There’s a lot to know about periods – let’s keep it to the salient facts!

On the journey to securing financing for Mondays, Elisabeth and I spoke to more men about periods than women! This is due to the fact that men, in most cases, currently control the purse strings in determining which companies get financing. During the course of those many conversations, it became apparent that the topic of menstruation is way out of most men’s comfort zone!

Periods: not a topic most men have discussed EVER with ANYBODY! So whilst it was shocking to hear some of the questions and assumptions made about period products, but how can we as women blame men for this lack of knowledge when they are excluded from the conversation?

Menstruation is a natural, healthy and biological process that every woman (that’s 50% of the population) experiences, so here is a list of the basic facts every man should know so we can start normalising the conversation:

The Beginning and the End!

  • Menarche is a girl’s first period. It usually happens somewhere between the ages of 11 and 15.
  • A woman goes through the menopause (the ceasing of menstruation) and stops having periods between the ages of 45 and 55. 

The (menstrual) Cycle itself

  • A woman’s period (the time she bleeds) can last for anything between 3 and 7 days each cycle.
  • A woman will have approximately 450 periods in her lifetime.
  • Every woman’s cycle is unique.  A cycle is the length of time from the first day of one period to the first day of the next.  A cycle lasts anything between 21 and 40 days, the average being 28.

The Products

  • On average a woman will use 11,000 period products in her lifetime, that equates to 25 period products every month.
  • Women have a variety of products to choose from, some being reusable others single-use. In the below images we have explained what these options are:
An overview of all available period products
reusable period products
Reusable period products
single-use plastic-free period products
Single-use period products

It is important to mention though that there is no black and white rule, the majority of women use a combination of products depending on their bleeding day, daytime, mood, social events and/or other influencing variables.

Armed with this knowledge, as a man you will now understand:

  1. Why women need bins in bathrooms (to dispose of period products), 
  2. Why periods products should be available in the workplace and schools (so when a period arrives unannounced a woman is able to continue with whatever she was doing)
  3. What products you need to purchase in an emergency for the women in your life!  (Alternatively of course you could recommend her to get a subscription to Mondays!)

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