Menstruation

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There are very few spaces in which girls can discuss menstruation or ask questions about it. Reuters/Zohra Bensemra

How to break down the stigma and taboo around menstruation

Menstruation is a fact of life – but in many parts of Africa, it's something that young women dread. A South African research group is working to change this.
Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson at the International Space Station. NASA

How women can deal with periods in space

We are only starting to understand the impact of space travel on women's health. But a new study has just made it easier for astronauts to decide whether they want to stop their periods.
Menstruation can cause unique health challenges, but does that mean we need special sick days? Clara Alim

Does gender equality suffer when women get menstrual leave?

A British company has just introduced menstrual leave for female employees. But such a policy risks creating a blanket expectation that all women are crippled by their periods.
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…

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