A common question we hear from the LOLA community is how to understand and manage their flow during their period. How do they know which period products to rely on? Which absorbency should they use, on which days? And are there any tricks to make managing your period a little bit easier? 

Lucky for us, our community is a great resource for answers as well as questions. We asked 6 women what they do to understand and manage their period flow. Here’s what they had to say.

Aimee, 33

Describe you flow.

My period is always the same. Blood flow is heavy the first 2 days, medium the third. Days 4 and 5 are light.

Do you feel like you understand your flow?

I always had a sense that my flow days were consistent and that I had a period every 25 to 27 days — but I didn’t realize how consistent until I started tracking my cycle. Thanks to tracking, I started noticing other consistencies during certain days of the month: constipation, bloating, emotions and even sex drive. 

What period products do you use to manage your period, and why?

I use pads on my heavy days, all day. Then on medium and light days I use a tampon during the day and light pads at night.

What tricks do you employ to manage your flow?

I always stock my day bag with essential products in case my period becomes heavier than planned. Wipes are also a huge comfort on days I use pads. They help me feel fresher and cleaner on my heaviest days.

Molly, 26

Describe you flow.

Don’t have one! I got an IUD in college at 19 and then replaced it when I was 24. I have never thought much about my period or tracking my menstrual cycle.

Do you feel like you understand your flow?

I recently found out how little I know about how my IUD works when talking with a friend of mine who is a doctor. Also, my mother is INCREDIBLY concerned about how my IUD will affect my fertility (a.k.a. her getting grandchildren).

Willa, 23

Describe you flow.

I wish my period was regular, but it’s not. Sometimes I get it every 3 weeks, sometimes every 6, and sometimes not for months at a time. Because of this (at least, I think it’s because of the irregularity), it also varies dramatically in terms of how heavy it is. My period can be so light that I only need a light tampon or two for one day, or it can be heavy enough that I bleed through a super plus tampon during a 45 minute spin class.

Do you feel like you understand your flow?

I track my period in hopes of better understanding it. Sometimes though, it just highlights how little I understand it, and that frustrates me even more. I use the Clue app, which is very user-friendly, but my period is simply not very tracking-friendly! In my ideal world, I’d know what phase of my cycle I was in and what that meant about my mood, energy, etc.

What period products do you use to manage your period, and why?

Mostly tampons, but I rely on liners when it’s super light. I hate sleeping in tampons though, so I’ll sleep in a pad or a pair of period underwear. My period is never very heavy at night, so luckily this doesn’t cause very many problems.

What tricks do you employ to manage your flow?

If I am feeling any cramps, I’ll go for a run. It never fails to keep my cramps at bay. I also try to eat more magnesium during my period: give me all the dark chocolate, avocado, and salmon! I’ll often use a hot water bottle on my lower back, or use a foam roller to help with my back pain. And since I often don’t know what type of tampon I’ll need, I always make sure I have lots of options with me.

Megan, 37

Describe you flow.

Normal to light until my mid-30s. Increasingly, it’s become heavier and lasted longer — upwards of 6 days. Some months are light and manageable, other months are very, very heavy. My heaviest flow is on the 2nd day, then it usually lightens considerably by day 3 or 4. 

Do you feel like you understand your flow?

I don’t always understand my flow. I use a cup, and after my first pregnancy, the flow became heavy enough that the cups sometimes leak, which never happened before. 

What period products do you use to manage your period, and why?

I use a cup and liners. Cups are amazing! But they can be tricky without a sink to rinse nearby.

What tricks do you employ to manage your flow?

I recently saw an eastern medicine doctor. My menstrual cycle came up and I said I was having unusually heavy periods. They linked it to the main issue I was seeing them for, and prescribed a medley of Chinese herbs to richen the blood and shorten the cycle. It worked! 

Lindsey, 29

Describe you flow.

I’m actually reacquainting myself with my flow. For the 9 years I was on the pill, I didn’t really have a period, except for some light spotting here and there. While it was nice to not have to deal with cramps and leakage, I realized recently that I was completely out of touch with my body without that monthly check-in. So I decided to go off the pill last month. 

I just had my first period – is it weird to say I was actually excited to get it?! It was pretty light, so I used regular and light tampons during the day and liners at night. I’ve heard it takes months, sometimes years, to get your body back to your “normal” flow after being on hormonal birth control. I’m curious how mine will change in the next few months.

Do you feel like you understand your flow?

Since I  spent so many years not really paying attention, there’s a lot I need to relearn about my flow and what it can tell me about my overall physical and mental health. I am using a period tracker (Flo), but don’t have enough data yet to identify any trends.

What period products do you use to manage your period, and why?

I previously only used tampons, but think I might give pads a whirl in this process of getting to know my flow. 

What tricks do you employ to manage your flow?

Still figuring this out, TBH. I want to learn all the hacks

Sarah, 36

Describe you flow.

My period is consistent but only due to birth control. It lasts 3-5 days, with the first two usually being a bloody mess. Then a light day, followed by a day of spotting.

Do you feel like you understand your flow?

Back when I had a copper IUD, I tracked my period with an app but only because I cared too much about when and where I could have sex. Nowadays, I just follow my pack of pills.

What period products do you use to manage your period, and why?

I use tampons but often give them up halfway through the first few days. Tampons fall out of me. I have no idea why, and I definitely stick them up as far as they can go. So, I use a mixture of pads, tampons and pantyliners.

What tricks do you employ to manage your flow?

I keep up with my workout routine but take it easy on ab work. And I allow myself to sleep a lot.

What products do you rely on throughout your period? From pads to tampons to liners, LOLA has your period essentials covered. You can even customize your box with a unique product assortment to fit your needs.

Liz Mead is a writer and content strategist living in Brooklyn. She's passionate about technology and sustainability. For more of her work visit www.mizlead.com.