Menstrual products labeled “for women” can cause anxiety for transgender people

  • I am a trans male sexual health reporter.
  • My periods have never made me feel gender dysphoria, but the way menstruation is phrased as “women only” makes me uneasy.
  • I want more companies to stop gender-defining body functions and start producing trans-inclusive products.

My period has never caused feelings of gender dysphoria in a trans-masculine person, but the way people talk about menstruation and represent it as “woman’s question“makes me feel dread and discomfort.

Gender dysphoria
describes the deep anxiety and emotional turmoil many transgender people experience when something in their body does not match their ideal gender representation. Many things can cause dysphoria in transgender people, and the way we are excluded from talking about basic bodily functions is one of them.

As a sex and relationship reporter, I receive hundreds of posts a week from companies reviewing their menstrual products. From menstrual panties to tampons to menstrual cups, my inbox is filled with emails about products that are marketed as “for her” or “for women.”

Sometimes I can ignore the honest mistake that many PRs and companies make when trying to sell these products. Other days I feel like I want to scream and curl up, in part because of my own dysphoria, but also because I know gender periods make it difficult for trans people to access adequate menstrual care.

When periods are a gender issue, healthcare providers, institutions and marketers for menstrual products are less likely to pay attention to the specific concerns of transgender people who bleed.

Labeling menstrual cycle products as “for her” can cause anxiety and dysphoria in trans men.

Many transgender people who have their period fighting dysphoria during menstruation, especially when people say that “only women” have periods.

While I don’t have dysphoria about my period itself, it’s hard not to think about my dysphoria when my period starts and I have to rely on gender pink products or information.

On days when my dysphoria is acute and caused by other factors, such as the wrong gender, the way my body looks in clothes, or online trolling, the extra stress associated with gender-specific foods increases my anxiety and makes it harder for me to take care of myself. …

Gender periods lead to omissions like universities put tampons only in women’s toiletswhich can result in transmen and transmen not being able to access the tampons unless they enter an area where they do not feel comfortable. According to report by the National Center for Transgender Equality60% of transgender people avoid public toilets.

During periods of gender, it is more difficult for transgender people to receive adequate treatment

The gender distribution of menstruation not only leads to dysphoria in trans people – it makes it difficult to get the gynecological care we need and deserve.

According to USA Transgender Survey 2015One in three transgender people had a negative experience of going to a doctor, ranging from verbal abuse to gender misbehavior and physical trauma. Some trans male people refused any help at all because obstetrics and gynecology offices are considered “women’s spaces”.

Before I found my current trans-inclusive clinic in New York, I had countless experiences with gynecologists, in particular, who changed their gender incorrectly, called them dead and used extremely gender language during their periods, which caused it is not safe to raise any real issues.

In the 2015 report 28% transgender avoid the doctor altogether because of such mistreatment.

A small change in our language, such as when we talk about menstrual people, when we talk about menstruation, can be a big step towards cross-border menstrual care.

Overall, gender periods perpetuate the harmful myth that your body determines your gender and makes it even more difficult for transgender people like me to live our lives.

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