An Unfortunate Combination: Periods and Pants

Face it: so many young women are self-conscious about their periods, or feel embarrassed talking about them. I won't say I hide in shame during that time of the month, but I'm hardly willing to shout out to the world that Auntie Flo is visiting, either.

But a conversation (and the incident that led to it) with my boyfriend of nearly a year about this very subject about a week ago turned out to be some major bonding material, not to mention a chance for me to disclose information that he probably never would have known otherwise. Not only did this little conversation give me a chance to inform him better about exactly what happens, but it opened up the door for a whole host of other topics that we hadn't discussed. And I'd like to share that experience, as awkward as it might have been.

My partner usually knows when I'm having my period anyway, because when the topic of sex comes up, I usually respond by telling him what's going on. He'll respond with "Oh, alright," but the conversation will end there.

Though 20 years old, the occasional irregular bugger still plagues me. Such was the case a week ago, when Auntie Flo decided to pop in early. I wasn't aware of said visit until a friend pulled me aside after lecture hall and let me in on the fact that I bled clean through my khakis. Luckily it wasn't terribly obvious, so I figured I'd change when I went home a few hours later, after I made a side-stop at my partner's house.

Well, as side-stops go, a simply 5 minute hello turned into 15 which turned into some quality couch time, and no, I don't mean watching TV. All clothes remained on, and things went fine, until I went to get up and noticed that I'd continued to bleed through my pants, and onto my partner's as well.

Needless to say I wanted to die.

I thought my boyfriend would freak out. I thought for sure I would be in trouble, that he'd be so grossed out that he wouldn't be able to speak. But I was nicely surprised (scratch that, shocked out of my mind) when he looked up and said, straight-faced, "Oh well, accidents happen. At least we were having fun in the process, right?"

I've seen male friends react to the word "period". I've heard their jokes about the movie Superbad and the scene where the guy dances with someone's girlfriend and gets menstrual blood all over his pant leg, and "Dude, how nasty was that?" accompanied by "Yeah, totally!" imagine my surprise when my partner casually walked into the laundry room and threw his pants in the hamper.

I'll admit I was completely embarrassed, but I was also curious as to why he didn't react accordingly, (well, according with how I felt, anyway...) So, still in his boxers, we sat down on the couch, I asked why, and the rest is history.

The bottom line: as embarrassed as we gals can get over our periods, we make a bigger deal out of them than anyone else does. Not only are we embarrassed to talk about them with other girls, the humiliation factor goes through the roof the minute a guy enters the conversation. The facts are pretty simple: it's a part of life, and a necessary one at that. Without that monthly pain, our reproductive systems would be in scramble mode.

I was surprised that my boyfriend didn't see this as the earth-moving event I believed it to be. "Do you think I'd get mad at you because you're a girl and have a period?" he said to me. "You have to deal with them as it is, you don't need me ragging on you about them on top of that." And he's right, as silly as I felt admitting that to myself. But as I sat in his living room, explaining exactly what goes on during menstruation, I felt an odd sense of pride creeping up on me. Besides the work I do on Scarleteen, I don't often talk about what I know when it comes to sex and sexual health. But I reveled in being able to explain the mechanics, PMS and all the rest to my partner, including specifics about me and what I experience during my cycle that he wouldn't have known. And what's more, we didn't stop there. We kept going for another hour, having discussions about sex and our wants and needs that probably never would have come up otherwise.

And, I got to teach him how to do laundry.

As humiliated as I felt at first, I now believe it happened for good reason. Though I never would have chosen that particular incident to spark a conversation that really needed to happen, that fact that it did is now irrelavent. I went home that night feeling much closer to my partner, and him to me, because of an unexpected visit.

So now when I check the calendar and see that I'm due, it isn't the end of the world; I might even embrace it. It is no longer going to be a burden, or leave a stain on my day.

Just my pants, perhaps.


You have a really good guy there :)
My own fiance is very understanding and supportive as well, regarding my period as a time that I might need a little extra coddling and consideration, and menstrual blood as just another of the body's various effluvia, and a relatively harmless one at that.

That's not the case with all guys, I'm sad to say. I've heard stories from my friends of less than accommodating partners... one girl who managed to cut herself rather badly while shaving her crotch. When she called her boyfriend over to help her staunch the bleeding and bring her a little antibiotic cream, he refused. He thought she was lying to him, and that it was actually menstrual blood. She had to take care of it herself.
One of my former roommates' boyfriend even went on a rant in front of his girlfriend and I about how disgusting menstruation was, and how he never, ever wanted to hear from her that she was on her period, and that he'd refuse to touch her while she was.

It comes down to education, really (as so many things do..). If the boys are being shown the same sex ed videos we girls are shown about periods, it's not much of a surprise that they could get the wrong ideas.

There are some guys out there who don't totally freak! I went out with a guy once and had something similar happen, he tried to act like he was ok about it but I could tell he was kinda disgusted, I felt like crawling into a hole and dying! But the guy I'm with now, I stopped at his and my monthly friend showed up a little early, I was mortified that his sheets were all bloody but he was like "it's only blood babe it can be washed". I was like "Yeah, but it's kinda gross" and he said "no it's natural, don't worry about it" totally not bothered at all. It was mad....still was shameful for me though but it does prove that sometimes it is only us that makes a big deal out of it

Your story really made me smile : )
The same thing has happened to me before, but the guy who noticed was not quite as understanding, unfortunately.Then again, that was back in high school..
(*cough* I was know as "Bloody Mary" from that day on!)
Anyway, you've got a really sweet guy there, and I suggest you hang onto him!
I'm really impressed with your site, it has helped educate me about my own body.I've even convinced a few friends to check it out!
I recently turned seventeen, and I thought it was abnormal for someone my age to still feel unready for sex..And I'm glad that I was wrong!

So I just wanted to thank you for making this site, you have no idea how much you've helped me out!


Well I'm a guy and blood is blood no matter where it comes from. Oh yeah before any of you form a negative opinion of me based on the fact that I am commenting om a topic obviously intended for women. I searched google for help in making my girlfriend's first sexual experience the best it can be, and I happened to find this site in the process. Well we all can do with some more knowledge of the opposite sex and anything they have to deal with s that we can help or at least understand what they are going through. Now if my girlfriend was on her period and happened to be unfortunate enough to bleed through her pants and we were in a public place I would hand her my jacket or anything that she would be able to cover the area so that she does not get embarrassed. My clothes have gotten blood on them before because I'm a pretty physically active guy and also tend to get injured quite often so a little more blood won't hurt them any. Not all guys are jerks, and if they are should you really be with them?

First I visited my guy (he lives far away, and just as a note, we weren't sexually active), I had taken a bath and left my dirty clothes in the floor while I did my makeup at the sink. He came in and picked them up to put them in the hamper, then stopped, looked at my underwear, took out my pantiliner and threw it away and went on his merry way.

I was thinking, What just happened here?

I think it's a huge sign of maturity when a guy can just accept the natural processes of a woman's body as, well, natural. He often asks me about the way my body works and I can't help but feel complimented. Somehow these functions, mundane to me, are amazing and exciting to him. His body has none of these exciting cycles (obvious ones anyway) so rather than being "Auntie Flo" or "The Curse" they are the processes that make females women...and fertile ones with life-giving potential at that.

I could never invest in a guy who didn't understand that.

I am a guy. One day at work I noticed one of my woman workmates had a blood stain on the back of her skirt. I immediately realized that she had gotten her period and hadn't realized it. I had three choices for what to do:

1. Tell her about it.
2. Tell another woman, so that she could tell her.
3. Nothing.

I chickened out and did nothing. I noticed later that her skirt was no longer stained, so either she noticed it herself, or somebody else told her. Either way, she took care of the situation.

What should I have done? Should I have done either (1) or (2) above?

If you know the woman well, you could say something to her directly. If not, it might be better to tell another woman whom you think is sympathetic. I had a guy tell me about such a situation once in high school--he was a friend and very kind, but it freaked me out a bit. (More because it was a giant huge leak than anything.) But an adult woman would probably be able to understand that you were trying to help--and if in doubt, telling her via another woman is probably a good plan. In my opinion anyway. :))

Im 12 year-old ..i came my 1st period..n i never tell my mother..n i dont dare to tell my boyfriend..i'm afriad if i tell my boyfriend,he would say "ew it was so disgusting" wad should i do..?

you're 12, you're growing up and maturing, its normal to have your period. whether or not you tell your boyfriend is your choice, but boys do mature too, so you'll never know what he'll say. And plus, you should tell ur mom, why not? she's your mom, she would want to know these things, plus, she may tell you things you didnt' know to help you go thru that week =] good luck

i've never talked to my boyfriend about my periods, unless he was asking why i was so cranky XD
but i do know i can talk to one of my guy friends about it when he asks why i can't swim =S i dont know why, but i dont feel as awkward when i talk to him about it and he understands it too, which is kind of funny judging on the fact that he always fools around and jokes around =]

My guy reacted the exact same way! Granted, I've never bled on him, but I've asked him about it before (just in case anything were to happen) and he said he'd be cool and not overeact because it's nature and accidents happen. I was in total awe, I kept asking, "Are you serious? Are you playing with me? Are you sure?". LOL
It's good and reassuring to know that there are some mature men out there who can handle things like periods and the effects it can have on us females.
And you're right, it DEFINITELY brings you closer as a couple =)

Thank goodness I found this blog. I have sometimes thought about it; if other ladies ever had an experience of bleeding through in public. Good I am not alone. I was of the opinion that most ladies are always prepared for Auntie flo and may be I have not. I can say so far it has happened to me at least more than twice (not bled through to my outer clothing in all cases but at least in my panties)and the feeling that comes with it well we all know. Finding this blog makes me appreciate womanhood and that ladies can be open to discuss this experience.

Has anyone else out there experienced a bleed through when autie flo turned up unexpectedly more than once so far?

I had my fist period and was having sex and didn't know what do !

These stories from each and every one of you have made me smile. The embarrassing moments happen to all of us. I was an angel for Halloween one time and my best friends boyfriend freaked out when he saw I had leaked onto my white skirt. Totally embarrassing. But a couple years later, here I am with the most wonderful boyfriend. He is completely understanding of the things my body goes through. He's very curious about it too. He often asks me what it's like. And when I'm on my period, he could care less. I had the unfortunate incident in which we were making love one day and I started my period in the middle of it. He was shocked at first, but he got over it and helped me clean it all up. I was mortified, but he told me it'll wash away. Oh, he's been a wonderful boyfriend to me. I'm so lucky. :)

Thank you very much. I had never really taken up on this conversation with my husband.(As weird as it may be.) You inspired me to have that talk with him. I now know that it's not a big deal. What's most important is that now he knows why I have such bad mood swings.

Any way I was just stopping to thank you.

I love this story because it reminds me what an awesome boyfriend I have. I'm 15 and my boyfriend is 17. He's so mature and relaxed about me having my period. He's always really sweet when I have cramps or when I'm in a bad mood because of it. We've been talking about becoming sexually active and he's reassured me that I have no reason to worry about him ever being upset that we can't have sex because of my period. He knows that I'm dealing with enough when I'm on my period without worrying about him nagging me.

I love the site; I feel more educated and confident every visit. Anyway, you have a great boyfriend. I wish more people could understand periods or feel like that, too. That way talking about your cycle or or seeing someone bleeding won't be so taboo. I'm not saying we should be confident enough to go around bleeding & showing everyone, but that we should be less embarrassed about it.

Big stain. End of story.

my guy and i have have talked about periods and all that jazz. we even checked on google to see whether it's ok to have sex while on your period and the answer is yes! just make sure your guy is ok with it. they say the bleeding is good use of a lubricate. and it also relieves cramps.

I read this story and I have to say it made me smile knowing that guys when they are the right ones be absalute diamonds to their women even while on the monthlys. I will admit for many many years I avoided period talk as something only to be shared with those who I trust (usually my mom and a few close friends) At 25 I guess through maturity and trust I can now easily answer questions my brothers 17 year old girlfriend asks without blushing or feeling ashamed. And the reason is this I found the most wonderful guy and he opened me up with trust, he let me ask questions and answered with ease and the subject of periods came up one day and I cringed fearing he would run a mile as previous experiences had been of the male going ew ok. But instead he actually sat and talked ask me quesstions of when did I start what had been my troubles ( suffered many years with irregular periods.) I have to say it was an eye opening experience and the amount of trust shared made that conversation so easy that it almost felt natural. It felt such a relief to talk to a guy about what my body goes through and how I feel, its's now got to the point where he even knows my cycle more often than not he reminds me with a babe it's a full moon your due next week. First and only guy in my entire life who accepts my quirks and isn't fearing of the monthly he well I guess embraces it as part of who I am. =0) And I will say it feels great to experience that. Made me Love him even more. Sorry for wittering on lol just thought id share my experience

I always wear girl boxers anyway, and I have a few pairs that are a bit rough so they get used on the first few days where things might get messy
ladies jackets

I know this is an old entry, but I came across it while searching for something else. I'm glad you were able to overcome your embarrassment and that your boyfriend was so understanding. I lived in an abusive home with my dad and brother when I started (mom left us), so I was very embarrassed and chose not to tell anyone about it. I would use paper towels or wads of toilet paper because I had no way of getting pads or tampons. It was hard to deal with and as I got older, it was embarrassing for me to talk about it with anyone, especially boyfriends. That is until I met my husband. He has always been very understanding and is one of those guys who will stop for pads or tampons and brings treats home when it's that time. He makes sure I have Pamprin and anything else I need. Now he is this way with our daughter as well. I knew I never wanted her to feel the way I did when she started her period, so my husband and I have always talked with her about her body and explained things from an early age. I think it would really help if parents, including fathers, would teach children about their bodies and treat bodily functions as natural because they are. I'm glad that people have sites like this one to find help and answers. Thanks for sharing your story!

Nice article Abbie! It takes a lot of courage to sit and talk about periods to a guy. I always wear my adira period panties during my period days.And it has always done me good!I can wear white with confidence on such days.

My boyfriend and most of my girlfriends, as well as my best guy-friend all know when I get my period because I'm in college. The thing is, I'm friends with a couple of goths, and we made the (truly wonderful) discovery that corsets help with cramp-related pain. And they also let you feel absolutely sexy, even when you're in pain. For two-hour long evening classes on the first day or two of my period, I'm not leaving my dorm room without a corset. So it's a little obvious when I come home and ditch my shirt and wander around the dorm in tank top and corset. The comments are usually something like: "Oh, is it that time of month? Would you like a hug?" or "Can I get you some tea and chocolate?" The level of comfort that everyone, male and female has with all of the girl's periods in our friends group is phenomenal. And, of course, my boyfriend never minds helping me out of my corset at bedtime. When everyone can be comfortable around something that is going to happen every month, then all is well.