Period Health 101 is a gender-inclusive presentation about all things period related occurring Tuesday, April 6, with a Q&A section at the end.
Sarah Wallingford, physician assistant in the University Health Center, said this event is a collaboration between UHC, Women’s Center and LGBTQA+ Center. Wallingford said most people do not receive a lot of education about periods, and people who experience periods typically learn as they go.
“I feel like all people, whether they have periods or not, could use more information about what’s happening in our bodies,” Wallingford said.
Period Health 101 will highlight some basic information about periods, common concerns people may have, why periods happen, what is happening inside someone's anatomy, what different types of period blood indicate, what is an ideal period and when someone should seek medical attention, according to Wallingford.
The event is from 7:00-7:30 p.m. over Zoom, and pre-registration is required.
Stephanie Alderson, assistant director of the Women’s Center, said in an email that Period Health 101 is the last presentation of “The Stuff You Weren’t Taught in School” series, which consists of 30-minute Zoom webinars about sexual health topics.
“We named this series ‘The Stuff You Weren’t Taught in School’ because so many people have received sex education that didn’t cover everything,” Alderson said. “I know that during my sex education experience, I wasn’t taught most of the topics that we’ve covered in this series, so we wanted to bring that to our students.”
Although this is the last installment in the three-part series, Alderson said all presentations might be posted online so that students can access them later.
Wallingford said periods say a lot about someone’s overall health because periods happen on a regular cycle, so if they are not occurring regularly, that can indicate that a medical issue is occuring in someone’s body. An irregular cycle could be a result of various medical issues, like hormone imbalances, stress, lack of sleep, infections, polycystic ovary syndrome or thyroid disorders, according to Wallingford.
An ideal period typically lasts about three to five days and is not heavy for a prolonged amount of time, with minimal cramping and no significant premenstrual symptoms, according to Wallingford.
“Most people don’t have an ideal period,” Wallingford said. “Something that is important to me is normalizing everyone’s bodies.”
Wallingford said the biggest thing students can get out of this event is basic education from an anatomy standpoint. Also, Wallingford said the event is a place for students to be open about their experiences and ask whatever questions they may have.
Wallingford said she thinks all students can learn something new from this event, whether they have specific questions or are curious about the overall presentation content.
“I would be so thrilled if a wide range of people would tune into this event, both people who have periods and people who don’t have periods, to have a more open discussion about how periods can affect people’s lives and for everyone to just have a better understanding of what’s happening in the bodies of people who have periods,” Wallingford said.