By Alicia Olguin-Macedo, PEP Blog Editor
Period Pros, Joslyn Smith and Courtney Rucker from the University of SC School of Medicine, recently had the opportunity to take PEP to Chicago for a community health event celebrating the grand re-opening of two Family Dollar Stores. The event was sponsored by Tampax, P&G Always, and Family Dollar with a goal to engage with the community and provide accurate menstrual health education and resources to Cook County and the Greater Chicago area.
Joslyn and Courtney spent two days at the events engaging with community members as they delivered education and reduced stigma related to menstrual health. Family Dollar is dedicated to providing rural, urban, and low income communities with a place to shop for low-price goods. With the sponsorship of Tampax and P&G they were also able to provide free period products to the community.
Period Pros are trained to provide medically accurate answers related to many aspects of menstrual health. They offer that education through workshops, pamphlets, blog posts, and social media content. According to Joslyn, “PEP trains us very well when it comes to questions that we can encounter in the community, and even if it’s a question that I’ve never gotten before, I definitely pull from my knowledge from PEP training!” Courtney agreed saying “Absolutely, it was really cool because we had handouts from PEP, all of the information that I had learned in PEP really allowed me to share that with them (the community).”
Both Joslyn and Courtney had fun talking to attendees about their menstrual health concerns. They were amazed at how eager people were to talk about periods and period products. Topics ranged from fertility and pregnancy to busting myths about using tampons! Talking openly about women’s health and reproductive health has allowed younger generations to gain important knowledge and feel less shame around discussing their periods.
“I remember a girl got made fun of because her tampon fell out of her pocketbook in middle school, it was terrible,” Courtney recalled “I’m just glad we talk about it more, because in a small town like mine there was a lot of miseducation, misinformation, and a lot of room for stigma.” By addressing concerns and not only educating younger generations but also older generations, we can help create a future where we understand that menstruation is a natural human process and not shameful or embarrassing.”