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‘The Last of Us’ answers how to handle menstruation in a zombie apocalypse

Being a teenager in the midst of a period cycle... in the midst of the world's last days, has to be tough.

If battling for your life during mass societal collapse sounds messy, wait until you imagine dealing with it while on your period. 

Throughout the episodes of “The Last of Us,” audiences grasp essential information about the HBO series’ main characters, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey).

In the show’s sixth and most recent episode, titled “Kin,” which aired on Feb. 19, fans learned that for all her immunity to the show’s global pandemic-inducing infection, the stubborn teen is not at all impervious to her monthly flow.

The show’s latest episode sees Joel reunited with his brother when he and Ellie join a quiet but thriving community in Wyoming. As the two are welcomed and settled in, Joel’s new sister-in-law, Maria, gifts Ellie the ultimate survival kit: a set of clean clothes and a menstrual cup — a reusable item that collects blood during menstruation.

A menstrual cup can be worn much longer than a pad or tampon — usually up to 12 hours — and can be reused indefinitely, which would be helpful during an apocalypse that presumably shut down any production of menstruation products.

Fans of the series were quick to share their relief over a practical solution to a sometimes catastrophic experience.

“I am so obsessed with #TheLastOfUs finally showing us how people deal with menstruation in the apocalypse,” one user commented of the scene with images from the series showing Ellie learning how to handle her period.

In response to the episode, another fan wrote, “menstrual cup representation on this week’s The Last of Us… that’s what we like to see.”

“And the fact that she now has a long-term solution so we don’t have to worry about our girl struggling to find tampons or pads anymore,” another replied.

“I was more worried when she actually found them in episode 3. Those were 20-year-old tampons, I’d rather bleed on my jeans,” one wrote in a tweet referencing a moment earlier in the series when Ellie expresses relief after finding an old Tampax box near a person infected by the show’s virus.