Latest data reveals an alarming education gap that continues to fuel period stigma and misinformation, as nearly one in 10 men (8%) believe menstruation attracts sharks in the sea

With half the population experiencing a period every month, it is still a topic that men have difficulty discussing and understanding, which leads to widespread misinformation and cultivates a culture of shame.

Off the back of their latest research, intimate wellbeing brand, INTIMINA is calling for everyone to start talking about periods properly.

The research revealed that a worrying gap in knowledge still exists for men, as one in 10 men (14%) have never had a conversation with a woman about periods, a quarter believe you have to remove a tampon to urinate and 11% of men still believe that a woman can absolutely not get pregnant whilst on her period.

Part of the study focused on misconceptions around menstruation, in which men asked to record whether they believed a number of statements around menstruation to be true or not: 14% of men reported believing tampons and periods can get lost in the vagina, and nearly one in 10 (8%) believe that menstruation attracts sharks in the sea.

Gynaecologist for INTIMINA’s Dr Shree Datta said the figures were ‘deeply concerning’, adding there is still work to do.“There’s no doubt that we still need to destigmatise the talk around periods - for everyone - people should not be bullied or teased for having periods, which are as natural as men growing hair.

“It’s time to open up and be upfront and frank about what periods mean, in school, university and the workplace so that we tackle period myths and everyone can appreciate the health concerns they can bring.”

INTIMINA says proper menstrual education in school is key to abolishing stigma 

Participants of the study were also asked to share why they haven’t spoken about periods with people who menstruate. 30% of men didn’t think it’s right for men to talk to women about periods, 30% also felt uncomfortable talking about periods and 25% didn’t understand enough about menstruation to have a conversation.

According to research from Plan International UK in 2019, one in five girls and young women in the UK are teased or bullied about their periods. In response, INTIMINA is calling for proper menstrual education for everyone in schools which they hope will be a key driver in changing the period stigma culture in the UK.

The intimate wellbeing brand is encouraging everyone to have open and honest conversations about menstruation with their partners and loved ones, as the worrying data shows there is still a way to go to bridge the education gap.