Okay so realistically, fat girls don’t actually want you to know anything about their periods, because they are totally and utterly none of your business. But what they do want is for you to stop making assumptions about their menstrual cycles based on the size of their clothing. There are so many myths out there about the effect that being plus size has on your periods so I’m here to myth bust better than Jamie Hyneman, and I look much cuter in a beret. And a moustache. Speaking of moustaches…
Many people who suffer from issues with their reproductive system such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) may find that their condition induces a dip in their level of oestrogen, which causes them to grow additional body hair. This is absolutely true. What is untrue is that PCOS and the potential for accompanying body hair is fat-exclusive, or that merely being fat means that you definitely have lower oestrogen levels. Having PCOS does not automatically mean you’re going to grow any additional hair either, for the record.
PCOS is not the only reproductive issue, people. For example, endometriosis is an incredibly painful condition relating to the lining of the womb and around two million people in the UK are suffering with it right now. Weight is not a factor in diagnosis, symptoms or treatment. It literally is not mentioned once in the NHS webpage for the condition. People who suffer with endometriosis can experience fertility issues, heavy periods and chronic pain regardless of their size.
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My three year old might take issue with that statement. I assume this ties in with the whole PCOS thing, because part of having poorly ovaries is that they don’t often feel like ovulating. It can be difficult to become pregnant when you’re fat, but it can also be just as difficult when you’re thin. One in seven couples in the UK are having trouble conceiving right now for a whole number of reasons. Some of those issues might relate to how much they weigh, some of them might not. Being pregnant can be really difficult when you’re fat, but honestly the hardest part for me was the comments from healthcare professionals and that is a whole other article right there.
So there are a few directions I can take this train of thought. Is it that my vagina grew wider along with the size of my jeans? Is it meant to suggest that I’m producing more now than I was when I was thinner? Was I meant to be sizing up my tampons every time I moved up a dress size?! I mean realistically this is ridiculous. Larger tampons hold more blood, so on the days of your period where you’re experiencing your heaviest flow you might need to size up. They’re also great to wear when you’re sleeping, because nobody wants to wake up every 3-4 hours to change a tampon. I think there must have been some messed up correlation between XXL clothing and XXL tampons here. They are not the same thing.
The only legitimate way I can consider this is that some people think fat people can’t reach to insert alternative sanitary products correctly. Menstrual cups and tampons can definitely be small and fiddly, and the added belly is just another thing that gets in the way. People who menstruate generally apply what is easiest, most comfortable and most effective for them, and for many people that could be a sanitary towel but that isn’t a given just because somebody is fat. If the standard way of inserting a product isn’t comfortable, they’ll just try standing another way. There is more than one way to insert a tampon, as the old saying goes.
So which is it, people?! Are we practically incapable of having periods, or do we gush on a monthly basis? I can’t believe I am clarifying this for people, but having more mass does not mean that your body is going to squeeze more blood out of you. We bleed what we bleed. Some months it’s a lot, some months barely any. And guess what? That’s the same as any person who menstruates!
We hope you have enjoyed how ridiculous some of these myths are as much as we have – these are genuine things I have heard throughout my time as a fat woman, and I felt the need to share! If you’ve got any similar myths you’ve heard about your fat body and your period, we’d love to read them in the comments.