Menstrual Health: The New Definition And Why It Matters
Hold the phone! We've got huge news... Menstrual Health now has an official definition – check it out:
Menstrual health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in relation to the menstrual cycle.This is an incredibly important milestone for us, and for everyone working to improve the lives of people who menstruate. The new definition states that achieving menstrual health implies that anyone who experiences a menstrual cycle throughout their lifetime is able to:
- Access accurate, timely, and age-appropriate information about the menstrual cycle
- Access materials, facilities, and services to care for their body
- Access diagnosis, care and treatment for discomforts and disorders
- Experience a positive and respectful environment free from stigma and psychological distress
- Experience the freedom to participate in all spheres of life, as and how they choose
Why does this matter?
Developed by 51 world experts and grounded in the World Health Organization definition of health, the formal definition will prevent misunderstandings and gives us a common language to unify people around the world.
Dr. Julie Hennegan, Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute and lead author, says:
“We can’t keep marginalising menstruation by expecting it to fit neatly into other existing areas of health. Our definition outlines the breadth of menstrual health needs and provides a unified objective for supporting people who menstruate.”
We're so happy to see this! We view this as recognition that menstrual health needs its own new category. It can no longer be viewed as an add-on to existing services. No longer can it be just one aisle in a supermarket...
We're also very happy to see the new definition of menstrual health emphasising that while the majority of people who experience a menstrual cycle are women and girls, menstrual health is essential for all those who experience a menstrual cycle, regardless of their gender identity.
Inclusivity is a core value at Unfabled, and our community is built around the notion that not all women menstruate, and not all people who menstruate are women. We're delighted to see this reflected in the new definition.
Achieving menstrual health for everyone is essential for public health and gender equality. The proper definition of menstrual health will be fundamental in advancing efforts in this space.
The Round Up
Finally we are starting to receive recognition that our menstrual health is not separate from our mental health and holistic wellbeing. The new definition highlights that physical, mental, and social well-being are all components of menstrual health.
That's why Unfabled is the first marketplace for menstrual wellness. We see that the current solutions for menstrual health aren’t holistic, and we believe that they should be. We're so happy that this new official definition completely backs up everything that we are fighting for. The era of Cycle Care is here.
To learn more, read Menstrual Heath: A Definition for Policy, Practice, and Research in Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters.