Women’s Health Issues – OPINION

By Ksena Spencer

Please note: This is an Editorial written by a member of The Lions’ Den staff and does not necessarily reflect the views of the School District or Administrators.

Being a woman who has gotten her period isn’t easy; it changes your daily life.

Female students who are on their period in school have to use menstrual products for longer periods of time, which can cause higher risk of cervical cancer, toxic shock syndrome and other health issues resulting from product overuse.

 Going to school during your menstrual cycle can be difficult when every woman has different amounts of pain, cramps and other negative effects caused by periods.

“Periods 100% affect girls’ daily school life,” junior Giavanna Rosensteel said. “Speaking personally, I get extremely bad cramps that I have to miss school monthly for and I know many other girls who do, too.”

When girls are at home, they are able to change their menstrual items often and have enough items at their house so they don’t run out.

 At school, girls may have products in their bags. The problem is when girls don’t have the necessary items to use. Some girls just go to the nurse to get products, but often they will ask a friend for a pad or tampon.

“Right now, I know that Miss Salak, Mrs. Seitzinger and myself have maxi pads and tampons in our closets for girls who may request them from us,” GSMS English teacher Mrs. Barb Garofola said. “This was Miss Salak’s idea. She gave them to us, and we have them for those in need.”

Period products should be available for free in all women’s bathrooms throughout the school. Doing this would make having to go change a product easier for girls.

“I think people make it out to be something gross or almost like it should be a secret,” sophomore Elanor Swanson said. “This is not the case though, it is natural and should be normalized. We are expected to be in varying levels of pain throughout the day and act like we are perfectly fine, and this should not be normalized.”

Some girls are embarrassed or afraid someone will see them take a product to the bathroom so they might try to hide it in their pocket or their sleeve while going. They will often try to be quiet while unwrapping or opening the product while being in a bathroom for females only.

“Yes, periods affect the young ladies in our building,” Mrs. Garofola said. “Some girls get sick, some have pain, some have their clothes ruined. All of this weighs on the minds of these adolescents, and this could interfere greatly with their daily learning.”

Toilet paper, seat covers and hand soap are offered for free in public restrooms. These things could be considered “necessities” for anyone. Tampons and pads are a necessity for all women. These products aren’t even offered in all public restrooms, let alone offered for free.

“We are the wealthiest country in the world; we should be able to have free hygiene products for young women,” history teacher Mr. Robert Lehman said.

Attending school as a woman who is on her period can come with all sorts of pains and discomforts. Not having products available to you when you need them is difficult. Our school district would benefit by having free menstrual items in the bathrooms.

“Periods can happen unexpectedly, and even adult women can find themselves unprepared,” English teacher Mrs. Mary Logan said. “That can be a traumatic experience for a teenager, and it’s something I would hope we can find a way to avoid as a compassionate community.”

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