It's Time To Bust These Shocking Menstruation Myths

It's Time To Bust These Shocking Menstruation Myths

Let's talk periods, ladies...

It would be easy to assume that in 2016, period myths are a thing of the past. Would you be shocked to learn they aren't?

From girls in Malawi who believe if they cook with salt on their period they'll make their teeth fall out, to women in the UK who still can't talk about taking sick leave because of their period, attitudes towards menstruation are still socially prescribed around the world - and they're often incorrect.

Which is why ActionAid are keen to bust these myths as we approach Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May - and they've even masterminded a series of brilliant vintage-style posters to highlight them.

Read more about Aunt Flo here - as our Hannah Rochell writes we should all talk about periods more openly...

Existing research shows that around the world many women still see menstruation as a taboo subject. For instance, did you know that in Malawi girls are taught to avoid using salt to cook with when you have your period as it makes people get sick? Or that in Burundi women on their period cannot bathe near any shared utensils as people believe their menstrual blood can kill their family members? Some Ugandan tribes don’t let menstruating women and girls drink milk from cows in case they contaminate the herd. And in Malawi it's believed that if someone walks behind you when you've got your period, their teeth will fall out.

Things aren't exactly better here in the UK, either. A new poll released by ActionAid reveals that one in three British women are embarrassed about their periods. 

A new YouGov poll of 1,096 women in the UK aged 16 and over explored British women’s attitudes towards their period in the last two years and found that women aged 16 - 24 were more likely to be embarrassed about their periods than women aged 25-39.

When asked what situations would be the most embarrassing to get their periods in:

* 67% said whilst swimming/ on the beach
* 67% said at a social event
* 65% said on their wedding day
* 65% said whilst exercising
* 63% said at an interview
* 63% said during a long commute
* 62% said at work/ school
* 48% said when being intimate with a partner

The survey also found that over three and a half million girls and women in the UK have missed school or work because of their period. Yet worryingly, only a quarter (27%) spoke honestly about the reason.

In 2016, it's upsetting to read that women can't talk openly about something that happens naturally every single month - and, let's face it - can make us feel pretty rubbish in the process.

Embarrassed? You really shouldn't be.

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