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Laura Henshaw On How She Embraces- And Works With – Her Menstrual Cycle
By Nikolina Ilic | Nov 2, 2021
No matter where a girl grows up in the world, there’s a very good chance that she will be inundated with endless myths and misconceptions about menstruation, as no bodily function—with the exception of childbirth, perhaps—is more universally misrepresented and ubiquitously tabooed. So it makes sense that when it comes to understanding our own periods – and knowing that every single woman’s cycle is unique – we fall short.
A fiercely passionate advocate for diversity and women’s wellness, Laura is learning to embrace her own unique cycle and tailor her period care to her own “really heavy period.” She’s also trying to keep educating herself about that each part of her cycle means for her – mind, body, and all.
We spoke to Laura about how she’s figuring it all out.
Tell us about your menstrual health journey.
I have been really lucky in that I have always had quite a consistent menstrual cycle, except for a time in my early twenties. I was struggling with body image and my relationship with food and lost a lot of weight. I lost my period for quite a few months, and so I was really grateful to get it back and get through this stage in my life. I do have a really heavy period and so sometimes I have to move work and life around as I often feel really run down on the first day of my cycle. Aside from that, I’m so grateful that I get my period and I haven’t had to face any serious issues around my menstrual cycle.
Do you have a personal health routine that you have found works for you?
The first few days of my cycle are really heavy, so I’ll usually wear a combination of TOM Organic products. When I’m heading to the office I’ll use the TOM Organic tampons and reusable period briefs, or if I’m at home I’ll layer the period cup with the briefs.
Towards the end of my period (when it gets lighter), I’ll wear the cup or just the undies on their own. I’m obsessed! I love that I can wear them all day without having to worry about leakage or changing them and they’re so comfy to sleep in. I’ve been using them for 8 years now and definitely don’t look back.
How doyou layer your period products?
I’m a big fan of layering, especially on the early days when my period is quite heavy. When I’m out and about for the day or at the office I’ll pair the tampons with period briefs. It gives me extra confidence that if a meeting goes over and I can’t get to a bathroom (or I just completely forget to change my tampon), I don’t have to worry about leakage. TOM Organic’s period undies have my back!
Why do you chose organic menstrual products?
Think of how many tampons or pads you would use in a regular cycle, then times that by the millions of women across the globe who are fortunate to have access to disposable health care. Picture how much waste that is. Every. Single. Month! It really is unfathomable. Organic tampons decompose much faster than conventional period products, so I love that by using TOM Organic period products I’m making a sustainable, conscious decision to help save the planet.
What were your recent lockdown rituals or healthy coping mechanisms?
Lockdown and working from home has definitely thrown our routines out of whack. I’ve found that sticking with my ‘normal’ morning routine has helped immensely. I got up each morning, jumped straight into my activewear and alternated between a KIC Pilates flow, Strength Masterclass or head out for a run. I’ll then shower and get dressed as if I’m heading to the office. I find it sets me up with a positive and powerful mind-set to tackle the day.
Nikolina is the web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men's and Women's Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she spends most of the time in the gym or with her husband and daughter. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.
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