Articles / Meet Nurse Zoe

Meet Nurse Zoe

09.05.2024 4 Minutes
Meet Nurse Zoe

Did you know 80% of workers in Australia and New Zealand feel anxious about having their period at work? By openly discussing periods more, we’re hoping we can help change that stat. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing stories of real people and how they manage their period at work. 


Where do you work and what is your job?

I am a Registered Nurse at a busy Brisbane Hospital.


When did you first get your period? 

My first period came when I was 13 years old. I'll never forget it because it struck on Christmas Eve! I was mortified and essentially spent Christmas Day in the foetal position feeling very sorry for myself. I remember early on I'd go through so many period products. I'd be checking and changing pads every hour or so as I didn't really know how much the products would hold and hated how they felt. Mastering the tampon was a game changer and it was smooth sailing for years. Back in 2020 I purchased my first menstrual cup! I ended up trying three different brands until I came across the Hello Low Cervix cup in 2021. The difference this cup has made is incredible. It took some practice but now I'll never go back to disposable sanitary products.


Do you have an embarrassing period story from work?

I have managed to escape pretty unscathed in this department but one story happened in my pre-cup days. I got that oh so familiar trickling feeling at work one day and, sure enough, my period had arrived early! Joy! Naturally, I had no tampons in my bag. I asked around and none of my colleagues had any either. I was just contemplating having to utilise one of the very bulky adult incontinence pull up pants (that we keep for patients at work) when a shout of success rang out and a colleague produced a single tampon from the depths of their handbag. Phewww! From that day on, I went to work with half the sanitary product section of Coles in my bag, just in case.


How does your period generally affect you at work?

My period these days is actually pretty painful. After years of pain-free periods, the last few years have seen the arrival of very bad cramps and am often woken in the night by them. The pain often makes me feel quite nauseous. As long as I'm armed with Panadol and Nurofen, this pain is manageable. I do have to be mindful of going to work during my period though. As a nurse, my day is hectic and I often struggle to find time to pop to the loo. There always seems to be a phone call or family member that wants to speak to me just as I'm heading to the bathroom. This is where my Hello Cup saves me every time. The peace of mind of knowing it holds 21ml means that, if necessary,  I can comfortably wait until my allocated lunch break to empty  it. Once my flow is lighter from day 3 onwards, I don't need to empty it all shift! Gone are the days of worrying how many hours the tampon has been in for. With a never ending to do list at work, the last thing I need to be worrying about is my period. My Hello Cup lets me focus on my patients instead of worrying about my flow. 


What tips do you want to share around managing your period at work?

For me, Panadol and Nurofen are essential pharmaceuticals. I simply can't function at work with my level of period pain without taking some analgesia, it would be impossible and unsafe. Be extra careful if you suffer from brain fog and ask your colleagues for extra help and support if you feel like you're not coping. Take bathroom breaks when you can (not always possible I know) and always do your best to take your allocated breaks. I am yet to try the period undies, but I think they would be amazing for those days leading up to your period or situations where you feel your period has arrived/ you're leaking, but you simply cannot leave your patients. I look forward to trying them! And the biggest tip of all is to buy a Hello Cup! Once you master them, they will change your life for the better!


If you are a Hello Period user, what is your favourite Hello Period product and why?

The Hello Period Low Cervix Cup. After trying three different brands of cup, I accepted that cups weren't for me. The ones I tried all had a stem and they were varying levels of firmness. I would feel the stem poking into me and hated it. The firmness was also an issue. If the cup was too soft then I couldn't get it to open and if it was too firm it would make me feel like I needed to do a wee all the time and it even felt like my period pain was worse than ever. I had given up until I found the Hello Period Low Cervix Cup. Practice makes perfect and now I can't live without it. I can't feel it once it's in and it does the job superbly.