47 per cent of women felt unprepared and didn’t know what to expect when their period started

sanitary products, periods
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Nearly half of women felt unprepared and didn’t know what to expect when their period started, according to a new survey.

New research, conducted by betty for schools, has highlighted the need for better education and a more open and honest conversations around periods and puberty in order to change the experience women have during their first period.

The study revealed that just 22 per cent of women recalled feeling excited or happy about their first period, whilst 32 per cent admitted to feelings of shame around this aspect of puberty.

The research also suggested that lessons around puberty and periods in particular should focus on more than just biology, and that more needs to be done to make the lessons engaging, interactive and relevant to young people.

More than two thirds of the women surveyed said that the lessons they received about periods focused purely on the biological aspects and didn’t really answer the practical questions they had about sanitary products or what was ‘normal’ both physically and emotionally. Almost three quarters said they didn’t feel able to ask questions in their lessons about periods.

The betty for schools programme aims to educate a generation of girls and boys who are truly at ease talking about periods. They work with young people, education experts and schools to develop curriculum-linked lessons for eight to 12 year olds around the subject.

Rebecca Martin, head of Partner Relations at betty for schools said, “Despite the common belief that we live in a much more open and enlightened age when it comes to issues around sex, sexuality and the human body, the results of our survey clearly show that we still have a long way to go in applying the same approach to the subject of periods.”

“The betty for schools programme has been designed to encourage open, respectful and honest conversations about periods in the classroom, and to empower teachers to deliver the sessions with confidence.”

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.
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