How to Tell a Guy Teacher You Are Having Your Period

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If you've just started menstruating, dealing with your period at school can be difficult. This is especially so if you need to change a pad or tampon while in class with a male teacher. Remaining calm and alluding to the situation can help you navigate a situation many young women find embarrassing.

Talking to Your TeacherDownload Article

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    Ask to go to the bathroom. If you do not want to explicitly state you're on your period, it may be best to initially try to avoid doing so. Simply ask for the bathroom pass, following all the rules that particular teacher has set regarding restroom use. You do not need to tell him why you need the pass.
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    Allude to the subject. Some teachers are stricter when it comes to use of a hall or bathroom pass. Teachers will often ask if it's necessary to use the pass, whether it's an "emergency," or ask you to wait until the break between classes or lunch. If this is the case, you can tactfully allude to the situation without going into specifics.
    • A vague statement, like "It's kind of personal..." or "It's a girl thing..." will probably get the message across.
    • Another way to address it is to say you have food poisoning, especially if you have cramps.
    • If your teacher is very no nonsense and generally does not let people leave during class, try talking to him in private ahead of time. You do not need to explicitly state you're menstruating, but say you're having a "female problem" and might need to use the hall pass.[1]
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    Relax. Many girls, especially those new to menstruation, have a lot of anxiety about talking to their male teachers. It can be an awkward, embarrassing subject. However, relax. Remember your male teacher has had extensive training for educating this age group and has prepared for such situations. In fact, he's probably had to deal with this in his past teaching experience as well. Even if the idea seems mortifying to you, your male teacher will likely not think much of it at all.[2]
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    Talk to a female teacher or an older female student. If you're unsure how to approach a male teacher, talk to a female friend or teacher. If you feel particularly comfortable with a female teacher, such as the teacher who you had for sex ed, ask her for advice on explaining menstruation to male faculty. An older female friend, someone who has been menstruating longer than you, would also be a good resource. She might have had the same awkward experience and might have some tips for you.[3]

Dealing with SetbacksDownload Article

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    Talk to the principal. If a male teacher continually refuses, even if you explicitly explain what's going on, make an appointment to discuss this with the principal. This may be awkward, but for health reasons no student should be forced to sit through class with a pad or tampon that needs to be changed.
    • You might want to ask your parents to come with you, as the meeting might be stressful. Talking to an authority figure, especially while still in school, can be difficult and having older adults present could help.
    • Explain to the principal that your male teacher makes it difficult for you to deal with your period during class time. If your teacher has ever said anything that's made you uncomfortable, such as joking comments about your cycle, these warrant mentioning. Male teachers have an obligation to create an environment where female students do not feel guilty or ashamed about menstruation. If your male teacher is not doing his part, the principal needs to know.
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    Ask to see the nurse. In the event of an emergency, such an unexpected period or a leak, ask to see the school nurse. He or she can help you contact your parents and find somewhere for you to wait while they bring you supplies or a change of clothing.
    • You do not need to explain to a male teacher what's going on in this case. Simply say, "I need to see a nurse. I'm not feeling well."[4]
    • If your teacher is wary to let you see the nurse, and you're uncomfortable explaining you had a period related accident, claim you feel you might throw up or something else that would warrant attention. If you are comfortable alluding to the subject, again say something, "It's a female thing," but also add "It's kind of an emergency" so he understands the importance of you exiting the classroom.[5]
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    Carry supplies in your locker or backpack. Sometimes, periods come unexpectedly. If you're just beginning to menstruate, your cycle might not be regular for a year or two. Make sure you're prepared to deal with unexpected mishaps.
    • Keep a stash of tampons or pads in your locker. If you're close to a particular teacher or guidance counselor, ask if you can leave supplies with him or her. If you're out, you can also try asking a female friend.[6]
    • If you're not sure when your period is going to come, you can wear a panty liner around the time you expect your period. You should not use a tampon until after your period has actually started.[7]
    • Your period usually will start with small drips and not big leaks, so if you get your period during class or on the bus it's probably okay to wait until you reach a bathroom. It's unlikely leaking will start right away.

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