by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH. CEO & Co-Founder of Pandia Health.
It’s time to stop #PeriodStigma. Let’s talk about periods.
Periods are Being Censored
Pandia Health, birth control delivery company put up a billboard to educate women about #PeriodsOptional in Northern California and the owner of the billboard site was asked to take it down because some considered the image “crude, crass, distasteful.”
However, Periods are not obscene. This is just a cartoon to spark conversation. There are no body parts. There is no sex here. This is like showing a used tissue after a bloody nose or a bandaid after a cut.
This is something that happens to those with uteruses almost every time they have a period/bleed (every month for 30 years from 12 years old until 50).
Period Problems Deserve to be Recognized
Let’s TALK about periods! Menstruation! We shouldn’t have to hide, be embarrassed, or revert to euphemisms like Aunt Flo, TOM = Time Of Month, SharkWeek. #periodProblems are real. Painful periods. Periods that cause anemia. Periods that stain our underwear, clothing, sheets.
Let’s not go back to “blue liquid.” Women aren’t aliens with blue blood. Our blood runs red.
It took until 2011, for a company (Always) to have the #GiantOvaries to NOT use blue liquid to mask periods in its print ads. Even then they still had blue liquid on their packages in 2016.
Women are bleeding/having periods every day. End the #PeriodStigma.
While we celebrate the Period emoji (I still can’t figure out how to get it to show up on my iPhone), it’s still showing only a vague drop of the blood. That could be anything — hemophilia, blood donation, who knows? It’s ALWAYS more than just a drop! Let’s push the emoji on the right.
We are moving forward yet we have people upset by a cartoon? People wear underwear. Those with uteri bleed. Get over it.
Menstruation Representation in the Media
Thank you to Thinx for always being on the cutting edge. Their campaign about men having periods (MENstruation) might get some men to understand what it’s like to bleed randomly every single month for 1 week for 20–40 years! (LOVE the one with the stain and the string hanging out!!)
However, it’s telling/sad that they disabled comments!
From period.org “1 in 5 teens have struggled to afford period products, 84% of teens have either missed or know someone who has missed school due to period poverty, and 60% of people believe that period stigma continues …. In the first city-wide study on period poverty, 46% of low-income women had to choose between a meal and period products…. 34 states still tax menstrual products as luxury items. Ironically, products such as Rogaine and Viagra are considered medical necessities and are exempt from the state sales tax.”
Did you know that those with uteri use 10,000–13,000 menstrual hygiene aka period products in their lifetimes? We can decrease that to 3,000 by educating women that they can #SkipPeriods or #PeriodsOptional. Learn more about how you can make periods optional too.
At Pandia Health, we surveyed 1000 women and most of them (58%) wanted to #SkipPeriods. If you want to skip your period, you can make periods optional!
So, please share the periods optional mission and let’s help end #PeriodStigma!
Please share your #PeriodProblems aka stories of Period mishaps in the comments!
The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.