Name: Madison Dunne
Work: PR Manager
Period Type: Heavy??
Preference: Tampons, but would like to make the change to a period cup (kind of scared though lol)
Do you remember when you first got your period?
Having my period was something I was really scared of. I actually prayed for years that I wouldn’t have it until I was 14 because for some reason I thought that was an appropriate age...and I didn’t have it until I was 14. I remember that I was at home in the bathroom and when I pulled down my pants, I saw that there was blood covering my underwear. I was so scared because I wasn’t sure if it was the ~dreaded~ period or something else. I yelled for my mom to come see (which also was a huge deal because I was very shy about all things puberty and this was a very private thing to be showing my mom). She came in, saw, and told me to not worry and that I just had started my period. She left and my stomach dropped. I felt so gross inside; disappointed and ashamed of my body for putting me through this and angry that this was something I now had to deal with for the rest of my life. That same week, my mom and dad gave me a red basket full of hershey kisses that said something like “welcome to womanhood!”. Looking back, I think it’s so thoughtful and kind of them to have done that for me, but at the time it just made my stomach sink even deeper and the anger returned.
The worst experience you had with your period:
I was living in Ecuador for a time and I spent every day teaching people, doing service projects, and walking up and down hills. Every time my period hit it was hard to push through the pain and the emotions and still act like my happy self. I haven’t had any crazy period experiences, but I do remember really suffering through those days more than any other time I’ve had my period.
How you currently try to combat problems regarding your period:
Sometimes I’ll use a heat pack as I go to bed at night. During the day, I’ll put pressure on myself to not feel pain. I’ve never used Midol and I don’t like taking Ibuprofen, although those would probably help. I honestly don’t do much more than push through the pain.
What’s your period “hack”?
Heat packs and massages!
What do you wish other people understood about having a period?
I feel that it’s easy to overlook it because it’s a common thing for all women to have, but I don’t think it should be downplayed so much. I’ve been lucky enough to not get super bad cramps and have a period that usually only lasts 3 days. But I think when a woman says they’re in pain because of their period, it should be taken seriously. It’s a burden we have to live with for years and it should be taken seriously as such.
What do you wish you understood when you were younger about having a period? What would you tell young girls about their period?
I wish I had known that it’s not a shameful thing and that even though it’s an inevitable part of being a woman, I don’t have to suffer through it. Like, yeah, it’s gonna be annoying and a hassle, but there are ways to feel less pain. I would also tell them to relax before inserting a tampon because it hurts less. I didn’t learn that for a while unfortunately.
Thank you Madi!!