Menstrual Cycle Workshops For Schools

Using the power of our menstrual cycle in schools

Workshop Introduction

As a trained teacher (BEd Hons), I spent 10 years in schools and ended up focussing on teaching Sex Ed at length with lead roles in schools developing their Sex Ed syllabus'.

This workshop is focussed on teaching the importance of menstrual cycle tracking alongside learning about what menstruation is, how to label body parts, and the importance of opening up about some of the myths in our society today whilst discussing and supporting body confidence.

More than ever, young girls are openly craving more guidance and support with their menstrual cycles and trying to find such advice on social media. This, teamed with studies proving that our girls are starting their periods younger, makes teaching the menstrual cycle and how girls can work towards understanding their emotional needs at each stage of each month- a priority.

Why transform the way we teach the menstrual cycle:

This continued secrecy and shame around our periods can prevent access to effective health care. It is our responsibility to ensure our young people have the information they need to support them in managing any discomfort, symptoms and their daily hormonal rollercoaster with more ease.

Around 80% of those with periods suffer with Primary dysmenorrhoea. You can suffer from period pain from your early teens right up to the menopause. Most experience some discomfort during menstruation, especially on the first day. But a study has shown that 5% to 10% reported to have pain is severe enough to disrupt their daily life.

Understanding our hormones in our menstrual cycle is key to understanding our mood and why we feel a certain way at different times of the month. In a study, researchers have found that there is lost productivity with menstrual symptoms with 14% claiming to have taken time off school or work, while more than 80% claimed to have continued to study/work while feeling unwell- of course they were then less productive as a result.

In a 2019 YouGov survey it was found that over half of Britons could not identify or describe parts of the vulva. Half of women (45%) could not even label the vagina.

Having a period and bleeding each month has been shamed in society for years. As a result, there has now been a general stigma attached to periods which means our young people are not asking the questions they want answered.

What the session will cover:

-Labelling our genitalia

-When is day one of our period

-What is a period

-How does it feel each month to have a menstrual cycle

-The seasons of our menstrual cycle and how to work with the power of our cycle rather than against it

-The period wear options from organic tampons to how to care for period pants.

Why schools will benefit:

Having young people understand more about their hormones, how they work and the fact they can find a pattern is groundbreaking. It will allow young people to learn how to manage their cycles, stay in control of them more and know when to seek medical intervention sooner rather than later.

Understanding when they may feel brighter and more productive allows young people to study in their peak times and make the most of these whilst giving themselves the space they need in their cycle when they are less-productive. This allows them to use the power of their cycle. Learning how to make small lifestyle changes to support an overall healthier approach to life and therefore supporting their hormones will give young people something useful to put into place so less feel that they are not in control of their cycle.

This session covers and supports these above requirements. It goes into the importance of looking after our bodies, so that our cycles are supported and we are not putting undue stress onto our bodies which then manifests itself in menstrual pain and hormone imbalances. While showing how cycle tracking can really support our mental well-being allowing us to work with our feelings rather than against them.

As part of Health Education it states that children will be required to learn about mental wellbeing, physical health and fitness including exercise, heathy eating, drugs, alcohol and tobacco, hygiene, puberty, menstrual health and wellbeing.

The importance of including all in the sessions:

Having all in a session, regardless of gender, I believe is exceptionally important.

In society as a whole, periods are still misunderstood. If everybody had a deeper understanding of how a menstrual cycle worked- there would be less stigma attached to menstruation. In the YouGov research mentioned above, 6 in 10 men (59%) could not even label the vagina while 61% didn't know where the urethra is.

If everyone had a better understanding of the vulva and how hormones can affect those who bleed's day to day, it would enable everyone to be much more supportive and understanding. As a society, we could break down taboos much quicker.

It's also important to note that those who are born boys and girls may still be exploring their sexuality, especially at this point in their lives. Allowing everyone to attend allows all to explore menstruation.

To book or for more information

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