Attitudes & healthy periods

It’s thought that the attitude women develop towards their period can affect their experience of it.

You may have developed a particular way of thinking about your period from women around you. Your early experiences of having your period may also affect your experiences into the future.

Think about your earliest experiences.

  • Were they positive or negative?
  • Did you feel confident and prepared?
  • Were you a little confused?
  • How do you think about your period now? 
  • Do you welcome it or dread it? Is it an irritation or an affirmation?
  • How does your partner respond to it?

Studies suggest that women who have supportive partners, friends, family, teachers and employers deal with symptoms of menstruation better.

A history of verbal, sexual and physical assault is very likely to affect your health and your experience of your periods. It is a good idea to talk to a doctor about your experiences. Your doctor may refer you to a psychologist who can help you to understand your feelings, and how they affect your body and the symptoms you may be experiencing with menstruation.

Cultural influences

Some cultures celebrate the onset of periods and the beginning of fertility and others encourage women to take time out and to relax when they menstruate. In western society periods are often thought about as a nuisance. How do you think about your periods? Do you welcome your period and think of it as a positive experience? Try thinking about what your body is doing and your period's relationship with fertility. If it’s possible for you, try thinking about your period as a time of rest as other cultures do. This may help you to think of it as a time of relaxation and timeout rather than an irritation.


A number of studies have found that counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy – that addresses negative thinking about periods and encourages positive thinking and behaviour patterns – may help women feel more control of their bodies, and help reduce symptoms of PMS.

When you feel good about yourself, you are more likely to eat better, exercise more, rest and look after yourself. Counselling can also help you to explore any stress you suffer and deal with mood problems such as depression or anxiety. This helps you to deal with mood changes that may occur during your cycle. Counselling can also help women to address recurring or chronic pelvic pain.


The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.