When did you get your first period? What I most remember is the bulky cardboard tampon applicator I had to work with. (It could have been worse: Back in the 60s, my grandma just left a sanitary belt on my mom’s bed!) But now I use tampons and pads from LOLA, a feminine care start-up run by two women who are changing the game. Here, we teamed up with LOLA, which just launched an awesome First Period Kit, to ask women about their first periods…
“Nobody had ever explained how a tampon worked, and when my period arrived at summer camp, the nurse handed me one matter-of-factly and pointed to the bathroom. I unwrapped it, sat down and pushed out the applicator at least six inches from my body! It fell on the floor. Somehow I expected it to go where it needed to go, like a guided missile.” — Lanie
“I faked having a period for over a year because I was the only girl in my group of friends who didn’t have it and I wanted it SO BADLY. I would pretend I had cramps, and take pads into the girls bathroom when everyone else did. By the time I finally got it, I was 15.” — Gloria
“My period arrived on the first day of driver’s ed. I sat through the whole afternoon with wads of toilet paper in my underwear, surrounded by classmates in the high-school gym. When I got home, my mom, trying to be progressive, offered to throw me a ‘goddess party.’ Then she announced at the dinner table that I had become ‘a woman,’ but my introverted dad and brother were not into it. They were like, ‘What do we do with this information?’ ” — Ruth
“I grew up with a single father. I was at the mall with my friend and her mom when my first period started. I sheepishly walked out of the bathroom and whispered the news to my friend’s mom. She was thrilled and used the vending machine to buy my first pad. When my dad came to pick me up, he was as embarrassed as I was! He drove to Walgreens, handed me a $50 and told me to buy whatever I needed.” — Becca
“At a family lunch when I was 12, my stomach suddenly started cramping. As a hypochondriac, I assumed, ‘Well, this is how it ends.’ When I went to the bathroom to discover I’d simply gotten my period, I rejoiced at my new lease on life: ‘It’s not my insides bursting! Just my dumb PERIOD!’ I celebrated with a giant piece of chocolate cake, which is still my monthly tradition.” — Nell
What I would have given to have had LOLA as a teenager! In 2015, friends Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman didn’t like using products with mystery ingredients, so they founded LOLA. The pads and tampons are made from 100% organic cotton — no synthetic additives, dyes or fragrances. You can order boxes of the exact combo you need and get them delivered monthly (no more rifling through a box of 15 Lights when all you need is a Super, and no more last-minute trips to the drugstore). I love the whole vibe of the company, from the ombre wrappers to the pep talk on the box: “This, too, shall pass.”
This spring, LOLA released their sweetest product yet: a First Period Kit. It comes with everything a girl needs, including tampons, liners, pads for day and overnight, encouraging instruction cards, a canvas pouch, and an adorable sheet of stickers for keeping track of her cycle.
LOLA also offers a free, downloadable e-book, written along with a pediatrician, that covers all the nuts and bolts of a first period. It also has a Q&A with real girls and their parents. My heart swells for every girl who gets to start her period in such a nice way.
How did you start getting your period? Would you like to try LOLA?