Female Forward Together is a cross-sector coalition working to elevate the conversation around women's health and drive meaningful change.
THESE ARE THE VOICES OF PERIODS
Periods are a normal and necessary function of the human body. But all too often, society sees menstruation as a taboo topic – something we just don’t talk about. And that’s a problem. The silence due to stigma can result in delayed care, needless suffering, and even long-term complications.
Voices of Periods is a collaboration between Myovant Sciences and HealthyWomen to break down stigma through the power of storytelling. These stories were developed in a virtual workshop with MothWorks at The Moth and filmed remotely during the COVID pandemic.
Editor’s Note: We recognize that people of many genders and identities have periods. In this particular project, all of the storytellers identified as women.
Meet six remarkable women who are combatting stigma with the power of their stories.
Shanta had to keep her first period and cramps a secret from her mother, who associated menstruation with physical contamination. See her share how she took agency over her own body and her own self-care.
Jill had always been an athlete, which led her to believe that her irregular periods might simply be a result of strenuous physical activity. Join Jill on her marathon journey toward full health, self-acceptance, and advocacy for women's health.
Nkem grew up amid cultural silence about periods. She suffered from uterine fibroids, which caused such heavy bleeding that a hospital refused to discharge her without an emergency transfusion. See how Nkem found the courage and the empowerment to raise her voice about menstrual health issues.
Griffin's family was reluctant to say goodbye to her childhood innocence, so she had to take it upon herself to demand the information she needed to understand her own body. Hear how her determination and maturity led her to strike the balance between supporting her family and empowering herself.
A doctor diagnosed Sasha with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but dismissed her concerns, telling her to come back when she wanted to get pregnant. Hear how this experience of feeling unheard compelled Sasha to start a nonprofit organization that educates and advocates for others.
Klara had always thought she'd be able to become pregnant when the timing was right. However, uterine fibroids and endometriosis resulted in infertility. Hear how she successfully confronted her expectations about control, her fear of needles – and infertility itself.
Stories break the silence
When it comes to menstruation, everyone’s story is unique, and therefore has unique power. You can help end period stigma – and help ensure that no one has to suffer in silence over something as common and as natural as their period. We invite you to join the movement by sharing these stories, and by sharing your own story.
Make these voices heard
You have the power to help end period stigma. Share these courageous stories and help elevate the conversation around women’s health. #VoicesofPeriods
Share your written word with HealthyWomen
HealthyWomen publishes short essays documenting the lived experiences of women along their health journeys. Fill out a short form to join hundreds of others who have offered their stories as proof that no one needs to suffer alone.
Pitch your story to The Moth
The Moth’s mission celebrates the diversity and commonality of human experience — The Moth believes everyone has a story to share. If you’d like to share a story about a personal experience that changed you, submit a recording to The Moth’s Pitchline for a chance to develop it further.
Give voice to your story
Do you have a story to share, but don’t know where to begin? You’re not alone – many of the women who shared their personal stories with us didn’t know how to start. But with some help from storytelling coaches, they were able to confidently share their unique and rich stories with us. And you can too. Here are a few tips to help you tell your story, whether you want to write it down or share it out loud.
Choose a story that matters to YOU
When you care, we care. Choose an experience that you can’t forget, a moment that defined you or stopped you in your tracks. We want to know what matters to you. Listening to your story can ultimately be relatable, healing, and informative for the audience.
Tell us how you’ve changed
The most important experiences in our lives change us. They can shift how we see the world and how we see ourselves in it. Your change can be life-altering or a newfound perspective.
Bring us back there with you
Stories have the power to bring important and complex issues to life. Illuminate pivotal moments by dropping us into the story with colorful details. Keep your audience present in the moment by allowing us to see and hear and feel along with you.
Voices of Periods is a collaboration that draws upon the insight and expertise of female-led business, scientific, and creative teams. The coaches, artists, and leaders who made this initiative possible have been informed and inspired by their own experiences with many of the same themes as those described in the Voices of Periods narratives.
MothWorks Anna Roberts, Kate Tellers, Amanda Garcia
Cognition Studio Kristine Johnson, Vanessa Ruiz, Regina Milner, Lindsey Jensen