to pads because these are more comfy and eco friendlier. Back in winter, I could easily hide the period undies in a coat pocket when I went to the bathroom at work. But, now that it’s summer, it seems impossible to hide those under my clothes to change in the bathroom. So, the only solution seems to be carrying a bag into the bathroom, which I’ve never done before (pretty self-conscious about it since I was totally discreet with pads before and now this seems like an advertisement that I’m on my period to carry a bag). The thing about my job is that I have to call someone to cover my shift so that I can leave my position to go to the bathroom, and oftentimes who covers are men who are twice as old as I am...and I don’t exactly want to advertise to them that I’m on my period, you know?

 

So, if anybody has any creative ideas about how to hide period undies that don’t involve carrying a bag, or about your experiences with menstrual cups, or about how to get over being self-conscious about periods (especially around men), that would be great!

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Philip027

Just about every other adult female-bodied person has periods or does something to control their periods.  Even if every other person in your workplace wasn't female-bodied, chances are they have close interaction with someone who is.  For what it's worth, I've seen tons of AFAB people going into the restroom with a bag, a purse, or what have you, far more often than AMAB people.  It's practically expected (and might not even be for toiletry purposes, either)

 

The sooner you start regarding this as a perfectly normal bodily function (and expect others to do the same) rather than something to be shamed/hidden, the sooner you'll stop feeling as self-conscious about it.  I understand it's something easier said than done, though.

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Quasar.w

^^ totally agree with the post above!

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Jona Rhys

I agree with @Philip027. Having period products in a bag or purse is still very discreet. People know you've got periods but they are unlikely to spend much thought on the fact.

 

2 hours ago, Zosia said:

I’m a little paranoid about menstrual cups now...I’m worried about them getting stuck, but I’d maybe be tempted enough to try them

There's no way a menstrual cup could get stuck. I've been using one for over a year and I like it so much better than tampons or pads. It does take some time getting used to using them so don't let yourself be discouraged if it's difficult at first. Put some liners in your pants. Try them at home where there's a sink next to the toilet. I'll be honest, emptying the cup can get messy but it's nothing a bit of soap and water can't fix and you won't have to worry about your period for the next few hours.

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SkyenAutowegCaptain

I'm not female, and a taxi driver. This incident I had with a customer shows one way. (admittedly she was a very extrovert character) 

As she got into the taxi she put a bin liner on the seat and said "Excuse this, my period started earlier than I was expecting", my reply was "no worries, thanks for being so considerate" A quick laugh, change of subject, problem solved. 

 

As others have said, even amongst those without an uterus, most know about this aspect of the female body, and accept that some things have to be done, no buts. 

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Karst

I carry a backpack around with me as a regular part of my daily life, so this has actually never been much of an issue for me.

(Sorry for the lack of helpful advice.)

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NerdyBirder

As others have said above, not many people notice when you carry a bag to the bathroom only a few days/week during the month. I just take a little bag of pads to work with me and carry the little bag to the bathroom with me when i need. If you make a big deal about it then people will notice it more but if you just pretend like this action is a normal part of daily life then no one will know the difference.

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bare_trees

I have to echo the others and recommend carrying a bag. They don't know why you have it. Maybe you're waiting on an important call or text on your cell and don't want to walk away from it. Maybe you have to do an insulin shot. Or you just need to take a headache pill and wash it down with some bottled water you keep in your bag. It could be about so many other private matters. Their minds aren't necessarily going to go straight to "period," if they even take notice of you carrying your bag.

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Serran

Guys aren't likely to think about you carrying a bag away. No one gives two cares about a person being on their period to begin with. The only one thinking its obvious or an issue is you. So to feel less self conscious you just have to recognize the feelings as anxiety and not based in reality. Takes practice but happens over time.

 

As for menstrual cups... personally, didn't work for me. They cant get stuck, they bend and come out no issue. But, I found I bleed too heavily and so the cup fills in a couple hours and then leaks if I don't go empty it constantly. Plus, getting them emptied if you don't use the kegel trick means getting blood all over your hands, which I didn't like. 

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CBC

It's literally never occurred to me that someone might think or know I'm on my period. 😶

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Kimchi Peanut
8 hours ago, CBC said:

It's literally never occurred to me that someone might think or know I'm on my period. 😶

Me neither, nor would it bother me in the slightest

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pma01

So this may sound like a dumb question, but if you are using a cup and have long fingernails how do you not scratch yourself putting it in or taking it out?

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storminateacup
On 7/17/2019 at 1:31 PM, Zosia said:

So, I guess I’m just looking for tips or something, or maybe how you got over feeling self-conscious about people knowing you’re on your period at work?

 

TMI I suppose: For all of my period-having years, I’ve done the whole hiding-a-pad-in-my-shoes thing so when I’d have to change it at school or work, I wouldn’t have to carry anything to the bathroom and nobody would notice. I was never comfortable with tampons (and I’m a little paranoid about menstrual cups now...I’m worried about them getting stuck, but I’d maybe be tempted enough to try them?). I switched over to period undies in December, and I don’t particularly want to switch back to pads because these are more comfy and eco friendlier. Back in winter, I could easily hide the period undies in a coat pocket when I went to the bathroom at work. But, now that it’s summer, it seems impossible to hide those under my clothes to change in the bathroom. So, the only solution seems to be carrying a bag into the bathroom, which I’ve never done before (pretty self-conscious about it since I was totally discreet with pads before and now this seems like an advertisement that I’m on my period to carry a bag). The thing about my job is that I have to call someone to cover my shift so that I can leave my position to go to the bathroom, and oftentimes who covers are men who are twice as old as I am...and I don’t exactly want to advertise to them that I’m on my period, you know?

 

So, if anybody has any creative ideas about how to hide period undies that don’t involve carrying a bag, or about your experiences with menstrual cups, or about how to get over being self-conscious about periods (especially around men), that would be great!

I don't get over it. I've told people I've had my period at work, I wasn't planning on but coworker told me they had a stomach ache and they had their period and I said me too and that was it. It doesn't have to be a big deal its just a normal part of life. There is also nothing unusual about carrying a bag into a bathroom, no one could possibly know you have your period if you carry a bag into the bathroom. If you really don't want to do that. I wear men's cargo pants to work, because men's cargo pants have very deep and very plentiful pockets and I want to carry my belongs on my person. But you could put the period undies in one of the very deep and very plentiful pockets. But I promise you know will know you have your period if you carry a bag into the bathroom.

 

Also I'm interested in period undies. Do you like them?

 

🍰

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Kimchi Peanut

The only time I think a coworker has their period... is when they mention it. It’s really nothing to hide? It’s a bodily function. I’ve shared pads, tampons, and pain relievers with other period havers super casually. I’ve talked about being bloated and craving chocolate or listened to someone say they’re bloated or crampy or irritable because of periods. Whatever. If someone has an issue with you being a human being, they’re gross and you should report them.

 

Also, it’s not weird at all to put something in your pocket or carry a bag into the bathroom with you. Lots of people do that for various reasons. People won’t be searching for answers as to why - I can’t imagine anyone caring. If someone asks, tell them you’ve got a slow leak or whatever. Honestly, any adult should be... well, an adult about it.

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Serran

I shared so many pads at work before summer break I ran out of my emergency car stash of pads. <_< Had to go buy more so I would have some. 

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gisiebob

so, um. a thought that might put you more at ease about other folk's pondering about your period; about half of us don't have a monthly reminder that periods exist. from my observations on my side of the gentic coinflip we're pretty oblivious.

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NerdyBirder
On 7/18/2019 at 9:26 PM, Serran said:

my emergency car stash of pads

I am so glad I am not the only pne that has an emergency stash of pads in my car at all times! Lol

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Serran
5 minutes ago, NerdyBirder said:

I am so glad I am not the only pne that has an emergency stash of pads in my car at all times! Lol

Haha yeah I need to... mine is so irregular I can never guess when its gonna hit. 

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anisotrophic

Honestly, nobody notices or cares. Take a bag. I remember feeling self conscious long ago. But then I realized "do I notice others?" (No. Never.)

 

Now I remember pumping in a stall in the work bathroom. Yeah, that was more awkward. No no go ahead, pee in the other stall, I don't mind! Classy digs. SMH. Taught me to get really IDGAF about embarrassing body things.

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Feys&Florets

As everyone else said, bags work. I carry 2-3 spare pads in every backpack/purse/bag and I wouldn't leave it lying around to be snatched anyway, so the bag is with me no matter what.

 

If I can leave the bag out and I need to change pads, I just excuse myself, take the pad out, and bring it with me. I really don't care, and I expect other people to be mature enough to acknowledge I have a uterus that needs to bleed once a month. It's not advertising; it's a part of normal life. If they give me trouble or tell me they find the existence of my period uncomfortable...I tell them to grow up and stop acting like kids afraid of cooties.

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Goonie
20 hours ago, NerdyBirder said:

I am so glad I am not the only pne that has an emergency stash of pads in my car at all times! Lol

stash in my car. Stash in my coat pockets. Stash in my backpack. Stash in my lunch box. Sometimes I get no warning and it's like surprise I'm here. I know a couple other people who keep some in their cars

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Nowhere Girl
On 7/17/2019 at 10:00 PM, Jona Rhys said:

There's no way a menstrual cup could get stuck. I've been using one for over a year and I like it so much better than tampons or pads. It does take some time getting used to using them so don't let yourself be discouraged if it's difficult at first. Put some liners in your pants. Try them at home where there's a sink next to the toilet. I'll be honest, emptying the cup can get messy but it's nothing a bit of soap and water can't fix and you won't have to worry about your period for the next few hours.

Just to mention, some women may still find themselves unable to comfortably/safely/painlessly use them. Particularly anatomical virgins with a very small opening.

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Nowhere Girl
20 hours ago, NerdyBirder said:

I am so glad I am not the only pne that has an emergency stash of pads in my car at all times! Lol

I am so glad I have no car and don't need to worry about stashing pads, parking, gas prices*, insurance, being able to harm an innocent person...

 

*As a diehard non-motorist, I have no idea how much does gas cost... :)

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DuranDuranfan

If anyone has a Fitbit, there is a section on the app for female health. Meaning that it shows you are at in your cycle. So far mine has been accurate but other times I have to edit the start and end dates. Since I see it every day(I check to see what my sleep has been like), I can also see how many days I got until it starts again.

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Kimchi Peanut
37 minutes ago, Nowhere Girl said:

Just to mention, some women may still find themselves unable to comfortably/safely/painlessly use them. Particularly anatomical virgins with a very small opening.

I have pelvic floor dysfunction and spent an hour trying to get a cup out. (After only minutes of it being in - it was too excruciating.) I genuinely though I’d have to go to the hospital to have it removed, I was so panicked that I couldn’t get it out. Immediately threw the brand new cup out, as I clearly can’t use them.

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NerdyBirder
18 hours ago, DuranDuranfan said:

If anyone has a Fitbit, there is a section on the app for female health. Meaning that it shows you are at in your cycle. So far mine has been accurate but other times I have to edit the start and end dates. Since I see it every day(I check to see what my sleep has been like), I can also see how many days I got until it starts again.

I just got a Fitbit a few months ago and I really like the female health tracker. It makes it so easy to track my cycle and has been accurate so far for the beginning of my cycle. It even warns me 2 days before it starts so I am more prepared.

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DuranDuranfan
16 minutes ago, NerdyBirder said:

I just got a Fitbit a few months ago and I really like the female health tracker. It makes it so easy to track my cycle and has been accurate so far for the beginning of my cycle. It even warns me 2 days before it starts so I am more prepared.

Same here.

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NerdyBirder

 

18 hours ago, Nowhere Girl said:

Just to mention, some women may still find themselves unable to comfortably/safely/painlessly use them. Particularly anatomical virgins with a very small opening.

I have tried so many different methods to stay away from the wastefulness of pads but have had no luck. I have tried a cup, a flex (which worked better than a cup for me but I still couldn't get it to seal right), period undies, and cloth pads. I still find myself using deposable pads more than the other methods because of the convenience and comfort of it.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
19 hours ago, disGraceful said:

I have pelvic floor dysfunction and spent an hour trying to get a cup out. (After only minutes of it being in - it was too excruciating.) I genuinely though I’d have to go to the hospital to have it removed, I was so panicked that I couldn’t get it out. Immediately threw the brand new cup out, as I clearly can’t use them.

Yeah this is why I'll never attempt using one. Just getting it in would be hard enough, and excruciating.. but then I can't imagine how I'd get it out 😧 Plus it would be fill in a couple of hours anyway.

 

I can't use tampons or anything either, just stick with fabric pads (the easiest and most comfortable for me!)

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KoiFishShoes

In my workplace, it is perfectly normal for women to at least carry a makeup bag into the bathroom with them, if not something larger.

I use a Diva Cup with a liner or pad backup. On my heavy flow days, I sometimes can't get it to not leak no matter what I try, but I still prefer it over tampons.

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