10 Things Only Girls With Heavy Periods Understand

by Zara Barrie

I marvel at the actual amount of blood that comes out of me when I'm on my period.

My flow is so heavy, I'm truly amazed my personality doesn't come flying out of my vagina, too.

But month after month, I stay unbreakably strong. Like many women, I've survived years of harrowing periods — which is just more direct evidence that women are amazing beings who can withstand basically anything.

My period might be brutally painful at times. I might ruin nice things, and I might be afraid to wear those chic, white skinny jeans. But ultimately, I'm proud of my heavy flow.

Women who have heavy periods are fabulous, fierce entities — the opposite of subtle. We don't do anything half-assed, including our menstrual cycle. We're primal creatures in touch with the fucking moon.

Women are amazing beings who can withstand basically anything.

A heavy bleeding woman is my kind of woman, baby. And there are certain things only my fellow volcano flow sisters and I understand:

1. We pray for someone to have a super-plus tampon.

"Does anyone have a tampon?" I'll yelp across a room at a party because I lack proper boundaries.

"Sure!" a sweet 23-year-old with winged eyeliner will enthusiastically squeal, showing off her lack of "period shame." How progressive.

And thus, the silent prayer begins.

"Please let this be a super plus, and not a super!I'll silently plead to the universe.

Girls with heavy periods can't screw around with anything less than the absolute MOST. It's a sort of beautiful metaphor for my life, actually.

2. We experience sheer panic over the regular-sized tampon.

I don't know who came up with the whole notion of the "regular" tampon. It's not PC to tell women what dress size is normal, but we can tell them exactly what a regular period flow is? Give me a break.

It's not PC to tell women what dress size is normal, but we can tell them what a regular period flow is?

My own regular period flow is HEAVY AF, OK? Of course, what's regular to me might not be regular to you. And there is nothing worse than only being able to find regular-sized tampons at the store when you have a heavy flow.

You also feel ashamed you're not a "regular flowing" woman like other girls. It's triggering and brings back memories of not fitting in during seventh grade.

And suddenly, there is this weird energy filling the air. You feel outcasted as a "super-plus" girl who's weird and different.


3. The sisterhood of the super-plus girls is strong.

"I'm sorry, I only have a super-plus!" a girl in the bathroom may tell you, shamefully handing you a massive, dildo-sized tampon. And you will look her dead in her soulful eyes and say, "That's the size I take."

And you will share an intense moment together because there is a sisterhood among women who wear super-plus tampons.

4. Our underwear gets ruined EVERY DAMN MONTH.

I swear to God, I have ruined a pair of underwear — beautiful, expensive, ornate, oh-so-delicate lace underwear — every single month since I was 13. Just completely massacred by my own menstrual blood.

And it's not exactly a salvageable situation either, kittens.

When you have a heavy flow, anything that falls victim to your cycle can no longer be saved. Heavy flows are like jealous lovers: they want to leave their mark.

5. We have an impending fear of the white couch.

I love white couches. My whole apartment is decorated in stunning shades of cream and white because I think it's gorgeous, and such a sophisticated color palette gives me a falsified sense of togetherness.

But I've come to accept I can never own a white couch again. There is nothing worse than leaving a blood stain on a white couch.

I did it once at an audition and was forced to accept that I will never be the cool girl with the stark-white couch in a gorgeous West Village loft.

There is nothing worse than leaving a blood stain on a white couch.

Instead, I will be the heavy-flowing woman with the dark gray couch in a gorgeous West Village loft, and I'm (finally) OK with that.

6. You have anxiety that everyone thinks you're a cokehead.

I know this one is NOT PC, but when I'm on my period, I go the bathroom to change my tampon so much that I'm sure everyone has their suspicions as to why I'm on another trip to the ladies' room.

I can feel the judgement of the people in the restaurant as I take my third trip to the bathroom before the main course.

"What's she doing in there? And she's bringing her bag in with her every single time. She's clearly, uh, 'powdering her nose,' honey."

7. Your period isn't JUST A PERIOD.

When you have a heavy flow, your period isn't just a period.

You're literally carrying the weight of the world in your underwear, your cramps are acutely intense, you spend all of your money on tampons and you ruin all of your beautiful clothes.

It's a very dramatic time.

8. You know drinking will inevitably lead to epic embarrassment and humiliation.

In fact, I forget I have a period at all when I'm boozed. The next thing I know, hours will have gone by, and I've woken up in a pool of my own blood. It's not pretty, it's not sweet and it's not delicate.

But who said we have to be any of those things, anyway? Screw the patriarchy. We bleed, and we will not stop drinking just because we're bleeding.

9. The summer and your period don't mix.

There is nothing more frightening than having a heavy flow and being forced into a bikini.

"Oh, that's what tampons are for!" girls with light periods shout in delight.

They have no idea that tampons don't make you safe from leakage when you have a heavy flow.

You have to back that tampon up with a giant, retro pad — not a panty liner, a PAD. And a pad and a bathing suit of any kind don't make for a chic beach situation.

10. We can't relate to girls who have light periods.

No, queen, no.

I've always been a big bleeder. Ever since I got my period for the first time a few days after my 11th birthday, it's been a loaded, super-plus situation. In middle school, I glorified the girls who claimed to have "light" periods.

I couldn't possibly relate to them, so I projected all of my adolescent fantasies onto them. I imagined them to be perfectly clean, emotionally balanced girls — the "perfect" girls who don't have messy purses or chipped nail polish.

But now, I'm proud to be a mega-bleeder. I'm proud my purse is messy, my nails are sometimes chipped and my flow is heavy, baby. With a heavy flow comes heavy emotions, girl.

And I'm down for that life.