Health on Female First

Health on Female First

By Ida Tin, CEO and co-founder of woman-led digital health startup, Clue (

They're really common. Half the world's population experiences a menstrual cycle for, on average, 40 years. That's not a niche health concern; it's everyday life.

Euphemisms are totally old-fashioned. From "the curse" to "Aunt Flo" to "Shark Week", there's a dictionary worth of words to describe menstruation. Making periods sound like profanity only reinforces the feeling that they're something shameful.

Make up for your wasted sex education class. You probably don't remember much from the three months you spent learning about biology at age twelve. Knowledge is power, and knowing WHY periods exist and how menstrual cycles work is an excellent first step to understanding your own body.

What's "normal" for you isn't for your best friend, sister or mum. Your body is not a clock. A 28 day cycle is a global average but may not be your personal average, and ovulation does not occur on the same day for every woman.

Learning that atypical can be typical. Menstrual cycles for teens can range from 21-45 days - and that's normal in early menstruators, because the hormonal system that regulates their cycle is still maturing. For most women it takes about six years for their cycle to settle into a personal "normal."

It's a legitimate reason to not feel 100% - You might feel under the weather before and during your period. Up to 80% of women say they experience one or more premenstrual symptoms and 20-32% of women say their symptoms are so significant that PMS affects their daily lives. Why make excuses?

They're an indicator of your sexual health - Periods are your body's way of telling you that things are working as they should. Talking openly about periods is a great way to keep informed and alert you to anything you should get checked out.

Because understanding PMS can make your life better -Tracking your moods, pains, and emotions can help you find your personal patterns and understand how your cycle impacts you.

They've sparked numerous female led startups - Alongside Clue and HelloFlo, there are other companies such as performance wear brand Dear Kate. Period issues have been the driving force for many female entrepreneurs to start up their own businesses with the goal of helping and empowering other women.

Finally, we should be proud that we have periods. It is really that simple. Being ashamed of our period is archaic and, frankly, pretty stupid.

About Clue: Clue is a woman-led digital health startup based in Berlin, Germany. Launched in 2013, Clue is the world's best period tracker and fertility app. Clue's mission is to empower women to be in charge of their lives while moving science and health research forward. For more, visit or follow @clue on Twitter.

tagged in