How to handle period leaks

By Kayleigh Toyra

Periods – they happen. And when they first start, they can create a lot of questions — particularly around coping with unexpected leaks.


Of course, leaks are not the end of the world. We’ve all experienced a period leak at some point, and we’re still here to tell the tale. But leaks are never fun and as a teen, the embarrassment often feels magnified, so it’s worth having a few go-to coping strategies.


1. Prevention is better than cure

Naturally, the best way to prevent leaks is to try and stop them happening in the first place. This can be easier said than done. Every couple of hours, pop into the restroom to see how your pad is holding up – or if you’re using a tampon, be sure to change it every few hours. We always recommend using eco-friendly sanitary products where possible.

2. Getting stains out

Ok, say it’s already happened. What’s the best way to get the stain out? It may sound simplistic, but your first port of call should be water and soap. If it’s a new stain, this will probably do the job just fine. If not, you may need some sort of detergent or bleach (for whites). Hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice are good natural alternatives for stubborn period stains.

3. Make like the scouts: always be prepared

It certainly doesn’t hurt to keep sanitary products on you. If you always have a spare pad, you can pop to the restroom as soon as you feel your period starting. Keep period kits in the bags you carry most often – and in your school locker. That way you’ll never be caught short.

4. Pack extra underwear

It’s actually quite unlikely that you’ll leak through your underwear, unless you have a heavy flow that day. However, being prepared with an extra pair of knickers, and just knowing they are there, may put your mind at ease. Bringing a sweatshirt to wrap around your waist is also a good idea!

5. Know when to expect your period

It’s likely that your period might not be regular yet, but even so, it’s helpful to start tracking it, so you know roughly when to expect it. This means you can take precautions, such as wearing a pad the week you’re expecting to get your period, just in case it arrives early. It can also help to familiarize yourself with menstruation signs, such as cramping and bloating.

6. Ask for help if needed

If you find yourself on your period at school with no supplies in hand, then you shouldn’t feel embarrassed to go to your friends or female teachers. Bear in mind that if your teacher is above the age of 45-50, she may have gone through the menopause and therefore might not have sanitary products on her.

7. Wear leakproof underwear

If you know your period’s coming, then as well as pads and tampons, you can wear leakproof underwear. Knixteen produces ‘oh-no’ proof period underwear for teens, which holds the equivalent of 2 tampons’ worth of liquid to give you a bit of extra peace of mind for those heavy flow days.

Knixteen period underwear

8. Remain calm

You might be on your school break or out playing basketball during a gym session, when you suddenly realize that your period has arrived. It’s ok – the key is not to panic. Go straight to your school nurse or teacher and ask to be excused. If you change your clothing, you can just tell your classmates that you spilled something on yourself. There’s no need to share details if you don’t want to.

9. Ways to feel better

Period pain at school can be a real struggle. If you know your period is on its way, it can help to have a pain reliever with you to take for menstrual cramps. If you suffer from PMS, pack yourself a bar of chocolate as well. Some studies show that this can go a long way towards improving mood and emotional stability on a bad day.

In the end, it’s important to remember that there’s no shame in experiencing a period leak, even if it feels terribly embarrassing at the time. Menstruation is normal, it’s part of women’s lives and it shows that we’re healthy and that our reproductive systems are functioning as they should.

If you do get a period leak, do what you can to deal with the situation, then move on. You’ve got much more important things to be getting on with – like discovering your sense of self and crushing the patriarchy. Periods are but a blip on the horizon.

Knixteen have specifically created a range of teen period underwear designed to make periods (a bit more) easy and breezy. Because having your period shouldn’t be THAT stressful.

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