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Dealing with Menstruation as a Transman

As a transmasc leaning person, periods have never been pleasant. There is little to no way for me to avoid them, I’ve tried. To put some background on this I struggled with dysmenorrhea. A condition that means I get really heavy, cramping, nauseating periods especially in my early teens. A lot of the time when my period came I would spend time in the nurse's office at school in pain which for anyone isn’t helpful. I do believe if I had found and used menstrual cups earlier, it could’ve helped.

Regardless of my journey, I have ended up with an IUD and finally cyclic periods in which I am thankful for some sort of predictability when coming to my period, as previously there was no cycle nor pattern. Just heavy, long and irregular periods.

With being transgender there definitely comes a sort of dysphoria that comes with periods, especially now when its no longer just let me survive through this period please. It is one of the largest reminders that I have a vagina and it is rather uncomfortable to think about it. As avoidantly I tend to box it up and let future me deal with it - that never works and is why I am going to therapy. So to reduce the reminder I started using a menstrual cup.

Before I go on some tangent on why you should use one too, I wanted to explain why I switched from pads and tampons to this new method.

Pads were an obvious reminder and I could constantly feel them when walking around, which wound up with me feeling entirely uncomfortable. Often I would also have my period leak through without the entire pad being used. That being awfully embarrassing regardless of your gender.

Tampons are something I had to immediately use due to my dysmenorrhea. However due to the inconsistency of my period I would have to change them frequently or use the wrong type, thus becoming painful to take out.

Both Tampons and Pads were becoming uncomfortable for me to use and rather wasteful. Being wasteful was the main thing that led me to explore alternative options, like reusable pads, or the menstrual cup. The final leap to actually buy a menstrual cup was due to it’s convenience and discrete nature.

Menstrual cups tend to be fairly small, and easy to use. If you are like me, I tend to use the disabled toilets when in public. Due to them being gender neutral. Although when using the menstrual cup I only have to empty it in the morning and in the evening. When I wake up and prior to bed. Meaning I am at home with the privacy and comfort of my own bathroom.

People may wonder why I didn’t go with reusable pads or menstrual underwear and honestly it is seeing my period or feeling it (yes that feeling, it’s ikky, don’t deny it) would’ve been a constant reminder of my vagina which wasn’t what I wanted. There is also the extra hassle of washing them in the washing machine. Well when traveling that isn’t the most accessible thing.

When using a menstrual cup I barely notice it there and can happily forget about my period; if cramps aren’t a prominent issue. Which in turn helps me minimise my dysphoria. Somewhat a compartmentalising tactic, out of sight out of mind. Do not recommend this as it has caused a lot of stress on my body. It is okay for it to suck and to feel angry or sad about it. I have spent a lot of time trying to avoid my period with medication so I didn’t have to deal with it. Especially when I was going to school because dealing with it in public just felt horrible.

Overall if I were to recommend a menstrual product it would be the menstrual cup. Regardless of gender it reduces waste, and hassle. It is incognito, i.e. not bulky or obvious. Not saying you should be ashamed of your period, just I appreciate wanting to be discreet and comfortable.

Still periods do suck, no matter your identity. Especially the cramps. I will definitely go into detail about my experience with those in the past, however that is reserved for a future post. I will say I currently experience limited cramping comparatively to previous experience. I am able to take some pain meds and get on with my day. How it should be with most AFAB people. If you can’t take some paracetamol and ibuprofen for the cramping to go away, I do recommend going to your local GP if you can!

In the future I plan to go into detail in how that isn’t always the case and how that impacted my gender dysphoria. So stay tuned on my Instagram page (I haven’t yet worked out how the subscription works on here yet), also let me know how you deal with your period? Regardless if you are trans or not, I am curious to know. Comment below, DM me on Insta or Send me an email!

If you want a link to get your own menstrual cup here is one: (It is black and comes in various sizes! Also local to the UK and this is not sponsored)

Disclaimer: If it is not already blatantly obvious, I am speaking from my own experiences and will never represent the experience of all transmasc people who menstruate.

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