Historical Perspective on Menstruation

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The way we see menstruation now is bizarre because the phenomenon has come a long way. Since time immemorial, many myths and tales have swirled around the topic of menstruation. Although half of the world’s population experiences menstruation, taboos and stereotypes surround the phenomenon. Whether it is about clouding the judgment of women who want to order menstrual cups or how periods can also be sustainable, here are some ways in which different societies and cultures have perceived and understood the phenomenon over time.

Ancient Civilizations:

In the ancient world, menstruation was often shrouded in mystery and mythology. For instance, in Ancient Egypt, menstruation was linked to the lunar cycle, with menstruating women considered to possess special powers. Similarly, in ancient Greece, menstruation was connected to the goddess Artemis, symbolizing the transformative power of female biology.

Ancient India

The journey of ancient India was more empowering for women than the rest of the cultures. There is still evidence of our ancestors normalizing menstruation, like the Kamakhya temple in North East India and the celebration of the Rajo Festival in Odisha. However, people believe stereotypes emanated from our ancestors and their rudimentary beliefs, which is wrong. The truth is our ancestors were rather progressive, and they worshipped women while viewing menstruation as a normal, or sometimes even a sacred phenomenon during which women deserve rest and all the pampering they can get.

Medieval Europe:

During the medieval period in Europe, menstruation was often viewed through a lens of superstition and fear. Women were considered impure during their menstrual cycles, leading to social isolation and even accusations of witchcraft. This period saw the emergence of harmful myths surrounding menstruation.

19th Century:

The 19th century marked a significant shift in the understanding of menstruation. Scientific discoveries and the advent of modern medicine led to a more accurate comprehension of the menstrual cycle. Menstruation was no longer seen as a curse but as a natural bodily function. This era also saw the development of the first commercially available sanitary products, providing women with greater comfort and hygiene during their periods.

20th Century:

The 20th century brought further advancements in menstrual hygiene and education. Menstrual education became a part of school curriculums, dispelling myths and taboos surrounding menstruation. The introduction of disposable sanitary pads and tampons revolutionized menstrual care, offering convenience and comfort to women.

Contemporary Perspectives:

In the 21st century, the historical perspective on menstruation continues to evolve. Discussions around menstrual health and menstrual equity have gained prominence. Menstrual products are no longer luxury items but are being recognized as necessities. Initiatives to combat period poverty and provide access to menstrual hygiene products have gained momentum worldwide.


Now is the era of awareness. From a time when women barely talked about menstruation till now, when menstrual awareness has become a hot topic discussed in many focus groups and forums, a lot has changed. Conversations about menstruation don’t just spark new ideas and break outmoded myths, they also support women to go for more convenient and sustainable methods like menstrual cups online in India.

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