Menstrual Hygiene Day: Recent survey reveals evolving attitudes toward menstrual health

Education seems to be a catalyst in women accepting everything that comes with menstruation. Picture: supplied

Education seems to be a catalyst in women accepting everything that comes with menstruation. Picture: supplied

Published May 28, 2024


In celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, Kotex hosted an enlightening webinar.

The event aimed to deepen the understanding of women's relationships with their menstrual cycles and to analyse evolving societal attitudes towards menstruation.

The webinar highlighted results from a recent survey conducted by Kotex. The survey sought to shed light on how women perceive and manage their menstrual health and how these perceptions are changing over time.

Full length shot of a woman suffering from stomach cramps while sitting on a sofa at home.

According to Caitlin Meredith, the Marketing Manager at Kotex, the “P-Word” Survey was developed to identify and understand where menstrual cycle knowledge gaps exist.

“This will equip us to better educate women and communities, as well as to normalise menstruation through open dialogue.”

One term discussed during the webinar was “cycle syncing”. Although it may sound like a buzzword, cycle syncing plays a significant role in menstrual health management.

The concept refers to aligning activities like exercise and diet with different phases of the menstrual cycle to optimise well-being.

Dr Mhlanga highlighted that when it came to tracking one’s cycle, the majority of women were “winging” it: “While 33% of women use an app or ‘other’ means of tracking their cycle (6%), most women (37%) do not track at all, while 23% only take ”mental notes“.

“Tracking your menstrual cycle has immense benefits and allows you to stay on top of your fertile and non-fertile days and expected day of menstruation,” she said, and added that many apps are available that track the menstrual cycle as well as Kotex’s free period calculator.

It was revealed that among women the survey was conducted, the survey showed that 46.5% of women felt “neutral” about their menstrual experiences.

Meanwhile, 38.3% reported feeling positive, and only 15.2% expressed negative feelings. These findings suggest that more women are developing healthier relationships with their menstrual cycles. Getting period cramps and discomfort.

Women today are increasingly developing healthier relationships with their menstrual cycles.

This shift is marked by improved awareness, open dialogue, and proactive management of menstrual health, from managing period cramps and cycle syncing to self-care practices during all four stages of a woman's menstrual cycle, follicular phase, ovulation and luteal phase.

Holistic practices

Women are adopting various strategies to manage cramps, including exercise, heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. Some are also exploring alternative remedies such as herbal teas or yoga.

Medical consultation

Increased awareness has led more women to seek medical advice for severe cramps, ensuring that underlying issues like endometriosis or fibroids are diagnosed and treated.

Dealing with discomfort

Discomfort during menstruation is not limited to cramps. Other symptoms include bloating, headaches, and mood swings.


Practices such as maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting adequate rest are being emphasised. Stress-relief activities like meditation and light physical activities are also helping in managing overall discomfort.


Education that will include men to be better informed about menstrual health, even things like menstrual products, choosing options that suit their partner’s needs, whether it's pads, tampons, menstrual cups, or period underwear.

This will help break the stigma that surrounds menstruation. Open discussions about periods are becoming more common, promoting a healthier cultural relationship with menstruation.

However, the survey also highlighted significant challenges. Despite many women feeling neutral or positive, 60% reported experiencing high levels of discomfort and pain during their periods.

Additionally, 46% said that menstruation affected their daily activities, including work, school and socialising.