Menstruation + shame: they go hand in hand. But not because of the reasons you might think. Here are five reasons why you should be ashamed.
1. You’re pretending to be tough
Heavy cramps. Suddenly not menstruating anymore, even though you’re not pregnant and definitely not in menopause. Depressive feelings just before getting your period. Heavy blood loss which causes you to miss school, work or other appointments. Pretending you’re a tough girl and just continuing your daily business isn’t always a good idea. Especially not if you’re feeling unwell. Menstrual complaints are a legitimate reason to pay your GP a visit. They can be caused by an underlying medical condition.
2. You’re embarrassed by leakage stains
Half the world’s population menstruates. The amounts vary, but even if your monthly blood loss is only a teaspoon: there’ll be a day when you’ll encounter a leakage stain. On your nice white trousers or your pristine white sheets. And no, even though most tampon commercials want you to believe otherwise, leakage stains are not something to be ashamed of. Shame on you for feeling ashamed!
3. You deny the influence of hormones
During the menstrual cycle there’s a lot going on in your body. Hormone levels rise and fall. These fluctuations usually won’t go unnoticed. Chronic diseases such as the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), asthma, allergies and acne: they can all get a bit worse because of raging hormones. Also monthly mood swings, feeling bloated and chocolate cravings aren’t fiction. You’re being influenced by your hormones and admitting this isn’t weak, but strong.
4. You don’t dare to ask for support and/or understanding
See also number 3. Not feeling like sex (or feeling like it). Not having the energy to go horse riding, bootcamping, partying all night or whatever. It’s not a weakness to ask for some understanding when you’re on your period. And yes, it’s perfectly normal to add any supplies you need to the shopping list. Too bad for the lovers, fathers and brothers who’d rather not be confronted with menstruation: buying tampons for your partner, daughter or sister is completely normal. Get over it.
5. You don’t think about alternatives
You participate in all the health hypes, but you don’t think about the hygienic products you’re using. In her lifetime, a woman throws away about 13,000 tampons and/or sanitary pads. That’s a lot of rubbish. Most of these products contain toxins (chlorine used for bleaching or traces of pesticides when they’re made of non-biological cotton). And yet you’re buying them every month. Not considering sustainable alternatives, that’s embarrassing!