03 February, 2015

TMI time: Pole and Periods.

Every female pole dancer knows how uncomfortable a pole class can be at that time of the month. Our shorts get bigger, several pairs of underwear may be worn and we spend the entire class checking that blood isn't dripping down our legs (ew), or that our string or pad isn't showing. We may even warn the class so that if an accident does occur, it's not like we didn't warn them!

Teaching is a particular challenge as I have to be in my tiny shorts for hours at a time. I can't really relax as I feel like I have to be constantly vigilant. But I think I have finally found the solution, or two solutions combined, really.

The Menstrual Cup.

These are becoming more and more well know. They work in a similar way to a tampon but instead of soaking up the blood (and all the healthy vagina cleaning/p.h balancing fluids), a menstrual cup sits inside the vagina collecting blood, which you simply tip down the toilet. They hold quite a large capacity and most days I only empty my cup once, in the shower in the morning. And I have heavy periods. I've heard that they can last for up to 20 years, probably not likely but I have had mine a good 5 years now, and at a maximum of £20 each - you will save a ridiculous amount of money over that time frame.

There are soooo many different brands now. I personally found that mooncup, sold by high street store Boots, wasn't for me and have since used the brand Meluna. (I buy mine from femininewear.co.uk. It's also where I buy cloth pads - they have ridiculously good customer service). There are also whole blogs dedicated to reviewing the different cups, so do some research first. I also like that they're fairly small and so you can keep them in your bag at all times in case it's needed. They're also a little less obvious than pads or tampons.

The only issue I have personally found is that occasionally mine leaks. No matter what I do it just seems to happen once in a while. Usually I use a cloth pad as back up (disposable pads give me UTI's and thrush or both) but they can be quite bulky and so are not great under tiny pole shorts....which leads on to my next newly found product.... 

Diary Doll Underwear.

I stumbled across these when I clicked on a link discussing how menstruation affects athletes physical performance. They look and feel just like regular underwear but the magic secret is that THEY'RE WATERPROOF! Now, all I could think was ADULT NAPPY, but they're incredibly comfortable and genuinely do look like normal underwear. The more I read the more I was convinced that these are the answer. They were designed by tennis player Annabel Croft and Carol Smilie, of all people.

So I ordered TWO pairs. Yes, that was brave, but I had a lot of faith. They arrived last week, at the perfect timing to be tested, and they did not disappoint.

They're not my smallest pair of underwear. They wouldn't fit under my smallest pair of pole shorts, but then at least one of my pairs of pole shorts - I don't even have a thong that fits under them! I tested them out under my third smallest pair of shorts (pictured below) and there was complete coverage. My second smallest pair of shorts are in the wash currently so I will have to test those at a later date.

They sit high on the leg so will work nicely with short shorts, but have a fairly wide inseam - I swear there is literally no chance of these leaking.. They also don't sit particularly high on the waist either so won't likely poke out the top of most shorts. The material is soft, the waterproof layer can be felt but it's so thin, it doesn't crackle and it's breathable. I could walk around in just these and no one would have a clue. They genuinely do look and feel like normal underwear. Also I got them in black, and so stains are not an issue either!

I tested them out over 4 hours of classes last Monday and I have never felt so comfortable and secure on my period ever. Let alone whilst in class. I'm highly considering buying a few more pairs so I need never go without.

You can buy diary doll pants from the website, they also link to other stockists. I bought mine from John Lewis.

I feel like together my menstrual cup and my diary doll pants are an unstoppable force. Never will I worry about being on my period in pole class, or anywhere else for that matter, again!