Menstruation

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Girls are socialised early and told normal functions of the female body must be spoken of, if at all, in strictest privacy, indirectly, and not to men. from shutterstock.com

Vulvas, periods and leaks: women need the right words to seek help for conditions ‘down there’

There are endless euphemisms for women's conditions and body parts. If you can't name a body part, how can you seek medical help if something appears to be wrong with it?
It’s important a woman has a good relationship with her general practitioner. from shutterstock.com

Why women see their GP more than men

Women visit the GP more than men, particularly between the ages of 15 and 44. This difference is partly due to the management of gynaecological and reproductive issues.
We are still profoundly uncomfortable about the fact that females bleed once a month for half of their lives. Stuart Richards

The ongoing taboo of menstruation in Australia

Ask any young woman whether she feels embarrassed by her periods and she’ll likely deny it. Her grandmother might have hidden all evidence of "the curse" but not today’s liberated women. Right?
Newly built toilets at Harper transit site in Liberia. Oxfam International/Flickr

Gender equality comes one toilet at a time

While everyone needs access to proper sanitation to stay healthy, for girls and women it is also an issue of safety and equal participation in society.
Blood is just one of the body fluids we need to survive. Blood bag via www.shutterstock.com.

Eleven body fluids we couldn’t live without

By learning a bit more about these body fluids, we can develop a deeper appreciation for the beauty and complexity of our own biology.
Many schools in Kenya force girls to wear light-coloured uniforms. These show menstrual stains more easily, which shames the girls into staying away from school. Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Kenyan schoolgirls dread their periods, but simple changes could help

The inclusion of menstrual hygiene in the Sustainable Development Goals marks an important step forward, but to what extent will it address the issue of schoolgirl absenteeism?
Menstrual art with raspberry syrup. Elizabeth Tunstall

Re-doing the cycle: menstrual power protests and design

The only approach that you don’t find used in menstrual power protests is the use of menstrual blood as a love charm. Perhaps that's because it taps into the deepest fears of people, especially of heterosexual men, of being entrapped by the power of women’s fertility.
Ice-cream that understands PMS? Parker Jones

PMS ice-cream doesn’t have to be some kind of period drama

Premenstrual stress (PMS) runs the gamut of minor inconvenience to severe life-disrupting distress. So is the packaging for a range of “ice-cream that understands PMS” created by a 21-year-old American…
A rose by any other name. Katreena!

Four weird ideas people used to have about women’s periods

It wasn’t that long ago that it was believed that regular periods were essential for women’s health and in their absence, a loss of blood through another orifice was a fair substitute. In a classical Greek…
Vaginal knitting – what’s the fuss? SBS2Australia

Casting off shame through vagina knitting

One of the unexpected consequences of publishing a book about vaginas is that when friends or acquaintances encounter anything to do with the female anatomy, they forward me a link. “Saw this and thought…
Negative premenstrual moods are neither widespread, nor inevitable. Petras Gagilas

The myth of premenstrual moodiness

From the time of Plato and Hippocrates, women’s emotions have been attributed to the menstrual cycle. The Greeks believed the womb travelled around the body, causing all manner of ailments – sex and pregnancy…
Most couples having trouble conceiving are sub-fertile (rather than sterile) and may conceive naturally. kendrak/Flickr

Help women conceive with better information about menstruation

Most couples who seek reproductive assistance are sub-fertile, rather than sterile, and may conceive naturally. But for this to to be optimised, they need to accurately time intercourse on the fertile…

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