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We don’t need articles to tell us that anything and everything surrounding menstruation is traditionally downright stressful. From PMS, to painful cramping, to missing out on school, social activities, or work – periods can be disruptive and unpleasant. For many, it’s pure agony which they feel must be masked due to social pressures and obligations.
To add insult to injury, countless TV shows, movies, advertisements, and even politicians have framed periods as being shameful. Conversations on the topic would mostly consist of jokes on menstruating women being incorrigible, and if anything, the botched narrative ended up causing much harm and needless discomfort for sufferers.
With National Period Day coming up, I want to take a closer look at the topic.
Times Are Changing
Thankfully, we are living in a great turning point in history. Conversations that revolve around menstrual health are becoming normalized. Companies are being more accommodating to the menstruating workforce, and numerous municipalities worldwide are working to remove the “pink tax” on menstrual products. Across pop culture and social media, menstruation is being presented as the natural and healthy bodily process that it is.
While it may now seem simple and obvious, this conversational shift is long overdue.
According to a statement by the World Bank, “Every day, some 800 million women and girls menstruate. Being able to manage their menstruation safely, hygienically, and with confidence and dignity is critical not just for their health and education, but also for economic development and overall gender equality.” The normalization of discussions on this matter led to the exploration of ways to focus on menstrual heath, in an effort to make each experience of it less stressful, manageable, or even pleasant.
The Focus On Menstrual Health
As menstrual conversations have become more mainstream, many people have been paying closer attention to their overall menstrual health. For example, savvy consumers are bringing under scrutiny the fact that too many menstrual care products are dangerously toxic. According to an article by Women’s Voices, “Unregulated toxic chemicals in feminine care products may result in serious health problems, like increased risk of breast cancer, reproductive problems, asthma, and allergic reactions. Chemicals of concern commonly used in feminine care products include carcinogens, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, and allergens.” This is alarming, especially when you consider how absorptive vaginal tissue is.
The best solutions are natural and nontoxic.
The Switch to Natural
Slowly but surely, natural options are becoming the norm in menstrual health. These organic, nontoxic alternatives are more healthy and more comfortable, which makes them work better. The reusable products (such as menstrual cups and cloth pads) do require an upfront investment, but ultimately save money and are less wasteful.
De Lune is an example of a menstrual health company that is creating natural, research-backed solutions for period symptom relief. They acknowledge that there are only a handful of American companies offering drug-free and nontoxic solutions to period symptoms. Among those that do offer such solutions, few offer research-based formulations- virtually none of which actually work. De Lune is here to change that, according to founder/CEO Mimi Millard, who is working to build a world where menstrual wellness is supported and celebrated. “Evidence-based efficacy is one of our core values,” says Millard.
Natural, nontoxic products are ultimately far better suited for menstrual hygiene and period symptom management. Now is the time for women worldwide to say ‘no’ to questionable products with harmful side effects, and embrace safe and healthy options.