Common Stigmas Attached To Menstruation Around The World

6 Of The Most Common Stigmas Attached To Menstruation Around The World

Period-shaming is real and it happens to women all around the world. Here are just a few of the common, unfortunate ways that it happens.

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Here are some basic facts. We are well into the year 2019. Half of the world population is female. On average, women spend about 40 years following their menstrual cycle. These statements are well-known and make sense.

Here's what doesn't make sense. Some women around the world don't find out what their period is until they actually have one for the first time.

Just imagine going to the bathroom as a 13-year-old girl, not knowing that this could happen at literally any time, and finding your underwear soiled with blood. That is absolutely terrifying. Without the slightest idea of why or how it's happening, if it can be stopped, or that other girls are actually going through the same thing. From a very young age, this gives young women the very wrong idea that something within their bodies is flawed, impure, and needs to be hidden, leading to feelings of guilt and shame over a perfectly normal occurrence. From then on, women around the world are told that for a fraction of a month, every month, they are unhygienic for going through an uncontrollable, physiological response of her body not being pregnant.

Period-shaming is real and it happens to women all around the world. Here are just a few of the common, unfortunate ways that it happens.

1. Lack of access to clean pads or other products

As a result, they resort to using old clothes, which can't be openly washed or dried. For use the next month, the cloth will be left in a hidden, damp place increasing the chance for infection later on. Besides health concerns, lack of clean products also forces girls to stay at home and miss countless days of school and even work.

See also: Fighting Menstruation Myths Keeps Girls In School

2. Outside of the U.S., women are told that tampons are only for married women

Some cultures shame women into not wearing tampons because they're told that they'll lose their virginities otherwise.

3. In rural areas in Nepal and India, women were sent to sheds outside of the homes

After the death of a teenage girl in 2016, this practice has now been banned.

4. The menstrual products "luxury tax"

Periods aren't a luxury. Why are they taxed like one? YouTube

5. Women shouldn't follow certain religious practices and rituals during their periods

For fasts, this makes sense, but many times women aren't allowed to enter places of worship or pray because, for that time, they aren't "pure."

6. Boys and men are either unaware of what a period is or how it works

Periods aren't something to be ashamed of. What is something to be ashamed of, is the fact that something completely normal and uncontrollable is frowned upon. If both girls and boys all around the world are educated about this process, then they will grow up to normalize it as it should be. Furthermore, if the leaders of today have a better understanding and actively work to minimize the spread of this ignorance, then women and girls will be more confident, safer, and healthier.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Periods Can Be Complicated, But How You Take Care Of Yourself Shouldn’t Be

Your period care should be easy, period.

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Moon day.

That time of the month.

Menstruation.

Your Period.

Ladies. We can all agree that our periods, depending on how your body works, can be super complicated. You have an entire list of things that can go wrong while you are menstruating and it's about a mile long. To list a few things that plague that majority of us women are well, the obvious bleeding, the cramps from hell, breakouts, mood swings, bloating, ruined underwear.

If any of those things haunt you for about a week or more every month, then I am not here to tell you that there is some magic pill to stop it all (Because we all know Birth control only does so much when it comes to weight gain, hormones, etc). No, I am here to let you know that just because you are on your period and it's complicated as hell, the way you take care of your body doesn't have to be.

Also to be clear I'm not trying to sell you on this whole crunchy approach either, where you ditch your sanitary products and paint with your period blood, that's more BuzzFeed's thing. I just want to let you know that if you don't like aspirin/Tylenol for your cramps you've got other options!

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's tackle the main portion of what we as women mostly face during this time of the month, the bleeding! Now, just in case we have anyone where who doesn't know too much about what's actually going on down there, the run down in simple terms is your vagina likes to practice having babies.

Though, obviously, if you haven't had sex, more specifically unprotected sex (or any other way of artificial insemination) your egg, that dropped from your ovaries doesn't stick to the uterine wall, and then once the cycle has ended and there is no baby, the walls that formed begin to break down. Thus you bleed. Obviously, it's a bit more complicated than just that, but you get the gist.

So, no doubt in my mind when you were introduced to sexual education in school, to help manage your bleeding, you were introduced to a Pad or Tampon. Probably something from the Always brand, well, I'm not "coming at you" if you love these kinds of products, I mean they are what I used when I first got my period. What bothered me growing up thinking that these were my only choices. Over the last few years, more specifically after I suffered from TSS symptoms after using a tampon, I've taken a deeper dive into products that steer clear from the traditional route.

AKA there are cleaner alternatives to overly pushed branded sanitary products we all know today that leave out harmful toxins and ingredients, just to make your period "smell/feel" better. Plus, a lot of these options are cheaper than the regular name brand. These brands create sanitary products that use no more than five natural ingredients.

The Honest Co.

L. (Chlorine Free)

Lola

If using pads and tampons isn't the route for you, there are also other products that are toxic ingredients free and eco-friendly, like the menstrual cups.

If you suffer from cramps during your period, you know how impossible it seems to go about your day. The media, your family and friends and even your doctors will tell you that the best solution for your cramps would be to take some kind of medication. While, there is nothing wrong with opting in for your Advil, or Tylenol, it's best to know that before you treat your symptoms with hard medicine, that there are other ways around it that don't have serious side effects.

The first tip is to regulate your diet with foods that help alleviate cramping. Introduce, bananas, and lemons into your system before your cycle begins. Banana is loaded with magnesium, which is great for muscle relaxation, while lemons introduce vitamin C, a key vitamin that helps your body absorb the iron from your foods. Iron is important for your body during this time, due to the fact that your body is losing quite a bit of blood.

If you haven't heard of heat compression, then you need to get on this next tip now. Heat compression has been used to help sooth cramping for years. Studies have found that using a heating pad, patch or some kind of container with fluid at 104°F (40°C) was as effective as taking ibuprofen. If you don't have a hot water bottle or heating pad, take a warm bath or use a hot towel on the areas where you are noticing the pain. You can find these products on Amazon or at your local Target, CVS or grocery store.

Mood swings can be extremely overpowering when it comes to our periods. It's something that either you go through, or you don't. If you have ticked off yes, then here are a few things you can to help regulate your body's hormones to get your mood in check.

Start with multivitamins like magnesium vitamin B, and calcium D. Magnesium as mentioned before not only helps alleviate cramps, but it supports your hormones, which hello, in case you haven't been following along controls PMS. Vitamin B and (c) D help reduce your estrogen levels back down to a more "normal" state. This just means, the excess estrogen your body produces during this time of the month, makes you go through PMS, along with other symptoms like cramping and migraines. These Vitamins can be found Amazon or by going to your local apothecary. Places like Target and your local grocery store also carry these vitamins close to their pharmacy aisles.

Though alternative care and knowledge for your periods is a viable option, the best care and instructions for more severe symptoms should come from your OB/GYN or your regular physician.

With the knowledge you now have over alternative care for your period, I can only hope you take the power back from not only your period but from the "norms" of what your period care should be. Take a stand for a cleaner more natural period care and start paying attention to what you are doing to your body.

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