How to Prevent Leaks

Written by Jen Bell

  |  Reviewed by Staci Tanouye, M.D.

If you’re afraid of leaks or stains on your clothing, there are a few different things you can do.

First, know that your fears and concerns are valid but temporary. You will soon be an expert on your body and what is needed to successfully tackle your period each month. You’ll get used to how often you need to change your pad or tampon. If you’re not sure, you can always go to the bathroom to check.

If your pad or panty/underwear liner feels heavy, wet, or damp, it’s probably time to change it. You can check if it’s time to change your tampon by gently pulling on the string. If it starts to come out easily, that means it’s time for a new one.

When you’re using a tampon or menstrual cup, you can add a panty/underwear liner, pad, or period underwear as a backup to catch any leaks. You can wear dark clothing on your bottom half or tie a top or jacket around your waist. If you’re really nervous about staining your clothes by accident, keep an extra change of clothes in your backpack or locker.

And if you do stain your pants one day, just know that this has probably happened to everyone who has a period. You have half the world in your corner!

If you’re out and you stain your underwear but not the rest of your clothing, you can simply change your pad or tampon and then wash your underwear when you get home. If you are caught in a situation where you don’t have any products on you, wrap some toilet paper around your underwear until you are able to get a product. When you get home, wash your underwear in the bathroom sink with some cold water and soap — this usually gets most of the blood out. If you have hydrogen peroxide, this works great at removing blood from clothing. Then you can throw them in the washing machine. It’s a good idea to ask a trusted adult for help the first time this happens. The person who does the laundry in your household probably has a few tips!