Let’s talk periods #LanguageofPeriods #ad

Wear White Again logoOn Tuesday the 8th it was that time of the month at BritMums — the time to talk about the #LanguageofPeriods. The #LanguageofPeriods Twitter chat was all about empowering women (and men!) to talk about periods, in particular heavy periods which affect 1 in 5 women. It was sponsored by Wear White Again. Wear White Again is helping drive the conversation to make it easier for us to talk about heavy periods, enable women to recognise when they have heavy periods and empower them to describe their symptoms to their GP to get the help they need.

The chat was fun and informative and we discovered some rather amusing terms and phrases from all around the country on what people call their periods, plus we found that that the men in our lives are a (mostly) supportive bunch and there is help out there if we ask for it.

Words and phrases we use to describe periods

Love them or hate them, we all have phrases we use to skirt around the issue that we are having our period. We have our favourites…and ones we hate…:

I always say ‘I’m broken’ at that time of the month. As I get older it feels an ever increasingly suitable term! @angep1969

I say that ‘I’m On’. I hate it when people say ‘on the rag’ @ThisMummyRocks

I always say ‘time of the month’, I think that’s the term I’m most comfortable using @NikiCat37

When talking to a doctor I usually just say ‘Periods’ but with friends and family it’s ‘The Witch’ or ‘AF’ @sjrlws17

‘Time of the month’ or just ‘on my period’. My partner often says ‘Have you got the painters in?’ @katslo4


‘Aunt Flo’ hasn’t visited here for ages…I’m getting old ! hahaha @Tattooed_Mummy

‘The blob’, ‘shark week’, ‘the painters’, ‘on the rag’… I just feel like most alternatives are pretty degrading and simply to avoid the use of the terms ‘period’ or ‘menstruation’. @Mojoblogs


‘Crimson tide’ just blurghhhh @emmaand3

Now we say ‘got the painters in’ Haha! @missielizzieb

What about cringe-worthy words for your period? ‘My cup of joy is overflowing’ — does anyone say that, really? ewww @Michelletwinmum

A few months ago when I was on a train to London I heard a lady refer to her period as a ‘splosh’. I laughed at the time but I had never heard it before and I haven’t heard it since. Must be a southern term @CharleyBoy1985

I think this is largely down to the individual women but I hated Mum saying I was ‘ill’ or that I had ‘the curse’ @Kateonthinice

Things that make people go eww

I think in the early years there is a lot of embarrassment, but that has a lot to do with how other people react to periods. It’s like a learned awkwardness. The older you get, the more you see – it’s just a period @Mojoblogs

I wish men were more understanding. One ex boyf made me walk down to two flights to put the used towel in the bin in the communal toilets of his uni halls rather than have it in his waste basket (it was all wrapped up ofc) @Sam_Macaree


What men think


Just a thought, as a dad of daughters, I’d hate to think my kids wouldn’t come to me or my wife if they were having issues with heavy periods. Should be no stigma @DadBlogUK

I just wish I knew how to help, or ease the pain! I always prepare a hot water bottle for my Mrs when she is on her period, as it helps her feel more comfortable. Any other tips on how to ease the pain? @Dad2two_

It is very important to talk, especially to us men about things like this as we never really understand what the lady is going through. You should never feel embarrassed especially around your partner as talking will help us understand more @Dad2two_

Men and boys can play a big part in this as well as women. Remember being so proud of my Dad when he kindly pointed out stain on a colleague’s skirt and then came  home to ask me if he had done the right thing @Kateonthinice

Mine OH was always involved. From knowing when my period was due to buying me tampons until I moved to the mooncup. It was never an issue but that was down to me talking openly @BlueBearWood

Are you confident / happy to talk about periods?

I have no problems talking to my partner or friends about periods @katslo4

It’s weird – I’m fine talking about it to my husband, but feel shy talking to anyone else about it. @Autumns_Mummy

Partner and best friends- very comfortable! Everyone else not so much 😳 @LianneElle

I did end up talking to a few friends when mine got so bad and I found it was much more common than I thought @Michelletwinmum

I am 1000% fine to discuss them with my husband and my closest friends – maybe not my wider circle of friends though (and I do realise here I am discussing on the internet – haha) @NEFamilyFun

Think it is very important to highlight topics such as periods that many people are embarrassed to talk about. We need to normalise it and break the taboo that surrounds it @rootsandwings1

I’ve converted to a menstrual cup and it’s a game changer but also has me talking to my female friends about it. I’ve become a lot more comfortable chatting about it to advocate them. I had far too many hang-ups when younger! @frags_jones

I’d like to know, does ANYONE swan through their periods in a carefree manner without much trouble e.g. pain, heavy bleeding, irregularity? @CatherineChisna

Help for those that suffer with heavy periods

I struggled really badly from age 11, was taking various medications from 14 and having days off school due to the pain 🙁 the pill was a temporary fix, but the Mirena coil was a permanent fix at 26! @LisaBuckley15

I suffer from endometriosis so for many years had very heavy periods all the time so could never wear white until I had a Mirena coil fitted then never had a period again for 20 years.The only time the painters were in was to decorate the house @lizd31

By realising periods are different for all women & can change at any time I found that the contraceptive mini pill has helped with my periods, although i can sometimes have a ‘bad monthly’ @NikiCat37

I found it really helpful when I started using a moon cup and you could actually measure the flow. It made me realise that it was not normal and I had to do something about it @chelseamamma


And last but not least

It is NEVER acceptable to ask a women if she is on her period if she is moody or angry……..it seems we were all in agreement on that point!

The#LanguageofPeriods chat was sponsored by Wear White Again which is helping drive the conversation to make it easier for us to talk about heavy periods, enable women to recognise when they have heavy periods and empower them to describe their symptoms to their GP to get the help they need. Visit their site to get more information and advice about heavy periods at all times of life.

Michelle Twin Mum bloggerLearn more about heavy periods and how one woman dealt with the issue in this honest blog post by Michelle.

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1 Comment

  1. 14 May 2018 / 16:14

    Just talk to your friends about it! I’m pretty open about menstrual cups for sure, because I want to spread the word about how amazing they are. I didn’t hear about them until my early 30’s and I have some regret about all that wasted money on tampons.