What Happens When You Have A Period In Space? And Other Questions We Secretly Want To Ask Yelena Serova

Russia’s first female astronaut in 17 years faced some sexist questions. But questions we kinda want to know the answer to nonetheless


by Stevie Martin |
Published on

Yelena Serova is the first female cosmonaut in 17 years (?!) and has, quite rightly, criticised journalists for asking about how she’d be able to do her hair in zero gravity, while the guys who are on the launch got asked the serious questions. About the mission. And space. ‘Can I ask a question, too: aren’t you interested in the hair styles of my colleagues?’ she responded in true kick-ass cosmonaut style, blatantly annoyed considering she’d also been asked, at a previous press conference, how she'll manage the mission considering she’s also a mother. Classic.

While we’re just as annoyed as her that journalists are trivialising the mission, and focussing on the fact she's a woman and has children, we also sort of want to know the answer. Er, how do you wash your hair? And also, can you put a tampon in 200 miles above sea level? Can men have wanks up there?

There are so many unanswered questions, we decided to do some hardcore investigative research. So you don’t have to.

**How To Wash Your Hair In Space **

Just because you’re floatin’ around in the sky, doesn’t mean you have to let your daily routine go to shit. As astronaut Karen Nyberg demonstrates below, hair washing suddenly becomes one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I mean, look at the water. Look at the hair. I’ve been watching this on repeat for about an hour.

How do you have a period in space?

For ages, people were afraid to let women go into space in case they bled all over the mission or whatever, but thankfully NASA are over that now. Sending a pair of ovulating fallopians into the Milky Way isn’t as bad as they thought it was going to be; many space medics believed that the menstruation could float back inside the woman, which could lead to endometriosis. Turns out, everything works just as you think it would – there are tampons, sanitary pads and the flow isn’t even as heavy as when you’re earthbound. If anything, it’s a bit easier. During launches, spacewalks and landings, astronauts can’t go to the loo and so they are wearing essentially a big nappy that can catch any period blood – guys wear the same thing in case they, er, crap themselves. Sometimes women on their period get decompression sickness more easily than men or those who aren’t being visited by the painters and decorators, but it’s certainly not life threatening. So there you go.

READ MORE: Our Definitive Guide On Having Sex During Your Period

What happens to your boobs in space?

Depends. If you’ve got implants, there is a genuine fear that they’ll explode, but it’s never actually happened before. In terms of normal boobs, look forward to the zero-gravity effect because hey, who needs a bra? In fact, women wear spacesuits that hold everything in place so they won’t float all over the place. As evidenced by this, er, inventive idea of filming Kate Upton in a plane that simulates weightlessness.

**Can men have wanks in space? What happens to the, YOU KNOW? **

Yep! Sex in space is pretty hard because of all the floating and the fact that things don’t stay where you put them (ie P in V), but if an astronaut's getting lonely and has a bit of privacy then there’s no reason why he can’t bash the cosmic bishop. In fact, according to Michael Collins’ book Liftoff, ‘Before the Skylab flights, various medical concerns were expressed, including the possibility of the celibate crew getting infected prostate glands that could lead to urinary tract problems. One doctor advised regular masturbation.’ Each astronaut has a private sleeping area, and what happens in the private sleeping area, stays in the private sleeping area. Unless it floats off, so guys have to make sure they’ve got something to catch the semen with. Nice.

Can you wear makeup in space?

Again, yep, but your Max Factor foundation won’t stay on your face. Or any of the stuff you buy in Boots, for that matter, because it’s just not created to look hot in zero gravity. When the first females were prepping to go to space, NASA figured they’d want make-up, so engineered special make-up bags. Which was very sweet of them. Although, when you’re hurtling through a giant vacuum, we’re not sure lipstick is going to be at the forefront of your priorities.

Well, I think we’ve all learnt something today.

**Like this? You might also be interested in... **

Ask An Adult: Are Horoscopes Really A Load Of Old B*****ks?

Ask An Adult: Does The Truth Really Come Out When We're Drunk?

Ask An Adult: How To Learn How To Be OK With Failure

Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM

Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us