Does period talk make you uncomfortable? If so, you’re not alone. There’s a whole day dedicated to tackling period stigma and misconceptions and it’s called Menstrual Hygiene Day! 

History of Menstrual Hygiene Day: 

Menstruation is a natural process that occurs in the lives of millions of people around the world but is often shunned and kept hidden. In an effort to break the barriers surrounding menstrual health, May 28th has been observed globally as Menstrual Hygiene Day since its establishment in 2014. This day was chosen because menstruation cycles average 28 days in length and last an average of five days each month.

Understanding Menstrual Hygiene

Menstrual Hygiene Day serves as a reminder to promote awareness, education, and action to ensure better menstrual hygiene management for all. It also seeks to address the cultural, social, and economic barriers that hinder menstrual hygiene practices and access to necessary resources. 

Menstrual hygiene encompasses a range of practices and conditions that are necessary for people to manage their menstruation safely, hygienically, and with dignity. It involves access to clean and safe menstrual products, privacy to change materials, proper and safe sanitation facilities, as well as adequate knowledge and education to make informed decisions.

Breaking the Taboos

One of the major obstacles in achieving menstrual hygiene is the persistent stigma and taboos associated with menstruation. Myths and misconceptions about periods are still prevalent today, leading to shame, secrecy, and discrimination against menstruating individuals. A recent study revealed that of 1,500 American women, 58% felt a sense of embarrassment for being on their period, and 42% experienced period shaming. 

Education and Awareness

Menstrual Hygiene Day serves as an excellent opportunity to educate communities, schools, and individuals about menstruation and debunk common myths. By providing accurate information about menstrual health, we can dispel misconceptions and empower women and girls to take charge of their menstrual well-being. Comprehensive education on menstrual hygiene not only helps to break the stigmas but also ensures that menstruating individuals are equipped with the knowledge to make informed choices about their bodies. Sakshi Vasudev and Swara Patel are two YOUTHTOPIA Circle of Youth Members currently addressing menstrual health in their communities. Sakshi created BAMPADS which distributes and educates on reusable menstrual products. Swara created the Period Society which educates people on the awareness of menstrual hygiene.

Access to Menstrual Products and Sanitation Facilities

Another critical aspect of menstrual hygiene is ensuring access to safe and affordable menstrual products, as well as proper sanitation facilities. Unfortunately, an estimated 500 million people still lack access to these basic necessities. This is not just an inconvenience for menstruating individuals, however. Insufficient resources to manage menstruation exacerbate gender, social and economic inequalities, as menstruating individuals may face societal pressure to skip school or work during their periods. 

Call to Action

Menstrual Hygiene Day is not just a one-day observance but a catalyst for sustained change. We can all contribute to improving menstrual hygiene by:

  • Supporting organizations and initiatives that provide menstrual products and hygiene education to marginalized communities.
  • Advocating for policies that make menstrual products tax-free and easily accessible.
  • Engaging in open conversations about menstruation, breaking taboos, and eliminating shame.
  • Educating ourselves and others about menstrual health.
  • Supporting targeted policies to end period poverty (when low-income people struggle to afford menstrual products and have limited access to clean water and sanitation options)
  • Encouraging schools and institutions to include comprehensive menstrual education in their curriculum.

Menstrual Hygiene Day has a whole list of resources and ways to get involved, so be sure to check them out! 


Menstrual Hygiene Day is an essential milestone in the journey toward achieving menstrual health for all. By raising awareness, breaking taboos, and promoting access to menstrual products and sanitation facilities, we can help achieve this years’ theme: to create a world where menstruation is a normal fact of life by 2030. So let’s get out there and challenge those stigmas!