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Let’s Talk Periods

Menstruation is a natural, healthy part of life. Yet too often people who menstruate are held back by their periods – whether that’s due to feelings of shame and stigma, lack of knowledge, or limited access to periods products and safe private bathrooms.

This Menstrual Hygiene Day, Plan International Canada and Always are calling on Canadians to help tackle period stigma by learning more and talking openly about periods. Menstrual Hygiene Day is marked annually on May 28 to normalize menstruation and highlight the importance of having access to period products with a goal of ending period stigma and period poverty by 2030.

New Research

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Period shame:

Negative Impact on young Canadian’s confidence and self esteem

Girl holding always period product

Period shame, taboos and misinformation around menstruation are still prevalent around the world, including in Canada. A new report entitled ‘Let’s Talk Periods’ by Always and Plan International Canada, commissioned in 2020, shares the negative effect they have on young people’s confidence and self-esteem.

  • Canada ranks in the bottom half of countries surveyed with respect to society’s support of talking openly about periods.
  • 83% young people (ages 13 – 21) have tried to hide the fact they’re on their periods from those around them.

» Download Report

Female and male views on menstruation in Canada

Limited access to menstrual hygiene products and education is experienced by girls, women and other menstruators around the world, including in Canada. A 2019 national survey of 2,000 women and girls (ages 14-55) and 1,000 men and boys (ages 14-55) conducted by Plan International Canada has shed light on the social, emotional and financial impacts of menstruation.

Research citation: Plan International Canada. Female and Male Views on Menstruation in Canada. May 2019. < >

» Download Female and Male Views on Menstruation in Canada (PDF)

A Canadian Gender Study – Period Stigma Report

Plan International Canada conducted a survey of 2,000 Canadian women in 2018, which examined the attitudes and behaviours of women towards menstruation, within a range of settings, such as the workplace, public places, and in the home.

This research found that period poverty is a serious issue affecting Canadian girls and women.

» Download A Canadian Gender Study – Period Stigma Report, 2018 (PDF)

Tell us your period story!

This Menstrual Hygiene Day , share your period story to help show the world that periods are nothing to be ashamed of! It could be a story of your first period, or one where you’ve experienced or witnessed the impact of period stigma. Together, we can raise awareness and fight the stigma that too often holds those who menstruate back from living their fullest life.

Disclaimer: please note your story will be reviewed by the Plan Canada team before being uploaded live on to our webpage.


Check out these period stories submitted by people who are eager to put an end to period poverty and period related shame or stigma!



I grew up thinking periods were shameful and uncleanly. When I first got my period, I made every effort to not go to school. During my first couple menstrual cycles, I’d stay home and call in sick for the heavier days of my period. Eventually, I was getting too behind in my classes and was forced to go to school. I remember my first day of going to school on my period and feeling nothing but angst. I had this constant fear that I somehow leaked through my pants, I’d constantly check my seat before I left a class, and I felt like the entire school knew I was on my period. I remember checking the stalls to make sure no one was in the washroom when I needed to change my pad because I didn’t want anyone to hear the sound of the pad adhesive coming off. It was an unbearable feeling and I could not focus in any of my classes. I felt embarrassed and completely isolated over something so natural. Now that I’ve realized how beautiful and important menstruation truly is, I make every effort to break down my personal stigmatized practices by doing things like holding my pad or tampon in my hand on the way to the washroom instead of up my sleeve or in my pocket. It’s an ongoing process of unlearning but I commit to breaking the stigma so that no menstruator ever feels alone or ashamed over their bodies ever again.


I have been very fortunate not to struggle with the accessibility of essential menstrual hygiene products. However, I have come to recognize that this is not the case for all menstruators in my local and global communities. This understanding was sparked by a recent trip to India where I observed life in impoverished areas, the widespread inaccessibility of menstrual products, and the shame and societal stigma that surrounds menstruation. I learned that inaccessibility of hygiene products compounded by a lack of education can force menstruators to resort to grass, dirty clothes, or even mud to manage their periods, leading to poor health outcomes.

Realizing that period poverty also exists within my local community as many vulnerable populations struggle to cope with menstruation due to inaccessible hygiene products and societal stigma, I led my Champions of Change student group, affiliated with Plan International Canada, in planning a menstrual hygiene drive. We fundraised to purchase and donate hygiene products to a community shelter which serves individuals facing various degrees of poverty and homeless. Additionally, we challenged stigma surrounding menstruation and learned about systemic barriers faced by individuals experiencing homelessness.

As a woman originating from Gujarat, this experience inspired my further pursuit of advocacy opportunities. This experience encouraged me to continue to help women and girls in my local and global communities develop sustainable and hygienic ways to manage menstruation, tackle the inaccessibility of these essential products, and challenge societal stigma surrounding periods.


I got my first period when I was at girl guide camp and stained my underwear, which I washed by hand and hung to dry. I did not think to tell the adult leaders. Another girl also got her period and so I had a friend washing her underwear, too.


I got my period before most of my friends and remember feeling so conflicted about it. At home, I felt like I had reached an exciting milestone in my life!


83% of young people in Canada have tried to hide the fact they're on their periods from those around them. That stat really hit home for me. It's not just young people -- I'm a confident grown woman and I realized I continue to do this!

Joseph Tito

Joseph Tito

What do I know about periods? Not enough. I always want my girls to be able to come to me, ask questions, and feel safe that nothing is off limits. I also want to be able to initiate those difficult conversations without them feeling uncomfortable. Menstruation is one convo I want to get right.

When I was in high school, I’d hang with the girls and they’d say things like, “my friend is visiting,” rather than saying “I have my period.” I sympathized as they held their breath to let a cramp pass. The guys would make periods the butt of their jokes about any girl who might be irritated or seem angry.

I never want my daughters to experience any taboos, myths, or shame surrounding menstruation. I will meet society head on, wherever it stands on periods when the time comes, and I will fight—and arm my girls with esteem and confidence--to continue normalizing periods as something that is natural and accepted, and that can be discussed openly and honestly.


My period story probably starts with how I learnt about it. I was in 6th grade and my ant came to visit my family, staying for dinner. While the other adults and my sister were busy, she asked me what I knew about puberty and being a girl. I told her everything I knew - that our hair gets oily, hair grows in different places, weight changes, and so does your appearance. When she figured I didn't know what a period was, she immediately asked my mother if she had told me yet. My mom said not yet and my aunt warned her to say it in a way that was not scary. My mom didn't tell me for a long time. When she finally did it was months before I actually got my period. She was quite blunt about it but I took it really well. When I saw my aunt again, she told me other period stories of my other female family members. It felt like I had been introduced to this whole other world I had been oblivious too. I finally understood the period jokes my classmates had been making! Anyways, I got my first period 3 days after my twelfth birthday! I was like - WOW what a great late birthday gift! Anyways, my period is not usually really painful, thankfully. I remember searching things up about periods on Google because I didn't feel comfortable asking my mom for some reason. I think I was embarrassed. Anyways, I learned to find my period to be a cool thing. I felt grown up and older. I also noticed that I was treated slightly differently. More like one of the adults! And that's my period story. In the middle of my teen years I have found that talking about periods is common and accepted in society. And I'm happy I could share my story here! Maybe one day my sister or I will share my little sister's story too!


I'm 15 years old and started my period when i was 12/13 and it started normal and not painful but after having it like 5 times it started getting really painful where i would throw up and almost pass out and they're always almost 6-9 months apart.


First? You are ALL phenomenal human beings with brilliant souls. Period! You being alive is beautiful and your cycle is a part of that. Second? A person who experiences a period is a Warrior in their own right. Period!


My friends and I used to call our period “George” like, “oh I have George... I can’t go swimming.” “Cramps, because of George”... seems hilarious but it was actually because we were ashamed of calling it was it was.


When my mother was a young girl they would wrap up pads in brown paper so that nobody could see what you were buying. I remember being embarrased to purchase tampons or pads as a teen.

Elaine liu


When I was in high school on period days, I’d always try to get a seat by the back of the class, near the door, for an easy exit in case I leaked. If it was a classroom without a backdoor, classes would seem extra long, because I’d have to wait until the end of class to check on leaks, so as to not get up during class and risk people seeing the back of me. 

Now, all these years later, I’m still taking leak precautions, just without the shame. There’s no changing tampons in the middle of a live television show. So I just have to hope that I don’t leak on live TV. But as a precaution, I sometimes have to tell my colleagues that I need a towel, or some form of padding, under my seat just in case I bleed on our set furniture.   

There have been moments though, when I’m low energy, on those days when my confidence inevitably dips, that I wonder if I’m asking for too much. But I also know that I’m the co-worker who would 100% support another person in the same situation. Because it’s natural and it’s nothing to be embarrassed of – and if more of us can embrace that truth then girls and women around the world wouldn’t have to suffer over something that their body was always meant to do.  

My first memory of feeling embarrassment and shame around periods was as a pre-teen in the ‘90s, flipping through my cousin’s YM magazines to read the ‘Say Anything’ column, where readers would submit their most embarrassing stories. And in every issue, without fault, there was always at least one story about periods – girls leaking through white pants on a date, buying tampons from their crush at the pharmacy, having a pad fall out of their bag on the bus.  


When I was 14 my mom didn’t allow me to wear tampons because she thought they were dangerous so I only wore pads. The problem with that was they were not effective enough for me at the beginning of my period.


Omg!! I started my period and when I was 12 when visiting my dad. I have a sister that’s 4 years older than me, so luckily she was my super hero during that time. Unfortunately, my mom never talked to me about it or told me what it meant.


When I was 12 years old I got my first period and the experience was pretty light. I didn’t bleed too much and I had no pain. I made the mistake of thinking every period would be like that and by high school I was completely shook.


I grew up in a conservative household where the only talks we had about sex / sexual health was “don’t have it until you’re married.” When I had my first period, I was only vaguely aware of what was happening from what I’d seen in movies, etc.

Lauren Mcphillips

Lauren McPhillips

From those stories, everything to do with getting my period just seemed undeniably mortifying.

It didn’t help that the messaging from movies and ads and society as a whole was that our periods are meant to be discreet and simply ‘dealt with’, menstruation was something that made men uncomfortable, and that this was not a part of our story we were encouraged to share.

It wasn’t until I turned 30 and developed polycystic ovary syndrome that I started confidently talking about my period, with anyone and EVERYONE, because I now had to advocate for myself and my body. I shared my story online, wrote a TEDx Talk about it, spoke openly about the pain I experienced each month and the guilt that manifested from having to take time off work because of my period.

And when I opened up, something amazing happened – other people felt okay to share their stories, too. So I make it a point to speak casually about my period, both online and in conversations, so that we replace the narrative of periods being embarrassing with the fact that they are natural, healthy parts of life!


I was a “late bloomer” and didn’t get mine til I was 14 years old. My first time talking about it with friends, I felt like they thought I was weirdo for not having mine yet. Then a few weeks later, I got it!


When I had to use a tampon for the first time no one explained to me to remove the applicator tube so I left it on and it was so so uncomfortable. I didn’t figure out for years that you were meant to take it off. It was awful!


I got my first period when I was 11 years old. I was at school and I was in sixth grade. I went to the nurse's office and asked for tampons. I didn't know the difference between tampons and pads.


In my home growing up, even though we were mostly girls/women, we didn’t talk about our periods. If you had menstrual cramps, you suffered in silence, popping Tylenols.

Karly Polkosnik

Karly Polkosnik

So, #LetsTalkPeriods! Growing up, I was one of the first in my group of friends to get my period, which initially came with a lot of shame. I felt like it was “gross” and I was suddenly an outlier in my group. It wasn’t like how you see in modern day Netflix series where people are throwing period parties and you’re “becoming more of a woman”. Truthfully, I felt really ashamed and embarrassed. At that point, I had received next to no information on getting your period, what you should do, and what it means, so while I knew what was happening, I had no idea how to actually manage it. Years passed and I started having conversations about periods and my friends all got their periods too, so it wasn’t as weird to me. But my period did make me miss out on a bunch of cool things. In 9th grade, our gym class was going scuba diving and I got my period that same day. My gym teacher was a man and I had to make up an excuse about not feeling well because I was too embarrassed to tell him I was on my period. Couple that with being terrified that a tampon wouldn’t do the trick in pools and I didn’t end up going on the trip. Flash forward to now, I have really amazing and open conversations with my friends about periods and what it’s like to be a woman. I don’t feel shame around it anymore!


I started at 11 on the school bus it was the first week back and my stomach hurt like nobodys business all day but i hadnt started until i got on the bus (i went to the restroom about 20 mins before the bus)


Started menstruating at the age of 11 in grade 6. Embarrassed and lonely, and back then we didn’t have the products that are available now. I sound like my mother who used to tell me about growing up on a farm and using bits of rag, literally rags


My mom never taught me what a period was. Therefore by the time I was 11 years of age, I was sitting around the table with my parents and all of a sudden I felt wet. I get up off my seat look down and there was blood everywhere. It was nuts.


I remember having my first period and I was so unaware with what to do that I changed my underwear but kept it in the draw and the first chance I got I showed my mum. She explained what it was and everything I needed to do!



When I got my first period, I didn’t know if I was allowed to discuss it with my peers openly or whether it was a topic to be kept hush-hush. The cramps, stomach pains, and muscle aches were all uncomfortable, and the inability to voice this sense of discomfort to those around me led to a feeling of isolation. In high school, my friends and I never explicitly used the word “period”, instead resorting to euphemisms such “shark week” and “monthly friend” which all perpetuated the secrecy and shame associated with menstruation.


I came on my period at 8 years old and luckily my mum had included me in the talk she was having with my older sister about periods so only months later when I woke up to bleeding, I wasn't completely shocked.


I'm not from Canada, but I still wanted to help young ladies in any way possible. I was blessed to have a mom who was very open when talking to me about periods.


I was ten years when I got my period and I was not prepare. I remember waking up with blood on my hand and liking confused asking my self what is this. I am went to tell my brother girlfriend and she just starting screaming and jumping for joy.


It was the summer after 5th grade. My class finished early so we weren't supposed to learn about periods yet but we had nothing else to do. So they separated girls and boys then we watched a movie about puberty.

 Brigitte Truong

Brigitte Truong

When I first got my period at 11, I wasn’t prepared for it. I grew up as an only child in a very loving home with two immigrant parents who didn’t necessarily have the language at the time to discuss very personal topics like sex and menstruation. So, without very much explanation or preparation, Aunt Flow’s visit was certainly a surprise and a memorable occasion to this day.

I remember the event vividly. I was playing in the school yard with my friends when suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt something. For a minute I thought I may have peed myself, but I knew that wasn’t it. I had an inkling that it could’ve been my period but none of my friends had gotten theirs and if they did, it wasn’t discussed, leaving me in a state of panic and fear. I spent the rest of the day keeping the discomfort to myself; judgement from your peers is the last thing any junior high schooler wants. The minute I got home, I ran to the washroom and there it was. My mother was still at work, so I called out to my dad for help. Without hesitation he opened the door ever so slightly, threw in a pad, and shut it. I’m sure it wasn’t the most comfortable situation for him to be in, but I was grateful that he knew what to do at that moment. We never spoke about it again.

Emily B.

I remember getting my period for the first time, in the middle of the night, when I had just turned 12. I was MORTIFIED because I went to a catholic school, and tbh, I didn’t know a lot about it. Luckily, my mom was my star.

Emily W.

When I got my first period it was ♥️ red. When my little sister got her first one it was 🤎 brown, so when she came and asked/showed me I told her she had diarrhea and that periods were blood so it was red.


I got my period when I was quite young, 10 turning 11. I didn’t even know what it was because there was so much shame surrounding these topics in my family so I had not been prepared.


No one had the talk with me about it before it happened. I was 9 years old when I woke up during the middle of the night and thought I was dying when I saw a lot of blood running between my legs. I went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet in disbelief.

 Shan Boodram

Shan Boodram

Wanna hear a crazy sentence? For most of my life, the potential I possess to create another life, has been positioned as a negative - and as a result, my menstruation cycle was branded as something to fear, something to hide and frankly something to be controlled.

As an adult I’ve found the community, knowledge and tools to demolish this narrative and create a new one - my period is an incredible reminder of what I am capable of, my period is life and moreover, it’s a necessary part of my life that’s thankfully still with me. What really affirmed this for me was 2020, the year I had my daughter and the year I realized that my years of menstruating weren’t for nothing, on the contrary, it was actually in preparation for my current everything!


I was 10, in the washroom and I saw dried blackish stuff on my underwear, I called my immigrant Italian mom and she came in and shouted in joy, ran out the washroom screaming in Italian “Patrizia is a woman!” I was left alone for a long time in there thinking what the heck! Trying to shush her so my brothers didn’t hear, to no avail, she even called her parents who lived in Venezuela at the time to let them know. And I was still on the toilet waiting for help on what to do. She eventually brought me some underwear, a pad that was 2 inches thick with no wings and girdle type underwear to hold the pad in place. I was not only mortified by my period at 10, but that I had to wear granny panties too. I love my period story.


I am one of the lucky ones. My mother told me about periods, and gave me a book about puberty. In the mid 1940s in Toronto, Ontario, when I was in grade three, my teacher gave all the girls a lesson about menstruation. I remember her drawing a uterus on the blackboard and explaining it. I surmise that she did that because she herself had not been told about menstruation before it happened to her. I later became a sexual health educator with Toronto Public Health and heard all kinds of stories from women who were never told about it and were shocked and frightened and didn't know what to do. One in particular I remember was from a woman who just kept putting more and more dresses on over the ones that got bloodied, until finally an aunt told her what was happening to her. I am so glad that Plan has taken this on as a project. Some taboos are so difficult to break. Girls deserve the truth about their bodies, (as do boys) and when we tell children the truth we are giving them a gift. More power to you and to all the girls and women who will benefit from this campaign.


I was 10 when I had my first period. I knew what a period was but what I saw looked nothing like what I imagined it would look like. It was brown and thick and I was terrified something was wrong with me. I was at church with my family and got my mom to come back to the bathroom with me. She immediately knew it was my period. She cried and gave me a hug. Thankfully we had a bunch of pads at home so when we got home, she showed me how to put one on after I had a shower. It took me years and a lot of ruined panties and pants to find a rhythm of packing enough products for the day but I also developed a lot of ingenuity when I was in a pinch. Hopefully we can get to a place where everyone with a period can have equal access to the products we need and the time to rest and recuperate from all the work our bodies do!


I had no idea about periods until I had them for the first time. I remembered coming back from church, back at home in South Africa, wearing a WHITE dress and WHITE underwear. I felt something leaking from my vagaygay, a feeling that I’ve never felt before. I went to the toilet and saw both my dress and underwear drenched in blood. I cried a lot while calling my mom, obviously she then explained to me what happened. I would have really liked to be prepared in advance but it what it is.



I was just shy of twelve years old when I got my first period and at the time my school uniform was a nicely pleated light grey quilt which left no room for mistakes. I remember time after time wrapping my blazer around my waist to hide the "mess" I had made. Almost immediately after getting my first period, I was filled with shame. Desperately tried to avoid any awkward interaction with my male peers or teachers when I rushed out of class with my backpack. I was so ashamed that for the first two years of my period I wouldn't even talk to my own mother. For some reason it had been instilled in me that your period was a secret; no one could know what you were going through. I spent years in physical pain during my period, convinced that if I brought it up I would be told it didn't matter. Now it is a few years later and after lots of time, most of that shame has subsided. I now teach sexual health education and talk about periods the same way most people would talk about the weather. However, getting here took time and it was not shame-free. Moving forward, we all need to step up, whether we bleed or not. The reality is no one should feel shame for something so human and that’s the bloody truth!


It is both embarrassing and a little funny. I was in grade 7 and it was a Friday afternoon just after lunch. I was sitting at a desk and noticed something strange. Did I spill something on myself? I was wearing white jeans and thought maybe chocolate milk or something from lunch had dropped on me.

It wasn't until one of my last classes while the teacher was talking that a sudden cold realization hit me. Was this my period? I know my mom had told me something, can't remember what, but I had always scoffed, "well that will never happen to me." Now I understood why my mom had chuckled, "you probably won't have a choice."

Embarrassed, I asked the teacher if I could go to the washroom (this was a teacher you didn't ask that) and he was annoyed. But I quietly insisted, my face burning red, and he let me go finally.

Sure enough, it was my first period. Being unprepared, I used what I could (a wrapped wad of toilet paper) and returned to class, counting the minutes when school was done.

Unfortunately my parents were away for the weekend and I was staying with friends. While we walked home, I quietly shared with my friend what has happened. She was younger so this was new to her as well. We stopped by my house and I could grab what I thought I'd need from my mom's stuff. Unfortunately 'lite days' certainly would cut it.

Close to supper at my friends place, I was in and out of the bathroom, constantly changing the lite day. I guess my friend had told her mom and she quietly handed me a pad, telling me it would work better. In my mind it looked like a diaper (pads were quite think then lol). Fairly certain I was beet red, I thanked and changed again.

Though not my mom, she was able to share what I could expect and what I needed from now on. The way she talked, I'm sure my eyes grew wide. "You I'm stuck with this forever? I'll never be able to go swimming again!" I think I was tearing up at this point.

She chuckled and happily put my mind at rest. "It usually only happens once a month, and then maybe 5-7 days. You will be able to swim again." My other worry after that was showering lol.

So there's my story, the scary (to me) part and the silly thoughts I had that I can laugh at now. Can't say I wore white jeans after that lol.


I was at a family friend's house...without my family, when Aunt Flo and my uterine lining descended upon me.

I was aware of periods but I had NO IDEA it would come out so fast (and so much) and that I couldn't hold it in to minimize it. I spent an hour in the toilet cleaning my clothes in the sink, padded up my damp clothes in toilet paper, and sat on the toilet.

Even though there were was an adult and woman and teen girl in the house, I was too embarrassed to ask for help, so I stayed in the bathroom until my mom came home. When I heard her come in, I left the bathroom in my makeshift wet toilet paper diaper, and whispered to her that I just got my period.

My mom then asks our family friends for pads (I'm mortified), and the teen daughter takes me to the upstairs bathroom to lend me clean clothes and a pad. She asked why I didn't say anything and I shrugged. Then she asked if I knew how to use a pad--I didn't--and taught me.

The most embarrassing thing about this story is knowing that I could have asked for help that whole time and not spent an hour hiding in the bathroom!


I didn’t start menstruating until I was in high school at 14/15/yo, I’m an end of the year baby so I was always behind my class. When I was 12/13 the other girls in my class would make fun of me because I didn’t have my period yet, I felt really ashamed that I didn’t have it.

At 13yo I had an older boyfriend who was 16, one day he asked me if I had my period, and I lied and said I did because I was already so embarrassed about not having it, I felt defective and like a looser! I knew his friends were making fun of him for dating someone so young and that they had probably asked him if I had my period, the thought horrified me. When I finally got my period a year or so later I was relieved at first, then I got angry that I spent so much time and energy wanting to have this thing that made me feel so awful every month. I would have wild mood swings during menstruation that left me feeling guilty, anxious, depressed and completely exhausted, I would feel like a failure because I couldn’t control them.

I found out later in life that my mood swings were part of having undiagnosed ADHD, I got into therapy and got medication. It’s 28 years later and I have finally made peace with the way my body and brain and the way they works. I’ve always been a late bloomer, but I’m a superstar finisher!


I got my first period on April 1st a.k.a April fools day. I felt a little gush right after I got out of bed but didn’t think anything of it. Before I went to school I went to the bathroom and I saw it, a red splotch of blood in my underwear. I thought my mom would think it was a April fools prank so I didn’t tell her. I ran around the house trying to be as nonchalant as possible and find a pad. After I had one I left for school. My friends all thought it was a April fools prank because I’d pranked them before. At lunch we all went to the bathroom together and I showed them. Then they believed me. On the bus ride home I texted my mom and told her I started. She did not think it was a prank and didn’t make a big deal about it. Overall it was a pretty normal first period.

How are Plan International and Always improving access to menstrual supplies and education?

Girl holding always products

Globally, both Always and Plan International Canada provide free menstrual health education to young people and community members, as well as enable access to period products, and spark conversations around periods to fight the stigma.

Plan International's work in menstrual health and hygiene is rooted in tackling gender inequality. Our research and experience show that the inability to safely manage one’s period holds girls and women back from fully participating in the activities of their lives and reaching their full potential. Menstruation can have detrimental impacts on girls’ education when they don’t have access to the appropriate sexual and reproductive health information or products they need.

To help end period poverty and improve access to menstrual health education, Plan International works with and for communities, especially youth. For example, through a partnership with a social enterprise Be Girl, a series of workshops on menstruation reached more than 3,600 girls across 15 municipalities in Colombia. And in Bangladesh, girls were supported to produce sustainable pads and supply them to over 150 schools and pharmacies, for extra income.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Plan International has continued to work on improving access to menstrual hygiene products through the distribution of hygiene kits.

For over 35 years Always has provided free puberty & confidence education to children, parents and teachers around the world. Today, the program reaches over 15million people per year. Their global product donation programs, including the award-winning #EndPeriodPoverty campaign, help ensure that young people have access to the period products they need to keep learning & stay confident. Over the past three years they've donated nearly 4million products in Canada alone.

Useful resources:

Free period advice
How always helps people around the world
Period stigma around the world today

Global stories about periods

Sign for menstruation awareness

Period poverty in a pandemic

Access to menstrual health education and supplies was holding girls back before the pandemic. Because of COVID-19, period poverty and its impacts have been exacerbated.

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Leu and samuel

Meet the boys who are working to end period shaming in Uganda

When Pauline, 18, got her first period at school, she had no idea what was happening to her. She’d never been told to expect her period and was horrified to discover her skirt soaked in blood in front of all her classmates.

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heang from Cambodia shares her first period story

First period stories form around the world

What do many girls around the world have in common? Periods. Read these four stories to see how girls have experienced their first periods from Uganda to Cambodia.

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Woman reading a book

Raise awareness to help end stigma and period poverty

Be a catalyst in spreading period positivity by encouraging friends and family around you to talk more openly about periods and learn about the barriers that period poverty can have on the lives of those who menstruate.

Young women holding up period pads

Give back through Gifts of Hope

Through our Gifts of Hope catalog, you can purchase period products that teach girls how to use pads, make pads themselves to earn an income and provide an education to both boys and girls through school health clubs to tackle issues of shame and stigma. Shop now!