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Gen Z embrace ‘free bleeding,’ abandoning pads & tampons

Gen Z says no to Sanitary napkins

A growing trend among Gen Z women is challenging traditional menstrual practices by embracing “free bleeding,” where they forgo using pads and tampons during their periods. Instead of using these conventional sanitary products, individuals practicing free bleeding allow their menstrual flow to occur naturally without any form of containment.

How it all started

This trend has gained significant attention on TikTok, where young women openly share their experiences and reasons for choosing free bleeding. Some see it as a way to connect with their bodies and promote a sense of naturalness during menstruation.

Charlee, one of the creators who adopted free bleeding, acknowledged that her choice might seem unconventional but emphasized that she found it “healthy” and cost-effective. Her decision, however, was met with mixed reactions from the online community.

Another TikTok creator, Annette, explained her free bleeding process, emphasizing her desire to honor her body during menstruation. She admitted to staying home during her period and relying on period underwear or towels when necessary. Annette described the experience of free bleeding as uniquely transformative, even going as far as to call it “orgasmic.”

Nayda Okamoto, a popular TikTok creator, playfully posted a video of herself dancing in a bikini, revealing that she was “low-key” free bleeding. This humorous take on the trend indicates its growing popularity and acceptance.

Some proponents of free bleeding claim that it has altered their menstrual cycles. For instance, TikTok creator Hannah went viral when she asserted that her period had become lighter after transitioning to free bleeding. Other women chimed in, sharing similar experiences of lighter periods when they embraced this practice.

What the medical practitioners think

While these anecdotal accounts are intriguing, Dr. Amy Carmichael, a medical professional, cautioned that there is currently no scientific research to substantiate claims that free bleeding leads to lighter periods. She emphasized that tampons, often used as an alternative to free bleeding, can sometimes exacerbate menstrual cramps due to their foreign presence in the body.

Dr. Carmichael highlighted that the choice between free bleeding and traditional menstrual products ultimately comes down to personal preference. Free bleeding, she emphasized, is not inherently “unhealthy.” Instead, it represents an individual’s choice regarding their menstrual hygiene practices.

Furthermore, Dr. Carmichael praised the free bleeding trend for its role in destigmatizing periods. Encouraging open discussions about menstrual flow in various settings, including workplaces and families, can help foster a culture of self-care during menstruation.

In short, the free bleeding trend among Gen Z women challenges conventional menstrual practices by allowing for natural menstrual flow without the use of sanitary products. While there is no scientific evidence to support claims of lighter periods through free bleeding, it remains a personal choice that is seen as a positive step in destigmatizing menstruation and promoting discussions about menstrual hygiene and self-care.

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