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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at C of C chapter.

Never in my life did I think I would be writing about my experience free bleeding, but here I am. I always read other articles about women free bleeding daily while doing yoga or running marathons and thought “yikes, I could never do that”. However, when the evacuation for hurricane Flo came, so did my “Aunt Flow”.

With my birth control, I literally never get my period so to say I was unprepared is an understatement. When my period came very unannounced I thought to myself “of course this would happen now”. So I geared up to drive to nearby gas stations and CVS pharmacies to see if I could find literally anything. To my dismay, the world around me was closed and boarded up for the incoming storm. I pitched a fit and drove home to try to summon up ideas of how to get by. I grabbed my black underwear and attempted to create a makeshift pad with toilet paper and paper towels only for it to fall apart every time. I knew there was only one option: just let the flow, flow. So with that, I headed to bed to wallow in self-pity because what else was there to do? 

The upside to the entire situation is that this was by far the most comfortable period of my life. I did not have to deal with the irritation of wearing a pad or worry about whether anyone could see it through my shorts. I did not have to muster up the strength to use a tampon (tampons cause me a great deal of pain, personally). It was nice to be able to pretend like my period wasn’t actually happening even though it very much so was. Another upside to my circumstances was that my period cost me literally nothing because I did not have to purchase pads/tampons (nor did I have the option to). By wearing black underwear as well as black pants, I escaped the chance of ruining my clothes and having to buy more. I did have to wash clothes a little bit more frequently than I normally would have as I only have so many pairs of black underwear. However, I was able to toss them into the wash whenever my family members were washing their clothes. 

While there were some upsides to free bleeding, there were also a couple downsides. It was very uncomfy having to walk around as I basically peed my pants all day. The wetness was not awesome, not even going to lie. Fortunately, I am not a heavy bleeder so I never bled through my underwear; I definitely would not choose to do this if I was a heavy bleeder. I also had a constant creeping fear that I was going to bleed onto every surface I sat on – thank God I did not. Walking was also a tricky action because I kept having flashbacks to movies where blood would run down the woman’s leg. I used this as an excuse to do literally nothing but lay in bed. I recommend you do the same in this situation.

All in all, free bleeding was not as treacherous as I had expected it to be. Yes, it was weird and uncomfortable. Yes, it was nice to not have to think about pads or tampons. It was not as gross as it sounds, believe it or not. If I were to do this again, I would probably try out those special underwear designed for free bleeding instead of regular underwear. I actually do think that I would choose to free bleed on days when I had especially light flows as it is much more comfortable than wearing pads or tampons. I am very fortunate to live in a place where I usually have access to feminine hygiene products as I do not think I could free bleed for every period I have for the rest of my life.

Hello, my name is Jennie and I am a senior at CofC. I am majoring in English with a concentration in Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication as well as minoring in Women & Gender Studies. I love to spend my time playing with dogs or gardening.