So we all know that adverts for sanitary towels are kind of ridiculous. The day one of us gets a blue period will be a weird one, that’s for sure, but if these adverts are anything to go by then one would assume that was the norm…

Sometimes, of course, they are so bad they are funny. But every so often you get one that really grates. The new Always adverts do just that. Alas, I cannot find them on Youtubz (if you can, link me up!) but they all carry the tagline ‘Have a happy period’.

Um…did they think this one through?

Anyway, the reason for me sharing this with you, other than my general annoyance, was this incredible letter which my friend showed me recently in response to said adverts’ tagline.

Read it. It is awesome 🙂

I always struggle with this one, though. My periods can be pretty debilitating, but this is often used as a reason for women being seen as less suited for jobs than men (often joined with the idea that these womenfolk have babymaking powers, which can get mighty troublesome *sigh*), so acknowledging how much it affects me seems to legitimise these prejudices. Ultimately, though, it simply legitimises the claim that one’s menstrual cycle isn’t a bundle of laughs. It does not legitimise the idea that women are therefore in some way inferior, or less able. Hell, you could argue we’re stronger for it – it’s not often you come across men who have a regular, crippling pain which they work on ignoring, and who try to continue living normally despite it.

Which brings me to another point. If men suffered a monthly pain and knew what it was caused by, do you think they’d have found some way of easing the pain by now? (They being scientists etc, rather than men as a whole, of course). Do you think there’d have been a focus on relieving men of period pains, constant attempts and tests, scientific research and the likes, in the way that there doesn’t seem to be for our pain? In the same way that illnesses like endometriosis are under-researched, cures for period pain are few and those that do exist aren’t consistent. The most highly recommended help for such pain that I’ve received is The Pill – but to stop one’s period altogether is surely just ignoring the problem? And it’s messing with one’s insides in a way which I’m sure could be avoided. That said, it helped my mother when she used to faint monthly (when she was my age, 18. She’s now in her 40s, and there’s been no progress.) and has helped several of my other friends. The main problem for me with The Pill is that it means that you can’t get pregnant, obviously – but why should a woman have to exchange the ability to reproduce with the suffering that is caused by menstruation? Surely there is a way of easing the pain without ending the menstrual cycle? Other than The Pill, my doctor gave me meds which didn’t work, and there’s feminax, which I find works sometimes. Nurofen Meltlets (I can’t take tablets) are also quite good, but they aren’t specifically for period pain and, again, are unpredictable. So there’s a plethora of painkillers for general pain which can be used, but there’s little in the way of medication specifically for ‘women troubles’, and even less which works.



This needs to be addressed!