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4 Ways Schools Can Support Menstruating Students

health

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5 min read

4 ways schools can support menstruating students blog

by Team Thinx | 02/14/2024

Medically reviewed by Dr. Saru Bala

Menstruation is a natural part of life – and at least half of a school’s student body will experience their period at school.

With students spending almost a quarter of their lives in the classroom, it’s essential that schools actively work to promote positive menstrual health and create a safe environment for menstruating students free of stigma or judgment.

Here’s 4 ways schools can support menstruating students:

1. Menstrual Product Accessibility 

Sometimes, a period at school can arrive when you aren’t prepared for it. So it’s essential that schools always be prepared to avoid any disruptions to the student’s education. Restrooms and the school nurse’s office should be well-stocked with menstrual products as well as the proper disposal facilities for used products. Our 2023 State of the Period findings found that, almost a quarter of teens struggled to access period products. To reduce period poverty, 25 states and Washington D.C. have gotten started and passed legislation to have accessibility to free period products for middle school and high school students as of early 2024.

2. Period Education for All 

Education is liberation! Incorporating comprehensive menstrual health education that normalizes conversations around menstruation into school curriculum can help menstruating students feel empowered and supported, and destigmatize menstruation for students and teachers who do not menstruate too. Sex education should introduce topics like the menstrual cycle and how to use period products to encourage open and honest conversations from an early age. 

3. Pass Supportive Policies

Globally, a heavy period is known to cause absences for menstruating students and cause menstrual pain. School policies that allow for restroom breaks, provide time off as needed for symptoms like severe period cramps, with leniency on catchup of class time and homework, and requiring menstrual products to always be available, can help foster a safe space for students to menstruate without sacrificing the quality of their education. 

4. Empowering Faculty

To fully support menstruating students, teachers and administrators need support too. Providing faculty and staff with access to sex education and resources on how to support and talk to students about menstruation will help establish menstrual equity. It can help well-meaning faculty who may not have the tools at their disposal to feel confident and avoid any unfortunate missteps when dealing with menstruating students. 

Whether you’re a student, teacher, parent, or school administrator–talk to your school to find out what they’re doing to support menstruating students, and find out what more can be done.

Check out our educational video hub on YouTube to learn more from experts like Dr. Bala, a Naturopathic Doctor and Thinx Partner specializing in women's hormonal health, and join our mission to empower all who pee and bleed with shame-free body literacy education. 

The information contained in this article should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your health care professional.

sources

 https://blogs.worldbank.org/education/menstrual-health-and-hygiene-what-role-can-schools-play 

https://blogs.worldbank.org/education/globally-periods-are-causing-girls-be-absent-school 

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/07435584221139342 

https://allianceforperiodsupplies.org/period-products-in-schools/

by Team Thinx

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