Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Why the 28th of May?
The average duration of a menstrual cycle is 28 days. On average, women and girls menstruate for 5 days per month. Hence 28-5, or the 28th of May.
This is an average and does not represent the menstrual experience of an individual. For example, cycle length and days of menstruation are likely to decrease with age.
Newer “big” data gathered specifically from period tracking apps suggestes the average cycle to be longer with 29 days (Faust, et al., 2019; Bull, J. R, et all, 2019). But there are limitations to the data as the study population is derived solely from users of tracking apps who may not be representative of the wider population, and hence we keep 28 for now.
Is there really a need for a Menstrual Hygiene (MH) Day?
Who came up with the idea for MH Day and how did it start?
Who is behind Menstrual Hygiene Day?
- coordination of the MH Day partner network comprising of >500 social impact organizations,
- overall strategy and direction for MH Day,
- creation and dissemination of content for the annual MH Day campaign and ongoing campaigning,
- external communication (MH Day website, social media and newsletters) and representation of MH Day (at conferences and other sector events),
- strategic partnerships (including with the media) and fundraising,
- monitoring and reporting.
Can I celebrate MH Day even if my organisation is not a MH Day partner?
What happens on and around MH Day on May 28th?
What happens beyond May 28th?
Why do you use the term menstrual hygiene and not menstrual health? Do I have to use the term menstrual hygiene or can we use other terminology instead?
“Women and adolescent girls using a clean menstrual management material to absorb or collect blood that can be changed in privacy as often as necessary for the duration of the menstruation period, using soap and water for washing the body as required, and having access to facilities to dispose of used menstrual management materials. They understand the basic facts linked to the menstrual cycle and how to manage it with dignity and without discomfort or fear.”
Menstrual Health and Hygiene encompasses both MHM and the broader systemic factors that link menstruation with health, well-being, gender equality, education, equity, empowerment, and rights. These systematic factors have been summarised by UNESCO as accurate and timely knowledge, available, safe, and affordable materials, informed and comfortable professionals, referral and access to health services, sanitation and washing facilities, positive social norms, safe and hygienic disposal and advocacy and policy.
Since April 2021, there is an official definition for menstrual health. Menstrual Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in relation to the menstrual cycle.
We are using the term Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH) as it is the most inclusive.
The official name of the day is Menstrual Hygiene Day. When you refer to the day itself, please make sure to stick to that official name. Not doing so is confusing, especially for the media and other multipliers, and hence can undermine our overall collective efforts.
Beyond the name of the day itself, you know best what terminology works for the specific issue and context you work in. So whether you want to use menstrual hygiene, menstrual health & hygiene, menstrual health, menstrual equity or whatever other term is completely up to you.
Why do you only refer to women and girls and not to people who menstruate or menstruators?
The focus of Menstrual Hygiene Day is on maximising progress for the vast majority of the people who menstruate, which are women and girls. In many countries, we are just now making the first baby steps towards normalising the menstruation of women and girls. In our view, we haven’t made nearly enough progress for MH Day as a global initiative to take on the potentially even bigger taboo of other people who menstruate.
MH Day partners are, of course, free to use other language and advocate for everyone who menstruates.
How is MH Day funded? Does MH Day need additional financial support?
Office phone: +49-30-55576806-1
Mail address: WASH United gGmbH, Fuerbringerstrasse 7, 10961 Berlin, Germany