When the initial panic of coping with the first cycle is over, we gradually grow used to our periods and its side effects, so much so that their absence alarms us. However, we all have got our fair share of awkward moments, when it comes to ‘that time of the month’. Here are some very relatable anecdotes of periods gone wrong from fellow sufferers –

Mallika Aggarwal, a 19-year-old college student from Delhi reveals how heavy flow caught her off-guard in school once, “On an unfortunate day in 10th grade, I was on the second day of my period and halfway through my math class I knew something was wrong in that regard. At that point, I pacified myself and said I’m wearing layers, nothing will happen. I have cycling shorts on so I should be fine”.

She continues, “As soon as the class I ended and I got up to say thank you I knew it was a bloodbath. My best friend noticed and ran behind me and then we slowly crawled our way to the bathroom. Everything was soaked through and I had to wait for the next class to start and the corridors to get quiet so I could move to the nurse’s office. There I had to go through the whole washing and drying process for an hour before I could pacify my mortifications and embarrassment. Eventually, the stain got to a level where I could leave, by then I was too exhausted to go back to the class that day, so I just skipped and sat at the canteen with friends”.

Preyksha Kapur, 19-year-old college-going shares how she had to make a makeshift pad out of toilet roll. About a year or two ago, she was at a movie theatre with her cousin and had made plans for the whole day. Unfortunately, she got her menses unexpectedly. Neither she nor did her sister have any sanitary products on them. After asking a bunch of ladies who all denied carrying any, they tried to locate a pharmacy.

After failing to do so, they went back to the theatre washroom and tried to find something to make a makeshift pad. Ultimately, they rolled out a bunch of toilet paper and folded it creating a pad. They cancelled all their further plans and rushed back home in a cab. “After that day, I have made it a practice to carry a pad with me no matter what the date was.”A lesson we all might have learned through personal experience.

Also Read: It Is High Time We Involve Men in Conversations About Periods

Ananya Sharma shares her ‘period horror’ as she likes to call it. This happened just a year after she began to menstruate. After the first few periods, just when her cycle started getting regular, she was almost two weeks late. “It frightened me out so much because I knew pregnancy was one major reason to be late. I think I probably had a mild panic attack”, she said.

Ananya started searching online for every reason for her periods being late. After about two hours of diligent research, she breathed a sigh of relief. “I found out that your period can be irregular up to 16 years of age. So all those young girls out there, it’s fine if you’re a week or two late or if you skip one cycle,” she advises young readers.

Another disaster story is shared by Rhea Marwah, an 18-year-old student who lives in Delhi, who had to leave a guy in a restaurant on their date. This happened sometime in the second week of December. She was on a date with a guy about her age. It was their first date and was going well, the guy seemed chivalrous and courteous. The food and ambiance were great.

“I suddenly got this weird feeling. It’s unexplainable but sort of like when you hope it’s not your period starting but somewhere you know it’s menstruation ruining your life”, she said explaining about the moment she realised she might have got her period. She rushed to the washroom excusing herself and her doubts were correct. “I called my best friend. Because we live in opposite parts of the city, she couldn’t come. So she told me she’ll call me back and fake an emergency.” The friend called 10 minutes later and in a haste, Rhea paid half the expected bill and just fled from the restaurant. She sat in her car and rushed back home.

Also Read: How My Irregular Periods Have Made This Lockdown Worse

Girls have experienced period horrors everywhere; from malls to schools. I had the misfortune of facing this problem in the metro while going back home from college. It was the first day of my cycle and I was in severe pain. I did go to college though. After dealing with severe cramps the whole day, I boarded the metro. Suddenly I felt sharp pain in my lower abdomen as if someone was pushing spears into me. While I was going through some messages, my vision got blurry. I tried to concentrate on a word to make my head stop spinning. Suddenly everything went black and I fainted.

When I woke up, I was on the floor of the metro compartment surrounded by ladies. Some women helped me up while another one held onto my things. They got me water and made me sit. A middle-aged lady was helping me out throughout. She asked if I wanted food and then gave me a talk about not taking so much stress. The lady made sure I called up my mother and got off on the right platform.

Needless to say, periods are mortifying at times. And stories like these don’t make our monthly torment any easier to deal with. But, just know you ‘re not the only one with the struggles.

These stories also highlight the need for free sanitary products in public places. Too many girls have horror stories to share about having no access to sanitary products in public spaces, when the need arose unannounced, for it to be ignored.

Despite everything, I’ve never come across a woman who wasn’t willing to help me out whether I needed a sanitary product or check for pant stains. Despite being complete strangers to each other, women often have each other’s backs and try to make period-life a little easier for others.

Bhavya Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the authors’ own.

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