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RED ALERT: Dealing with School and Period Odor

RED ALERT: Dealing with School and Period Odor

by Sarah Thomas

Remember the early years of getting your period? Your life changed in an instant. It was rough navigating new territory as a grown woman when you were only 12 years old. School added another whole level of angst - having to deal with a rather personal and private matter in a very public space.

No matter how well you were prepared, or understood that periods are natural and normal, you might have experienced a little trauma menstruating at school…

  • If you needed a feminine hygiene break in the middle of class because you had an emergency and left with a purse or backpack. (You might as well have announced to the entire class that you were having your period. Yep, everyone knew. What horror!)
  • If you ever made the inexplicable decision of wearing white pants to school at that time of the month and had to do the walk of shame sideways with your back to the wall, all the way to the counselor’s office where you sat until someone could reach your mom who may or may not be home, and cell phones were not yet a thing. (Further exacerbated by the counselor saying - well if we can’t reach your mom soon you are going to have to go back to class. WHAT? Did you, or did you not see the junior high school reputation destroying nightmare on the back of these white pants?)
  • If you ever had to stuff wads of thin, public bathroom toilet paper in your underwear because your period was irregular and had started unexpectedly. (Shouldn’t there have been FREE tampons and pads in every stall?)
  • If you ever discovered that said wads of toilet paper do not stay in place and had the pleasure of seeing said wads fall from your pant leg.
  • If you ever got a whiff of an unpleasant smell after sitting down in class, and realized it was you. Menstrual odor. It’s a thing.

I can’t go back and undo your trauma, but I can sure pass along the greatest feminine hygiene tip since the invention of disposable tampons and pads. (Can you imagine using cloth rags or moss that you had to rinse out?)

How to get rid of menstrual odor: Lume.

Details to follow. But first, let’s get an understanding of the causes of period odor.

What Causes Period Odor?

It’s completely normal to have odor associated with menstrual blood, and it’s not your imagination - it definitely has a distinctive smell. But truthfully, you’re probably the only one who can smell it. Period odor is caused by the same thing as the odor in our armpits when we sweat - bacteria.

ALL body odor is caused by a reaction between bodily fluids and bacteria that live on our skin. Bacteria digest sweat, urine, and menstrual blood, and this creates odor. Different bacteria on different parts of our body digest different bodily fluids, and it creates different odors. So while foot odor might smell different from armpit odor, or menstrual odor, it’s all caused by the same reaction.

Bodily Fluids + Bacteria on Our Skin = Body Odor

So How Do You Get Rid of Menstrual Odor?

One of Dr. Shannon Klingman’s important discoveries that led to the development of Lume was that most day to day odors form on the OUTSIDE of the body.

Good hygiene practices involve cleansing and using deodorant EXTERNALLY. Let’s not blame the vagina for the work of odor causing bacteria around our butt and vulva - the vagina is a miraculous self cleaning machine.

Again, period odor is completely normal, but incorporating Lume Acidified Body Wash, Lume Whole Body Deodorant, and Lume Deodorant Wipes will all but eliminate odor associated with your period, and that’s one less thing to worry about.

Try These Tips:

  • Change Pad, Tampon, and Period Underwear Regularly
    • What does regularly mean? There really isn’t one right answer here because it depends on the heaviness of your flow. For moderate flow, pads and tampons should be changed every 3 - 5 hours. Most period underwear manufacturers recommend changing every 10 - 12 hours
  • Wash Using Lume Acidified Body Wash
    • Bathe regularly during your period to wash away residue from menstrual blood on the outside of your body. Lume Body Wash is powered by Mandelic Acid so it is pH optmized to remove and control odor. It was developed by an OB/GYN with women in mind, and is safe for all external use. Stay one step ahead of odor!
  • Apply Lume Invisible Cream
    • Our invisible cream is perfect to reach all the nooks and crannies where odor develops. Just apply a pea sized amount of Lume to your vulva and up your back side, it rubs in like a lotion leaving zero residue. Try our Minis, they are perfect for keeping in your backpack or purse when you want extra assurance on the go, and small enough to be discreet.
  • Use Deodorant Wipes When You Need A Touch Up
    • Lume Acidified Deodorant Wipes are also powered by - you guessed it - Mandelic Acid. So throw a soft pack of Lume Wipes in your backpack, car, purse, or wherever, because they not only give you a refreshing midday touch up between showers, but are actually clinically proven to control odor for 24 hours. Hallelujah.

Looking for an easy way to encourage good menstrual hygiene for your teen? The Starter Pack is pretty much an ideal way to get all of these products in your hands.

I only WISH I had Lume in my school days, it would have made the adjustment to these new womanly responsibilities so much easier!

While menstrual odor may not be the most glamorous topic, it's definitely something that many can relate to. Periods are a part of life, and while they can be annoying and embarrassing, they're also a reminder that our bodies are capable of amazing things.

So the next time you're feeling self conscious about your period smell, just remember that you're not alone, and Lume’s got a solution just waiting for you.

A Little Fangirling From Mutual Menstruators:

I haven't smelled that distinct period smell all day.

“I wear pads or period panties. Y'all know that smell is very hard to control throughout the day. No matter how many pad changes, there's always that lingering odor. I used this before putting my pad on, and I haven't smelled that distinct period smell all day. Lasted through multiple pad changes, and now my pads don't stink up the garbage either. Awesome product!” -Heather

Almost gave up on period underwear until I tried Lume.

“Since tampons are included in our supply chain shortage, I’ve moved to period underwear, I didn’t like the odors from wearing them & almost gave up on them until I tried Lume. I’ve tried all the products & the Biofilm Laundry Buster is a big help on top of the deodorant. Thank you for creating something that actually controls b.o. Amazing products. It’s all I use now.”-Mariah

The acidified body wash keeps me feeling CLEAN AND FRESH all day.

“I must share a little TMI about that time of the month. When I get my period, the acidified body wash keeps me feeling CLEAN AND FRESH all day, even while dawning hot PPE. It didn’t throw off my vaginal pH (I’m very sensitive when it comes to washes). I feel confident everyday, now, with no crotch odor (thanks, Dr. Klingman) or foot odor! And I am a sweaty gal, so this has been THE BEST AND ONLY product that does what it says. Heck of an investment!!!!” -Claudia

Sarah Thomas


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