If you’ve never heard of ‘free bleeding’, you’re not alone. It’s a practice that’s seen a growing number of women ditching pads and tampons and retreating to their homes while on their period, to simply bleed freely.

It sounds messy (and it can be) but according to one woman, it actually makes her crave getting her period so she can go into her ‘womb cave’,

“Free bleeding is when you don’t block the flow at all, not even with the pads or the underwear,” Annette explained on her TikTok account. “So I try to free bleed, which means I stay at home when I’m on my period and I intentionally don’t go out to the store, don’t go out to restaurants, I stay home and bleed because that’s what my body is doing, I honour that.

“If I’m at home and I’m on my period then I just lay in bed with a towel or on my couch with a towel. I actually really love the feeling of cramps and like the contractions of birthing the uterine lining. The whole point of free bleeding is just to tune into what your body is actually doing and honour that process. This makes my periods orgasmic.”

@sacralsecret Reply to @champsplease ♬ original sound – Annette

Of course, her free bleeding revelations prompted a huge number of questions from women, who can’t quite grasp the idea.

“I respect your choice but this just does not seem practical and I very much doubt you enjoy the pain of it all,” said Becky Doberstein.

“Pads don’t block the flow though. It’s basically putting a towel in your underwear to absorb the blood,” another woman commented.

“How??? Don’t you have places to be? Do you just bleed everywhere? I’m so confused,” asked Chloe.

How does free bleeding work?

Free bleeding

Annette explained that she does work from home, and if she has to go out, she plans her trips.

“If I do have to go out then I will use the absorbable underwear. Hell no am I ever gonna stick something inside of me while I’m bleeding.

“The first thing that I do is assess the situation. One thing that I love about free bleeding is you get to start tuning into the pulses of cramps that your body has and how your cramps align to the dropping of the blood. One thing that almost every woman has reported about free bleeding is that her flow gets so much lighter when her yoni is less irritated from using period products.”

She says when people focus on the bleeding aspect of free bleeding, they’re missing the whole point of the practice.

“It’s not about the blood. It’s just not about what you do with your blood either, if you let it drip down your legs or if you catch it in a pad. It’s not the point. The point is about listening to the cycles of your body.”

While many of us have never heard of free bleeding, it’s actually been around for centuries, according to Healthline. Of course, things like tampons and pads weren’t around back in the day – so women used rags or made tampons from sponges. And there are cultures who have practiced different approaches to period – like menstruation huts in Bali and South India.

If you’re not quite ready to ditch the pads – make sure you check out this simple heavy flow period tip.

Would you try, or do you already practice free bleeding? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

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  • Irgh I couldn’t imagine how uncomfortable that would feel – much more comfortable to wear a menstrual cup!


  • How is free bleeding different from using a pad or to be environmentally friendly period underwear?
    I don’t get it…


  • No thank you. This is definitely not for me!


  • Sorry, but I feel it is the most impractical thing I have ever heard of and I certainly couldn’t do it with a family to take care of. To each their own, but the washing would be enormous.


  • The whole idea of this is revolting. As for enjoying the pain from cramps….I just don’t get it! I’m 62, had a hysterectomy at 41, so I’m well past that time of my life, but would have been horrified at the mere thought of doing this back in the day. I have three daughters, and have discussed this with the eldest one who is 35, and she was shocked that this is a thing. She uses a cup, to be environmentally friendly, to save money, and in the hope that it will lessen the flow. I’m not sure if she’s still using it as she was having a few issues with it and was going to try another brand.


  • No, absolutely no.
    I’m an older woman who had a hysterectomy for ongoing heavy bleeding.
    I had enough trouble containing my bleeding with the use of products, I can only imagine if I had let it run freely!!!


  • I couldn’t do this. It is hard to participate in work, and all other activities outside the home. But good on her that she is happy, and it works for her.


  • I’ve never tried this but I have heard of some cultures doing this. It’s not something I would have done and I never used tampons. We used cloths when I first started because we couldn’t afford pads and I never used tampons because of suffering from toxic shock the first time I tried them. I wouldn’t have ever left the house if I free bled since I would bleed for 3 to 4 weeks at a time and the longest I went with not bleeding was 11 days. I remember this because it was like winning the lottery.


  • Hell no! I’m assuming she doesn’t have kids or if she does she has a very understanding (read wisht-washy) partner.


  • That’s a no for me. I would rather use products than have it running down my leg. It would create more cleaning up than necessary


  • How does she manage things like work?


  • This is ridiculous on so many levels. Attention seeking.


  • This would never work for someone with PCOS or Endo. I would be stuck at home for weeks. If she enjoys her cramps they must be nothing like mine that make me throw up as they are so painful. I would just wear period undies if you don’t want anything inside you. The amount of towels I would go through and extra washing would be ridiculous.


  • I’ll stick to my modi bodi knickers. Even though I will have to throw them out one day, I’m doing my bit for the environment and I have freed myself from being stuck at home on heavy days. Besides the amount of towels I would have to wash (not to mention probably having to replace my mattress or lounge) would outweigh any environmental benefits. I know that isn’t why she is doing it but still…


  • Totally ridiculous. I remember wearing giant Modess with a belt and you could always see this through your clothes. We have come so far, this is just regression. I would have had to have at least 5 towels in bed at night. No help for endometriosis back in the 60/70’s.


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