It’s the day before prom.
You’ve been waiting all year for this. You’ve picked out the perfect outfit. You know exactly how you’re going to do your hair and pose with your friends. You feel amazing and confident and you’re so excited to have a great time dancing the end of high school away with your friends and then… your period arrives. You’ve got to be kidding.
Whether you have your period on prom night or it starts a day or so before, it’s never a welcome date for the dance. Unfortunately, in life, crossovers between menstrual cycles and special events are unavoidable, and you may have to deal with this again. Don’t let your periods worry you, or prevent you from having a good time – no matter your concern, from bleeding and leaking to bloating, there are plenty of things that you can do to make sure that even though your flow is here, it’s not getting in your way.
How to avoid leaking
Double up on protection. If you choose to wear a tampon, slap on a pad or panty liner too, or invest in some high-quality period underwear for even more backup, like our Super Leakproof Bikini. It might feel bulky or excessive, but trust us– you’ll be grateful you had the extra coverage and peace of mind later, even if nothing really goes awry. This will also help if your dress or outfit is poufy and bulky and you’re unable to go to the bathroom to change your pad or tampon frequently– you’ll rest (and dance) easy knowing you have a bit of extra protection.
If you have a heavy flow, it might help you feel better by wearing a dark-coloured dress for prom – but if it’s too late now (wear the white dress too - it's okay!), just keep some extra period products with you in your purse and check on your situation in the bathroom when you can. Tell a friend or two you’re on your period, and ask them to check if you’re leaking– sometimes, you won’t even notice until later, so it helps to have a second (or third) pair of eyes.
If you only have a pad or panty liner and would like to wear a tampon too but aren’t sure how to, check out our post on using a tampon for the first time.
How to avoid bloating
If you know you’re getting your period a few days before prom, make sure to stay hydrated in the days leading up to it. Consider avoiding coffee during that time, too– it might irritate your stomach and lead to some less-than-ideal bowel movements that might show up during inopportune moments. Tummy issues aside, though, coffee dehydrates you, and dehydration can lead to headaches, so instead, make sure to drink loads of water and stock up on ginger and chamomile tea that help lessen bloating and heal any stomach pain and nausea that come before or during your period.
How to avoid pain
If you're using a period tracker and know for sure your period will be happening, consider cleaning up your diet a few weeks before the actual prom date. Fatty foods high in salt can not only lead to bloating, but can also lead to extra painful cramps. Instead, stay ultra-hydrated and pack a couple of Midol or ibuprofen pills to have on hand. You might want to start the night with one or two if you feel cramps coming on to make sure they’re not going to hinder you on the dancefloor later on.
If you’re more inclined to take the natural route, drinking some chamomile tea and snacking on a banana before you’re off to prom might help alleviate some pain.
What if it’s an emergency?
So you know what to do if you start to menstruate leading up to prom, but what if you’re vibing on the dancefloor and all of a sudden you just know that it’s arrived? As far as short-term solutions go, you may be limited to what’s in your period emergency kit. So here’s the most helpful advice we can give you: Always take a period emergency kit with you. Here’s how to pack one. And if you don’t have one, ask some friends or a trusted teacher – someone will be able to help you out and give you either something for the pain or for the period itself.
If you know you’ll be getting your period on your prom, make sure you’re prepared for the situation – and any extra situations that might arise. Pack a period emergency kit to keep with you, tell your friends that you’ll be on your period so they can help you deal with it, and double layer with the protection– consider rocking a pad with period underwear or a tampon to make sure you’ll be taken care of.
The last thing you need on this special day is to have it ruined by your flow, so don’t let your cycle ruin it! Plan ahead, prepare for it, and, most importantly, whatever happens, take it all in stride. Remember, there’s life after prom night, after all.
To prevent future surprises, pay attention to your body and especially these seven symptoms that tell you when your period is just around the corner.
Want to learn more? Read these posts. Period.