1.7 billion humans have periods. More than 80% will experience significant, life-interrupting side effects every month, and nobody really talks about it. "It's just a normal part of life."
Any other condition involving 80% of the population would be considered an epidemic. But for menstrual problems, we've decided to turn a blind eye. We've been conditioned to accept whatever our menstrual cycle serves up because, well, everybody else has something wrong with theirs.
Beyond common complaints like PMS or cramping, there are dozens of serious conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, PMDD, and infertility that affect women’s overall health. When we take these issues altogether, that means 100M women are sick from their periods every month! These aren’t just inconveniences. Doctors have described period pain being as severe as a heart attack and studies show 15% of women with PMDD will have at least one suicide attempt in their lives due to cycle related suffering.
Not only do menstrual problems significantly impact the quality of women’s lives but they are also highly predictive of the diseases that kill women, like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and breast and ovarian cancers. Despite all this, reproductive healthcare doesn’t even make it into the NIH top funded areas for research.
The majority of women on this planet are suffering every month from their periods, yet still, we stay silent. We have quietly (because that is what good girls do) accepted the fact that because we menstruate, we suffer. We don’t advocate for help and solutions because we've been conditioned to hide and sanitize; to be shamed by our biology. We drank the kool-aid that we are dirty and inferior.
But, times are changing. Slowly.
We're marching. We're saying “Time’s Up." We're harnessing our rage to demand change like never before. We're taking office, taking over, and taking names. Still, there’s something missing. It’s time we broke the silence about the messy, uncomfortable facts of the female body. It’s time we stopped spreading stigmas and started SEEING RED.
We have to start with women’s health. We have to come together and start talking about our periods. We have to deal with our own shame and self-prejudice.
That’s why I’m excited to introduce Brazen.
We started Brazen to change how women everywhere experience their periods. We build technology and products that help women understand the source of their menstrual problems and then give them the solutions to fix those issues. We believe that every person with a period deserves to have a healthy mind and body, and we won’t stop until we've liberated them from the stigma and suffering of their periods.
Here's what we believe:
- Women deserve equality in all its forms.
- Menstruation isn't a curse. In fact, it's one of the most important indicators of your health.
- Periods are a necessary, messy, and beautiful part of life.
- Menstrual products are necessary for sanitation, not optional, taxable, or luxury items.
- Access to healthcare isn't optional. It's a basic human right.
- Every woman deserves to understand her period. Not to be frightened of, debilitated by, or judged for it.