As someone with endometriosis and very heavy periods, I wanted to share my Plan of Action for my fellow heavy-bleeders who are asking themselves, what if I get my period on my wedding day!? Here's my 10-step action plan for how I dealt with having my period on my wedding day.
In the months leading up to your wedding day…
Step 1: Get a period tracker
Assuming that your period is fairly regular, try and figure out what day in your cycle your wedding is on. This will help you determine your flow. If you don't already have a period tracker app on your smartphone, I recommend getting one asap. They're great for predicting when your period will be (assuming that's possible for you)
Step 2: Buy a menstrual cup
If you are unsure about what size to get, get both! Practice putting it in, even if you're not flowing. The best way to put it in is to fold it into a C-shape and then shove that puppy all the way up so it opens around your cervix (I've seen tutorials that say you can just put it in, but I have found putting it all the way up is the only way I don't leak. It will slide down some, but it still won't leak) Yes, mid-flow there will be blood. But it washes off with soap and water, I promise! I think the ick factor of that is faaaaar outweighed by how much easier your life will be with a cup.
Step 3: Call your doctor
Talk to your doctor about whether muscle relaxants would be helpful to deal with cramping. Unless you live in Canada, in which case, go buy over the counter muscle relaxants while I die a little from jealousy. As with any medication, make sure you test it out before your wedding day. You don't want any surprises.
Step 4: Get heatwraps
While picking up your muscle relaxants, also grab a box or two of ThermaCare Menstrual Pain Therapy Heatwraps. Portable heating pads! They're not as good as a plug-in heating pad, but I think on this occasion, it's better to have them then not. Put them in your OH SHIT kit.
Step 5: Decide on a second layer of protection
Step 6: Practice peeing in a floofy dress
Pick up some trash bags with handles (the handle-specific bags are so you can put them around your shoulders to free your hands for manipulating your cup and then washing your hands) and perfect the art of the trash bag dress saver technique found here on Offbeat Bride:
Step 7: Pump iron
Consider taking iron supplements. This would be a smart thing to talk to your doctor about.
Day of your wedding
Step 8: Hydrate with period tea
Drink lots of water, and chug the period pain tea aid of your choice. I drink Yogi Women's Moon Cycle tea.
Step 9: Empty your cup
Right before you put on your dress, go for one final pee and empty out your menstrual cup. Make sure it is sufficiently clean, particularly the holes (if they are clogged when you put it in, that can cause leaks).
Step 10: Time management
Hopefully, by now you will have a feel of how long you can go before you need to empty your cup. I find on heavy days, I can go 12 hours, but on light days, I can go 24 hours. If the cup is too full and needs to be emptied, you will actually be able to tell because gravity will start doing its thing and it will start to slide out.
If you can't last 12 hours, set multiple alarms and ask multiple trusted people to remind you to use the bathroom at the designated empty time — this is a great job for your most trust wedding attendant! Maid of honor becomes maid of menstrual honor? GET IT! Just make sure it won't be at a poor time, like in the middle of photos. Also, if it's not long after something like photos takes place (let's say photos are supposed to wrap up at 5:30 and you need to empty at 6) try to do it BEFORE, in case the activity runs long.
Ok, I think that's everything. I hope whatever method you choose, your special day isn't overshadowed by this. I'm really sorry, that totally sucks. But congratulations, best wishes, and good luck!