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Frustration to celebration: Let’s talk about menstrual health

The maintenance of menstrual health is nothing short of frustrating for most women worldwide, because periods are different for each woman each time.

The broad range of physical, emotional and psychological experiences that stem from periods take a toll on the livelihoods of sufferers through their efforts to push forward despite what they’re experiencing inside.

Mismanagement and mishandling of menstrual health

Due to symptoms such as cramps, nausea, fatigue, heavy legs, bloating, back pain, anxiety, and headaches, women often turn to commercial supplements for relief.

However, many women are not aware of the fact that it is best advised for supplements to be taken during the entire cycle, not only on the days of the actual period. 

PMS is most effectively managed when all phases of the menstrual cycle are supported, not just the luteal phase when PMS symptoms commonly show up.

The body’s stores of many nutrients are in flux throughout the menstrual cycle, and sometimes they’re at their lowest point before PMS symptoms manifest.

Those dips can trigger more intense symptoms, so it’s important to supplement consistently and proactively to ensure they don’t happen. While that knowledge is great and sounds simple enough, it can get tricky for such insights to be shared amongst women in some traditional settings. 

The traditional social attitudes surrounding menstruation are of no help when it comes to menstrual health. Such attitudes end up inhibiting the willingness of women to talk about their experiences. However, that is beginning to change, and conversations are taking place.

Women now are collectively more open about their menstrual health, and the discomforts they are experiencing.

The dialogue surrounding periods has also gained more ground within media representations, and across social media channels, thereby normalizing conversations that were previously considered taboo.

The need for a major revamp

Times have changed, and so should the way that menstrual health is treated. It is still as much a hassle as ever, and most women aren’t aware of the full extent of their options that could make their periods more manageable. 

Natural and nontoxic options are the best options for period relief. The lack of variety in such options was frustrating for Mimi Millard, the founder and CEO of De Lune, a menstrual health company creating natural, research-backed solutions for period symptom relief.

menstrul health expert
Mimi Millard, the founder and CEO of De Lune

De Lune was born from Millard’s personal frustration with the lack of natural options for period relief, after experiencing an adverse reaction to a popular painkiller that landed her in the hospital.

She spent years searching for nontoxic solutions to her own debilitating period pain, and ultimately founded De Lune to build a world where menstrual wellness is supported and celebrated. 

“Over 90% of people with periods experience monthly symptoms,” says Millard.

“Currently, the status quo treatment option for period pain and other common symptoms are over-the-counter painkillers, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), which are used by an estimated 67% of menstruating women…

Millard continued, “Although these drugs are well-researched, they still demonstrate a failure rate of roughly 20%, have not advanced since the 1970s, and come with a host of well-documented side effects, some of which are potentially severe.” 

De Lune offers natural, nontoxic, no-nonsense solutions to period pain, and PMS. Their team mindfully analyzes leading science for the most effective herbal and nutritional ingredients for period problems to provide safe and healthy options for all, so that drugs with side effects are not the only option.

Looking ahead

When it comes to menstrual health, basic know-how such as getting sufficient rest, reducing caffeine/alcohol intake, and drinking plenty of water is certainly helpful in its own right.

However, when additional comfort is needed in the form of supplements- natural is the way to go. In terms of the future, it’s high time that women became aware of natural options. The best ways for them to become aware of these options would be through media campaigns, education in schools, and at the policy level.

Despite the level of progress, open conversations surrounding menstrual health still have a long way to go in order to become more normalized.

A survey of 90,000 women conducted by Clue, showed that only 32% of women in the U.S. stated they are comfortable talking to female classmates or colleagues about their periods. 24% in Japan, 29% in Russia, and 34% in Canada.

By contrast, 96% of women in the Philippines, 94% in Denmark, and 93% in Spain said they are comfortable discussing their periods with female friends and acquaintances. Having more conversations will normalize the topic of menstrual health, and further, empower girls and women alike.

It is critical for all menstruating people to have the knowledge and access to information needed to protect their menstrual health, as it would ultimately play a role in their overall health.

As an extra precaution, it is advised for women to always talk to their doctor about the supplements they are taking.