Sign our petition: Don't leave Wales behind - teach menstrual wellbeing in schools
At 15, Jade was told the severe pain she was experiencing was completely normal. She suffered excruciating pain, fatigue, and bowel and bladder related problems - all whilst trying to get through school and pass her exams. Years later, she was diagnosed with endometriosis. In Wales, the Assembly are currently reviewing the school curriculum and we want to see all children taught the key facts about the menstrual cycle. Together, we can make change for the next generation. Sign our petition today.
This is Jade's story.
My name's Jade, and for 15 years I was told the severe pain I was experiencing as part of my menstrual cycle was completely normal. I suffered from excruciating pain, fatigue, and bowel and bladder related problems – all whilst trying to get through school, navigate puberty, and pass my exams.
I wish I had known that what I was experiencing wasn't normal – but symptoms of a common condition called endometriosis which affects 1 in 10 women from puberty to menopause. Endometriosis is just one of many menstrual conditions affecting young people – others include PCOS, PMDD, and adenomyosis. I don't want anyone suffering with a menstrual health condition to do so alone like I did.
By working with Endometriosis UK, I hope we can do exactly that by persuading the Welsh Assembly to teach menstrual wellbeing in schools. Not only would this help break down the taboos around menstrual health and encourage people to talk openly about their periods, but also by teaching what is and isn't normal to experience.
Had I been taught at school what is and isn't normal when it comes to menstrual related pain, I could have sought help and saved myself years of confusion and heartbreak.
For many, school is a happy time to look back on. And whilst I definitely had some good times, it's the falling asleep at the back of the class and having to quit school gymnastics that I remember most. Teachers would treat me like I did not want to be there and never even asked why. In reality I was just too tired and in too much pain to function.
From 2020, children in England will learn about menstrual wellbeing as part of the school curriculum. A subject I can only wish was on the curriculum when I was at school. As teachers may not have ignored me, but empowered me to get the help I needed.
Whilst it's a huge step forward that those in England will now learn about menstrual wellbeing, let's not leave those in Wales behind. The Welsh Government are now reviewing the curriculum and we have the opportunity to make sure children in Wales get the education they need.
Please sign my petition to get menstrual wellbeing in the Welsh curriculum.
Together, we can stamp out the stigma and give children with menstrual conditions the support they deserve. Period.