(PSA – All images are glitter)
Periods. All women have them. They are natural. Why is it that we still don’t really talk about them openly? There are a million things that come with our periods that we just don’t get told about!
And at the age of 26 I’m pretty pissed that a lot of it wasn’t explained. School talks, in the PE hall on a rainy afternoon, only cover the very basics and even friends might only talk about cramps with each other. No-one ever really talks about the all the rest of the stuff that comes with them, which I would have loved to have some warning on!
I was never told that the cramps will sometimes make you want to throw up. I didn’t know that you will get painful & red spots almost every month because of your hormones. I wasn’t informed that around the age of 24, you will become extra fertile and your periods will completely change. My flow completely changed & they have been a lot more painful. My skin & body hair has also decided to do its own thing, no matter how hard I try to control it! Don’t believe the bullsh*t that once your not a teenager all these things will chill out, for a lucky few it might, but for us mere mortals it probably won’t.
But, for all the crap that we put up with every month, it could actually be a lot worse. It could be even harder.
We all know that feeling, the cramps, the bloating & the sudden realisation that your about to ‘start’ or ‘come on’. Imagine that feeling, but you don’t have any pads or tampons. (Not because you forgot and you have to do a mad dash to the shops for supplies.) You don’t have any, because you cant afford them.
We’ve probably all been in a position where we’ve asked around for a spare tampon. But what if there wasn’t anyone to ask, or you have already asked and you need another? What if that last £10 in your account is for food or bus fare to get to work? What if your daughter is having her period too? How can you spend half of the money you have left in the world on pads & tampons? Maybe it would be easier to use tissue, newspaper or even a sock for those heavy days & nights?
For most of you, this will sound unimaginable, that women in the UK can’t afford sanitary products. For some women in our communities, this is a reality. There are women in the UK who are struggling to afford the bare necessities & they are risking their health each month, being forced to improvise, because they have no other option.
I have been passionate about this issue for a while and have previously organised a collection for a local homeless charity, of clothes and sanitary products. However, whilst trying to organise a place to donate too, I was told by numerous homeless charities across Manchester, that they don’t accept sanitary products at all.
Thankfully I found a charity that are helping women throughout Manchester. This organisation is called Every Month. They are trying to help take the stigma out of periods and are providing period kits for women & girls who need them, through food banks. They are my inspiration for this post, lets get talking about our periods & stop believing we should be quiet and be ashamed of our bodies. (#freethenipple and all that jazz)
Not only are they doing important work, their Instagram is filled with period inspired artwork, from local artist. Its funny, ironic and are helping to get people talking about periods openly. The founder aka Hungry Graduate, is also well worth a follow! Her unfiltered pictures on periods & her own life is both funny and original.
They hold events around Manchester, raising money and getting women together, to help more women. In a world where we are pitted as each others competition, this can only be a good thing!
Every Month are providing essential period survival packs to food banks around Greater Manchester which can include menstrual cups, or tampons, pads, & a chocolate bar. They rely solely on volunteers & donations. The work they do is more than essential, as women, it’s beyond important that we do whatever we can to help each other. I have never once had to worry about money, when buying tampons and I can’t imagine how difficult it is for the women who do.
If you want to help, here’s the links to make a donation. Keep an eye on their Instagram for up-coming events and here is some other ways you could help / get involved!