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We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Normalizing conversations about menstruation

March 8, 2022

I was doing some Youtube-watching and I was amazed at the varying levels of knowledge available when it came to menstruation. 

What do women know about periods? 

What do men know about periods? 

Let’s talk about menstruation and how we can approach this topic with kindness. 

What is the menstrual cycle? 

 The menstrual cycle consists of two phases: 

The Follicular Phase

This phase is characterized by menstruation, the shedding of a woman’s uterine lining as a result of an unfertilized egg [1].  As well as the growth of the egg [1]. This is also when the following hormones peak: 

The Luteal Phase 

This is when the unfertilized egg becomes reabsorbed or the fertilized egg becomes implanted [1]. Progesterone (PG) peaks during this phase to get the uterus ready for the possibility of egg implantation [2].

Here’s what a period is like in a 2-minute summary: 

What is PMS?

 Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is often experienced by women during their periods [6]. Its onset can be due to fluctuations in hormones and chemicals in the brain during menstruation [6].

“It's estimated that as many as 3 of every 4 menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome.” [6].

How to approach the topic of menstruation with kindness 

Be respectful 


I remember being in elementary school and if a girl was being serious or strict, she was automatically called out for pmsing (even if that wasn’t the case). I feel like as I’ve gotten older, I’ve thankfully heard less and less of the term pmsing used in a negative light. Women should be allowed to be leaders, be assertive, and delegate without being told that they’re “probably just pmsing”. 

Feel empowered to use the correct terminology 


Periods have many other nicknames but don’t be afraid to call it what it is; a period. Period. 

Offer sanitary supplies to friends if they’re in an emergency situation 


This can apply to friends or just women in general. I’ve been in a public bathroom before and have been asked by someone if I had an extra pad. I happened to have one and was more than happy to share! Hopefully, if you’re ever in that situation too, someone will have you covered too! 

Refrain from minimizing a person’s experiences 


The worst thing for me to hear when I’m in pain is about how not in pain I should be or how dramatic I seem. Not only when someone’s on their period, but when someone is in pain in general, we should aim to comfort them instead of making them feel worse. 

Respect the cravings 


This applies to both when women experience cravings during their periods and when people have cravings in general, we should respect them! We should encourage people to eat whatever they feel like eating without making them feel judged for it! 

Be willing to learn 


There are so many Youtube videos like the ones I shared above of people sharing what they know (or think they know) about periods and how the female reproductive system works which goes to show that many people aren’t experts and are still learning. But all that we can really hope for is that people commit to educating themselves about menstruation to benefit the lives of the women around them.