Breaking Period Stigma with New Report from Plan International USA and Always®



Did you know that 85% of girls and young women agree that if they heard others talking openly about periods, they would feel more confident about their own? Unfortunately, in the United States, people are more comfortable talking openly about sex, STDs, politics, and family issues than they are about periods.

MHH-Article-Image-2-for-web

In our brand new “It’s Time To Talk” report, released in partnership with Plan International USA, we look at this and other shocking stats surrounding menstrual health in the U.S. today.

Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA, said:

“It is hard to believe how much shame and secrecy there is worldwide around something as normal as periods. Menstruation should be a subject that is spoken about openly and intentionally to help educate and empower young people. Yet, in this report, we saw that the lingering taboos around periods compromise a young person’s confidence during puberty, a formative time in their lives.”

Jennifer Davis, President P&G Feminine Care, said:

“For more than 35 years, Always has been committed to providing free educational resources and creating positive social norms around menstruation to ensure young people, and their supporters, are prepared to navigate puberty with confidence. This report further highlights the critical need to continue to elevate this issue and ensure that everyone is equipped with the information needed to have period conversations. By talking openly about periods, we can normalize what is in fact a normal part of life.”

The report finds that, in the US:

  • 2 in 5 young people don’t feel prepared for their first period.
  • 1 in 4 young people don’t know why some people get periods and how to manage them.
  • 58% of young girls lose confidence at puberty and starting their period marks girls’ lowest point in confidence during their teenage years.
  • More than 1 in 3 young people have been shamed or teased because of their period.
  • Since the pandemic, nearly 1 in 4 women are worried about their ongoing ability to afford period products, rising to nearly 1 in 3 among parents.
  • Nearly 3 out of 4 young women believe that boys and men need to be involved in the conversation about periods.

What can we do to help address these period related issues?

The report outlines the key actions that Always and Plan International USA have identified as critical to ending period stigma and period poverty by 2030. These include:

Icon-1 Encouraging society to talk more openly about periods by raising awareness of the issues surrounding Menstrual Health & Hygiene (MHH) and the positive impact this openness will have.

Icon-2Elevating the voices of young people who are already leading the charge against period shame.

Icon-3Improving the intentionality and standards of menstrual health and hygiene education across schools in the U.S

Icon-4Enabling parents, especially Moms, with the tools and information they need to feel confident explaining puberty and periods to their kids. Data shows that moms are the most trusted source to learn about periods.

Icon-5Addressing the lack of access to period products that too many people across the U.S. face today.

Share your story!

To help provide a place for these period conversations, Plan USA and Always have created a website where people can go to share their period stories and experiences.

For every story shared between International Women’s Day, March 8th and Menstrual Hygiene Day, May 28th, Always and Plan USA will donate a pack of period products to people in need across the US.

Click here to participate

Always #EndPeriodPoverty
Always #EndPeriodPoverty

To read the full report please email Charlotte Le Flufy, Global Social Impact Director, at leflufy.c@pg.com.

The “It’s Time to Talk” Report is based on 11 studies fielded in the U.S. between 2014 and 2020, by independent research agencies, including Glocaltieis, an international research agency specialized in consumer values. The most recent survey was conducted in partnership with Plan International.

Powered by supporters, Plan International USA partners with adolescent girls, young women and children around the world to overcome oppression and gender inequality, providing the support and resources that are unique to their needs and the needs of their communities, ensuring they achieve their full potential with dignity, opportunity and safety. Founded in 1937, Plan is an independent development and humanitarian organization that is active in more than 80 countries.

Did you know that 85% of girls and young women agree that if they heard others talking openly about periods, they would feel more confident about their own? Unfortunately, in the United States, people are more comfortable talking openly about sex, STDs, politics, and family issues than they are about periods.

In our brand new “It’s Time To Talk” report, released in partnership with Plan International USA, we look at this and other shocking stats surrounding menstrual health in the U.S. today.

MHH-Article-Image-2-for-web
Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA, said:

“It is hard to believe how much shame and secrecy there is worldwide around something as normal as periods. Menstruation should be a subject that is spoken about openly and intentionally to help educate and empower young people. Yet, in this report, we saw that the lingering taboos around periods compromise a young person’s confidence during puberty, a formative time in their lives.”

Jennifer Davis, President P&G Feminine Care, said:

“For more than 35 years, Always has been committed to providing free educational resources and creating positive social norms around menstruation to ensure young people, and their supporters, are prepared to navigate puberty with confidence. This report further highlights the critical need to continue to elevate this issue and ensure that everyone is equipped with the information needed to have period conversations. By talking openly about periods, we can normalize what is in fact a normal part of life.”

The report finds that, in the US:
  • 2 in 5 young people don’t feel prepared for their first period.
  • 1 in 4 young people don’t know why some people get periods and how to manage them.
  • 58% of young girls lose confidence at puberty and starting their period marks girls’ lowest point in confidence during their teenage years.
  • More than 1 in 3 young people have been shamed or teased because of their period.
  • Since the pandemic, nearly 1 in 4 women are worried about their ongoing ability to afford period products, rising to nearly 1 in 3 among parents.
  • Nearly 3 out of 4 young women believe that boys and men need to be involved in the conversation about periods.
What can we do to help address these period related issues?

The report outlines the key actions that Always and Plan International USA have identified as critical to ending period stigma and period poverty by 2030. These Include:

Icon-1 Encouraging society to talk more openly about periods by raising awareness of the issues surrounding Menstrual Health & Hygiene (MHH) and the positive impact this openness will have.

Icon-2Elevating the voices of young people who are already leading the charge against period shame.

Icon-3Improving the intentionality and standards of menstrual health and hygiene education across schools in the U.S

Icon-4Enabling parents, especially Moms, with the tools and information they need to feel confident explaining puberty and periods to their kids.
Data shows that moms are the most trusted source to learn about periods.

Icon-5Addressing the lack of access to period products that too many people across the U.S. face today.

Share your story!

To help provide a place for these period conversations, Plan USA and Always have created a website where people can go to share their period stories and experiences.

For every story shared between International Women’s Day, March 8th and Menstrual Hygiene Day, May 28th, Always and Plan USA will donate a pack of period products to people in need across the US.

Click here to participate

Always #EndPeriodPoverty
Always #EndPeriodPoverty

To read the full report please email Charlotte Le Flufy, Global Social Impact Director, at leflufy.c@pg.com.

The “It’s Time to Talk” Report is based on 11 studies fielded in the U.S. between 2014 and 2020, by independent research agencies, including Glocaltieis, an international research agency specialized in consumer values. The most recent survey was conducted in partnership with Plan International.

Powered by supporters, Plan International USA partners with adolescent girls, young women and children around the world to overcome oppression and gender inequality, providing the support and resources that are unique to their needs and the needs of their communities, ensuring they achieve their full potential with dignity, opportunity and safety. Founded in 1937, Plan is an independent development and humanitarian organization that is active in more than 80 countries.