Wouldn’t it be liberating if we could be openly kinder to our bodies during our periods, particularly in places of education or employment?
At home I quite often use hot water bottles to help with cramps and devise various outfits of comfort and warmth to help with the intense and painful periods that I have. From talking with friends I know I am not alone in this and yet I have never ever seen anyone with a hot water bottle on their lap in the various work environments and jobs I have had.
I remember at my all girls secondary school which I went to between the ages 11 – 16 that if we had menstrual cramps we could all ask for a hot water bottle and sit with it during our lessons. It really wasn’t a bit deal. And it really did help. Then, when I went to a mixed school between ages 17 – 18, I realised that none of the girls sat around with hot water bottles. It was a subtle but noticeable change between two different school environments.
While I have not yet felt comfortable to wear jogging bottoms or use a hot water bottle at work I equally have never felt at ease taking a day off for period cramps, nausea, or heavy menstrual bleeding.
Fundamentally I would like to live in a society where menstruation and particularly problematic menstruation (whether that be pre-menstrual syndrome, pre-menstrual dysmorphic disorder, endometriosis, adenomyosis, peri-menopause or menopause) could be given greater visibility and kindness in public. It really feels like it’s time to end the taboo about periods.