Finally, a candid conversation about periods. We get it. Periods are personal. Choosing empowerment over embarrassment, we’re here to give a real-life lesson on menstrual cycles and our bodies. And what better way to do that than from hearing stories about periods from our colleagues, friends and people we have met on this incredible journey. So join us as we talk about- yep, you guessed it - periods. #leaveyourstain
Who are you (we’d love to get to know you!) and what are your preferred pronouns?
We’re Sam and Liv (both she/her) the co-founders of the online community @simplylafemme (SLF). We created SLF to cultivate and encourage open conversations about menstruation. We share tips, tricks and advice on how to live mindfully with your cycle. We also share thoughts and experiences on our other platform, the (not so) Simply la Femme podcast. In that space, we host “TMI” chats and invite experts to talk about their areas of focus or study, all on the broad topic of womxn’s health and menstruation. So far, we’ve discussed topics like fertility and egg freezing, cycle skincare, hormone health and period sex. Our goal is to crush the stigma surrounding periods and support menstruators through each and every phase of their cycle.
How did you first learn about periods?
Both of our moms were very open about periods. As we got older, we talked with friends and eventually, when we craved a deeper understanding of our bodies, we took it upon ourselves to research our hormones, menstrual cycles and the systems they affect. *Spoiler alert* it’s basically all of them.
When did you get your first period? How was it? What happened?
Sam- I was 10 and a few days out from heading to sleepover camp for two weeks. At first I just thought I had cut my vagina area and was confused by the blood. Once I realized what was happening, it took me over a day to build up the courage to tell my mom that I had in fact gotten my period. I then had it for almost three weeks and had to use a tampon for the first time ever in an outhouse while at camp.
Liv- I thought that I had gotten my period in grade 4, at school… Turns out, it was just cervical mucus (discharge) that had a slight red tint. I made a big deal about “getting my period” and not having any supplies, so a teacher graciously offered me a maxi, sleep pad. I wore it with pride under my leggings for the whole day. I actually got my first period a few years later, when I was 11.
Do you try to take extra care of yourself while on your period? If so, how?
Yes, we’re big believers of period self-care. We try to live as intuitively as possible and find that during our period, we crave rest and restorative yoga. We also love to do face masks (hormonal acne is the worst), cook (or order) our favourite foods and masturbate (best way to relieve cramps!!!).
What are your favourite period products?
Nixit is our fav and we are so happy to have found it. We also love using our Thinx period underwear on the days that we’re lounging around and feel too lazy to insert/remove a menstrual cup.
Is there anything else about your period experiences you want to share?
Understanding your cycle doesn’t happen overnight. Our hot tips are, 1. track your cycle 2. talk openly with your friends or engage in inclusive, supportive communities like SLF, and 3. invest in your menstrual health. Our mood, fertility, energy levels, digestion, etc. are influenced by our menstrual cycles, so why not try to maximize our understanding and life in every phase?!
Have the last challenging months affected your period and if so, how did you best navigate?
In the first few months following the announcement of the global pandemic, our cycles were super inconsistent. Some months our cycles were abnormally long (40+ days), and others they were very short. Liv missed a period completely from stress, which is when we recognized that we needed to make some changes to how we were living and caring for ourselves. We focused on nourishing our bodies with nutrient rich foods, tracking ovulation and pms symptoms and engaging more consistently in self-care. Since the fall of 2020, both of our cycles are back on track and flowing smoothly!