International Women’s Day is something I’ve wanted the opportunity to write about for some time but never had the chance. Today I want to talk about some of the issues I’ve had myself, and managed to over come. So in collaboration with SCA and their Hygiene Matters campaign, #BeBoldForChange, I want to chat about fitness and feminine hygiene issues. 

I have hated those situations where I am due to go swim training or into the gym and have suddenly come on my period. Initially I’d avoid going full stop, I’d just feel awkward, uncomfortable and almost dirty. Why should I still be able to do this? What if I had an accident? Is it a bit disgusting and unhygienic if I do? Each month the same mental battle. It is crazy when I think back to how I use to feel about it all. Now I just prepare better, because if you can imagine taking a full week out of training coming up to a race… I’d be in a bit of a mess! 

As I say this post is in collaboration with SCA, a leading global hygiene company and manufacturer of UK brands such as TENA, Bodyform, Plenty, Velvet, Cushelle. SCA have kindly put together some interesting infographics below, these are the current statistics about us women feel about menstruating. 

Have a look at the stats below. What do you think? Do you agree?

In this day and age, are these statistics alarming to you? I personally was rather shocked. I think that comes from me having the attitude of, I can’t do anything about it, as it’s part of being female, but I have met people in the past who wouldn’t go to the gym if they were on their period. 

When looking at those statistics I must admit one thing I used to find difficult. I would bizarrely feel slightly embarrassed about going in to a shop to purchase sanitary towels or tampons. Particularly if I was going in just for them and buying nothing else. I’d be thinking to myself that the person behind the counter would clearly know I was on my period and again, bizarrely that made me feel dirty. As I say now it doesn’t bother me, and I’ve come to terms that I still have a good lot of years to deal with it! But I’d completely forgotten about it until writing this post that I would feel so terrible about it. 

Be Bold For Change is important to me as a female, because I firmly believe life shouldn’t have to stop because it’s that time of the month. We shouldn’t feel embarrassed because it is part of who we are and it is an element of life! I have been there, sat in a meeting on the worst period of my life obsessing I was going to have an accident. I’d done my hair and make up as always but I couldn’t help but feel unclean and uncomfortable. I get it, it is horrible but you’re not alone, and women globally experience it every single day. Why should we hit the life pause button because of it? Why shouldn’t you go for that run, that swim or that fitness class? Does it need to dictate you?

With regards to hygiene and fitness, we need to be on top of our body cleaning regardless of female body functions. When I hit that time of the month I’ve actually tried a few things to help me feel more safe and comfortable when training. I firstly always change before and after exercising, even though realistically I don’t need to, I like to because it makes me feel clean. I wear comfortable pads like the breathable ones from Bodyform, (you forget they are even there) and I invest in good tampons and great body cleaning products too. My biggest hatred of my period is feeling dirty, that teamed with feeling sweaty from an exercise class is a horrible combination, but I refuse to let it ever stop me – why should it? This is part of our bodies, part of life and part of being a woman.

Do you find you avoid exercising or swimming because of this? If you’re part of those stats above just remember there is nothing to be embarrassed about. We’re all the same and we all have the same hang ups about it too, but Be Bold For Change this month and do that fitness class you avoid, or go to that social gathering you’d put off.

Remember the Bodyform Red.Fit campaign? Watch the video below, as this brand attempt to tackle those sigmas and taboos of having your period during fitness.

*Post in collaboration with SCA