What about blood?

Let's talk about period blood...isn't it gross?  

No!  Period blood is just blood and tissue that your body doesn't need that month.  Your uterus lining thickens before you ovulate and if you don't fall pregnant that month, your body doesn't need it any more and sheds it just like hair and skin cells. Period blood is sterile until it leaves your body and comes into contact with oxygen at which stage it starts to break down.  There might be a little bit of a metallic smell from the blood (just like if you cut your finger) but no 'bad' smell.

How much blood do I lose in my period? I don't know what's 'normal'?

According to the NHS for the UK, website, an average period is just 30 to 72 ml of blood over the course of 5 days. Which is actually only 5 to 12 teaspoons, so even though it may feel like you are bleeding out, you probably aren't.  Most people who fall into this range can simply wear our period pants by themselves, possibly with a cloth sanitary pad on their heaviest day just to avoid having to change knickers at lunchtime in a cubicle.  We recommend the cotton cloth sanitary pads for this as they are thin and discreet, whilst still being very absorbent.

'Heavy' periods are defined as losing more than 80ml of blood, or having periods that last longer than 7 days, or if you bleed through standard period protection or feel the need to wear more than one type of period protection at a time.  If you fall into this category, its worth getting checked out by your Doctor for underlying causes.  In terms of our period products we would suggest wearing period pants as a backup, along with our bamboo minky cloth sanitary pads as they are our most absorbent pads.

Do cloth sanitary pads or period pants smell due to period blood?

Period blood doesn't really smell, aside from that faint metallic smell.  However it does begin to break down as soon as it leaves your body and comes into contact with oxygen.  To keep feeling fresh, we generally recommend changing your period protection at breakfast, lunch and dinner most days, although on your lighter days you might get away with less.  To be clear, this isn't because the pads or pants aren't absorbent enough, it's just to keep you feeling fresh.

What about washing?  Won't period blood contaminate everything else in the washing machine?

No!  There's only a small amount of blood on your cloth sanitary pads or period pants.  For best results, we recommend cold soaking before washing which means that a lot of the blood is actually removed before they go into your washing machine.  But even if you put your soiled items straight into the washing machine, there is NO risk of 'contaminating' anything else in the wash cycle, so you can just wash on a cool or cold wash with your normal washing.