I got my first period when I was 11 years old and have been regular as clockwork ever since. Having a best friend who was a year older than me meant I couldn’t wait to start. It was like an exclusive club that I wanted to be a member of so bad.  Of course as soon as I became a member I realised it’s a really crap club and I wanted out.  Period problems are real.

I was brought up to know that periods are nothing to be embarrassed about.  They were talked about openly in my house and never a taboo subject.  I wasn’t embarrassed when the boys at school emptied my bag and found it hilarious when they found a tampon.  I didn’t really understand what was so funny about a fact of life.

Still today I talk openly and I married a guy who has no problem going to the shops to pick me up sanitary towels, and knows well enough to bring back some chocolate as well.

But despite feeling no shame or embarrassment about my periods, despite that because of them I have two amazing children.  Despite all that, I hate them. I am done with them.  Periods be gone.  Mother Nature you suck.


Because I have so many period problems…

period problems

1 The Blood

As I said, periods are not a taboo subject for me so I am quite comfortable saying I have very heavy periods.  You can lose 4 tablespoons of blood in every cycle of your period. Rubbish!  I lose that in half an hour!  My after birth bleeding was a walk in the park compared to my periods!

I can’t complete the school run without leaking through my sanitary items. Several pairs of underwear get thrown away every month due to leakage.  I constantly check the seat when I stand up and check the back of my clothes.

Going to the toilet is disgusting.  I often shower several times a day on my heaviest days. Yes, I have seen a Doctor about it, apparently it’s my ‘normal’. But for anyone who does suffer from heavy periods (and that’s one in five, so chances are you know someone who does) it is incredibly debilitating and quite frankly gross.

2 The Hormones

PMT sucks!  I have one day every cycle when I am mad at the world and everyone in it.  I don’t want to be in anyone’s company.  being honest, I don’t want to be in my own company either.  I’m horrible.  I have no patience, I shout at the kids, my husband can do no right.  And what makes it worse is the knowing that you are being completely irrational, yet you can’t to a thing about it.

Then comes day two when my anger turns to sadness and I cry at everything. Adverts make me cry, the fact I shouted at my kids the day before makes me cry, not finding the right shade of cream paint in B&Q makes me cry.  Having to make any kind of decision makes me cry.  I might as well shove Beaches on and and belt out my best Wind Beneath My Wings rendition and be done with it.

Sometimes I am amazed my husband has stuck by me and my crazy hormones.

3 The Timings

Birthdays, Christmases, holidays, girls night out, romantic get away with the husband.  Hello Aunt Flo!

4 Sanitary Products

Towels, tampons, moon cups, I’ve tried them all.  My google history will reveal that I have recently been researching period panties.  What I find astounding is that in the 27 years I have been having periods, and lets just break that down a moment: 27 years equates to 324 periods, that’s 2,268 days of bleeding.

In all that time there have been very little advancements in sanitary products.  We can talk to people on the other side of the world with our smart phones, but we can’t produce a feminine hygiene product that meets a woman’s needs when she is on her period.  If that’s not period problems, I don’t know what is.

5 Attitudes

When I was 12 my Mum took me to the doctors to see if they could do anything about the horrendous period pains I was experiencing.  They couldn’t.  It was in my (male) doctors opinion “something I had to put up with as a woman”.  Sadly some doctors attitudes towards women’s health issues haven’t changed that much.

An article published in The Independent last month revealed that period pains can be as painful as having a heart attack, yet men complaining of abdominal pain are treated quicker then women.  Is it any wonder I want done with periods when they just aren’t taken seriously.

6 Tax

Sanitary items are not a luxury item.  Period.  And if you think shoving in a tampon and wincing in pain is a luxury, then you are probably not a woman and have therefore never had a period, which means you have no right to an opinion on the matter. Especially if you are an idiot.

period problems

They walk among us people!

7 The Cravings

Forget pregnancy cravings.  Period cravings are full on.  I normally have a day where I want all of the carbs, followed by a day when I would kill for chocolate.  The chocolate day normally coincides with my tearful day, so yes, I have cried over chocolate.  Several times.

8 Dogs

Yes dogs are a reason that I hate my period.  It’s pretty humiliating going round someone’s house and have their dog constantly sniffing your crutch because he smells your period! #embarassing

9 Clothes

Skirts, dresses and light colours are a strict no when it comes to periods. Likewise I can’t wear my really big spanx (you know the knee to neck kind of ones) because I can’t use a sanitary towel with them.  And I need my really big spanx because I am so bloated from all the carbs and chocolate.

10 Names For Periods

Can we just call them periods?  Do we have to whisper “I’ve got my monthly”?  Do we have to mouth the word “I’m on” in a Miranda fashion? Can we just step right away from rag week, shark week, on the blob, and I’ve got the decorators in?  Aunt Flo can sod off.  And dear god “Surfing the crimson wave”, really?

11 Advertisements For Sanitary Products

Remember we spoke about the blood and hormones, yes?  Well that is exactly why adverts of gorgeous girls in skimpy shorts on roller skates whilst ‘enjoying’ their period make me want to punch the TV. Where is her monthly spot breakout?  Why isn’t she curled up on the sofa in her oldest PJ’s watching beaches with a box of tissues and a king size bar of Galaxy, whilst ugly crying?  Get real people.

12 Women Whose Periods Consist of Two Days Light Bleeding.

You’re the women in the ads aren’t you.  I hate you.

Wear White Again

As someone who suffers from very heavy bleeding during my period, the Wear White Again campaign means a lot to me.  We don’t very often discuss that actual ins and outs of periods and period problems, so I thought I was alone in suffering from debilitating periods.

I was genuinely shocked when I found out that I am one in every 5 women who suffer.  That’s 4 million women in the UK.  And maybe, just maybe, if we did talk about it more, there would be more research and more solutions so that we do not have to suffer with our period problems in silence.

I would love for you to get involved with this campaign.  Women are painting their nails with one nail colour different to represent the one in 5 women who live with the condition.  For every photo publically shared using the hashtag #aminumber5 £1 will be donated to the charities Wellbeing of Women and Endometriosis UK.

You can find out more at wearwhiteagain.co.uk 

Tell me your period problems and we can have a hormonal rant together.

I am working with Wear White Again to support the Am I Number 5 campaign. 


After writing this post and the fantastic response I had from you, I went to the doctors and I decided to try the Mirena coil.  I am happy to report that my periods are now just a few days of light spotting and the coil has completely changed my life.  You can read about my experience here.

Which goes to show that talking about periods really does help, and now I am one of those women I used to hate!  Period problems are now a thing of the past.

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Claire Kirby

23 Comments on 12 Period Problems

  1. Thank you for writing this! I feckin’ well hate periods and I hate them more since I had my son. I have polycystic ovaries so it’s difficult for me to get and stay pregnant so it’s a cru bloody pain in the groin that every four weeks I have to go back through all that mess and faffing about. Since having my son I now have PMT which I’ve never had before and it it’s awful. Like a werewolf I turn into a total beast for three days of the month where I similultaeneously want to punch people or cry because there’s no more maltesers. To boot I have a very angry vagina – I joke here but its super sensitive to chemicals so up until recently when I discovered cloth pads I’ve wanted to rip it out when I’m using conventional pads, and my angry high tone pelvic floor literally rejects tampons. Too much info? Okay sorry if so but I agree we need to talk more about this stuff. By the way, I used to leak through pads but I’ve just gone to cloth ones and they are amazing! I wear the night time ones and it does feel a bit like you’ve got a teddy bear in your knickers at first as they’re so soft but they’ve been a revelation. Give us an update on the period pants if you try them. I

  2. I am that woman you hate. But my Mrs., she is like you. It is a horrid time to experience for us all. For me, I still hated that monthly drag for ages, eons. Now, on the other side, I have to admit I mourned the loss. First, I never was able to birth the babies, so why have the period to start? Then, it made me feel over the hill. Now, I am still frightened of white anything, yet feel much freer. Flat out, even being the one you hate, periods suck! I dread the day my daughters start… #fridayfrolics

  3. Sounds like a good campaign. I have to admit that I am probably one of those women who you hate. I have enjoyed the times where I haven’t had periods, of course, because it’s so much more convenient (they do always come at the worst times!), but I have always been really lucky to not have any problems with my periods and to have never been affected by any mood changes or pain. It must be horrible to have problematic periods every month. And the tampon tax definitely needs to stop. #FridayFrolics

  4. This is a great campaign as its so important to spread the word and reduce embarrassment. My periods have got worse since having the boys but I put that down to the changes in my body. Some days I can not leave the house, but it is normally only for the second complete day. I also married a man who would buy me Tampax, may have to nudge him on the chocolate front though x

  5. Oh that sounds horrid.hate to say but it so gets worse when you hit the perimenopause. I actually think that I lose about 7 days to feeling ill,anxious,thick as f.ck,depressed and uncontrollably emotional.My doc doesn’t want to know either.I do hear the mirena coil can help with it all.Just don’t fancy someone rooting about up there any more!!!

  6. YEP!
    When I am not on some form of contraceptive, I have terrible periods. It happened when I was on the pill in high school as well. I would get such bad cramps and pain that I wanted to stay home from school.
    I don’t see why we shouldn’t talk about it. It’s like any other medical concern – private, but not anything to be ashamed of.

  7. I too remember being desperate to start my period to be just like my friends. Such a great campaign – I have always suffered from terrible periods, the cramps, the emotions and pretty much the inconvenience of it all. Great post lovely.

  8. Are you sitting down? I have not had a period in 4 years! I had a mirena inserted after my daughter and I is the best thing EVER! Bloody hated my period; period BE GONE! Hope yours changes for you; unbearable. #FridayFrolics

  9. Aaah, yes, so many memories, none of them good. lol 😉
    Loved this and glad I popped over from your bloody wonderful #FridayFrolics lol 😉
    Hope your have a wonder-filled weekend. 🙂

  10. Fab cause to be supporting Claire. Hate the damn thing… my PMS starts a whole week before and I feel nauseous all the time. Sucks.

    So agree with you on the ads – which girl is EVER so happy or carefree when on her periods?!

  11. yes, I so get you. I feel irritable, and tired, and frustrated and anxious and then my period comes and I feel annoyed that hormones are able to rule me in such a way. I would like to be a man. Pen x #FridayFrolics

  12. The point on dogs just me laugh so much! Literally may as well be wearing a beacon that flashes ‘PERIOD’! I get the worst spot break outs when on my period, it makes me want to hide!

  13. I have always been lucky with things like the volume and pain relating to periods but I HATE sanitary products. They ALL make me react and I end up in pain. I have tried a mooncup and it is so much better but still awful at the same time. It is another reason it is worth getting pregnant again just for the break!!!!

  14. I too suffer with heavy and painful periods that announce their arrival by a migraine that renders me useless for a couple of hours. In the past I’ve used an implant which has worked wonders to stop my monthly cycle and all of the horrors that come with it, but at the moment it’s not an option for me, so I have to go through the dreaded horror every month. One silver lining is that my period is every 31 days instead of 28 so I have a few extra days grace!

  15. Ya – ads for sanitary products. Oh they drive me nuts. The timing – yup always a disaster. Sun holidays, trips to the pool… you name it. That’s great it was open for discussion in your house growing up though!

    • Lots of people said mine would be easier after having kids. Sadly not so. Within 3 months of having bith of them they were back and horrendous again. One of the best bits about being pregnant was no periods. Shame the hormones were still in full swing!!!

  16. This is a great post to support a brilliant campaign. I’m also involved with the #aminumber5? as sadly I also suffer with awfully heavy and at ties debilitating periods.It’s so sad that many doctors are really unsupportive, I am super lucky that mine has been amazing and I’m now under the care of a gynae at the hospital. Wishing you well, Mich x

    • Thanks for commenting Michelle. I am so shocked by the response. So many women suffering in silence or putting up with it because of supportive doctors. It’s actually given me the confidence to go back to the doctor and insist that something is done.

  17. This is a campaign that I am fully on board with. Since having my two children my periods have become just awful. For all of the reasons you describe above and the fact that the pain of them will often make me vomit. This was particulary tricky when I was doing the Moonwalk. My PMT also seems to be getting more and more out of control. It really sucks and can make me feel like I don’t want to go out and I can just be a of misery with it all. My doctor, likes yours, tells me that I just have to deal with. I’d like to see him dealing with it!

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