The ovulatory-menstrual cycle is central to wellbeing. With 40 to 50 years of periods ahead of them, adolescent girls* deserve the best possible start to life as strong healthy women. Using the principles of Positive Education, a Health Promoting School can help make this a reality.
Many adolescent girls experience ovulatory-menstrual health difficulties, such as painful periods, premenstrual symptoms, abnormal bleeding and irregular cycles. These have been associated with school absenteeism, poorer classroom performance, a negative body image, the onset of eating disorders, self-injury, and poor quality of life. A review of resources suggests that this stigmatized subject can be presented inaccurately and negatively. This may explain schools’ tendency to outsource this taboo topic to external guest facilitators.
My Vital Cycles™ aims to address these problems by developing and trialling a school-based ovulatory-menstrual health literacy program centred on the whole person.
* My Vital Cycles™ uses terms such as females, girls, and women. These are used in relation to a person’s sex (i.e. their biological characteristics or reproductive organs). It is recognised that this may differ from gender identity. For example, someone who menstruates may or may not identify as “female”. My Vital Cycles™ believes anyone who menstruates should have the information and skills necessary to best manage this vital sign.
When will My Vital Cycles™ be rolled out?
The results from the 2021 trial will be used to further refine the program so that it can be offered more broadly. A new web portal is planned to host the online resources and tools to support families, schools and healthcare professionals. This will coincide with a broader communication and engagement process with the education and health sectors.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Nyungar Wadjuk people as the traditional owners of country in which My Vital Cycles™ was created. We pay our respects to Elders, past and present and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.