The 28th of May is Menstrual Hygiene Day! And you thought it was just another Monday. Surprise!
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global platform that brings together non-profits, government agencies, the private sector, the media and individuals to promote Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).
MH Day raises awareness of the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation and highlights solutions that address these challenges, including through media work.
It catalyzes a growing, global movement for MHM and supports partnerships at global, regional, national and local level. MH Day also creates opportunities for advocacy for the integration of MHM into global, national and local policies, programs and projects.
WASH United Is the initiator of MH Day in 2013. WASH United coordinates MH Day, develops overall campaign content and manages the MH Day network of more than 410 partner organizations.
On 28 May 2014, MH Day was celebrated for the first time.
– Source: http://menstrualhygieneday.org
There are several menstruating humans that live in my home, myself among them, and though we are privileged to have ready and easy access to accessories that help us manage our special times of the month, it still does not come without its challenges, cost being chief among them. Menstruation is as much a natural and necessary part of human biological function as blowing one’s nose. However unlike forcing phlegm through one’s nasal cavities, even the sound of the word ‘period’ is enough to make a lot of people cringe.
Human mammalian menstruation remains a taboo topic, one that mystifies and horrifies people; typically the male species. Perhaps the idea that a girl/woman could endure that much blood loss over the course 4-7 days and not die is something that some people can’t come to terms with. Why, that would make girls not just human…that would make them super human; and we can’t have that! Females are the weaker sex, after all. That’s why for centuries, patriarchal communities have punished people who menstruate by locking them away in huts; forcing them to sit on pots to catch the blood until their course was up; interrupting their education; levying a tax on periods; prohibiting them from eating with their families during their cycle – and, personal favorite – forbidding them from participating in prayer rituals until they were ‘clean’ again.
Good gracious. There are more protocols around policing periods than there are for guns! But let’s talk about some good news instead.
While innovations in menstrual management have lagged behind – oh, I don’t know, the semi-annual mutations we are forced to endure on a certain social media platform under the Zuckerberg Regime – there have been some exciting changes in the inventiveness around periods. The traditional methods of handling feminine hygiene (i.e. maxi pads, tampons and liners) are expensive and wreak havoc on the environment. It takes hundreds of years for disposal pads to decompose in landfills, while flushable tampons end up in our waterways and oceans. I will never be able to erase the memory of a used tampon floating by me as I swam on the West African side of the Atlantic. Fortunately, your daughters and mine will have choices available to them for That Time of The Month that you and I could never dream of. As I am not being paid to advertise any of the following, I give you in no particular order: Solutions at Any Price Point Until Free Bleeding Becomes an Accepted Practice in Every Society/SAPUFB BAPES.
These blood-sucking panties were one of my favorite finds of 2017. Depending on the model, one pair is capable of absorbing 1.5 – 2 tampons worth of lunar production. They are highly durable, environmentally friendly and easy to care for. Just rinse and wash them as you would your normal intimate wear and voila! Oh. Before we get French-y with it; lest I forget: Don’t put these in the dryer. Ever. It will render them unusable. I had mine hanging on the line and a very “helpful” member of my household took them off, added them to GenPop laundry and tossed them into the cyclonic inferno known as our dryer.
Fortunately, Thinx is having a 30% off sale on their site in observance of Menstrual Hygiene Day. While this might not seem like a very romantic gesture, these would make the perfect gift for that special lady in your life. She’ll thank you, even if it’s with an air of mistrust and confusion. Trust me!
Visit https://www.shethinx.com/ to find out more. 30% off sale ends on May 28 at midnight EST
These reusable liners snap in place and come in all kinds of snazzy colors! Why just today, hubby mistook them for Christmas ornaments. Can you imagine these little darlings brightening up your home and hearth during the Yuletide? Neither can I, but at R187 (approx. $15) these South African made liners are a smart and economical buy. MoonTime products come with a variety of absorbancy capabilities, and even have a maternity line for women who have just given birth and need extra overnight protection.
Visit https://www.moontime.africa to learn more.
I find the concept of these scary (I imagine a 1,000 Year Old Egg nestled between my thighs suddenly bursting without warning), but three women I highly respect swear by them. And these women NEVER leak. Leakage is never a good thing. Menstrual cups are not only discrete for those moments when your kids burst into your bathroom and demand an explanation for why you’re wearing a diaper, but they are apparently very comfortable! They are reportedly very easy to clean and even more eco-friendly than fabric options listed above as they do not require as much water to sanitize them. Access to clean/potable water is a hurdle much of the developing world and Flint, MI has to contend with, and menstrual cups are a proven, practical solution to that problem.
While these methods are expensive on the front end (a pack of disposable pads retails for between $4-12) they are eventually lighter on the pocket and the Earth. Breaking the dependency on disposable items that don’t decompose is difficult, but we owe it to ourselves and future generations to try.
Have you explored other unconventional methods to menstrual hygiene? Do you have suggestions that should be on the list? Leave them in the comments and share the knowledge!