Teach Menstrual Wellbeing in Scotland

Teach Menstrual Wellbeing in Scotland

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Sophie B started this petition to Scottish Government and

Education regarding periods in our society is very poor.

For years, young girls have suffered thinking their period pain is normal when it is not. With conditions such as Endometriosis under-funded and under-researched, it is vital women are educated on the signs and symptoms of these conditions which will aid them in coping (both mentally and physically) should they experience any menstrual issues.

The average waiting time for an Endo diagnosis is 7.5 years. In this time, young girls and women are being dismissed by their GPs whilst being told by their peers it's just a "bad period" and to "get over it". This may not seem like much but being dismissed and having your pain ignored and lessened can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health. The exclusion of such information simply adds to the embarrassment when talking about menstruation and other female health issues – resulting in a longer diagnosis time and less understanding of what the individual is experiencing.

When I first learnt about periods, we were jokingly told that the “bright side” of a period is that you could skip school for a day or two. It is only in the past few years (by doing my own research) that I have come to find this is not normal. I felt stupid that I didn’t know periods which were painful were abnormal but as I spoke to more women, they were in the same boat.

As I write this, I’m in pain. I have been back and forth to the doctors regarding period pain for the past 5 years. I have had several scans and blood tests – all inconclusive – though each GP I have dealt with thinks differently - making a diagnosis even harder and more stressful, not to mention confusing due to lack of education.

Had I known that my pain was not normal all those years ago, I perhaps would have had a diagnosis by now. I am appalled looking back at my memory of primary school when I first learnt about periods to then realise I was not taught about them any further in high school - I have only ever had one short 30 minute talk on something that would affect my entire life. Showing us a video that's from the 80s and telling us the bare minimum is simply not enough.

English MP, Emma Harding stated: “In learning more openly at primary and secondary school about menstrual, young women will be empowered to seek help when it is needed. Conditions like endometriosis often go under diagnosed as people do not understand what is and isn’t normal, and a change in the curriculum is the first step to turning this around.”

I fully support Emma Harding’s statement following the announcement that England has made menstrual wellbeing a compulsory subject to be taught in all primary and secondary schools. It is time for the Scottish Government to follow suit and recognise the critical role education plays in ensuring young girls and women do not suffer in silence.

Sources:

Emma Harding Interview – Endometriosis UK

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/consuelo.verona/

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