Let’s Talk about Periods

WHC Admin Women's Health Week

Watch the TED talk and have a conversation with a family member(s), a colleague(s), or a friend(s) to discuss and make decisions about what you can do to help normalize the conversation about periods. 

Why can’t we talk about periods? By Jen Gunter, MD, FRCS(C), FACOG, DABPM, ABPMR (pain)

11 min 42 sec

Topics and Questions for Discussion

  1. Dr. Gunther shares that her mother knew nothing about menstruation except that it was “dirty and shameful” and that she shouldn’t talk about it.   When she spoke to her girlfriends about it, everybody spoke in euphemisms.  When she spoke about it to her doctor she was told to eat liver.  
    1. What have you experienced when trying to talk with others about menstruation?
    2. What will you do next time someone tries to make the topic “taboo”?
  1. She talks about buying menstrual products, she had to buy it in the “feminine hygiene” aisle.  
    1. Can understanding the history behind how menstruation has been viewed help us move forward to better conversations?
    2. Are there examples you have seen and can share that show how we, as a society, are learning from our history?
  1. “It shouldn’t be an act of feminism to know how your body works or to ask for help when you’re suffering.”

Painful menstrual cramps affect 50 percent of menstruating girls and women (here). According to one report (here), heavy menstrual bleeding affects 34 to 37 percent of teens. Both of these conditions can negatively impact health and quality of life. These conditions are common causes of absenteeism from school and work. For estimates on how dysmenorrhea has impacted absenteeism, see here and here.

  1. Now knowing how many girls and women are affected by painful menstrual cramps, what can you do to be a better support to others (or perhaps for yourself)  who struggle with this? 
  1. What more do you want to learn about Women’s Health?  
    1. What will you do to learn more?

For footnotes on this TED Talk click here.  

For further learning and reading on this topic click here.