I had to think about this myself?
My fascination for the menstrual cycle was quite accidental. It was while studying Aromatherapy in the UK that I stumbled across the notion of menstrual cycle awareness. As a young person with low self-esteem, this discovery was life changing.
As I study more around the menstrual cycle, I am learning how, even now, I experience personal stigma around my menstrual cycle.
Each day (each month), I focus on the different aspects of my cycle, what I feel comfortable with and what I still feel challenged by.
Over the years I made conscious efforts, pushing through some of the fear I felt. I now can leave tampons and pads on my desk at my work, not embarrassed or worried what others may think. I am comfortable sharing with my colleagues (male and female) when I am feeling a little flat due to my period, and when I am feeling on fire due to my period too!
And yet, I still find other aspects challenging. I am open, but not sure why we choose to use menstrual blood in skin care. I have worked in an organic skincare company for many years and never have they considered this as an ingredient that would be valuable. Maybe I just don’t see the research (I would like to see research if anyone has it), and I also see the value of other products and therefore don’t have the desire. OR am I just feeling a bit embarrassed about the thought? This is what I am continuing to ask myself. What about you? What are you challenged about? (if anything!)
A research paper showed that even women who have positive messages around their menstrual cycle may find themselves confused about how to celebrate something that is ‘supposed’ to be hidden.
So, how can we change this?
According to the same research paper, simply talking about menstruation can create more positive attitudes. Increasing ‘menstrual consciousness’ will help to allow people to share and feel supported to speak openly about things. I am open to this 100%. If we talk about about our experiences, our research and our menstrual cycles, maybe we can start to increase the menstrual consciousness to our worlds.
Imagine the positive outcomes that could come from this.