9 (Gender Neutral!) Period Tips to Get You Through the Bloody Week

Published by Riley on

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If you’re someone who menstruates, you don’t need me to tell you how much of a pain in the ass it can be. A particularly bad menstrual experience might have you searching frantically for period tips and hacks for how to feel better on your period.

Everyone’s experience with menstruation is different, but most of us will agree: it sucks. It’s not a fun time. It’s messy, it’s gross (especially for those of us who are a bit squeamish), it’s uncomfortable, it’s painful… the list goes on.

But, as time goes on, more and more methods for period care have popped up, giving us the power to endure a rough cycle.

So, here are 9 (gender neutral!) tips for dealing with your period. (Brought to you by my nightmare of a period last month.)

1. Stay Hydrated

Water runs down the leaf of an indoor plant, landing in a glass that is nearly half full. Staying hydrated is one of the most important period tips when it comes to combating period pain and bloating.

Your body is more likely to retain water during menstruation, so it’s important to stay properly hydrated.

Drinking eight glasses of water per day can help keep you hydrated, which in turn can ease symptoms like fatigue, bloating, and muscle cramps.

I always keep a 24oz water bottle nearby and aim to drink at least three of those a day, whether I’m on my period or not.

2. Keep Ibuprofen On You At All Times

If you’re prone to unbearable menstrual cramps or migraines, keep ibuprofen or other painkillers nearby for when you feel an attack coming on.

I also like to use a CBD pain-relieving spray or ointment, which helps numb menstrual cramps when applied to the abdomen. This is honestly one of my biggest personal period tips – it’s like a more natural version of Icy Hot.

3. Wear Comfortable Clothes

A woman sits near a window, looking outside. She's wearing a comfortable cream colored knit sweater. Dressing comfortably is one of my top period tips.

When getting dressed during your period, comfort is key.

If you’re bound by a dress code at your place of employment, do your best to work with it. Wear your comfiest undies and maybe some fuzzy socks.

And when you’re home? Baggy sweaters and sweatpants all day!

Personally, I’m always a bit paranoid about leaking during my period, so I actually tend to prefer wearing tight jeans, which helps me feel like my pad is more secure. But then I pair that with an oversized shirt, or sometimes I’ll even throw my fluffy bathrobe on over my clothes.

Find your comfort clothes and make sure they’re freshly washed and ready to go when your period starts!

4. Take A Hot Shower 

A lot of period-havers tend to feel generally icky during that time of the month, from a combination of period-related pain and the whole blood business.

I tend to get lower back pain during my period, so crouching down in the tub and letting the hot water hit my back is like a much-needed massage.

Showering daily can provide relief for our bodies’ aches and pains, while also helping us feel clean and refreshed.

5. Get a Period Tracking App

A person's hands are in focus, holding a black mobile phone. Downloading a period tracking app is one of my top period tips for forgetful people.

This is one of the most useful period tips for forgetful folks such as myself.

Keeping track of your cycle, any symptoms, and so on can be hugely helpful – especially if you’re someone like me who has ADHD and straight up forgets that periods are a thing sometimes.

Getting a notification on my phone that my period is due to start in a few days is sometimes a much needed reminder!

There are many great apps available (for free!) that will track your period for you.

My favorite is Clue, which excels at being gender neutral.

Download a few different ones today and discover which one you like best and want to keep!

6. Give Yourself a Break

A person with long hair and a cozy sweater lies sleeping in their bed, a book with a flower atop it at their side. Taking a break is by far one of my favorite period tips (and self care tips)!

Dude, if you’re literally bleeding, you deserve a break.

Sure, we can’t take a whole week off work every month. But we can remember to slow down, take it easier than usual, and prioritize self care.

So take more naps! Drink some tea! Read a book! Don’t pressure yourself to be as productive as you usually are.

Periods can be rough. There’s no shame in taking it easy for a bit, especially if you’re dealing with intense cramps or migraines.

7. Know It’s Not a Gendered Thing

Some men and nonbinary folks have periods, too!

Gender dysphoria can leave some people feeling ashamed to have periods.

But there’s nothing inherently Womanly about having a period – it’s a gender neutral experience! (And, while we’re on the subject, not all women [whether trans OR cis] have periods, anyway.)

If you’re someone who struggles with gender dysphoria around periods, do what you can to minimize it.

Look for gender neutral period products, and avoid buying products that are clearly marketed toward women if you find that upsetting.

As a nonbinary, male-aligned trans person, myself, I tend to throw on a pair of boxer-briefs over my “period underwear”, because I use pads and pads just don’t fit right in boxer-briefs.

Thankfully, it’s no longer an issue of dysphoria for me, and more just one of having a preference for boxers. But when I was still dealing with dysphoria around my period, that helped. And, as mentioned above, Clue is a really great gender neutral period tracker!

Find what works for you to minimize dysphoria around that time of the month. And remember that having periods doesn’t make you less of a man / nonbinary person.

8. Try Different Methods of, er, Collecting Blood

A menstrual cup sits on a white dish, with a small plant to the upper left. Some people swear that one of the best period tips is to switch to The Cup.

If you’re having a miserable time with pads/tampons/etc., swap ‘em out for another method!

Some people swear by The Cup, while others prefer period underwear, and still others stick to pads or tampons.

There’s a rising movement to adopt reusable period products, such as cloth pads or menstrual cups.

This is better for the environment, and, arguably, better for your body. It can be an investment to stock up on those products, but in the long run it’ll probably save you money (damn you, period tax)!

Grossed out by blood? If blood squicks you out, dealing with periods can be a nightmare. Find a method of collecting blood that bothers you the least – maybe avoid pads if you don’t want to have to see blood every time you pull down your pants to go to the bathroom. Find what works for you!

9. Fight Period Shame

Menstruation is a natural, healthy occurrence for many people.

But for centuries, various cultures have shamed people for having periods, deeming them unclean. Historically, some cultures have even segregated people when they menstruate, sending them off to Period Huts for the week.

There are religious groups that argue that having sex during menstruation is sinful (another ridiculous by-product of purity culture).

Many of us are taught from a young age that periods are embarrassing. That being caught with a tampon or pad in your bag is humiliating. You don’t want to run into someone you know while shopping in the period products aisle!

It’s something we’re trained to conceal as well as possible. Many “period tips” reinforce this idea by discussing ways to keep your period a secret and prevent people from being able to tell you’re bleeding, as if it’s such a horrific thing.

This is a bullshit concept and I, for one, reject it outright. I refuse to feel shame for my body’s natural cycles.

If you’re someone who struggles with period shame, try taking steps to embrace your period. Remind yourself that it’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and if anyone acts disturbed at the mere mention of menstruation, that’s a reflection on them, not you.

Looking for a real challenge? Try free-bleeding! Free bleeding is a movement that encourages people to embrace their periods by forgoing traditional period products. It’s not for everyone, but if it makes you feel empowered, then go for it!

On your next cycle, I hope a few of these period tips will help that time flow (hah) a bit easier for you.

And remember, you’re a bloody badass. 😉

Sincerely,

Signature of the name Riley
Riley, he/they pronouns

Curious about period underwear? Check out my review + guide on how to wash them!

In need of a period pick-me-up? Here are some tips on real self care.


Do you have any personal period tips you’d like to share? Drop ’em in the comments! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

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