September 15, 2004

Messy Messy Me

By my calculation, I've used about five menstrual products in the last three years. I don't mean five kinds of menstrual products; I mean I've used menstrual products five times, preferring to not bother the rest of the time.

More accurately, I've been using birth control pills as my menstrual product— not using them to skip periods, just taking advantage of the super-light periods that resulted from the high progesterone in the brand I was using, LoEstrin. It is easy to forego products when you barely bleed at all.

But. For the last 3 months, my usual clinic has been out of LoEstrin entirely, and I've been on the lower-progesterone Alesse. Consequently, my periods have been rather more human and less like a sterile android's. This has been an interesting opportunity to test out my product-free menstrual strategies, given that I don't even have a leak-stop reflex anymore. If I feel blood, my first reaction is “That's probably fine.” I'm so used to having tiny periods that the possibility of making a real mess doesn't even occur to me. It is strange to think of the stress I used to attach to periods and my attempts to catch every last drop of blood in a secure device.

So far, I'm doing fine during the day by simply wearing black cotton underwear and showering once a day. I find that I have to pee more often while I'm bleeding anyway, so I mop up at regular bathroom breaks (sort of like having a runny nose). Overnight, I have been making a bit of a mess on my thighs, and am considering sleeping at least in underwear. If I were worried about the sheets I might sleep on a towel or something, but I'm more concerned about preventing tangly, bloodied pubes. That is not a comfy way to wake up.

Suggestions welcome.

P.S. The contest is still open! You should probably enter!

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