Misunderstanding surrounding periods
Almost half (44 per cent) of girls don't understand what's happening when they get their first period, a new report has found. The Independent reports that there is a lot of misunderstanding around periods and menstrual health in the UK, with many girls and young women unaware of what is happening to their body. The report from Betty for Schools, a period education campaign, also found that 60 per cent of women are scared of telling others they had started their period. Similarly, 58 per cent were embarrassed and 50 per cent didn't feel confident enough to discuss the matter. The report's findings highlight the fact that women and girls continue to have a lack of awareness about menstruation. Paula Sherriff, Labour's shadow minister for women and equalities, told the news provider that the findings point to a need for more conversations about female health. “Women need to feel they can talk openly about periods to ensure that future generations feel better informed and prepared,” she said. "It’s vital that young people, boys as well as girls, are educated to tackle the culture of embarrassment around periods." As well as not having the information about periods that would help women and girls, the research found that there are still many areas of women's health that seem taboo to discuss. The findings revealed that 70 per cent of women aged over 55 remember that lessons about periods at school were awkward. Of those aged between 16 and 24, 76 per cent said the same, suggesting that methods of teaching have seen no improvement. The vast majority of women (60 per cent) said that lessons about periods were not relatable enough and were too old fashioned, showing that more needs to be done to tackle the way the subject is taught. These findings, which come from a study of 2,000 women of various ages from across the UK, follows on from the news that many girls from low-income families in Britain are missing school due to a lack of affordable sanitary protection.