Do you find the idea of free bleeding intriguing, but you're not sure where to begin? With these directions you can learn how to let your menstruation flow free in three easy seps.
Every menstruating person can learn free bleeding, it just requires a bit of practice. By cracking the skill of free bleeding, you develop a unique relationship with your body and are looking after not only your body, but also the environment and your purse.
What actually is free bleeding?
Just let it flow! For a lot of people that can seem strange and unusual at first, after all, society has taught us to treat our periods as discretely as possible, and as something to be ashamed of. But don't worry - free bleeding doesn't mean that you'll be walking around covered in blood once a month, or that you have to lock yourself behind closed doors.
How does free bleeding work?
There are many reasons to avoid period products that you have to insert into your body. Especially at the beginning of your period, your body is very sensitive and you might have cramps in your abdomen and it can require a bit of convincing to insert a foreign object like a tampon or a menstrual cup into the vagina. But what are the pros and cons of free bleeding? Here's an overview! If you are already completely convinced by free bleeding, scroll down for the instructions.
Advantages of free bleeding:
- Many menstruating people experience less or even no period cramps. This can be related to the fact that the cervix can open more easily to release menstruation than if there is a tampon or a menstrual cup blocking the vagina
- No unpleasant smells - the smells are actually usually created by the perfumed pads or tampons that are meant to prevent smells
- Avoid irritations that occur due to using tampons and pads: disruption of the vaginal flora, vaginal dryness, itching, infections and yeast infections
- The risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which can be related to the insertion of hygiene products, is reduced
- No irritations in your private parts = happy vagina and happy vulva = more fun with sex. Free bleeding is probably the most sustainable way to menstruate - you need little to no period products, and so save both money and waste
Disadvantages of free bleeding:
- Situations where you don't have regular access to a toilet can be a bit awkward
- In the daily stresses of the working world, you might not be able to pay enough attention to the goings on of your body
- If you're swimming, in the sauna or doing sports, it's probably quite difficult to catch the right moment
- You will probably need around 3 practice cycles to be able to better estimate when the next flow of blood is coming
Free bleeding does require a bit of practice, but everyone who menstruates can learn it! Here are the directions:
Free bleeding instructions:
1. Catching the right moment
If you dedicate a bit of attention to your body during menstruation, you can probably feel the exact moment your womb is full with a bit of practice: some compare the feeling to having a full blasser, others feel wetness and tenderness, or a pull and the feeling that the vagina has lost its shape. Or maybe you'll have the feeling of lots of blood trickling down the vagina - although mostly nothing is trickling yet, but the cervix is about to open itself.
Some people can also willingly close their cervix. Of course, this is very practical if there is no toilet nearby, but this ability is not a must if you want to learn free bleeding.
It's more important to listen to your body and relax: for extra protection in case of emergencies or on very active days where you are out and about a lot, you can wear a washable pair of period pants or a pad. How often you will need to go to the loo is very individual and depends on which day of your cycle you are on, and how heavy your flow is.
Between each thrust there can be anything from ten minutes to four hours. On the first and second day of your cycle, when the bleeding is still quite heavy, you should go to the loo every half an hour, though you will quickly learn how often it is necessary. From the third day on, peoples' flows tend to be weaker, meaning a trip to the loo once every one to three hours should be OK.
2. Passing blood - how does that work?
Once you are on the toilet, you should relax yourself and your pelvic floor. Some people find leaning their pelvis forward or back, gently rocking back and forth or massaging the lower abdomen can help. You can also lean forward slightly and press lightly to open the cervix - it feels a bit like trying to push out the last bit of wee, just in a different place and with less pressure. Because it's the cervix and not the bladder, pushing a bit will not do any damage.
If little to no blood comes out, then you can leave the loo. Passing blood can last anything from one to ten minutes. It might be a good idea to wear a washable pad or a menstrual panty in case of any additional bleeding - both are washable, reusable and sustainable.
Period Panty Selma in cervix can offer you additional support during free bleeding
3. Relax and garner your strength
Make sure to take some time for yourself after your free bleeding experience. Lie down in bed with a hot water bottle, cuddle your loved ones or do what makes you feel good. Maybe letting it flow free worked well the first time, or maybe you need a bit more practice or it was a one off for you. Either way - the main thing is you and your body feel good.
Free bleeding doesn't work - what can I do?
Does it seem that even though you followed all the instructions, free bleeding didn't work for you? Don't panic! We can't say often enough how important patience is for free bleeding. Take as much time as you need to get to know and trust your body, that's the most important thing. Give yourself a bit of extra security on your heavier days or during the night with a pair of period pants, so you don't need to worry about any accidents.
It's best to practice free bleeding at home when you first start out, so you can get a feeling for when the next flow of blood is coming. It's important to let everything out at night before you go to sleep. When the next flow is about to happen, your body will wake you up, so you don't wake up in a puddle of blood!