Sent with LOVE from the Menstrual Health Hub (6 min. read)

We can see them!
You can see what?!

...we can see all the ways in which the menstrual and female health movement will strengthen and grow in 2020! We invite you to scroll through our predictions (but don't miss the new research and events at the end!)

2019 was a mighty fierce year, both for the global menstrual movement as well as for us at here the Menstrual Health Hub. Take a look at the Menstrual Health Hub 2019 Annual Report to see all that we were able to accomplish. 

A huuuuuge and heartfelt shout of gratitude goes out to our Inner Circle partners The Case for Her, Lunapads, Lunette, Days for Girls, Ruby Cup, Medulla & WoMena for supporting us in 2019.

Wishing you an even fiercer 2020 - and beyond!

Your friends,
Image: The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Hokusai
The bloody tide will continue to rise

The drive to de-stigmatize menstruation will be EVERYWHERE in 2020.
From the silver screen to social media, we will see an upsurge in campaigns, events, and films / artistic projects dedicated to confronting period shame. Menstrual May and the lead-up to MH Day (28 May), will be louder than ever, indicating a major paradigm shift in how we talk about menstrual health and related period issues in comparison to 2015, which was prematurely called The Year of the Period.

Image: A wheel with menstrual cycle insights written on it. Image by Ruby May, Know Your Flow
Cyclical wisdom will gain even more traction

There has been a considerable increase in exploring the role that hormones play on the everyday experiences of people who menstruate. Some use the concept of menstruality (The Red School), while others strive to use it as a tool to increase productivity, whereas others are simply interested in the cyclical blueprint (Anne Buzzoni), or digging deeper into the biological interconnectedness of the menstrual cycle.

In many western countries, a whole cadre of professional 'Period Coaches' or 'Menstrual Cycle Consultants' have emerged to help you to understand your cycle better. With their guidance via 1-on-1 coaching or online courses, they claim you can learn to observe, feel and eventually optimize the cyclical rhythms and inner guidance system that happen as a result of the hormonal changes that occur throughout the monthly menstrual cycle. 

Here are some Period Coaches to keep your eye on this year:

Ruby May, Know Your Flow - UK / Germany
Anna Buzzoni, Medulla Insights - Italy / Germany
Iris Josephina, Cycle Seeds - Malta / Netherlands
Claire Baker, This Is Life Blood - Australia / UK
Lisa Hendrickson-Jack, Fertility Friday - US
Lisa de Jong, Your Cycle Matters - Ireland
Maria Carmen Punzi - Italy / Netherlands
Hilary Chambers, Canada
Amanda Laird, US
FemmeHead, US 

This is a sign of the broader shift towards health and wellness, which has some interesting implications for Menstrual Hygiene Day (28 May).
Image: A young woman in a wheelchair looks out a window. Image by Getty Images.

The people at the margins matter:
Inclusivity is the way of the future


Many people take issue with the phrase 'people with periods' because they believe that only women experience menstruation. Newsflash: All menstrual experiences matter, regardless of which sex or gender they are attached to. Let's get over it. Let's talk about who else lives at the margins! 

Homeless people, the incarcerated and people with disabilities (PWDs), for example. And about the people who take care of PWDs? The ones that change PWDs bloody pads, month after month? Our most recent blog "We're Their Voices" explores exactly that. 

PWDs have so many diverse needs when it comes to managing their menstruation, which is why thoughtful design is required for true inclusion (i.e., for a new period tracking app to be inclusive it has to consider the needs of the deaf and blind). PWDs are not one homogenous group, and therefore constitute a variety of target markets within what is perceived to be an unmet market. In 2020, we hope to see many more considerations of the menstrual needs at the margin!
Read more on caregiver perspectives
Image: 4 tampons and a marijuana joint. Image by The Fresh Toast.
Beyond blood: Talking more about symptoms, pain... and weed


Whereas the first phase of the Menstrual Movement was all about breaking the silence and saying the words 'period' or 'menstruation', the conversation is now shifting to actually listening to what girls, women and those who menstruate are actually saying about their periods and what they feel happening inside their bodies. 

This means the world is starting to pay attention to important experiences like heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB), which is bleeding that lasts more than 7 days, bleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row and menstrual flow with blood clots that are as big as a quarter or larger.

This means that the world is also then starting to create more innovative products and services that help address the discomfort, pain or irregularity of periods. A recent survey of women across the US found that 2/3 of respondents said they use cannabis products - from THC tinctures and bath soaks to suppositories and CBD oils - while more than 1/3 claimed to have used it to treat gynecological issues.

There's also evidence, as reported by Project CBD, that cannabis can have a positive effect on sexual health by reducing anxiety and pain, which can be common barriers to a positive sexual experience for many women.
Read more about weed & female health
Image: Different symbols within femtech. Image: ClearView 

Femtech poised to hit new heights, 
expanding across the female health lifecycle


In the past 12 months, Femtech received just short of $800 million in funding. Estrella Jarmillo sat down with 3 Femtech investors to forecast what's on the horizon for 2020. Heart disease, fertility treatment outcomes, pain management solutions and menopause - just to name a few - are areas to we can watch out for notable growth & expansion.

By 2025, there will be over 1 billion women experiencing menopause in the world, which will be 12% of the entire world population of 8 billion, and therefore many are seeing menopause as a space that has not been sufficiently disrupted, offering investors an incredibly lucrative and impactful opportunity. With more purchasing power than ever, this population is a very interesting consumer because not only are they yielding the power to demand better solutions for their specific needs, but they want to feel good in this life stage as well. Because, why not?
More on Femtech trends for 2020
Research Updates

A global
 collaboration with

1. Puniz and Hekster, 2019: Technical brief for the Integration of Menstrual Health in SRHR. PSI Europe developed a toolkit with the aim of integrating menstrual health in existing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) programs.

2. Ussher et al., 2019: Routledge international handbook of women sexual and reproductive health. This handbook examines women’s sexual and reproductive health across the lifespan through three main lenses: (1) feminist perspectives; (2) the biopsychosocial model; and (3) international, multicultural perspectives that acknowledge the intersection of identities in women’s lives. 

3. Chattopadhyay et al., 2019: WASH practices and its association with nutritional status of adolescent girls in poverty pockets of eastern India. A sample of 6352 adolescent girls was randomly selected from three states of eastern India to assess WASH practices and its association with nutritional status among adolescent girls. Findings: 82% had no sanitation facility in the household. About 3/4  were not using sanitary napkins. Only 9% accessed adolescent health services in the last six months. The majority (85%) had not accessed any service/ counseling from a frontline health worker. Girls who accessed water from outside the household were more likely to be stunted and were thin, particularly the younger adolescent girls. The results of this study indicate that WASH practices have a significant association with the poor nutritional status of adolescent girls in eastern India.

4. Lenia, E, 2019: Assessment of knowledge, perceptions and practices of menstrual hygiene management among females aged (15-49 years) in Bidibidi refugee settlement, Yumbe district, Uganda. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Bidibidi refugee settlement in Uganda to assess the knowledge, perceptions, and practices of females aged 15-49 years regarding menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in the refugee settlement. Findings: Inadequate MHM products were found among 35.1% of participants. Around 40% of women and girls had a lack of knowledge of menstruation despite the provided information and education. Inadequate menstrual hygiene practices were found among 36.7% of respondents shown by lack of privacy, poor storage, and disposal of materials. There was a discrepancy in the preferred menstrual materials by the females and what aid agencies recommend. Women and girls in Bidibidi prefer to use disposable pads despite the recommendation by aid agencies for reusable pads. 
Help the Menstrual Health Alliance India (MHAI) 
create policy standards around cloth pads

The MHAI is looking for policy experts that want to support them in the generation of product standards for reusable cloth pads. Please do send an email to asking for the documents they have created so far for feedback! More info on the MHAI can be found here
Menstrual & Female Health Events
Ensuring Accessibility: Addressing the menstrual needs of people with disabilities

January 23, 2020


Register here

January 26, 2020
Berlin, Germany

Register to secure your spot

From Investors Perspective - Investing in Fem Tech and Health Tech

January 29, 2020
6:30- 9:00PM GMT

London, UK

Register here

Periods and Beyond: Menstruation, Inequalities & Social Change

January 31 2020
9:30 – 16:00 GMT
London, UK

Register here
594 registered and going strong! 
The MH Hub has the most comprehensive overview of
who is doing what, where, with regards to periods, worldwide.
Our Menstrual Map has over 20,600 views to date!
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*We use the word female to denote the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova). At the MH Hub, the term 'female health' is used to capture the experiences related to the presence of the menstrual cycle and the specific health issues an individual may face over their life cycle as a result.  We recognize that not all women menstruate, and not all who menstruate identify with being a woman, and strongly advocate for the inclusion of diverse voices, identities and bodies in discussions around female and menstrual health.

Copyright © *|2020|* *|Menstrual Health Hub (MH Hub)|*, All rights reserved.

The Menstrual Health Hub (MH Hub) is a female health impact organization focused on ecosystem-building, knowledge sharing and high-level advocacy around menstrual health worldwide. Menstrual Health Hub gUG (haftungsbeschränkt) is a German nonprofit-enterprise company (limited liability)  

Using women-centered design and a human rights approach, the MH Hub also consults various entities on female health innovation, investment, communications and business strategy. MH Hub UG (haftungsbeschränkt) is an German enterprise company (limited liability) registered at c/o Factory Berlin, 76/77 Rheinsbergerstraße, 10115 Berlin, Germany. 

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