The Period Dictionary

Approved by our medical experts

We’ve pulled together a few words you might want to get to know, so when it comes to chatting periods, you can go with the flow.


The shedding of the unused lining of the uterus. (Want to find out a bit more? We’ve got a great blog that covers all things periods.

Take a look

Cycle/Menstrual Cycle

The monthly cycle the body goes through to prepare for pregnancy/your period.

Cups (menstrual cups, moon cups, diva cups)

A small silicone cup inserted into the vagina to collect period blood.

Tell me more


Small cylinders of cotton type material inserted into the vaginal to absorb period blood.

Applicator Tampons

The same as the above but they come with a little cardboard or plastic casing which you use it to insert the tampon.

Find out more about tampons here

Pads & Liners (period pads or towels)

Rectangles of absorbent material which are placed into the pants to absorb period blood.

Find out more

Period Pants

A reusable type of period products, period pants look like normal underwear, but they collect your flow. You can then wash them and use them again.

Discover more about period positive pants here!


The internal section of the female genitals leading from the outside to the cervix.

Click for a handy diagram


The area of the internal female genitals at the top of the vagina and cervix. This is where the lining is built up to prepare for pregnancy, if the lining is not needed (by a fertilised egg) this lining is broken down, starting a period.


The outer part of the female genitals (anything on the outside of your body down there).


Small glands on either side of the uterus where eggs and hormones are produced.


The small passageway at the end of your vagina that connects your vagina to your uterus.

Discharge (vaginal discharge)

A sticky fluid that keeps the vagina clean and protects it from infection.

Cramps/Period Pain

The physical discomfort felt from the contractions and hormonal reaction which happens to break the lining of the uterus down. Period pain can be felt in the tummy, back and legs. Sound familiar? We’ve got some tips for helping with period pain

Get the tips


Chemical substances made by the body that act as messengers for different functions and processes. Oestrogen and progesterone are two types of hormones which play a part in the menstrual cycle.


Jelly-like blobs of period blood and tissue. Find out more about period blood, clots, colours and textures here!

Period Products

Items such as tampons, pads and menstrual cups used to collect or absorb period blood. There’s a lot out there, we’ve got a great overview of some product here.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

The physical and emotional symptoms people who bleed get on the run-up to, and during their period. This could include greasy skin and hair, bloating, mood swings and headaches. Need more info?

We’ve got you covered


The rating which many period products use to show how much period blood they can soak up.


When your period decides it wants to escape your chosen product meaning you get blood on your pants, clothes, bedding, wherever it can get to! One of those lovely little situations we all have…pretty much every month! Trust us we’ve all been there!

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

A VERY RARE but serious illness that can be caused by a specific bacteria going into the body and producing toxins. This illness in some cases is linked to the use of internal period products such as cups and tampons this is one reason why you should make sure you don’t leave products in for too long – if you are concerned about TSS you should speak to an adult or school nurse.


When a child’s body begins to develop including growing pubic hair, boobs starting to develop, growing taller and starting your period.