For too long, women have been pretending our periods are some kind of hideous beast that arrives to ruin our lives every month. It's time to stop shaming our bodies. That includes its functions, its needs and all its miraculous cycles -- including our periods.
When you're an adolescent, coming into your teen years sounds awesome. We wake up every morning pick out outfits based on how we feel that day, or consider the thought of grabbing the attention of a cute boy at school. Life is so easy for us then.
Despite these understandable challenges, I do believe now is the time for us to engage in menstrual hygiene advocacy, for ourselves as well as for women and girls around the world. Our silence about menstruation has kept us psychologically and reproductively sick.
As pre-pubescents, we wait for this mysterious visitor. In our twenties, we pray we get it each month because we want confirmation that we're not pregnant. Then we hit our 30s, and many of us are trying to get pregnant. It's no wonder we have a love/hate relationship with our periods.
At this very moment, there is a one in four chance that I have my period. That's because it comes like clockwork every 28 days. I have it for one week and then get three weeks 'off,' which makes mine pretty much the textbook version of a menstrual cycle. Except for one twist: I'm 54 years old.