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7 Words That Mean Something Entirely Different When You Menstruate

We live in fear of leaks.

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1. Period

What it means: A full stop at the end of a sentence; A time-frame denoting the length of one lesson at school.What it means when you menstruate: A monthly ordeal, of unknown length and severity, usually involving a degree of bloodshed, pain, emotional turmoil, and really unpleasant poos.
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What it means: A full stop at the end of a sentence; A time-frame denoting the length of one lesson at school.

What it means when you menstruate: A monthly ordeal, of unknown length and severity, usually involving a degree of bloodshed, pain, emotional turmoil, and really unpleasant poos.

2. Cramp

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What it means: A muscle spasm, usually in your calf or foot, that often strikes at night or in the swimming pool.

What it means when you menstruate: The sensation that you have a small, evil creature inside your uterus, tearing it apart with their gnarly claws.

3. Poo

What it means: A piece of solid waste excreted from the body.What it means when you menstruate: Painful, uncontrollable torrents of waste excreted from the body at deeply inopportune moments during your period, like when you’ve just put a fresh tampon in, and now the string has poo on it. Or when you arrive at your boyfriend's parents' house and their toilet is just off the kitchen.
Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

What it means: A piece of solid waste excreted from the body.

What it means when you menstruate: Painful, uncontrollable torrents of waste excreted from the body at deeply inopportune moments during your period, like when you’ve just put a fresh tampon in, and now the string has poo on it. Or when you arrive at your boyfriend's parents' house and their toilet is just off the kitchen.

4. Pad

What it means: A notebook or block of paper for jotting down ideas. What it means when you menstruate: Something between a discreet absorbent layer of material and a fucking rolled up duvet which you stick inside your knickers in the hope that it will absorb the blood gushing from your vagina for 5 days.
Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

What it means: A notebook or block of paper for jotting down ideas.

What it means when you menstruate: Something between a discreet absorbent layer of material and a fucking rolled up duvet which you stick inside your knickers in the hope that it will absorb the blood gushing from your vagina for 5 days.

5. Cup

What it means: Vessel for drinking out of.What it means when you menstruate: Promising device which you pop inside your vagina to catch the blood, cutting down on waste, and ideal for the coming apocalypse when there are no shops selling tampons anymore. Only snag is sometimes they can be a little tricky to get out.
Becky Barnicoat / Getty Images / BuzzFeed

What it means: Vessel for drinking out of.

What it means when you menstruate: Promising device which you pop inside your vagina to catch the blood, cutting down on waste, and ideal for the coming apocalypse when there are no shops selling tampons anymore. Only snag is sometimes they can be a little tricky to get out.

6. Flow

What it means: Movement of a body of water, eg a river.What it means when you menstruate: Movement of blood – sometimes a river, sometimes a trickle, sometimes a trickle then very suddenly a river out of nowhere when you least expect it.
Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

What it means: Movement of a body of water, eg a river.

What it means when you menstruate: Movement of blood – sometimes a river, sometimes a trickle, sometimes a trickle then very suddenly a river out of nowhere when you least expect it.

7. Leak

What it means: A liquid escaping from a container.What it means when you menstruate: The ever-present threat of blood escaping from your vagina all over your trousers/skirt/bedding/mother-in-law’s white sofa/chair in a meeting.
Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

What it means: A liquid escaping from a container.

What it means when you menstruate: The ever-present threat of blood escaping from your vagina all over your trousers/skirt/bedding/mother-in-law’s white sofa/chair in a meeting.