Menstrual Hygiene Day: The importance of driving conversation around menstrual health

In our society, discussions around menstrual cycles and gynaecological health have long been shrouded in stigma and taboo. However, this silence has come at a cost, perpetuating a lack of knowledge and understanding that can have far-reaching consequences for women’s health and wellbeing.

Menstrual health is a fundamental aspect of a woman’s life, yet it remains a topic that is often hushed or treated with embarrassment. This absence of open dialogue has led to a concerning lack of knowledge, with many women struggling to understand their bodies and the natural processes they undergo. Consequently, they may struggle to recognise potential signs of gynaecological issues, delaying medical attention.

Here we explore some of the key themes in menstrual health:

Opening up the conversation around menstrual health

The role that brands have in sparking this conversation is imperative, with campaigns playing an important role in increasing understanding, whilst reducing stigma. Last year, gynaecological health start-up Daye launched the world’s first virtual Period Pain Clinic – to help women identify the root cause of their period pain and gain easy access to diagnostic information to support in managing their symptoms effectively.

Effective communication and awareness campaigns can have a profound impact on societal perceptions and behaviours. Through comprehensive awareness campaigns, we can empower women with the knowledge they need to advocate for their wellbeing, seek medical attention when necessary, and foster a culture of open dialogue. As well as reaching those who don’t menstruate and highlighting their role in the conversation.

Tackling period poverty

Another challenge we face in the realm of menstrual health is period poverty. According to a poll by ActionAid in 2023, the number of UK women and people who menstruate who are struggling to afford period products rose from 12% to 21% in one year as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

To combat the issue, there are a number of organisations and charities such as Freedom4Girls who offer education on menstrual health and provide period products to those who need them most. They believe that through education, young people can have a realistic and unapologetic picture of what it means to have a period, and this in turn plays a huge part in addressing period poverty.

The role of technology in educating women about menstrual health

Digital platforms such as apps, websites, and social media offer opportunities to consult with women and educate them about menstrual health and hygiene.

The rise of period tracker apps, for example, are playing an important role of helping to break the taboo around periods. Flo – which is a popular ovulation and period tracker app – allows users to note down how they’re feeling at different stages of their cycle, so they are better informed about what does and doesn’t work for their body. Last year, in response to a survey – which revealed 60% of Flo users think their partner’s lack of female knowledge affects their relationship – the app introduced ‘Flo for Partners’. The function provides partners with the tools and knowledge to better support and understand the menstrual health of their loved ones, helping to encourage conversation and normalise menstrual health.

The development of apps such as Flo means that women are able to better understand their cycles and make choices which are right for them and their bodies – which is why it’s important that brands in this space are staying in tune with how consumers are using technology and digesting information.

By harnessing the power of PR and strategic communication, we can challenge deeply ingrained societal norms and create a safe space for conversations about menstrual cycles, gynaecological conditions, and women’s health.

Together, through education and awareness, we can break down the barriers that have silenced women’s voices and pave the way for a future where gynaecological health is celebrated, not stigmatised.

If you would like to discuss how our specialist Healthcare PR team could help with your next women’s health marketing campaign, get in touch today.

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