Gen Z TikTokers abandon menstrual products in favour of 'free bleeding' onto towels

One TikToker says she chooses not to leave the house throughout her period.

Just as we all cottoned onto the idea of swapping out traditional menstrual products for period undies, along comes Gen Z, ready to challenge the status quo with a rather unconventional trend called 'free bleeding.'

This movement involves discarding tampons and pads entirely, allowing nature to take its course unobstructed, all in the name of "honouring" the body's natural processes.

TikTokers talking about free bleeding
Women on TikTok are sharing their experiences with 'free bleeding,' which involves forgoing sanitary products and allowing natural bleeding. Photos: TikTok

This intriguing trend has found a substantial following on TikTok, where young women are openly sharing their empowering experiences.


Take content creator Annette, who goes by the handle @sacralsecret. In a TikTok video addressed to her 184,000 followers, she boldly declared, "I stay home when I’m on my period. I stay home and I bleed."

She went on to clarify when she's on the go, period underwear is her go-to choice, but when she's at home, she fully embraces the 'free bleeding' lifestyle, relying on nothing more than a towel. She even goes so far as to describe the experience as "orgasmic".

But what exactly is 'free bleeding'? Put simply, free bleeding is the practice of menstruating without the use of traditional period products, like tampons, pads, or menstrual cups, to manage flow.

TikToker Annette went on to provide further insight, explaining that for her, it's a unique experience that she now actually looks forward to each month.

"Free bleeding is when you don't block the flow at all, not even with pads or underwear," she said. During her period, she simply lies in bed or on the couch with a towel, emphasising the essence of 'free bleeding' lies in tuning into your body's natural processes and honouring them.

"I actually really love the feeling of cramps," she admits, "and the contractions of birthing the uterine lining."

Naturally, opinions on this matter polarised the comments section. Some question why not use a pad if you're still going to 'free bleed' onto it, while others jokingly suggest it could be some kind of menstrual "cult".

"My endometriosis cringed when you said you love the cramp and contractions," replied one woman.

Seamless female panties in the hands of the girl. White background with sun shadow.
'Free bleeding' specifically means not using anything to block your period flow. Photo: Getty

Another TikTok user, Hannah_poko7, entered the conversation with a video asserting that her period has become "lighter than ever" since embracing 'free bleeding.' However, the ever-present question remains: "Wouldn't the same result be achieved with pads?"

Then there's the more pressing concern: "How do you get out of work for a week once a month??"

"I glad you can stay home for a week every life isn't that luxurious," responded one person.

A third TikToker also contributed to the discussion, sharing her two years of 'free bleeding' experience and describing it as "life-changing". She even claimed to experience fewer cramps and shorter periods. However, another individual chimed in, mentioning her own extended 'free bleeding' experience, which resulted in periods lasting for 7-12 days.

Now, you might be wondering if there's any scientific basis for this trend.

According to holistic Doctor Amy Carmichael speaking to the New York Post, there's no scientific research to back the claim that 'free bleeding' leads to lighter periods. Nevertheless, Dr. Carmichael believes that this movement is positive, as it helps break the stigma surrounding menstruation.

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