VISION MENSTRUATION: The Future of Periods
Have you ever thought about how your daughters and granddaughters would deal with periods? Will they use the same sanitary pads as we do or will menstrual cups become a norm?
Even though not much has changed since the early days of period products in the 1900s (that's not that long ago tbh, can you BELIEVE?), there is much to hope for the future of periods!
Right now we see women fighting against period taboos, providing more comprehensive education on women's health, creating sustainable period options and raising awareness about our menstrual health all around. It is a great time to be a woman, as we see change being made by us and the people around us.
So what's ahead of us?
1. More sustainable products
Be it pads, tampons or the cup — market trends see a rise in eco-consciousness in the younger generations! We care more about what goes into what we buy and the consequences of it with regards to our environment. Sustainability is the new black.
2. 100% Organic Cotton
Yes, Enya is the future, or so we hope! There is a study by Dr. Philip Tierno who discovered that all-cotton tampons do not produce the TSS toxin from Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and concluded that cotton lowers the risk for tampon-associated TSS. Basically TSS is only linked to rayon tampons, not cotton! Phew!
This clearly shows that 100% organic cotton is great to use for your periods inside and out as there are no fragrances, chemicals or dioxins. As your vaginal tissue is the most sensitive and porous parts of the female body, any harmful dioxins (no matter how little) can be absorbed into the body, building up over time.
3. Reusable pads!
They're making a comeback! Yep, reusable pads are a thing of the past — my mum used them growing up. Previous generations used menstrual cloths for their periods, and while that seems pretty forward-thinking, cleaning them was not. Due to taboos and shame regarding periods, the cloths were not washed and dried hygienically.
But with snap enclosures and waterproof fabric of all colours and designs, reusable pads are pretty trendy and user-friendly! While some cringe at the thought of dealing with period blood, it still came from your body after all. Embrace it, girl!
4. Tech tampons
Wait, what? Technology? Yep, how else can we improve the tampon? While such futuristic tampons aren't out in the market yet, we can expect tech-enabled slash medical device tampons in the near future. That means tampons that send you a notification when they're full and sharing relevant data with your doctors could be something to look forward to.
Other "innovative" tampons may help with balancing the pH of your vagina, detecting ovarian cancer, protecting against unprotected sex (no pun intended), and even releasing medicine inside your body. Weird, I know but keep it in mind!
5. Menstrual cups
This doesn't come as a surprise as menstrual cups are pretty big in the market right now! After all, it is the most sustainable and cost-friendly period product so far. A menstrual cup can last over a decade if taken care of well, and you only need one.
However, there needs to be more education regarding menstrual cups as there are still cultural norms and taboos to fight against. Most Malaysian women are not comfortable with sticking something up their body. I mean, can you believe there are still people that think menstrual cups can take your virginity away? The answer is no, by the way.
6. Subscription services
Everything is going online since the pandemic happened — entertainment, education, work and most importantly, shopping. As people are getting used to the idea of buying things from a screen, why not get your period products as well? After all, you will never run out of pads and forget to buy them again when you're subscribed. If you can subscribe to Spotify Premium and Netflix, why not Enya?
Rather than getting dressed, locking your door, driving your car and putting it into park, paying for parking and walking around the store to finally pick up your pads, why not just get them with a click of a few buttons? We deliver straight to your door with no hassle!
7. FREE period products everywhere
Dah la ada period setiap bulan, but somehow we found it okay to charge women for not getting pregnant? Way to go, society. Period products should be a basic human right, especially for the underprivileged. If public bathrooms can provide tissues and soap for free, why not sanitary pads and tampons?
While some schools and workplaces do stock up on pads in the ladies', it is still not a standard policy. Luckily, you can get FREE period pads right here at Enya! Organic ones too! Just pay shipping 😉
8. Menstrual leave
Yeah, baby! I mean, no baby. When those pesky crampy days come your way, perhaps in the near future we can pull out the menstrual leave card and rest at home. Only a handful of countries adopt this, mainly Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, a few Chinese provinces, and Zambia. Surprising, isn't it? You would think more highly developed countries would have this.
It's already hard enough to be doing work on your period but sometimes you really just gotta rest at home! After all, what good work can we do when we're in pain?! Employers gotta care for their employees too. If maternity leave can be a thing, why not menstrual leave? I need time off from not having a baby too!
9. Open conversations about periods
We need this and deserve this! We need to overcome societal norms and taboos to be able to talk about something as natural as menstruation. It is a normal bodily function that happens every month — which is more often than falling sick!
Thankfully, things are changing and more Malaysian women are open to talking about their periods, even with a male audience. And boys, you gotta learn about it too. Still, there is a huge lack of knowledge within our society. A more comprehensive sex education syllabus is needed, especially in government schools, not just to help women and girls manage their periods, but also to prevent teen pregnancies, child marriages and sexual assault.
If you're cool with talking about periods, do give us a follow over on Instagram!
10. Periods will be OPTIONAL
Sometimes you just don't want to deal with it at all. And sometimes, it's better not to. Women now have a choice to have their periods, or not at all! There is no other reason for periods besides having a baby, and if that is not something you want, you can get rid of your period too.
Medically-induced amenorrhea or menstrual suppression is more common than you think — taking the pill, getting hormonal IUDs inserted and much more (implants, patches and injections). Hormonal birth control can lighten your periods or even completely stop them temporarily. How great is that!
It is especially helpful for women who were born without intact uteruses, have painful periods and/or certain health conditions like PCOS. Even Muslim women on their pilgrimage to Mecca as well as women with intense jobs like astronauts and army veterans have found menstrual suppression to be a convenient solution for them. Who wants a period in the middle of war?
So did you expect any of these? What was the most surprising option to you?
As we move forward into the next decade, things are getting more exciting. We see more period-related products to be made by women (as it should be 😌). Periods could even be a conversation starter! As it becomes an easier topic to talk about, we may discuss our periods more openly with our doctors and as we learn more about our periods, we may also learn more about the health of our body; looking to periods as indicators of our health — both physical and mental.