A study of 1,000 British women run by ActionAid showed that 54% of girls and women aged between 16-24 shy away from discussing their period entirely. Not only this, but 65% of women from a study ran by Eve Appeal say they even avoid saying the word 'vagina' entirely, and instead refer to phrases such as 'down there' - it's only a word after all, right?
Personify your period, and you generate the world's worst houseguest. Sometimes arriving much earlier than expected, other times you wonder if it will visit you at all. Regardless of its time keeping, it always makes a mess and never offers to help clean up. All in all, periods are incredibly inconvenient.
A third of us would consider missing a party this Christmas - simply because of a lack of confidence when we're on our period. A huge 3 in 4 women expect their sanitary protection to fail them at some point while they are on their period, and this is reflected in the kind of underwear ladies turn to during their time of the month.
We wandered up to the start line and I snaked across to the first-aid tent and whilst I knew sanitary products didn't feature in an emergency response bag, I had hoped that some kind organised female would have one in her bag. After embarrassingly relaying my story to her she kindly produced something from her bag...
We need to talk openly about this issue to remove the stigma that surround periods, and ensure finding solutions for menstrual hygiene management are included in efforts to improve health, education, and access to sanitation facilities. Fu Yuanhui is one sportswoman who inadvertently shined a spotlight on this issue. But together, we can all help break the stigma surrounding periods.