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Adebusola Abujade / Her Campus Media
Health

Menstrual Taboo

Imagine not having the option to choose the type of menstrual product you use during your period. Imagine your parents don’t educate you on menstruation before your first period or buy you tampons from the store every month. Many young menstruators around the world experience this every day, especially those who come from backgrounds that continue to view periods as a taboo.

The meaning of “menstruation” has been viewed negatively throughout our history, especially since we have almost always been within male-dominated societies. Female individuals didn’t have the opportunity to decide what their periods meant and how to talk about them since they were frowned upon by men. There was a fear of blood and disgust towards the women who bled. To this day, there is a taboo surrounding menstruation. I know friends who never had the “period talk” with their parents and others whose parents believe tampons are related to virginity or are completely unhygienic. I’ve had friends who wore pads during high school sports games because their parents didn’t give them the option to choose tampons or other insertable, more comfortable menstrual products.

[bf_image id="97gf8brgkv7x8rphvwnxc7j"] In order to get rid of this taboo, we first need to realize that it is embedded in our society and it will take a lot of people taking action to make a difference. Although it may be difficult, it is important to converse with your family on menstruation as often as possible. Talk about your period as if it is a normal day-to-day topic of conversation. Tell them you can’t make an event because of heavy bleeding and ask for a menstrual cup as a birthday gift. The best way to beat this taboo is to educate the younger generation. Positively talk about menstruation to younger cousins or siblings and give them the opportunity to ask questions because it might be very new to them. Mention that they have the option to choose whichever menstrual product they please and to not let anyone negatively comment on their periods.

[bf_image id="qd3zix-gcrbmw-8ly3qe"] The main takeaway is to just talk about your period! It’s always been a part of us, and therefore, should be normalized.

Kaleigh is a third year Global Disease Biology student with a passion for women's health. She hopes to influence others to explore their passions at Davis and to continue to follow their dreams. She enjoys running, backpacking, and self-care!
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