We may be living in the digital age, but menstruation still remains a topic that not a lot of people want to discuss. Some girls I know continue to be discreet when they buy sanitary pads, and a colleague once expressed her surprise when she saw me carrying a sanitary pad openly while walking from my table to the toilet.
I, myself, have been guilty of being overly discreet about the issue when I talk to a female colleague about it in front of our male Production Editor—and I work in a women’s magazine. A survey done by a group of final year students from Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University supported this observation: 75% out of 200 respondents aged between 18 and 25 agreed/somewhat agreed that menstrual shame exists in Singapore.
The survey was done as part of a campaign spearheaded by the NTU students. Titled “Pride In Our Tide”, the menstrual health campaign aims to raise awareness about menstrual health among young female millennials and “kickstart an inclusive community where females can openly share their personal menstrual management tips and tricks”.
And this hits close to home because menstrual health is something important to every woman—it’s not just about how to deal with it, but also how to overcome stigma. A good point to start? Your boyfriend.
Sure, period sex is one great way to help him look beyond the stereotype, but if he’s not ready, he can start slow by supporting you through menstrual pain. Yes, menstrual pain is real, and it can range from cramps to mood swings and a whole lot of baggage.
Some guys, however, are already on it and supporting their girlfriends through those tough times. We asked eight Singaporean couples, and the girls reveal the sweetest thing their boyfriends have done for them when the red wave comes. Scroll through the gallery to find out more.