Period Leaks [Oh No!]: Why They Happen & How to Stop It

Period Leaks [Oh No!]: Why They Happen & How to Stop It

The What and Why of Period Leakage

Period leakage.

You are not alone.

In fact, there are two types of women:

  • those who have had a leakage incident
  • those who will have a leakage incident.

Frankly, I consider it a rite of passage. If you haven’t endured the hazing that is period leakage, let me break it down.

The trickle of blood down your pant leg, ruining your clothes with a noticeable stain, drawing unwanted attention to your vagina, the feeling that everyone is staring at you, and no exit strategy – it doesn’t take much to turn a small leak into what feels like a full-blown crisis or a Mount Vesuvian event.

Whether leaks happen in public or private, they are NEVER convenient.

The Three P’s of Period Leakage

Period leakage is the accidental bleeding that happens when your panties, products, and planning don’t sync up. It's the embarrassing result of failed menstrual pads and products.

Sometimes, the position of your pad is crooked or the tampon is not the correct level of absorbance. Sometimes the sanitary napkin size or length is insufficient because you chose the winged overnight maxi pads and the right answer for that particular panty and product combination called for extra-long wingless. Whoops.

In any of these scenarios, leakages are an unwanted surprise. Ask any woman with a heavy flow about the odyssey she faces during high-tide of her period and leakage is probably near the top of her list.

What Causes Heavy Flow?

Heavy flow, sometimes referred to as menorrhagia, happens most frequently to teenagers and women in perimenopausal women. During both of these life phases, estrogen levels run high while progesterone levels run low.

Truthfully, no one knows what makes some flows heavier than others. And sometimes leaking has nothing to do with the strength of menstrual flow.

Some of the most common culprits of leaking include:

  • Sleeping position
  • Tampon malfunction
  • An incorrectly inserted menstrual cup
  • An already full pad
  • A pad that wiggles loose or relocates
  • A pad ill-prepared for your strength of flow
  • A happens, we've all felt it.

When it comes to leakage, you are not alone!

Not every woman suffers from bloat or food cravings during her period, but just about every woman has at least one embarrassing story about the time her period leaked. If it was a public leak, the story is probably even more memorable than a typical leak sprung while sleeping.

Google “periods” and you will immediately find embarrassing moments – horror stories – about women bleeding in public and the seemingly infinite ways that period spots have ruined favorite pants and skirts.

You will find a long list of embarrassed women mortified on their first day at a new job, or shamed when standing up from the table at an important date. Oh that? That’s period.

How have these brave women endured the embarrassing aftermath of leaks?

How have these brave women endured the embarrassing aftermath of leaks?

Some have taken to carrying oversized tote bags while on their period. Tote bags serve the dual function of transporting endless period products, wet wipes, and spare clothes and also creating a barrier of protection from the overly-critical eye.

Some women have stopped wearing white bottoms&ellipse;

Some have had no choice other than to stretch t-shirts over stained pants. Some have sought out toilet paper for rescue, using it to stuff, dab, or blot away the blood and/or clot torrential bleeding.

And if you were to ask what every woman's waking thought is during the height of her period, it probably sounds something like, Am I leaking?

Warning, period leakage may cause anxiety, humiliation, shame, self-doubt, low self-esteem and, yes, period leaks actually stop time.

Leaks Happen...and They’re Pricey

Period leaks cost money, and when they happen, you say “goodbye” to your saucy lingerie, your 800-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and your favorite skirt. If you’re frugal, you have a drawer full of period undies – cotton casualties from menstrual pads gone awry.

How Can I Cheat the Cost? Tips for Saving Stained Clothing

My go-to method for blood-stain removal is a little dab of white vinegar to the offended area. The sooner you can tackle the stain, the more likely you are able to resuscitate the accused item.

Wash any stained pants in cold water and don't transfer to the dryer until the stain has fully lifted.

You should already be washing your underpants by hand and letting them air-dry...since none of us actually do this, stained underwear is the right catalyst to start caring for your lingerie. If the stain still won't lift, seize this as an opportunity to start a drawer of the aforementioned period panties. Next time, you'll have a drawer of already-stained underwear you can slip on until you're ready to switch to more a more reliable menstrual product (ahem, Flex anyone?).

How to Control Period Leaks

Your leak prevention strategies may feel a bit like waging a war on menstruation or gravity. This is particularly true for women who have heavy periods.

  • Birth Control Pills – The Pill has been proven to slow bleeding and make lighter periods. Birth Control also improves the regularity of periods and help you predict when you will bleed next.
  • Period Tracker – There is an app for everything, but there is no app to erase the embarrassed feeling that follows unexpected bleeding – so try a period tracker app. Period trackers can be useful in measuring regularity and determining when you can expect your next flow. And if you do stain your pants...there is also an app for dry-cleaning!
  • Period underwear – We all have them. The cute pair of knickers you bought to feel sexy got stained with blood and now they're only good for playing back-up.
  • Sleep on your stomach – Sleep is prime time for pad sabotage. Sometimes sleeping in a position other than your back can reduce the likelihood of you blood staining yet another set of sheets.
  • Ditch your pads and tamponsTry a menstrual disc. Menstrual discs are less likely to leak and because they can be left inside for up to 12 hours with ComfortSeal™ technology, you can sleep peacefully.

Maybe you have a contingency plan. Maybe you brought baby wipes and extra pair of panties. There really isn’t a perfect solution for period leakage because menstrual cups and sanitary pads are made for zero gravity or women that aren’t planning to get up and move.

But what about menstrual discs? Because the menstrual discs fits past the vaginal canal, the disc stays put. It also holds five tampons worth of menstrual flow, the are practically leak free, even with heavy flow, allowing you to sleep well at night.

Don't believe us? Take our Flex trial and see for yourself.