Leaks, cramps and cravings: Majority of women adapt their lifestyle because of a fear of “Period Dramas”

The majority of women (67%) admit to adapting their lifestyle because they fear awkward period dramas such as leaking onto clothes, having to hide sanitary products on the way to the loo, or being caught short with no toilet nearby according to research released today by WaterAid.

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25 May 2016 | AU

Watch WaterAid’s ten most awkward #PeriodDramas.

Woman

The majority of women (67%) admit to adapting their lifestyle because they fear awkward #perioddramas such as leaking onto clothes, having to hide sanitary products on the way to the loo, or being caught short with no toilet nearby according to research released today by WaterAid.

The international development organisation launched its #perioddrama campaign to mark Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May and raise awareness of issues faced by more than 1 billion women around the world who do not have access to a toilet during their periods.

WaterAid asked over a thousand women about their dread of #perioddramas and the results help shine a light on the awkwardness menstruating women face, even today. Based on the results WaterAid has produced a light-hearted short film using popular period dramas to illustrate the centuries old most awkward #perioddramas. Watch the film here: https://youtu.be/-60TFBMO8Yo.

The survey shows that three quarters of women (75%) saying they regularly fear a drama when on their period. Three quarters of respondents (76%) said a major period fear is blood leaking onto clothes when out in public. A major annoyance, experienced by 55% of women, is a dread of smelling bad, whilst 42% expressed coyness around having to hide sanitary products on their way to the work toilet. Not knowing where the next toilet might be while travelling was a preoccupation for 42% of women, while 25% admitted craving huge amounts of chocolate! A third (29%) fear sneezing while on their period and the risk of subsequent leakage, while only 6% of women reported experiencing no fears of period dramas.

Four out of five women (81%) said they would never ask a stranger for a sanitary product if caught short, while 37% wouldn’t even ask a friend or colleague, even though 76% of us would happily give to a “sister in need”. Over half (52%) said they felt less confident than usual when experiencing a period drama. Period pain even forces 15% of women to take sick leave. With all these monthly trials and tribulations, most women (89%) agreed that men are at an advantage for not having to deal with period dramas.

Paul Nichols, WaterAid Australia’s Chief Executive, said:

“Whilst our film is light-hearted, we have a heavy heart when we observe how many women in the developing world have to cope with their periods without being able to lock the toilet door behind them. When there are no safe, private toilets in schools, girls often skip school during their period, or drop out of school altogether once they reach puberty. We need to talk openly about this issue and remove the silence and stigma that surround periods otherwise it will be much more difficult for women and girls to call for change, such as having access to a toilet and running water at school, that will enable them to deal with their periods and play a full and active part in their society no matter what time of month.

“Every woman and girl should have access to facilities to manage her menstruation in a hygienic way, wherever she is, in privacy, safety and with dignity.

“Women in our region are greatly impacted by lack of toilets. In Papua New Guinea over 80% of the population don’t have adequate toilets and 60% do not have access to safe water. While in Timor-Leste 60% of people do not have sanitation and 30% do not have safe water.  

“By giving this issue the attention it deserves, we will help ensure every women and girl has access to water, safe toilets and somewhere to wash by 2030.”

WaterAid carried out the online survey in May 2016 with Morar Consulting, questioning 1,041 women across the UK about their biggest period dramas.