We’ve all been there: You finally get the chance to escape your busy life for a restroom break to change your pad or tampon. All you have to do is grab your feminine product and get to the restroom.
A lot can happen in those 30-90 seconds, including the dreaded act of bumping into someone. It could turn into a long conversation when you really just want to make a beeline for the bathroom, or worse, it could be someone who acts awkward about you holding a pad or tampon. However, it’s perfectly normal for women to have periods and attend to them. Here are three constructive ways to handle “getting caught” with a tampon or pad.
Acknowledge With Body Language But Not Words
Scenario One: You bump into a friend in on your way to the bathroom, but literally bump into them. As you are picking yourself off the ground, you notice that your tampon flew out of your pocket due to the impact of the fall. It is about a foot away from you.
If you grab the tampon and quickly shove it in your pocket, you may be asked the question, “What did you pick up?” This could make the conversation even longer and/or more awkward. Pick up the tampon, almost hold it up to the person as to show them, and place it back in your pocket. Pick up the tampon as if you were picking up a pencil; it’s not awkward to pick up a pencil, is it? By acknowledging that you picked up a tampon, you can avoid any conversation without saying a word.
Scenario Two: You are holding your pad and your phone in one hand. Someone stops you to talk and you feel their eyes looking down at the pad in your hand.
If the person is not explicitly questioning your pad, chance are that he or she saw it, but has no reaction. Mentioning the pad may actually bring it to attention. Perhaps the person was looking at your phone. Honestly, it may be in your head. I know I will think someone is looking at me funny and when I question the person, the response is that he or she wasn’t actually looking at me funny.
Just remember: The more you make periods seem like no big deal, the more other people will too. So instead of stuffing your tampon in your shoe to avoid people seeing with it, don’t fear standing your ground.
Laugh It Off
Scenario Three: A cute guy walks past you on the way to the restroom. “What’s in your hand?” he questions.
This situation is only awkward if you make it awkward. You could just hold up your pad or tampon and laugh. You could also tell a random fact about menstruation. There are 68 on this website. Approximately 70% of woman of menstruating age use tampons is a good way to respond to being caught with a tampon. The human female egg is the largest cell in the human body and the only human cell that can be seen with the naked eye is a great response to say if he is in your science class. By making light of the situation, you are indirectly saying you have a pad or tampon in your hand and making the situation a little less awkward.
While it can be awkward to get caught with a feminine product, remember that it’s healthy to have your period, and it is not the end of the world to “get caught” with your pad or tampon. If someone sees you, remember to take a deep breath and handle the situation with poise and strength. You’ve got this, girl! Fight the stigma!
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