Did you know that as many as 48 percent of women can feel lightheaded during their periods? Between the hormonal changes and blood loss, fainting can be more common than you think. That’s just one fact you may not have known about this time of the month. For such a common experience that roughly half the human population goes through, periods are still masked in a lot of mystery for many women. Labeled as something “you just have to go through,” periods can be a bodily process we don’t talk about often. It’s easy to assume everyone experiences what you do on yours, because you just don’t discuss it, and find out “Oh. This isn’t necessarily normal.” It’s also easy to feel shame or fear around some experiences related to your period because you don’t realize just how standard they are.
While periods, like fires and earthquakes, are a natural occurrence that hasn’t really changed since the beginning of time, they sort of have. Women live much longer than they used to, for starters. Keep in mind that hundreds of years ago, menopause wasn’t really a thing – not a lot of women reached the age to experience it, so they didn’t reach the age when their periods went through many changes, either. While our bodies are advancing, so too is society, and now there are innovations surrounding periods that weren’t always there. So while some things stay the same, some things do not, and we may not all be caught up on the facts around periods. Recognizing this gap in information, Nadya Okamoto and Nick Jain founded August, a platform for all things period. Along with their trusted medical board, they’ve created a place where you can find answers to all of your questions about this time of the month, Ask August. We asked the Ask August team to shed light on period facts that might surprise you.
Our periods aren’t green…yet
Even though reusable products such as menstrual cups do exist, the overwhelming majority of women still rely on disposable products to manage their bleeding. August experts tell us, “Some 98 percent of American women manage their periods with a combination of disposable tampons and pads, while a combined two to three percent opt for reusable products .” If you are already trying to make an effort to live greener, here’s another piece of information that may encourage you to transition to reusable products. August experts say, “20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons, and applicators are dumped into North American landfills every year,” and the annual carbon footprint is equivalent to burning 35 million barrels of oil.