Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

EWW! Is That Period Blood?!

August 10th, 2009 by Elizabeth Kissling

bloodIt’s been frequently noted (by many writers, not just me) that menstrual blood must remain invisible. So I was quite pleased to stumble upon this lively discussion at Feministe about menstrual blood and why it seems to have a greater squick factor than other blood – or any other bodily fluid, for that matter.

Frau Sally Benz started this discussion with her befuddlement at the disgust of others when she discusses her delight in discovering the advantages of the Diva Cup:

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is people’s aversion to menstrual blood. Perhaps I’m just super comfortable with my body or took one too many reproductive health classes or maybe I’m just gross, but I really don’t get why people are so thoroughly disgusted by menstrual blood.

Within three days, the thread had more than 100 responses. Although the women’s responses to the sight of menstrual blood vary, they’re all talking about menstruation in a public forum.

2 responses to “EWW! Is That Period Blood?!”

  1. dejah says:

    Maybe it’s the smell? I’ve never noticed that the blood that comes out of my arm has a particular smell. But the blood that comes out of my vagina often DOES have a particular smell and I don’t personally find it pleasant (though it is not “bad” as in “infected” or something like that). I just don’t like the smell. Moreover, I’ve noticed, that I disliked the smell of my mother’s menstrual blood long before I started bleeding myself–and before I knew what it WAS!

    Interesting thought though. This didn’t answer why other people think menstrual blood is more gross than regular blood, but it certainly did encourage me to explore MY feelings.

  2. atozinco says:

    My period blood doesn’t seem to have any smell at all when I collect it my menstrual cup. I’ve been using a cup for two years, before that I only used disposable pads (I’ve never liked tampons) – there was definitely a bit of a smell when I used pads, but perhaps that was because of the chemicals in the pads or because of the blood being exposed to the air and starting to dry out. I’ve never minded the smell from my pads (I kind of liked it). But it’s nice not having any smell at all since using a menstrual cup. I quite like my menstrual blood, I don’t think I’ve ever really found it gross. I like the colour of it and I find it interesting.

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