The inaugural Menstrual Health Awareness Month was an exhilarating time for the Fibroid Foundation and its supporters.
In May 2023, Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) took a monumental step by introducing a Congressional resolution, H. Res 351, to officially recognize May as National Menstrual Health Awareness Month. The Fibroid Foundation took great pride in leading the collaborative efforts on this resolution. Despite half of the population experiencing menstruation, the persistent existence of menstrual stigma cannot be ignored, in order to make adequate menstrual health a mainstay in our society. The introduction of this resolution marks a pivotal moment toward eradicating this stigma once and for all.
To mark this significant occasion, the Fibroid Foundation organized four captivating virtual events, including a thought-provoking Congressional briefing. Esteemed experts in the field of obstetrics, patient advocates, elected officials, and other influential figures within women’s health spoke and gave incredible insight at these events. Topics involved menstrual stigma in the American workplace, as well as within the American school and homeless systems, the history of menstrual stigma, hormones as they relate to the menstrual cycle, perimenopause, menopause, and more. We are sharing nine impactful quotes that emphasize the importance of dedicating a month to menstrual health awareness and offer actionable steps for our community.
“I just want women to hear me loud and clear…you are not dirty, you’re not unclean. Your body is doing things that it can’t control and you need to see someone who knows what they’re doing.” -Dr. Lauren Streicher, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Northwestern Medicine
“Menstrual disorders are common, and the lack of discussion of menstruation affects everyone, not just the menstruating person.” -Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, Gynecologist & Reproductive Endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic
“Without access to period products, menstruators will often turn to alternative materials…all of these options risk the physical well-being of menstruators and no one should be forced to make choices like these.” –Rep. Grace Meng, Congresswoman from the 6th District of New York
“Shockingly, over 20% of girls in the United States have missed school due to lack of access to menstrual products.” -Lauren Kornegay, Founder & Director of Endo Black, Inc.
“Policy can happen in a single school, a single shelter. Policy just means someone is changing the rules all the time. We need to stop being nervous about talking to people in power, they’re just people.” -Michela Bedard, Executive Director of PERIOD.
“I’m sick of hearing stories about boys laughing at girls for a period stain, or even learning about menstruation. What’s funny about that? As Michela said, you came from someone who menstruates. It’s a sacrament, it should be a sacrament in our society.”-Mary Lou Ballweg, Director of the Endometriosis Association
“It gives me hope that as more people are having conversations about midlife and aging and menopause and perimenopause, the more we talk about it, the more we erase the stigma.”-Kathryn G. Schubert, MPP, CAE, President and CEO of SWHR
“The whole goal of our organization from the onset is to ensure that our community didn’t have to endure the pain I did with fibroids and the changes during the perimenopause/menopause shift.”-Sateria Venable, President & CEO of the Fibroid Foundation
“Remember ladies: When you get to menopause, it really is the best time in your entire life if your hormones are balanced.”-Dr. Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH, Senior Partner at the Center for Precision Medicine