Handling menstruation at school is not a fun job, especially if you also suffer from menstrual pain and have difficulty finding time to go to the bathroom. However, if you have careful planning, you will never again have to go through the hassle of handling your period at school - or be caught off guard with unpleasant surprises - in your entire life. The most important step is to prepare the supplies you need and feel comfortable if you have to go to the bathroom. Remember that you should be proud of having your period because it's not something you should be ashamed of.
Part 1 of 4: Getting Ready
Step 1. Carry pads or tampons with you at all times
If you really want to prepare for your period at school, the most important thing to prepare is the pads, tampons, pantyliners, or other necessities that you use regularly during school, so you don't have to worry about getting unpleasant surprises. That way, you're always ready - and you can help a friend who isn't doing the same.
- Consider using a menstrual cup, which is inserted into the vagina and collects blood at the bottom of the bowl. Menstrual bowls can last up to 10 hours, and you won't feel bothered while wearing them. While not as popular as tampons or pads, menstrual cups provide the same safety.
- If you are already menstruating and based on your monthly cycle your period will fall today, it would be better if you put on a pad or pantyliner before going to school to avoid worries.
Step 2. Understand that menstruation is not something to worry about
When the first menstruation, usually the blood that comes out is only a little and not too much. Therefore, you don't need to be afraid of your classmates knowing that you are menstruating. Plus, there's no reason to worry about someone hearing the sound of a pad or tampon when you open it. Most people will ignore the rustling they hear, as you might too.
Step 3. Create a campaign to make your school more menstrual-friendly
Request that sanitary napkins be provided in the bathroom so that female students who are menstruating no longer need to leave the school environment when they do not bring them. Request that all school bathrooms be equipped with a disposal facility for used sanitary napkins or tampons. Meanwhile, most importantly, ask that students be allowed out of the classroom after each lesson. So, female students can immediately go to the bathroom when they suddenly experience menstruation.
Step 4. Find a safe place to store supplies needed during menstruation
While there's no need to be embarrassed if someone sees your menstrual supplies, find a safe place to store them in case you're concerned. For example, just put it in a small bag, but if you're not allowed to carry a handbag at school, why not put it in a pencil case, or slip a pad into a pocket in a folder or binder, or just put a tampon in a boot if you don't have one. another better option. If you've thought of a few "hiding places" ahead of time, you don't need to be nervous about your period coming.
If you have a locker, setting up a storage area inside the locker will be very helpful. Lockers can also be a convenient place to store supplies for a year instead of having to carry them every time your period comes
Step 5. Pack up your panties and extra trousers to feel secure
While you may be worried about having an emergency period that causes leakage in your underwear and trousers, the chances of this happening are very slim. However, being prepared with extra pants and trousers or leggings in an emergency will make you feel better prepared in case your period comes unexpectedly. Knowing that supplies are there whenever you need them will help take the worry out of having a sudden period or leaking problem.
You can also bring a sweater or long-sleeved shirt that can be wrapped around the waist, just in case
Step 6. Bring a chocolate bar
If you are experiencing menstruation or PMS, maybe you need to add chocolate to your diet. Research shows that chocolate can relieve some PMS symptoms, and it's also delicious. Chewing on a little chocolate can make you more emotionally stable, as well as give you a delicious snack.
Step 7. Prepare some medicines to relieve menstrual pain
If you tend to experience menstrual pain, such as cramping, bloating, nausea, or other symptoms that may accompany your period, it's a good idea to stock up on medication just in case (but make sure your school allows it). You can use Tylenol, Advil, Feminax or other types of drugs that are sold freely and according to your needs. You don't have to take them when your period comes, but with the availability of these drugs you will feel better if things don't get too pleasant.
Make sure you discuss it with your parents or doctor before taking any medication to make sure it is suitable for you
Step 8. Know when your period will come
Your periods may not be regular, but it never hurts to start looking for patterns so you can predict their arrival. This not only prevents unpleasant surprises at school, but also allows you to take preventative steps to avoid emergency situations, for example by wearing pantyliners the week you expect your period to come, just in case your period comes early. If you haven't had your period yet, be prepared for your first period, who knows, it might happen at school.
Keeping the things you need for your period on hand around the clock can help you feel ready, but knowing when your period is coming can also help you deal with your situation
Step 9. Recognize the early signs of menstruation
Menstruation often causes side effects such as cramping, bloating, acne, and breast tenderness. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, you may be having your period soon.
- When you feel these symptoms, it's a good idea to check your equipment again. Make sure your "emergency" pads or tampons are in place, then stock up on pads/tampons and painkillers at home.
- If possible, wear dark clothes before your period. So, when you have a sudden period, dark clothes can help disguise it.
Part 2 of 4: Dealing with the Beginning of Menstruation
Step 1. Go to the bathroom/toilet immediately
This step allows you to check the situation yourself and find the equipment you need to get through the day. Go to the bathroom/toilet immediately when you suspect your period is starting, ask the teacher for permission to slowly leave the classroom.
Try to approach the teacher when your classmates are busy with their studies. Explain your situation directly if you want. Or, simply say "I'm going to the bathroom."
Step 2. Ask a teacher, school nurse, or friend for help if necessary
If you suddenly get your period when you don't have any equipment with you, don't be shy to ask your friends for help. Ask if they bring pads or tampons that you can borrow. If they can't help, try asking one of the female teachers for help. However, understand that after menopause, women aged 45-50 years may no longer need to use pads or tampons. So, it's a good idea to ask a younger teacher for help.
- You can even ask the school office for help, to at least call your mom if you really need help. Don't be afraid to go to the school office in an emergency when you can't get help from someone else.
- If you need further assistance, consider going to the UKS and finding a school nurse. The nurse or school counselor can explain about your period when you first experience it, or help you get women's supplies or a change of clothes if necessary.
Step 3. Make an emergency pad if necessary
If you have no better choice and are stranded in the bathroom with an unexpected monthly visitor, the best solution is to make an emergency sanitary pad. All you need to do is take a toilet paper and roll it around your palm at least ten times, until the pad is thick enough. Place it, longitudinally, on the underwear, then take another toilet paper and wrap it around the pad and panties 8-10 times, until the pad is completely tight. You can repeat this process one more time with toilet paper. Although the results are not as good as real pads, but they can be a solution in an emergency.
If you get your period but it's very light, you can make an emergency pantyliner. Simply take the toilet paper along the line of the panties, fold it in half or in thirds, and tuck it in the panties
Step 4. Wrap the jacket around your waist if necessary
If so, wrap a t-shirt, jacket, or sweater around your waist, especially if you suspect menstrual blood has seeped into your clothes. That way, you can hide bloodstains so you can change clothes.
- During the first menstruation, generally not much blood comes out. So, there's a good chance you'll find out before the blood seeps into the clothes. Even so, it's a good idea to immediately prepare yourself to avoid the risk of embarrassment due to leaking menstruation.
- If menstrual blood has seeped into your clothes, change into a sports uniform (if you have one) or ask the nurse or school counselor to call your parents so they can bring you a change of clothes. If someone asks, just say that your clothes got spilled.
Part 3 of 4: Preparing a Thorough Plan
Step 1. Drink lots of water
While this may sound counterintuitive, drinking lots of water will prevent your body from retaining water, which will reduce bloating. It's a good idea to bring a bottle of water with you or make sure to visit the fountain as often as possible between class changes. Make it a goal to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day. It may be difficult to drink a lot of water at school, but you can anticipate it by drinking more before and after school.
- You can also include foods that contain lots of water as part of your diet so that the body does not become dehydrated. Foods in question include watermelon, strawberries, celery, and lettuce.
- Cut down on caffeine intake and don't drink too much caffeinated soda, tea, or coffee. These types of drinks can dehydrate you and make menstrual pain worse.
Step 2. Eat foods that prevent bloating
If you want to handle your period the best you can, avoid eating foods that cause bloating. The biggest causes of bloating are fatty foods and caffeinated foods. That means you should skip the fries, ice cream, or hamburgers and soda for lunch and focus on healthier food options like salads, or turkey sandwiches. Replace soda with water or unsweetened iced tea and you'll feel better.
- Fatty foods make your body retain water, making you feel bloated.
- You should also avoid whole grains, chickpeas, lentils, cabbage, or cauliflower.
Step 3. Try not to skip exercise lessons because exercise can relieve menstrual pain
While it may seem overwhelming to take exercise classes, it's been proven that exercise actually makes you feel better during your period. Another fact shows that aerobic exercise makes the body pump more blood so that the body releases endorphins to fight prostaglandins in the body, and results in less pain and aches. Don't be tempted to sit in the audience with a frown on your face, instead join your friends.
- Of course, if you're feeling really uncomfortable, it's okay to skip your exercise class that day, but you'll be surprised to find that exercise can make you feel better.
- If you miss gym class because of your period, you will separate yourself from your friends and draw attention to yourself instead of doing what everyone else does and taking your mind off the pain you are feeling.
Step 4. Make a plan to go to the bathroom every 2-3 hours
Before school starts, you can make a plan to go to the bathroom every 2-3 hours so you can change pads or tampons if you have a heavy period, or just to make sure nothing is wrong. Leaks may make you nervous, and knowing that all is well can make you feel better. While it's not necessary to change your tampon every 2 hours, at least plan to change it every 3-4 hours if your period is heavy; if your period is less, you can change it after 5 or 6 hours but this is not recommended because it can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). To avoid this disease, make sure you only use the lowest absorbent tampon as needed.
Going to the bathroom every 2-3 hours will also help you empty your bladder more often. Emptying your bladder when you feel the urge to go to the bathroom can help relieve menstrual-related pain
Step 5. Dispose of pads or tampons properly
When at school, you should make sure to dispose of pads and tampons in a hygienic manner. Avoid throwing tampons in the toilet, even if you do it at home, because you don't know how strong the plumbing is at school and you certainly don't want to cause the bathroom to flood. Try to use a bathroom cubicle that has a small trash can. However, you should still wrap your pads and tampons in their original wrappers or with toilet paper so they don't stick to the walls of the trash can.
- If you're not lucky enough to find a trash can inside the cubicle, simply wrap the pad in toilet paper and throw it in the trash outside. There's no shame in doing it because all the girls have to throw away their used sanitary napkins somewhere.
- Make sure to always wash your hands after changing pads or tampons.
Step 6. Wear darker clothes if that makes you feel more comfortable
While it's not necessarily a leak, you may need to wear dark clothes during the week of your period or earlier, just to make you feel safe. You can wear jeans or a darker color so you don't have to check the back of your clothes or have a friend check them every two seconds. Make plans to wear cute dark colors if that makes you more comfortable.
However, don't let your period stop you from wearing your cool new outfit. If you want to wear light or pastel colors, why not? You know there's nothing to worry about
Step 7. Know how to respond if someone makes fun of you
Remember to treat them the way you want to be treated. So, even if they say rude things, try not to do the same. However, if they do it over and over again, tell an adult you can trust. In the meantime, try some of these responses:
- "I'm not in the mood. Have you?"
- "I want to be alone now. Can you stop?"
Step 8. Ask to leave class if necessary
During class, you can ask permission to leave the room to go to the UKS, or explain your situation to the teacher calmly and then go to the bathroom. Some explanations that you can use without going into too much detail include:
- "I have a monthly problem, may I go to the bathroom?"
- "I'm on my period. I need permission to leave class for a while."
- "I have a monthly problem with girls."
Part 4 of 4: Maintaining a Healthy Mindset
Step 1. Don't let your period embarrass you
Whether you're the first to get your period among your classmates or the last, every girl will eventually experience it. There's no need to be ashamed of something that every woman out there goes through, which is also a natural part of the phase towards maturity and having a more mature and different body. Menstruation is a sign of fertility and part of being a woman. You should be proud, not ashamed. Don't let the boys make fun of your period and don't let anyone take away your pride in your period.
Chat with other girl friends about this. You will feel better knowing that what you are feeling is shared by other people
Step 2. Don't worry about the scent
Many girls worry about the "smell" of their period or worry that other people will be able to smell it and find out about their period. Actually menstruation itself is odorless; the smell is the smell of the pads that absorb the blood after a few hours. To combat this anxiety, change pads every 2-3 hours or use a tampon. Some girls like to use scented tampons or pads, but these scents are actually stronger than unscented pads, so they can cause vaginal irritation. However, you can use it if you feel comfortable.
You can try scented pads or tampons at home before deciding whether to use them at school
Step 3. Make sure your parents know about this
Menstruation is not something to keep secret or something to be ashamed of. Even if you feel embarrassed at first, it's important to tell your mom or dad about your period as soon as you get it. Your mother or other female family member can help you find the right items, make you feel comfortable, and help you avoid trying to hide them. Remember that every girl has to go through it and let your parents know when this happens; the sooner you tell them, the better you'll feel.
- Your parents will be proud that you told them. Your mother will probably burst into tears.
- If you only live with dad, you might feel embarrassed to tell him. But once you do, things will get easier, and he'll be happy that you're honest and open.
Step 4. Don't be afraid to ask permission to go to the bathroom during class if it's necessary
If you're asking a male teacher to go to the bathroom, or if a boy can hear, just say that you need to pee, or whatever you want (you don't want to be embarrassed in front of them). If you're in an emergency situation or it's time to change your pad, you don't have to be embarrassed about asking for permission to go to the bathroom. If you go to school with the mindset that you won't have a hard time getting to the bathroom if you need to, you'll feel more energized for the day. Ask permission to go to the bathroom confidently, or you can talk to the teacher before class if that makes you feel more comfortable.
Know that teachers and administrative staff should be more than ready to help you with this problem. You need to remind yourself that you are not the first girl to have to deal with menstrual problems at school
- You will be sitting a lot in school so make sure the pads/tampons you use are comfortable and won't leak.
- As much as possible avoid cold drinks to reduce menstrual pain that you may experience.
- It's a very good idea to keep an emergency kit containing panties, pads, tampons, painkillers, and other items you need in a cosmetic bag. If someone asks, just say it's a beauty kit, tissue or hair tie.
- If you're worried and don't want to buy tampons/pads at school, just carry them in your pocket.
- If your period is heavy or you're not too sure at this point, buy a highly absorbent pad/tampon to avoid discomfort or leakage.
- Some people feel unwell during their period so you can always call home and tell them you're not feeling well. Sometimes it is difficult to follow activities at school while menstruating.
- Try to wear dark clothes. That way, if there's a small leak on your clothes, they won't be as eye-catching as if you were wearing white or brown clothes.
- Carry extra dark shorts in your backpack just in case or a stain remover like Tide to Go.
- If you're worried that your friends will find out about your period, go to the disabled bathroom. There your privacy is more awake and you can feel more relaxed.
- Go to the school clinic and ask for the pads or tampons that are usually available there.
- Never spray perfume on pads and/or tampons before use and never try to spray perfume on the vagina. Perfume can cause irritation to the genital area.
- If you use a tampon for too long, you can catch TSS. Although rare, this disease is deadly. Make sure you change your tampon every 3-4 hours for safety. Read the instructions on the tampon package to fully understand the possible risks.
- Keep it clean! When you get out of the bathroom, make sure you leave it clean and tidy, not messy.
- Before bringing Advil or Feminax, etc. to school, make sure they are allowed. Most schools have strict regulations regarding drugs, and you could get in trouble because of the drugs you take.
- Take a shower twice a day to stay fresh and clean – in the morning and evening. You can use perfume to disguise the smell but showering is a must.
- Change pads every 4-6 hours or tampons every 4-8 hours, depending on how heavy your period is.