Timing of periods

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by anon2021, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. anon2021

    anon2021 Member

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    sorry males - I didn’t know where else to ask this.

    What if as a female, I get my period when we need to swim? I will not take pills, hormone shots, nor do I use tampons.

    Would it be ok to ask a superior at that time for advice? I understand that it’s army training and that we have to go through everything, but that’s a little nasty and unsanitary.
     
  2. jimmy3

    jimmy3 Member

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    since you're doing army they rarely do swims, at least for my battalion. i have a friend who is about to be a MS4 and he only swam once or twice throughout his time in AROTC. so i wouldnt worry about that too much.
     
  3. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB 10-Year Member

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    This should be a fun thread.

    I’d say unless there is some medical reason you can’t use tampons, you might want to find some that work for you. Either that or look into a diva cup (very popular with backpackers). Pads are zero fun once you have crawled through a mud pit or fallen in a water obstacle.

    More to answer your question specifically,
    I don’t know how much swimming is involved in basic, but I am guessing you will still have water survival and swimming at some point in your cadet career. Like I mentioned before, unless there is a medical reason you can’t use a tampon, chances are you’ll have to swim. Period (no pun intended). While a male superior may get squeamish, he’ll probably direct you to a female counterpart who will most likely hand you a tampon and say see you in the pool.

    I could be wrong, but that is my impression at USAFA, and we’re supposed to be chill compared to USMA
     
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  4. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    All cadets at USMA are required to take a swim class. And you will take a swim test during beast and you don't get to reschedule it at your convenience.
     
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  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I was going to send this in a PM but figured it could help some others. Agree with USAFAs 10s about getting comfortable with tampons. Sitting out is not something you want do. Also, it will be more than swim class. You are going to USMA and eventually be in the operating forces of the Army, you are going to be in the field, sometimes a lot. Sometimes for days and even weeks on end. As a Marine the longest I went was 42 days with no shower. Part of being in the field is learning how to care for your body when you are hot, dirty, and no showers. Field hygiene is important to keep your body going in austere conditions. And it’s an issue to care for your body for men and women while in the field. Even during Beast, I know you guys go to Buckner for a time period. You will get rained on and could be wet for hours or even days. Current Cadets or grads can chime in, but guessing there are some type of obstacle type courses that has water involved too? Oh and for many woman during indoc training, due to stress, exercise, change of life, their monthly cycles will change during training, many even lose it. Your body eventually adjusts. There will be female upper class who can help you too.
     
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  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    There is also plenty of candid advice online for first-time users of tampons (I just looked) in terms of techniques and product recommendations, regardless of history of sexual activity.
    It’s a normal human body function, which you can deal with in a practical way.

    The military can and will unavoidably be an austere operating environment. As NavyHoops noted, you have to take charge of your body and deal.

    You have chosen to gain your commission by entering into a full-immersion Service Academy approach, meaning you will step into active duty status as an adult on the day you raise your right hand. You will adapt to that environment; it will not adapt to you.

    Thousands of young women have entered the military over the last decades. Perhaps some felt as you do. It’s a new life - challenge yourself to be open to change in the way you do certain things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  7. mom3boys

    mom3boys 10-Year Member

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    There are going to be several situations over the 47 months that you are not comfortable with. You don't get to decline. You do what you have to when you have to. This reminds me of when everyone was given the flu mist...whether they wanted it or not, they all got it. Maybe a candid talk w/ your doctor or some cadets or grads in your area would be prudent before July 2.
     
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  8. Dixieland

    Dixieland 5-Year Member

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    Something else to consider along these lines is that you will not be allowed to bring in containers of Advil, Midol, Tylenol, etc., to self-treat cramps when you report to CBT. You will need to get that from the Medic or clinic.
     
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  9. anon2021

    anon2021 Member

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    All, thank you for the advice. I did not mean to sound like I was going to opt out of events that I am not comfortable with. I understand what I signed up for and am excited for every aspect.

    I was more asking how I could improve the situation and the sanitary aspect because not only is it more than a little “gross”, this stuff in the field can also cause a lot of health problems so I was wondering about the best way to go about it.
     
  10. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    We wish you the best. You’ve gotten inputs from women who’ve worn the uniform. You can also see an ob-gyn to have a very practical, common-sense talk about the best solution for you.
     
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  11. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    Is your mom on the Proud Mom of Female Cadets page? She should be. Have her ask your question among those experienced mothers of female cadets.
    You will figure this out and you will rise to this challenge and every other challenge.
     
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  12. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    I think you have been given sound advice.

    I would only add that while we don’t say as much, the Army is like the Marines in that every person is expected to by a rifleman to some extent. You don’t get to pick the time or place where you will find yourself doing uncomfortable things, and this starts in Beast.

    Two stories come to mind. My Dad telling me about his division landing in France Christmas Day 1944 after losing 800 men crossing the English Channel. What we euphemistically term “the clerks and jerks” were stripped out of his unit, told to grab their weapons and immediately sent to the Bulge in order to plug the gap.
    Flash forward to about 2004. KBR convoys in Iraq were being hit and the Army needed “shotgun drivers” for the convoys. Infantry and MPs were tapped out. So the Army pulled the “clerks and jerks” from Kuwait, cooks, finance and personnel specialists and such, had them quickly re-zero their weapons, formed “provisional infantry platoons” out of them, then I flew them up to Najaf where they were thrown into the thick of things guarding convoys. When I looked back into my aircraft almost all of them were female. No time out, no “ally ally in come free”. No “it’s that time of the month”.
    So my point of this is to reiterate what those above have told you. Figure something out that works for you.
     
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  13. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    Personal readiness is the key to unit readiness.
    And, perceptions of what is truly “gross” (going back to OP’s thoughts about dealing with a body function) can definitely evolve after your senses take in things they will never unsee/unsmell/unhear/untaste/unfeel.
     
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  14. cr062999

    cr062999 Member

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    Feel free to PM me, I am a 2021 female and would be more than happy to answer your female specific questions!
     
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  15. kd8fdi

    kd8fdi Member

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    Hey anon2021, so I was beast cadre last summer. Every platoon will have at least one female cadre member who will talk to the female new cadets privately at some point about the best ways to do field hygiene and offer experience. Most of us guys also would not be weirded out if we need to point any female new cadets to get help or advice either. Just talk to your cadre. I think you will be surprised at how things that may seem uncomfortanle and weird or gross in the regular world arent so strange at the academy. Most people here are very good at being professional and behaving like adults. It will only be weird if you make it weird. Good luck this summer!
     
  16. 20192023

    20192023 Member

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    While I am not a cadet and cannot give you this information based off of experience (hopefully next year I will be able to!), but I remember at SLE there was an all girls Q&A session where many of the questions pertained to periods. Many of the female cadets said that they just invested in Super Super tampons. Some even were on birth control as well. One cadet mentioned how she knows a female grad who suppressed her period for a few years in order to avoid getting it while at the academy and during her active duty service. Hope this helps!