Your Bod

All your most awk period Qs answered!


Whether you slept through health class or are just too embarrassed to ask your mom, we're doling out the answers to some of your most common (but seemingly weirdest) period questions. While we might be saving you a blush-much conversation, keep in mind your doctor has heard everything, so don't be afriad to speak up during your appointment or give her a call (seriously). Here are some of your uncomfiest time-of-the-month Qs all spelled out.

“Can I sleep with a tampon in?”

You shouldn’t leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours, but if you’re sleeping for more than that or are pulling an all-nighter to cram for that math test, it’s best to set an alarm for 8 hours later so you can change it. Or you can opt for a pad so you don’t have to worry about it.

“Am I bleeding too much?”

Every period is different, and you can bleed more some months than others. But if you’re bleeding longer than seven days or are passing large blood clots, you’re probably bleeding a little too heavily. Call your doctor if this is the case.

“Why do I feel like I go to the bathroom a lot on my period?”

During the first few days of your period, your body releases prostaglandins, which are hormone-like compounds that trigger the uterus to contract. This leads to those pesky and painful cramps, but they can also stray over to your bowel which makes it contract, which actually makes you dash to the bathroom more.

“Is it normal to get the runs on my period?”

Ugh, yes. Those prostaglandins are the reason for this prob, too. This could just mean that you have an especially large amount of them in your bod. It’s a normal side effect of a sharp rise in prostaglandins, so don’t freak. 

“I got my period last year but have hardly gotten it since—what gives?”

When you’re first starting out, periods can be extra irregular. Your body is going through something new and it needs to adjust. Don’t worry if you only get it a few times in the first couple months, this happens to a lot of girls. But if it started a year ago and then vanished totally? Check in with your doctor.

“Can I get toxic shock syndrome?”

TSS (aka, a condition that can occur when a tampon is left in too long) is rare, but to lower your chances of getting the infection, change your tampon every four hours and consider wearing thinner ones so they don’t get stuck. If you have a fever, chills, diarrhea, nausea, or a rash 2-3 days after your period starts, you should call your doctor.

“What tampon size should I be using”

The different sizes depend on how heavy your flow is. Usually, the third, fourth and fifth days of your period are the heaviest, so you might want to wear a regular or super tampon. Just make sure you aren’t using a heavier tampon than you need—it’s better to wear a smaller one and change it more frequently. 

“I can’t poop when I’m on my period…why is this?”

Remember those prostaglandins we mentioned earlier that can contract your bowels and make you have to go urgently? Your body is just making fewer prostaglandins if you’re having trouble getting things going. You can fix this by eating foods rich and fiber and exercising daily.

Do you have an awk period Q? Share in the comments below. 

We want to hear from you! Send us your weirdest body questions here (seriously, we'll answer anything!) and it just might get featured.


by Brittany Goers | 2/1/2016