FACILITATORS

Mense-ed

Mense-ed provides practical and engaging menstrual education workshops for teachers and school staff to support the creation of a positive menstrual culture in their school.

Why?

  • Many girls will start their period before they finish primary school(1), and many more will be wondering when they will start
  • Currently a majority of girls anticipate their periods with dread, disgust, embarrassment and even shame. Some experience period-shaming and bullying about the changes of puberty
  • An overwhelming majority of women report a negative, poorly supported experience of menarche and this has not improved significantly for girls going through puberty today

Australian and international studies have linked girls’ experience of menarche and menstruation to impacts on

  • the risk of depression (3,6,9)
  • self-esteem (2,7,8,9)
  • body image (2,4,5,7,8,9,10)
  • confidence in peer relationships (2,3,6,7,9)
  • the confidence to make healthy choices (3,4,9)
  • later childbirth experiences (5)

What can we do differently to create a more positive outcome for girls?

We can promote a positive menstrual culture at school with confident communication about preparation for menstruation, body literacy, menstrual management and self-care as a natural and easy part of a girl’s life.

Our Mense-ed trainers are education, health and community service professionals with a special interest and skills in positive menstrual education. We have a commitment to bringing the best evidence, best resources and best practice to support schools in their quest to create a positive menstrual culture in their schools.

References

  1.  Whincup, PH, Gilg, JA, Odoki, K, Taylor SJC & Cook, DG ‘Age of menarche in contemporary British teenagers: survey of girls born between 1982 and 1986’ British Medical Journal 322:1095
  2. Beausang, CC and Razor, AG, ‘Young Western Women’s Experiences of Menarche and Menstruation’, Health Care for Women International (2000), 21(6): 517-528
  3.  DeRose, LM and Brooks-Gunn, J, Running Head: Adolescent Emotional Development and the Emergence of Depressive Disorders, 2007,    Cambridge University Press, UK
  4. Leger, L, ‘A Baby Born to Body Literacy’, Femme Fertile (2006)
  5. Moloney, S, ‘How menstrual shame affects birth’, Women and Birth, (2010)23,153-159
  6. Patton, GC, Hibbert, ME and Cartlin, J et al., ‘Menarche and the onset of depression and anxiety in Victoria, Australia. Journal of Epidemiology and   Community Health, (1996)Dec;50(6):661-6
  7. Rombeck, G, The Winding Road to Womanhood, Geson Hyltetryck, Göteburg, Sweden, 2008
  8. Rombeck G, Möller, M and Gunnarsson, RK, ‘Attitudes and feelings towards menstruation and womanhood in girls at menarche’, Acta Pædiatrica  (2006) 95:707-714
  9. Shah, N, Menstrual Education: The Impact of its Shortcomings, National Women’s Health Network; the Women’s Health Activist (March/April 2009)
  10. Witwicki, D, ‘Stuck in a Body Literacy Gap’, Femme Fertile (2006)