When it comes to menstruation preferences, you're free to do what you want. And for some women, this involves foregoing any sort of traditional sanitary products whatsoever. Intrigued? Then you may want to look into how to free-bleed, and why it won't necessarily ruin all of your furniture.
If you research the concept of free-bleeding on certain corners of the internet, then it may be shunned as an extremist practice that's basically an active form of protest. And although this may be true for some free-bleeding practitioners, plenty of others just choose the practice because it's more comfortable. Of course, for some people the idea of women acting for the comfort of their own bodies is nothing short of revolutionary.
For some women, free-bleeding means going without any sanitary products. For instance, Harvard MBA and all-around badass Kiran Gandhi famously ran the London Marathon and bled freely for the whole race, as noted by Cosmopolitan. From a practical standpoint, it's smart to keep two things in mind: changing a tampon in a mid-race Porta-Potty can be time-consuming, and some people straight-up use the bathroom on themselves during a marathon, so a smudge of blood is rather objectively less gross. In some situations, such as athletics events, it can make sense to opt out of obnoxious tampons. Because no-one gets through 26.2 miles smelling like a rose anyway.
But for women who, say, have an office job or a white sofa, free bleeding may still be an option. You don't have to go all-out. For instance, there are now special period panties made of leak-proof fabric, as noted by Buzzfeed. Because you're foregoing pads and tampons, you're still free-bleeding, but you don't have to worry about stains or blood spots. This is a good call for women who want to decrease the amount of disposable pads, liners, and tampons that get sent off to the landfill.
At the end of the day, you can look at free-bleeding as another option for coping with menstruation. You can certainly stick with pads or tampons if those options work for you, or even consider the trendy and reusable menstrual cups. Lastly, if you just don't feel like bothering with anything, then free bleeding is an option, too.