Why It’s Time To Banish Period Shaming

73% of women across the world are so embarrassed by their period that they try to hide it. In fact ,periods are such a taboo subject worldwide that some females wonder whether their periods are normal and if it’s safe to continue on with their normal daily activities when they’re menstruating. It’s therefore essential that women everywhere normalize periods in order to prevent this stigma from continuing and health issues occurring.

A Worldwide Problem

Women all over the world are being made to feel like periods aren’t normal. What’s worse is that they’re even being taxed on essential feminine hygiene products. Hungary adds a whopping 27% tax on tampons and similar items as they are viewed as a luxury item. The UK, Croatia, Norway, Sweden, and France are just a handful of other countries that add a tax to these products, too.

On the other side of the world, Chinese women are so uneducated on periods that until Fu Yuanhui swam while menstruating during the Rio Olympics they didn’t know that it was possible to swim during their period. Menstruating women in India are made to feel like being on their period is wrong and this results in them being banned from kitchens and ritual practices. Plus, it was only in August 2018, that a ban came into place in Nepal that stopped females on their periods from being banished to garden sheds.

Better Informed

As a result of the stigma attached to periods, females aren’t sure how often they should change their tampon or pad. As a general rule, these should be changed at least every 4 to 8 hours as failing to do this can result in health issues, including Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). However, it’s not just overusing the same pad or tampon that’s putting women at risk. 21% of women say that they’re unable to afford female hygiene products and confess to using rags, toilet paper, children’s diapers, and socks during their period instead.

Research shows that unhygienic practices during a woman’s period, including the use of un-sanitized items, can cause infections, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) and urinary tract infections (UTIs). BV occurs when the PH balance of the vagina is disrupted. BV is often caused by feminine hygiene products, including tampons, douches, and PH balancing feminine washes. For optimum vaginal health, you should steer clear of these items and allow the vagina to do its job itself or use suppositories. This also means women need to team up with another to normalize periods and to fight for affordable feminine hygiene products.

Normalizing Periods

It might sound simple, but the best way to normalize periods is to talk about them more often. Even freely walking to the bathroom while holding a new pad or tampon will give other women the confidence to do the same. When it comes to accessing affordable feminine hygiene products, campaigning for change is the way to go. Following petitions in the UK and Australia, both countries have announced plans to provide free sanitary products in schools. Females can also support one another by sharing their own sanitary products and donating them to food banks and similar organizations.

Periods are the biggest taboo that women across the world have to deal with. With millions of females made to feel guilty for having a period and others battling to afford the cost of sanitary items, it’s time for change. Women, therefore, need to unite and work together to banish period-shaming once and for all.

Thanks to Jane Sandwood

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