A wellbeing brand is calling for everyone to start talking about periods as new research* reveals 11% of men still think women can NOT get pregnant on their period alongside other alarming myths.
Half the population have a period and yet it’s still a topic that men struggle with or understand according to new research from intimate wellbeing brand Intimina UK, which is calling for everyone to start talking about periods properly. The study reveals that there is still an alarming education gap with men that’s fuelling period stigma and misinformation in the UK. Despite many prominent campaigns to encourage discussion, staggeringly, one in ten men (14%) have never had a conversation with a woman about periods.
As part of the study men were also asked a number statements regarding misconceptions around menstruation to see which they believed. The results were eye opening 11% of men still believe it’s impossible for a woman to get pregnant on her period. A quarter of men (25%) believe you have to remove tampons to urinate. 14% believe that tampons and periods can get lost in the vagina and nearly one in ten men (8%) believe periods attract sharks in the sea.
“These figures are deeply concerning – the fact that 11% of men believe it’s impossible for women to get pregnant if having sex during her period underlines the work we still have to do. There’s no doubt that we still need to destigmatise the talk around periods – for everyone – people should not be bullied or teased for having periods, which are as natural as men growing hair. It’s time to open up and be up front and frank about what periods mean, in school, university and the workplace so that we tackle period myths and everyone can appreciate the health concerns they can bring.” – Intimina UK gynaecologist Dr Shree Datta
Open and honest conversation with partners and proper menstrual education for everyone in schools will be key to changing the period stigma culture in the UK which is why INTIMINA is calling out for everyone to start the conversation.
The top three reasons men gave for not talking about periods were: I don’t think it’s right for men to talk to women about periods (30%), I’d feel to uncomfortable to talk about periods (30%) and I don’t understand enough about periods (25%).
“It’s useful to bear in mind that periods are a part of our health and lifestyle. There’s no shame in speaking about period pains, in the same way as we discuss headaches or abdominal pain. Using the word “period” means that everyone knows what you are talking about rather than phrases such as “Lady Red”.
“Perhaps sound out the other person to make sure they are comfortable discussing periods before launching into a detailed conversation about them, but do remember they are a normal part of our lives and can signify a lot about our health. Perhaps one tip could be about using the correct terminology sympathetically and avoiding phrases like ‘on the blob’ etc. Or something around checking on what the other person does and doesn’t feel comfortable discussing before launching into a conversation.” – Intimina UK gynaecologist Dr Shree Datta