Menstrual Health definition and up-dated Terminology

I had the joy of attending a virtual Days for Girls conference in early November. While a lot of the conference was “shop talk” that would be meaningful to teams/chapters/clubs who are making and distributing kits, there were meaningful discussions around sustainability, best practices while engaging local leaders, and up-dates on DfG’s work in menstrual health advocacy. It is this last piece that I would like to share with you. Using terms consistently in work with menstrual health allows all of us to be effective communicators and advocates. The first picture included is not actually from the DfG conference but is a more detailed definition that I think is the basis for the DfG definition (the citation is at the bottom of the picture). The second picture is the DfG definition and the final picture are other terms associated with this work (notice the DfG log on the top). You can learn more in DfG’s policy and advocacy section of their website. You may also want to check out the health education section to do some trainings that will help you feel more confident about talking about menstrual health. Both of these sections are under the larger heading “What we do” on the main page.

At the beginning of this work (now several years ago for me), I remember using phrases like ‘feminine hygiene’ which is gendered and implies that menstruation is dirty, too dirty to even mention by name. I’m working on my own language and writing to us ‘menstrual health’ instead. I often say ‘reusable’ when taking about the DfG pads or my own menstrual cup, but the language of ‘washable’ certainly sounds better. Reusable does sound, well, used and while that is true, it sounds much nicer to say washable, meaning it is clean and can be clean again.

Thanks for taking a minute to look at these terms and become a well-informed advocate for EveryGirl.EveryWhere.Period.

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