With Menstrual Hygiene Day this week, we want to get the conversation flowing about reversing the social shame around periods. The day is meant for advocating for menstrual education and spearheading the change towards a more equitable opinion on menstrual health and hygiene. Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions about this monthly visitor.
nixit founder Rachael Newton is advocating for a change in dialogue surrounding periods and period products. To her, nixit is not just about providing ethical, sustainable and innovative period care, but also for using its platform as an educational tool. Inspired by her drive to alter societal myths, here are five common stigmatized myths surrounding the topic.
Myth #1: Only women get periods
Let’s begin with the most important fact of all. Yes, most women get a period, but there are other groups of people who do as well. Trans men, intersex, gender fluid, and non-binary people, they bleed too. Society has reinforced gender fixations that only further stigmatize those that do not identify as female. Let’s stop making everything “feminine” and pink. Period care should be created for anyone who bleeds.
Myth #2: You need to smell like roses
Scented washes are definitely going to throw off the vagina’s natural PH balance. Because the vagina is self-cleaning, it’s not necessary to clean it internally using soap. Water is perfectly adequate, although a wash designed specifically for the vulva is the best option for those who prefer external cleansing. nixit recently released a foaming wash safe to use on the body or for menstrual cup cleansing.
Myth #3: Periods are dirty
Let’s set this one straight. Menstruation is a natural occurrence that 1.8 billion people experience worldwide. Both discharge and periods are meant to happen and are the opposite of dirty. The vagina is a natural cleaning system and menstruation is a healthy occurrence.
Myth #4: Poor menstrual hygiene is a choice
Believe it or not, menstruation isn’t a choice and many people have low access to period products (that are usually pink taxed) or safe water to clean a cup. Because of this, perfect menstrual hygiene is not easily achievable for everyone. It’s also important to recognize not everyone is educated on menstrual health/hygiene.
Myth #5: You can’t have sex (or masturbate) on your period
This societal stigma stems from the fear of messy period sex. Simply throwing down a towel, whether with a partner or going solo, can fix the worry of too much mess. With the nixit’s menstrual cup, you don’t have to worry about any mess at all. Its unique design allows it to sit in the vaginal fornix, leaving room in the canal for…anything.
So let’s get a few things straight. Periods aren’t just a women’s issue, they’re not dirty or wrong, and they’re not a choice. It’s time we put an end to these harmful myths and shift the conversation one voice at a time. So, this Menstrual Hygiene Day, let’s celebrate periods and keep the conversation flowing.