The practice of instinctive flow, which originated in the United States, consists of retaining the blood of one's period in the vagina, without the use of sanitary napkins and tampons, in order to evacuate it voluntarily, in the toilet for example.
What is free instinctive flow (FIF)?
Free flow instinct: a method democratized in the United States
How to practice free instinctive flow?
Step 1: Observe and understand your menstrual flow
- The arrival of your period: know how to predict with certainty when your period will arrive in the next few days and know your premenstrual symptoms and your cycle
- Key moments: know when your blood usually flows and when it does not flow or when it does not come out
- Quantity: which day of the cycle and which time of the day is the most important for blood loss
- Sensations: being able to feel the sensation of blood flowing into the vagina from the cervix to the labia minora, feeling uterine contractions, or bladder pressure, urge to urinate, heaviness in the lower abdomen
- Your daily activities: what activities do or do not promote flow (sports, bathing, sleeping, carrying heavy loads, sneezing...)
This exercise will allow you to reconnect to your body sensations and establish the first reference points to set up the free instinctive flow. Indeed, your cycle may not be regulated like a clock, and menstrual blood does not flow continuously: it is therefore necessary to rely on a set of factors and signals to be deciphered in order to practice the FIL effectively.
Step 2: Experience instinctive flow at home
At Elia, we offer a model of shorts in ecru color to practice the FIL and to quickly check if drops have been evacuated involuntarily. As you go along, you will develop a habit!
Step 3: Listen to your body and analyze your blood flow
After holding back your bleeding, you can go to the bathroom, or shower, to evacuate it! The goal is to gradually increase the time during which you are able to hold back, so that you can evacuate it only when you go to the toilet to pee: from about fifteen minutes you can quickly go to a few hours by making your desire to urinate coincide with your relaxation of the perineum muscles!
It's easy to train yourself to let the urine flow to the toilet, because we are generally conditioned to relax the pelvic floor once we are sitting on the toilet, or even to push! The urine stream usually flows much faster and first: don't be fooled, the blood is more viscous and takes a little longer to flow down the vaginal wall. It is also very useful to observe visually what is flowing, to appreciate the quantity. Don't hesitate to stay a little longer on the throne to wait for the last few drops to come down.
As time goes by, you will be able to refine your sensations to be more and more efficient in the practice of FIL during the day. Once the reflexes are acquired, it is then possible to train them to last at night, because it is less easy! The muscles tend to relax naturally and make menstrual continence more complicated.
Why opt for free instinctive flow?
- It's economical: you won't have to spend money on menstrual protection every month, free instinctive flow is free!
- It is good for the planet: without waste and without production, the free instinctive flow engages only you and leaves no impact on the environment
- It puts you back in control: you are now fully aware and in possession of your bodily sensations, you can also free yourself from the inconveniences linked to sanitary protection in your sexual life
- It is good for your body: without endocrine disruptor, this method of menstrual continence also allows you to strengthen and maintain your perineum, which supports your entire pelvic floor: goodbye to organ descent!
- There are no odors: secretions do not have time to stagnate in your sanitary protection and bacteria to develop there, they are evacuated after a few hours throughout the day
Is it dangerous to practice free instinctive flow?
The disadvantages of the practice of free instinctive flow
- After childbirth or a difficult pregnancy: the perineum is less tonic and its contraction over a long period is compromised. It is therefore necessary to first undergo perineal re-education
- Sports over a long period of time: if one or two hours of sports activity is perfectly feasible, over a longer period of time without access to a toilet or during sports that are particularly physical for the body, the risk of overflow is increased
- During a bleeding period or a copper coil: this implies going to the toilet several times an hour, which can be complicated if you are not at home
- At night: when you are particularly prone to heavy sleep and muscle relaxation, you are usually on automatic pilot and blood could stagnate for several hours in the vagina depending on your flow
- Without access to a toilet: if you are on the move or without access throughout the day to a toilet, you will not be able to evacuate!
- If you are very tired and/or ill: fatigue causes you to lose concentration and the muscle contraction of the perineum is reduced, as well as repeated sneezing or coughing which can lead to involuntary leakage!
In these cases, we advise you to double up with menstrual panties!
Is it possible to practice instinctive flow with heavy periods?
Free gut flow FAQ
How to practice free instinctive flow?
To practice free instinctive flow, you must first listen to your body and its signals that indicate that blood is flowing from the cervix and down the vaginal wall. As soon as this is the case, you should contract your perineum and only release it when you go to the bathroom!
Is it possible to hold back your period?
It is quite possible to voluntarily hold back the flow of blood from your period, and only facilitate its flow when you decide to do so! This is called the free instinctive flow or the free flow instinct method.
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