Menstruation in the U.S. is primarily taught through physical education or health classes. I was less than thrilled about having to learn from our gym coach, but that was a different era. Now we can certainly do better, but that’s a topic for a different day.
I think it was the summer I was 14 years old; I honestly feel like I’ve been bleeding for so long I don’t remember exactly when my first period began. I do remember the false positive experiences before it actually began; like the time I had a cut on my finger and didn’t realise it was bleeding until I used the toilet and wiped myself. I yelled to my mom to look as I saw blood on the toilet paper and then saw my finger – I felt a panic and a relief in less than 30 seconds.
I actually began to better understand periods through a comical book that I couldn’t believe we were allowed to read. That book, “Are You There God It’s Me Margaret“, is one of the most famous books about menstruation. It was published in 1970 and it is still popular today.
Judy Blume wrote this book for her daughter because she didn’t want her to worry about menstruation. The book is about a girl who has just started her period and she talks to God about her feelings, which helps her feel better.
Nowadays the menstrual products in the book consist of pads and tampons. During my era, the menstrual products in the book consisted of sanitary belts. Sanitary belts were a thin, elastic strap that held the cotton pads in your undergarments.
Sanitary belts were the best option before the advent of the adhesive pads and tampons.
Oh quelle horreur?!
This product certainly would NOT have worked on me or many of my fellow #EndoWarriors but thank the universe for innovation. Could you imagine being in that physical education class having to wear that contraption?
Books on menstruation are a great way to destigmatise the topic and normalise it. They can also be used as a tool for menstruation education.
Books can be the bridge from a parent who just isn’t knowledgeable or emotionally equipped to handle the discussion. Along with experiencing the pangs of menstruation it takes a toll on your mental health.
It’s important to find books that are both pleasant and not too heavy to read, as they help us normalize our behaviours and discussions. If you don’t like what you find you could always begin your own narrative in menstrual health.
Journal your experiences, draw cartoons, or anything else that will allow for a release in a creative manner.
We have curated some of our favs here! Remember, your purchase supports our community to continue to message. We belong. We bleed. Period.
*This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.