In my previous post I started to speak about menstrual education, an area of schooling I think we can all agree that we’ve seen lacking.
I think that any dedicated session talking about menstruation and focusing on destigmatisation is fantastic, highlighting that this is normal and not shameful and is clearly going to have a huge impact on what is taken away from it.
The thing that is tricky after living with a period for so many years is that you sort of forget just how little you knew, things that sound glaringly obvious to us now were not always a given.
The only thing I remember about the period education I received in school is that we talked about giving our jumpers to girls who were having a leak, and then a teacher put a tampon in a clear vase of water.
These are both things I’ve carried into running these programs, they’re memorable and not horrific, which seems to be the most anyone I’ve spoken to could hope for.
In fact, most people I’ve spoken to about this remember their period education in one of three ways:
- Periods were completely brushed over, hardly warranting a mention.
- They left absolutely terrified, completely ashamed and unprepared.
- The vital education was clouded by shame leaving the distinct impression that silence around menstruation was the expectation.
None of these are acceptable.
Neither is separating the cohort by gender, shuffling the girls into another room to whisper about the secret shames of our bodies.
Despite previously writing about why I’m thankful for my period, I think most uterus-owners would agree with me… it’s often a pretty crappy time.
My period symptoms have changed (and worsened) over time and I, like you (probably), have developed my own set of tricks for getting through the shedding of my uterine wall.
These might not all work for or suit everyone, or maybe these are things you already do, but these rituals and products are what work for me. Read more