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Our Story

About Code Red Period Products

"After suffering for 20+ years with painful periods caused by Endometriosis I decided it was time to do something for others who may just be at the start of their period Journey."

Code Red Period Products

My First Period

I started my period at the age of 11 in primary school, I had no idea what it was! This was just before we had "sex education" which would then have a small section of that class that would discuss what a period was but very minimal information about how to look after yourself during this time. I noticed "brown stuff" in my pants and thought i may have hurt myself during P.E or that i had accidentilly not wiped myself properly after using the toilet. After a bit of an internal panic i spoke to one of my girl friends she had started her period a couple days prior, I told her that i had brown stuff in my knickers and she was curious to see what i was talking about and then she immediately, after seeing my pants said that i had started my period and then all the girls in the bathroom began to get curious and also wanted to know what it looked like and what it felt like, but at that point i was fine, i didn't feel any different. i just had brown stuff in my pants. I then had to find the courage to speak to a teacher to tell her what had happened so that i could get period products. After telling my female teacher reluctantly she went into her store cupboard, and gave me a couple of pads to see me to the end of the day and told me to put these on and that i would have to use the teachers bathroom from now on as the "Class bathroom" was not equipped with what i needed now. After school had finished i rushed out to tell my mom what had happened and her response was "oh dear". She also gave me some sanitary products and told me i had to put them on and change them regularly (no specifics). Everything i learned was from either older friends or cousins. We had to figure it out by ourselves. With each period i began to get more and more pain, my mom would take me to the doctors but they just said that it was normal to experience pain during my period and gave me paracetamol or ibuprofen to take when i had pain, they said i would grow out of it....I didn't..


School/Education

As I got older the pain had intensified, I was missing school every month because of my period. I had extremely heavy periods and would often leak during lessons It was difficult to go to the bathroom during lessons as teachers would often make us wait until after class or break..

Growing up I missed a lot of time off school because of my period pain and my heavy bleeding. I would get extreme pain and vomiting so going to school gave me  nothing but anxiety. The toilets would be locked after break “so how would I change my  pad in an emergency?” ( I had to go to the main office to get the keys to go to the toilets.) Teachers got to decide if and when I could go to the bathroom during lessons. Not all teachers were that understanding as “Toilets were for Break not lesson time”. I would get extremely nauseaus and vomit a lot at school and often would have to be collected by my parents early as it was so bad.

I failed my Gcse’s because of the pain and time that I had off school because of my periods their just wasn’t any way I could catch up. I went from having 100% attendance (pre period) to missing 5-7 days of school A MONTH. I had to resit my exams and try to pass again in order to do what I had always wanted to do, be a nurse…..

I eventually passed my exams and went to University but again, multiple days off each month, I had to resit a few exams and I had to take a year out to recover from surgery. It took me nearly 5 years to pass my nursing course instead of the 3 years it was supposed to take just because of periods!

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Hospitals

I bled a lot and I was exhausted all the time, never mind the pain! I would go to A&E nearly every month during my periods as the pain was horrendous, I couldn’t eat or sleep I would just roll around in extreme pain. Feeling like death would be better than this pain. But still to everyone including doctors and consultants they were under the impression that it would settle down by itself but offered me contraception to help with the pain… I began to pass huge clots and my mom would describe my pain to the doctors as Labour pain. It was like I was preparing to give birth to a child, but it was “just” a period. I began to feel like I was going crazy, I couldn’t understand why I was the only one of my friends that couldn’t handle my periods. Was I weak? or exaggerating? Was I making this out to be worst than it was? the answer was No. I wasn’t. I was not exaggerating, in fact 10 years later I would finally be diagnosed with Endometriosis, Fibroids and Adenomyosis. I wasn’t weak. I was actually incredibly strong to go through this every month as a child. My body was screaming out at me telling me something was wrong, but because I didn’t have the knowledge and the foundation to understand periods, I continued to suffer. I didn’t have the knowledge to be able to stand up for myself and speak up for myself.

I have had close to 11 Surgical procedures since and I am due to have a hysterectomy (no children). My symptoms were ignored by everybody except my mom. My mom knew, as she also suffered with extreme period pain, in fact we all did, My mom, my sister all of my cousins and aunty’s suffered simillary, some have already had hysterectomies.

 

I wish I had tools that I could access basic period information, I wish that I had people around me who wasn’t afraid or embarrassed to have uncomfortable conversations, I wish their was no stigma around periods and maybe just maybe I would have had a diagnosis earlier. If other women would have opened up to me and spoke to me honestly about periods instead of shying away from the conversations I would have maybe felt more prepared. If others spoke more openly about periods, maybe we would have a better care system, better policies, better treatments. But because we have been made to feel ashamed of what our bodies naturally do. We don’t speak up, we suffer, in silence! Looking back now I can see why my moms response was “oh dear” when telling her that I started my period. Because her experience with periods were also not very positive, the fear she must have felt for me, knowing the experiences she had with periods was enough to make her not want to talk to me about it in detail. As back when she had periods it would have been even worst.

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creating Code red

When creating these products I always referred back to my own story and own Journey. Each product is specifically designed to help you or your child understand periods and to give you some tools to help to manage the pain. so you can continue to go to school or college without having to take time off for your periods.

When creating these products I only wanted to focus on teens because I felt that the education system was lacking when it came to period education. If I had the knowledge that I do now, maybe it wouldn’t have taken 10 years to be diagnosed. Maybe I would have understood that something was wrong and wouldn’t have taken no for an answer. Maybe I would have fought harder.

 

Code Red Period Products was created so that no girl would have to experience what I went through, I want to be able to empower young girls by giving them the knowledge and the tools to help them to understand their body, without being ashamed or not listened to.

Each tool is unique and designed solely on the things that  I  found helpful for me. And the knowledge I gained as a nurse but also as a patient. We only use evidence based information!

We pride ourselves on the work that we do.

It’s not just a box for when you start your period, but a box to help you navigate your periods effectively. Teaching you about the highs and the lows of menstruation. Pretending is not our thing, we like to keep it real. It is important to keep it real.

Code Red Period Products hopes to reach every person who mensturates, no matter what background we try to keep our prices as low as possible so that no girl is turned away because it is too expensive. we are fully inclusive and diverse and we stand with ALL people who menstruate around the world.

Code Red Period Products Go to schools and communities to help to Educate teens and teaching staff on periods and period pain with our workshops and conferences. Speaking to or with doctors, gynaecologist to create a safe space to share valuable wisdom and experiences.

I want to welcome all new customers to our page and say a BIG thank you for taking the time to read this.

Finally Remember

“We are all different, but we bleed the same.”

-Rachel x

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