Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Top five reasons not to talk about the menstrual cycle

April 12th, 2012 by Alexandra Jacoby
hand-mirrors and notebooks this morning

hand-mirrors & notebooks this morning

In last month’s blog post, I was thinking through why we weren’t supposed to talk about our bodies, and by the end of the post, it did seem to me that talking about our body-lives was a normal, sensible, useful, appropriate —just a big yes— thing to do.

And, then it got quiet.

Not just you.

I got quiet.


…here’s why —

  1. I should know this already! — my body, right? — how it works. Recently, a friend asked me [politely] how come we have a Society for Menstrual Cycle Research? Don’t we already understand how it works?
  2. Too personal — not everything in my life is public material [even if we’re friends].
  3. You’ll use it against me — you’ll stop listening when you don’t like what I have to say and chalk it up to that time of the month, or my being on the rag — rather than talking through when we disagree, or when my opinions are strong.
  4. It reminds everyone that I’m that other [messy] body type. And, I just want to be normal.
  5. Too busy — I have projects in the works, people waiting, emails to reply to, and what I’d really like is a vacation! Why do I need to be talking about this, too? I mean if everything’s working ok, what is there to discuss?

I just re-read last month’s post. When I wrote it, I thought I was writing it for you.

Turns out, I wrote it for myself.

I am uncomfortable in this conversation. Not always, and not always for the same reasons.

And, less so, having told you that…

What about you?

2 responses to “Top five reasons not to talk about the menstrual cycle”

  1. Alexandra,
    Your ponderings reminded me of an experience I had.
    My teenaged son and drove up to Whistler where I was going to a conference and he was going skiing. We came late to a reception–I got some wine and food and wnt to join some people I knew. Soon he had a plate overflowing with bacon wrapped scallops. As he approached the table I introduced him.
    A nurse I have worked with piped up, “Hi, and does your mother talk about menstruation and the dinner table?” (She had had a few by then and was disinhibited.)
    “OH YES,” he exclaimed, “and at breakfast too!”

    When I think about it, that question was to embarrass both my son and me.

    His was the perfect answer!

  2. I honestly never thought this was an ‘uncomfortable’ topic. If you’re getting negative feedback then I just think the negative people are perhaps more vocal and the rest are very comnfortable. It’s a natural part of life and women talk…women talk about EVERYTHING.

    Don’t give it a moment’s pause. Just do what it is you want to do – it is important.

Readers should note that statements published in Menstruation Matters are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.