#MHD2020: Menstruation is Not Unsanitary. Period.

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Today is Menstrual Health Day 2020, and it as the month of celebrating periods, draws to a close, I’d like to share my period story and a few thoughts that I have.


My first encounter with what seemed like my period came in class 4, so I must have been 9yo. I was getting ready to shower when I saw blood on my panty, I ran downstairs, crying to my Mum. Whether she was shocked or moved, I can’t remember, I just remember her being gentle as she got pads, showed me how to wear, and that was kinda it. I only bled for a day or two then the “periods” went away till class 7, almost 3 years later, they came in full force and never left.

I don’t think I ever felt that I was ashamed of my periods, I just didn’t like them, and what their presence meant. The cramps, the moods, the fact that mine were so heavy they kept spitting out my tampoons and that I went from small to large tampons in a span of 2-3 periods. My periods have been heavy and would last for up to 5 days. I would be told, wait till you give birth, they reduce along with the cramps. I can’t say that it’s been my experience until I changed over to using a menstrual cup and later cloth pads. I can say I barely get cramps when they do come they are not as bad as in my youth. Is this a scientific proof of this? No, it’s just been my personal experience.

My collection of menstrual products from left to right: Blue & Pink cloth pads from Afripads. Kitenge Cloth pads from Pad Mad Kenya. Menstrual Cup from RubyCup and a sponge I am yet to get the guts to use.

Yet out of all the period related struggles, that I am yet to overcome, mine remains wearing white during my periods. I had a friend at University who would wear her white pants when her periods came. She just felt fresher that way, she said, and I admired her for it. I can see why it would be hard to wear white, because when that red hits it, surely everyone will know! And it’s a “dirty” affair hiding, covering, and cleaning up after yourself!

But you know what…. white should be the color of periods. Because where we’ve been told that Periods, our menstrual cycle, is unclean and must be “sanitized” (solutions being sanitary wear, pads, et al) we shall fight back and say… Our Periods Are Clean! There is nothing unsanitary, dirty, ikky, or yuk about periods. It’s the way nature shows us that our reproductive system is working well (or not). It’s what makes me – woman, it’s my femininity. It’s integral to God’s divine design of bringing life on earth. Why would it be dirty and unsanitary? 

Instead, what needs changing, what needs sanitization, what needs to be cleaned up, are the policies in place [or lack thereof], that STILL exclude millions of girls and women from accessing menstrual health material be it information, pads (disposable or cloth), cups and/or the freedom to enjoy their periods.

We need to take action to take action to help create better menstruation policies to ensure menstrual health is made a priority as a country, continent, and world.

MHD2020 #MenstrualHealthDay2020 #ItsTimeForAction #PeriodPositive #PeriodPositivity #PeriodsAreClean #PeriodsAreGood #EndPeriodStigma #EndPeriodShaming #UnderstandPeriods #EndPeriodPoverty #PeriodPoverty #MyFirstTimeStories #MenstrualCup #ClothPads #MenstrualHygiene