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Stigma around the Menstrual Cycle

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

Written by: Kashish Sachdeva

The Menstrual Cycle is considered to be a sensitive topic to bring up in daily conversations. The ignorance surrounding the topic reflects the disregard of problems women suffer from constantly. Many people are often found uneducated on this topic, as well, because schools aren’t completing the right measures needed to ensure that the information about the Menstrual Cycle is passed down to all the women and others that need it. The Menstrual Cycle is the cycle in which “a woman's uterus grows and sheds a lining which could support the development of a fertilised typically occurs in 28 day cycles” ( Women are afflicted with intense cramping or throbbing in the lower abdomen, dull and continuous ache, nausea, and headache during or near their Menstrual Cycle.

The lack of accessibility to pads is another severe problem related to the Menstrual Cycle. The stigma around the Menstrual Cycle often leads to no discussion or actions taken to ensure that women are in sanitary conditions during their Menstrual Cycle. For Instance, “Menstrual Stigma must Stop. Period” states, “Many young women don’t have access to any type of sanitary pad, which can cause them to miss school and cause them to be 70% more likely to have reproductive tract infections'' explaining the damages caused by the lack of sanitary pads during ones’ Menstrual Cycle (UC Berkeley).

Women are often mistreated due to their menstruation and denied basic human rights and dignity. For example, the infographic on states, women can be “excluded from everyday physical spaces, forced into solitary confinement, forbidden or required to bathe, and banned from cooking or touching food” during their menstruation cycle (Infographic: End the Stigma. Period.) The deprivation of basic human rights and mistreatment due to a health condition that one cannot control is simply immoral and needs to be averted through resourceful actions and open discussions.

Compared to previous generations, the world has progressed with beneficial actions carried out by nonprofits and organizations such as Period Inc, No More Secrets, and Our Code Red. With this being said, this progression is still happening at a slower pace. Although the stigma around Menstruation may seem like a tough topic to overcome, ultimately with more education, female empowerment, increased resources, and open conversations about women’s health, menstruation can no longer be seen as a taboo. In order to remove the taboo from menstruations, big organizations and educational places such as schools and the workplace must educate their members on the Menstrual Cycle and treat it as a serious problem. Once people can start having casual conversations surrounding this topic, the change needed to provide women with a more sanitary environment can be met.


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