28 expressions to describe periods (& ones we hate the most)

women smiling talking about periods - BritMumsEarlier this year, we learned some of the words and phrases that you use to describe periods in our #LanguageofPeriods Twitter party in May. Following this, Wear White Again has launched the Talking Heavy Periods guide, which aims to help men and women become more knowledgeable about periods and — crucially — feel more comfortable talking about problems with partners, friends and health professionals. 

The guide shares some of the words and phrases we feel most comfortable using to describe periods and the ones we don’t. Some of the #LanguageofPeriods tweets from our brilliant bloggers are included! There are more than 250 expressions for periods (!). Here are some of the most popular ones…and the ones we dislike the most.

Here, the top 28 expressions to describe periods:

1. Aunt Flo

2. Tomato soup

3. Devil’s waterfall

4. Dracula’s lunch

5. Cardinal has his hat on

6. Jam sandwich

7. Red badge of courage

8. Checking into the red roof inn

9. Red wedding

10. Arsenal / Liverpool playing at home

11. Cup of joy is overflowing

12. Mickey Mouse is in his clubhouse

13. Painting the town red

14. Time for the rabbit

15. WI Week

16. Tearing down the wall paper

17. Star Week

18. Scoobies

19. Shark Week

20. Rollover Week

21. Painters are in

22. On your redder

23. Old friend

24. Mouse time

25. Moon cycle

26. In dry dock

27. Having your Nellie

28. Granny pants Week


…and 12 of the terms we hate the most

All these terms aren’t created equal. Here are the 12 ones that Wear White Again research shows we dislike the most:

  1. On the rag
  2. On the blob
  3. Shark week
  4. Lady time
  5. Aunt Flo
  6. Monthly friend
  7. Having the painters in
  8. Girl flu
  9. Red Wedding
  10. Paging Edward Cullen
  11. Crimson tide
  12. Code red

Surprising attitudes about periods

young couple lounging on sofa smiling - BritMumsWear White Again also did some research that yielded surprising results.

Did you know that a 31% of UK adults find the subject of periods uncomfortable. And incredibly 1/5th of women and more than a 1/3 of men don’t know where period blood comes from. 

“It’s staggering to see how many terms we have invented for periods and yet some people still don’t feel comfortable talking to the people closest to them,” says Dr. Dawn Harper, GP and media medic. “We sometimes use colloquial language, however, this can make it difficult for women to discuss intimate details about their periods, such as pain and flow. It’s important to know and understand what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to periods and discussing them with others can help.”

The problems with heavy periods

From being worried about bleeding through clothes, to significant pain and changing tampons every hour, heavy periods are an important and unaddressed health issue that can massively impact people’s lives. It is important that both men and women understand what’s normal. The survey results showed that whilst more than one in five women currently suffer from heavy periods, one in 10 women didn’t know any of the causes. In addition, 33% of men believe the average woman’s period lasts three days or less, and 10% of men didn’t know how often the average woman has a period.

Get help talking about periods, including heavy or problem periods

The Talking Heavy Periods guide helps all of us — as women, as men, and as parents. Go to the guide now to learn more information about heavy periods and available treatment options bit.ly/2IiQmEo.

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