top of page

A period is the part of the menstrual cycle when someone with a vagina bleeds for a few days.

Periods usually begin at around the age of 12, although some will start them earlier or later. Changes in your body's hormone levels before your period can cause physical and emotional changes - this is called PMS


A period happens because the body is getting rid of tissue it doesn’t need. This tissue comes from the uterus (womb). The lining of the womb gets thicker every month to prepare in case you get pregnant. The same hormones that cause the uterus lining to build up also cause an egg to leave one of the ovaries. The egg travels through a thin tube called a fallopian tube to the womb. If the egg is fertilised by a sperm cell, it attaches to the wall of the womb, where over time it develops into a baby. If the egg is not fertilised, the uterus lining breaks down and bleeds, causing a period.


Sanitary Pads

Sanitary pads are very easy to use. These are strips of padding which have a sticky side that you can attach to your underwear to keep them in place.

There are lots of different sizes of sanitary towels, so you can change them depending on how heavy or light your period is and some have “wings” that attach around your underwear to help keep them in place.


These are specially made small tubes of cotton wool which have a string at one end. You put these into your vagina and they soak up the blood before it comes out of your body. The string is to pull it out when you need to change it.


Some tampons have applicators which you might find easier to insert into your vagina.


When you buy tampons, read the instruction leaflet which explains how to use them correctly. When a tampon is in the right position you shouldn't be able to feel it, so if it hurts, it’s best to remove it and try to insert a new one.


A tampon can never get stuck or lost inside you and the muscles of your vagina hold it in place. It will expand inside you as it fills with blood so it will look bigger when you take it out. 


Always change tampons regularly, every 3 – 6 hours and 8 hours is the maximum time to leave a tampon in. Try to alternate tampons with using sanitary pads and use a tampon that matches the blood flow you have, like not using a super absorbency tampon when you have a light period day.

Menstrual Cups

These are small rubber or silicone cups which can be put inside the vagina to catch the blood. The muscles of the vagina keep them in place so they don't fall out. They're then emptied, washed and used again.

Period Pants

These are pants that have an absorbent pad, so you can wear them during your period and they’ll soak up all the blood. They are a little higher maintenance than other periods because you’ll need to wash them before you can use them again.


These are smaller and thinner versions of sanitary towels or pads and are used on days when your period is very light. You can also use these if you have a lot of discharge in between your periods to be a bit more hygienic.


Periods, though they might make you a bit uncomfortable, shouldn’t affect you physically & mentally to the point where you can’t continue your usual routine. 


If your period is affecting you a lot mentally it may point to other related conditions like PMDD


If your periods are extremely heavy or painful it could point towards; adenomyosis, endometriosis or fibroids 


If your periods are/have recently become irregular it could point towards; PCOS or an Ovarian Cyst



Morrisons stores UK-wide are offering free sanitary products. Go to the customer service kiosk and ask for “a package sandy has left for you”. You’ll be given a free package of products - no questions asked


In 2020, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free for all. The "PickupMyPeriod" app will tell you where to access these products


Lidl Ireland provide free period products to anyone who needs them. To receive the free products; download the Lidl App "Lidl Plus" and you'll receive a free coupon monthly to redeem a box of tampons/pads

bottom of page