I received an email from Bodyform to promote conversation surrounding periods, and I felt myself shying away from responding. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to talk about periods on my blog, even if I had already written about the taboo of period talk recently. Instantly I recognised that I was part of the problem, so I decided to be a part of the solution and agreed to write this article.
Why should I feel embarrassed or ashamed to write about periods?
Newsweek summed it up perfectly “Every woman in the history of humanity has or had a period. Each month, her uterus sheds its lining, sending blood flowing out through her vagina (unless she’s pregnant, in which case she gets a lengthy reprieve). This process is as natural as eating, drinking and sleeping, and it’s beautiful too: There’s no human race without it. Yet most of us loathe talking about it.”
Bodyform released a study and 48% of women believe there is a stigma attached to periods. The prevailing attitude that periods are icky, but I can’t help but think this perspective has been built on misleading information. It appears that it’s not just blood, we in society, have an issue with. Some would say that it’s to do with everything in terms of the female body that’s leaking and seeping, and anything that’s coming out of us as women
It appears that it’s not just blood, we in society, have an issue with. Some would say that it’s to do with everything in terms of the female body that’s leaking and seeping, and anything that’s coming out of us as women is viewed as disgusting. So that would be menstruation, breast milk, sweat …
This taboo, coupled with our lack of education, has resulted in unfair and quite frankly ridiculous myths about periods:
- She can’t get pregnant during her period
- She should rest during her period and avoid exercise
- She must see a doctor after her first period
- Her period should last for exactly one week
- Virgins shouldn’t wear tampons
- She can’t swim during her period
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is all in the mind
- Talking to your daughter about periods before she starts will scare her
Honestly, what the HELL? Can we appreciate that there are people in the world that genuinely believe that you can’t get pregnant during a period? In a matter of fact, this is widely believed, yet completely untrue. Without creating conversation and discussing periods freely, these myths aren’t going to go away anytime soon. The result? Unwanted pregnancies for one… The point of this post isn’t to scaremonger but simply to put into perspective as to why it is important that we break this taboo and begin discussing periods.
So, let’s forget the myths and learn the facts:
- It’s a biological fact that menstruating makes you hornier. Doesn’t sound so icky now, does it, guys?
- Women in Western cultures will experience about 450 periods over their lifetime. GET OVER IT!
- The average woman will use nearly 11,000 tampons over her lifetime. Put it on your regular shopping list.
We need to begin educating young women about periods to kill the stigma. It’s so important because how are they meant to know that if you’re soaking through a pad or tampon more than every two hours, that might be an issue. Wh’s going to tell them that dark or brown period blood doesn’t mean you’re dying, or the fact that it is totally fine and healthy to get no period at all while on birth control.