What It’s Like To Have Your Period On Reality TV, From Someone Who Lived It

periods reality tv

No matter how you spin it, copping your period during an important life event is something we’d all rather avoid. Many of us have even used our contraceptive pill to skip our periods, because it has felt more convenient than dealing with it for things like music festivals, holidays, weddings and the like.

From being able to change your tampon accessibly to not worrying about having to check your butt every time you walk past the mirror, Raggedy Anns really can be quite the nuisance. Periods are a natural and normal function of the human body, sure, but there are times where you just don’t want to see blood on your toilet paper, underwear or sheets.

One of those times would be going on reality television. It isn’t a relatable situation for many of us, but one that I personally have wondered about while watching.

While there’s a handful of girls who are only in the mansion for a limited time – so may come and leave the frankly unfathomable experience unscathed by the devil’s waterfall – there’s also a portion of the contestants who would’ve experienced not one but multiple periods during their reality TV stint.

“We BYO’ed [our sanitary products] in the Bach Mansion,” Alisha Aitken-Radburn, of Bachie (Honey Badger) and Bachie In Paradise fame, explains.

“If we ran out we could grab some in the weekly grocery shop. In Paradise, from memory, there were pads, tampons, along with condoms in our rooms, but our producers and crew are always very accommodating if we needed anything that you’d need in the ~outside world~,” she continues.

When it comes to paradise, it makes sense to make the essentials, like condoms, seem more balanced out. For the mansion, though? Here I was imagining a big ol’ basket overflowing with sanitary products to you know, accommodate for 20+ girls all living in the same house, at the same time. At least they got a say over whether they used Supers or Slims, I guess?

As for painkillers and food cravings?

“Unfortunately we can’t really just jump in one of the cars and pop down to the shops,” Alisha explains. “But we would have big grocery shops delivered to us and we would most definitely stock up on blocks of choccies, pads, tampons, red wine and Naprogesic!”

Interesting. Do you reckon they can get prescription Mersyndol past producers? Asking for a friend.

Now I’m not sure if you’ve ever experienced this, but when this girl (hey, hello) has her period, she needs to piss like a pregnant woman 99% of the time. That’s a lot of interruptions for something like, oh, I don’t know, the filming of a primetime television show. Right?

“We didn’t have to stop any takes, ” Alisha says. “But we would often pre-warn and apologise louder into our mics to the sound engineers that we had to go do a wee, so they could turn off our mic and not have to listen us going to the toilet (gorgeous…) right in their headphones. I cannot tell you how many times during a cocktail party I’d say, ‘SORRY SOUNDY TOM I HAD TOO MANY CHAMPAGNES PLEASE TUNE OUT.’”

1 like = 1 prayer for Soundy Tom.

This raises questions around other period symptoms, like cramps. When I asked Alisha if you could sit out of a group date, a la a sick note for P.E, if Aunty Flo was torturing your uterus, she replies: “Absolutely. Cramps can be just as serious and debilitating as being out with the flu, spraining your ankle or contracting conjunctivitis.”

Whether you suffer from cramps or not, have a tampon perfectly lodged or not, I don’t think there’s any period-haver in the world who can safely say that they’ve never stressed about a possible leakage. Add a certified thottie, Osher Günsberg‘s hair and an entire cast and crew to the mix and yep, the fear surrounding the potential situation soars.

Luckily for Alisha, she didn’t leak during any dates. That being said, she did mention that “It would be a really good indicator of whether Bachie is a keeper or not,” and look, she’s not wrong. “I know I wouldn’t be interested in a guy who was immature or made me feel ashamed for something that is a completely normal part of being human.”

Periods really do stop for no one, so sometimes you’ve just got to ride that wave – whether you’re in a mansion, a Fijian villa or a festival portaloo.