When working in the performing arts, you often have to spend hours on stage in theater productions dancing, acting or singing. When on the stage (or ice) and experiencing your period, you don’t always have the opportunity to change sanitary pads or tampons, and the question is – should you be wearing these anyway?
This article looks into the best solutions for menstrual care if you partake in the performing arts:
As a dancer, you are going to sweat a lot and often wear leotards, tutus, hot pants, basically anything tight and stretchy that doesn’t get in the way of your movements. Here are your different menstrual care options:
These aren’t the number one choice for a number of reasons. The two biggest reasons are the fact that your pad will be clearly visible, and due to all the sweat produced through your movements, you will feel highly uncomfortable between your legs, and it will start to smell. It simply isn’t the best option as a professional dancer.
However, if you are a hip-hop dancer, or dancing another form of dance where you can wear baggier pants, you will still sweat onto your menstrual pad, but it’s easier to get away with it. The best choice in this case is reusable cloth pads. A great brand is Tree Hugger cloth pads which are a better choice for the environment than regular sanitary pads, and healthier for your body too!
Tampons can work; however, they need to be replaced every 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on how heavy your flow is. If you are going to use tampons, a great choice are organic tampons such as Natracare. Organic tampons are made from biodegradable material, and are a great alternative to regular tampons, as they are healthier for your body, and better for the environment.
Menstrual cups work really well because they can hold menstrual blood up to 12 hours. The only instance where they don’t work best is if the dancing you do includes many forms of acrobatics or gymnastics where you are going to be upside down, or tap dancing where there is a lot of impact involved. But, if you are a ballerina, salsa, rumba, tango, jazz, modern-jazz, flamenco, Spanish, or hip-hop dancer, menstrual cups are a great choice.
The Venus menstrual cup is a particularly great choice as it comes in two sizes, so you can see which one fits best, and it offers one of the biggest capacities on the market – 29 ml for the small one, and 47 ml for the big one. The Starter Kit gives you the opportunity to try out both and see which fits best. It’s easy to clean and you just need to sanitize it between each cycle.
Period panties are not the best option, since you cannot really wear them underneath your leotard. If you are wearing hot pants, the only period panties you can wear are thongs. Flux is a very reputable brand of period panties that offers many styles. However, period thongs only work if are spotting, or your period is almost over. Period panties can also leak into your leotard or hot pants if your flow is very heavy, and that’s the last thing you want while you are performing on stage.
If you are acting on stage, you will have more menstrual care options:
Sanitary pads can work, however as soon as the intermission comes, you will need to go to the bathroom to clean up and put on a new one. As mentioned above, the best option that is great for both your body, and the environment are reusable cloth pads such as those made by Tree Hugger, GladRags, and LunaPads.
The same as with sanitary pads, tampons need to be removed every 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on your flow. Again, you will need to change your tampon as soon as there is an intermission. Organic tampons are always the best option as they don’t have a negative impact on the environment, and are healthier for the body. Brands by Natracare, Maxim, and Puristics, are all simply wonderful.
Menstrual cups are ideal, as you can leave them in for 12 hours. You can happily keep yours in for any sort of rehearsals that flow into the actual production. As mentioned earlier the Venus menstrual cup is a top pick for people in the performing arts, as it offers such a high capacity, meaning you can leave yours in for an extended period of time.
Period panties work well, just make sure to wear the correct panties according to your menstrual flow. If you are just spotting, thongs are fine, but for a heavy flow you’ll have to wear hi-waist panties that can absorb a lot of blood. No need to worry about odor, as these panties are designed to fight any sort of odors. Brands that will support you well are Flux, Modibodi, and Lilova period panties.
If you are singing, much of the menstrual care for dancing applies, as you may dance during your performance as well, and may have to wear tight outfits. Therefore, a menstrual cup would be the best option.
Acrobatics, Gymnastics & Figure Skating
If you are an acrobat, gymnast or figure skater, the best menstrual care will have to be tampons. You cannot wear a sanitary pad, as it will show through your leotard, and cannot wear period panties, unless you are spotting and can wear a thong.
No matter where your passion lies in the world of performing arts, you really don’t have to worry when you have your period. As the above article shows, there are many alternatives to regular sanitary pads and tampons that will keep you feeling brave as can be, whether performing on a stage, or on the ice!