Approaching Menstrual Education (part two)

Approaching Menstrual Education (part two)

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.

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How Do We Approach Menstrual Education in 2020?

How Do We Approach Menstrual Education in 2020?

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:

  1. Periods were completely brushed over, hardly warranting a mention.
  2. They left absolutely terrified, completely ashamed and unprepared.
  3. 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.

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Tackling the ‘Endo Bloat’

Tackling the ‘Endo Bloat’

Left: Relatively recent side on photo of my stomach
Right: My stomach during a recent bad endo flare up, underwear are digging into my stomach halfway up and leggings are covering my underwear.

I feel like I start every post that pertains to my chronic pain like this but hi, my name’s Mal and I have endometriosis.

Along with a delightful cocktail of other life-impinging symptoms, I, like 83% of others with endo, get the pleasure of looking six months pregnant frequently.

For me at least, this bloating is frequent, extreme and painful, which is what sets it apart from being bloated from your period or pasta intake.

Within the endo community we call this bloating ‘endo belly’, and along with fatigue and nausea is one of my most prominent symptoms.

And apart from the pain, you know what this makes really difficult? Pants.

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My Period Hacks

My Period Hacks

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

Why I Don’t Hate Having a Period

Why I Don’t Hate Having a Period

Before I even start, I need to preface this post by saying that I haven’t had a real period in over two years now. I’m on the pill, so my ‘periods’ are withdrawal bleeds or fake periods (I have a post on this if you missed it).

Also, I need to acknowledge that my stance in this post comes from a place of privilege. I am privileged to be able to make my period manageable, I have access to menstrual products, pain medication and birth control. I am also privileged to be able to afford reusable period products and I recognise that not everyone has access to any or all of these things.

With all of that that said, on with the post… Read more

The Low-Down on Menstrual Cups

The Low-Down on Menstrual Cups

IMG_2362.jpeg

This post comes highly requested and well overdue, but it’s finally time to talk about menstrual cups!

I spoke briefly about cups in an earlier post, but I received a quite a few messages asking for a post with more detail… so here we are, let’s jump right in.

What is a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup is a reusable alternative to the traditional tampon, usually made of medical grade silicone. It is inserted into the vagina, creating a seal to collect menstrual blood, rather than absorbing it. Read more

My Relationship with Body Hair

My Relationship with Body Hair

If you’ve seen much of anything on my blog you’ll know how strongly I feel about period positivity – and that, for me is mirrored in all things girls are brought up to feel ashamed about.

Periods, body image, sexuality and our body hair (among others obviously) are all things that we learn to surround with shame and silence, where they should be topics coloured with conversation and choice. Read more