Vivian M. Lee
Lee, Vivian M.
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences, Division of Community Oral Health
No More Secrets is a sexuality awareness organization that focuses on a realistic approach to sexual health. No More Secrets is currently dedicated to fighting Period Poverty, the inadequate access to menstrual hygiene products. Period Poverty can force menstruators to miss work/school and put them at serious health risks. No More Secrets has created the only feminine hygiene bank and home delivery service in Philadelphia.Project Overview
Although helping NMS with deliveries in person was not an option due to the virtual nature of the 2020 BTG internship, the projects that the interns completed still contributed to the work that Lynette and Nya are doing in the community: decreasing the stigma surrounding menstruation and educating the public about the struggles of period poverty.Outcome
No More Secrets can now incorporate these educational brochures in their distributions throughout the community. By educating both menstruators and those in their support system, the stigma surrounding menstruation can be defeated and period poverty can be more effectively eradicated. During my research for the “Dad’s Guide to Periods: Menstruation 101” brochure, I came across this statistic that states 1 in 5 of female respondents do not feel comfortable talking about menstruation with healthcare providers. I was really struck by this because as healthcare providers we should be making it as easy as possible for menstruators to talk about their periods. The issue of health professionals feeling awkward talking about periods despite it being in the patient’s best interest needs to be further investigated. Normalization of menstruation would be even more effective if it starts with health professionals so the patients can understand that menstruation is not taboo. Although much was accomplished throughout the 2020 BTG internship, I am left pondering the question: how can dentists do the work to decrease stigma around menstruation?