Roughly half of the world’s population experiences menstruation at some point in their lives. As it affects so many individuals, you'd think we as a society would have a greater understanding of menstrual health. But that's the thing. While it is a common, natural process, there's still so much we can learn. This episode of ‘Attached to Hygiene’ is the first in a series aimed at helping the industry design better products for her. Joining host Jack Hughes to discuss menstrual health and the specifics of the cycle is Danielle Keiser, Managing Partner of Impact at Madami and Founder of Menstrual Health Hub .
On cycle health and the word hygiene
When we talk about hygiene, the tendency is to think of making things clean. This is why Danielle believes using the term ‘menstrual hygiene’ is a disservice to the goal of promoting health and wellbeing. Simply using the word ‘hygiene’ reinforces the stigma of unclean—the need to sanitise—during a woman’s period . Danielle prefers ‘menstrual health’ or ‘cycle health’. Just like any other hygienic practice, we do these things to achieve a higher level of health. Plus, they both embrace the entire cycle.
To design and produce better products, the industry needs a clearer understanding of her needs all month long. How can our products best support her through each of the four phases? According to Danielle, menstrual education empowers everyone, from the young girl to society as a whole. It also allows article producers to discover new opportunities within the menstrual health market.
Outline of the Episode
- [03:39] International Menstrual Health Day
- [05:19] Madami – Solutionary experts and consultants in women-centred design
- [09:05] The value of paying attention to social enterprises
- [13:00] Menstrual health vs. menstrual hygiene management (MHM)
- [18:20] The downside of emphasising ‘hygiene’ rather than ‘cycle care’
- [22:42] The four phases of the menstrual cycle; how body chemistry influences energy and actions
- [32:46] Menstrual education before menstruation empowers young girls
- [35:11] Informed choice on contraception and menstrual health
- [40:08] Improved understanding of menstrual health catalyses new markets
You can also download a copy of the Glossary for the Global Menstrual Movement, mentioned in today’s episode.
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Host: Jack Hughes
Music by Jonathan Boyle
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