Spiders, snakes, heights, and small spaces. These are four of the most common phobias. But you can also have menophobia, and be excessively afraid of your period.
Women suffering from menophobia – the Greek word for month (meno) + fear (phobia) – have an irrational and excessive fear of the monthly period and will do anything they can to prevent or stop their menstruation. Often they are experiencing so much stress, their periods won’t come anyway.
There’s also tokophobia, a pathological fear of pregnancy and/or childbirth. Tokophobia can be primary (when a woman has never been pregnant) or secondary (when it’s developed through a traumatic event during a previous pregnancy or childbirth).
On the Dutch website Angstlijst.nl, a long list of 418 irrational fears can be found. If one of these fears takes up over two hours of someone’s day, that person has a phobia. The symptoms are usually the same: panic. This shows in sweating, shortness of breath, palpitations, a dry mouth, shaking and being unable to speak coherently.
Menophobia often starts in the puberty, by a lack of information and advice about menstruation. People who aren’t prepared for the situations they encounter, have a higher risk of developing phobias. Other triggers are a fear of pain, heavy blood loss, PMS and feelings of shame. Sometimes the word ‘menstruation’ alone is enough to trigger an anxiety attack.
Like any other phobia, also menophobia can be treated. So if you’re suffering from it, don’t hesitate, but visit your GP and discuss possible therapies.
The T-shirt ‘Menophobia Sucks’ can be ordered for £ 18,50 at the British Café Press.