Worst. Year. Ever. We can all agree 2020 has been a big fat thumbs down for most people. Period poverty has risen in the UK due to the pandemic, adding more worry to an already stressful year, but there have been more than a few positive period-related stories to come out of 2020, too. Here are our top 10 menstrual health moments of the year…
Workplaces used a quiz to become more period-friendly 📝
In September, MyPeriod.org.uk and the Scottish government launched their website to educate and remove stigma around periods in the workplace. There’s an interactive test that employers can take to discover how period-friendly their workplace is, and how to improve. Businesses receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze certification, and learn about hidden health concerns like endometriosis, PCOS and menopause. Massive menstrual win!
Chelsea got with the period program 🩸
Chelsea became the first football club in the world to tailor their Chelsea Women training schedule to fit the players' menstrual cycles. The move was made by Manager Emma Hayes to enhance performance and reduce injury rates after she noticed the players’ energy and mood was affected by their cycle - relatable. They’re tailoring everything from training to nutrition to help them play at their very best. A goal for 2020!
We all waved goodbye to tampon tax 👋
Rishi sorted us UK menstruators out this year by scrapping the tampon tax, and it’s about bloody time. Under EU laws, tampons and sanitary towels have been categorised as a ‘luxury’ item instead of essential, meaning EU member states cannot reduce the tax rate below 5%. It has been confirmed that after the Brexit transition period ends, sanitary products will be zero-rated for VAT. Finally!
Pantone launched their new shade: Period 🟥
Pantone always makes a big splash about their ‘Colour of the Year’, and though this wasn’t the chosen one for 2020 (damn you, Classic Blue!) it’s a bold addition to their range. Pantone’s new shade is apparently inspired by periods, and we know what you’re thinking; do the folks at Pantone think anyone’s period blood is actually that bright? Well, it’s the thought that counts, and we love it. If you’re planning a fresh lick of paint on your feature wall for 2021, might we suggest Period?
Big Mouth got SO real about using tampons 🙊
Big Mouth never fails to entertain with its all too real (and sometimes horrifying) portrayal of puberty. Season 4 did not disappoint. One of our all-time favourite moments was when Jessi got a heavy period at summer camp, and inserted a tampon for the first time. As usual, Big Mouth didn’t miss the opportunity to perfectly personify Jessi’s vagina, giving it a voice (thanks Kristen Wiig) and a hilarious, charming personality to talk her through the process. If only we all had a genital cheerleader during our first tampon experience.
Emma Roberts opened up about endo and egg freezing 🥚
Actor Emma Roberts showed off her baby bump this year while getting candid about her health. After years of undiagnosed endometriosis, she finally found an explanation for her pain, and opened up about how it had unknowingly affected her fertility, to the point where she was advised to freeze her eggs. In the last few years we’ve seen many celebs discuss their endo issues, and we’re all for people shining a light on this frequently ignored condition.
Scotland made tampons free 💸
Bonnie Scotland became the first country in the world to provide free period products for all. In November, MSPs approved a bill making it a legal duty for local authorities to ensure free tampons and sanitary pads are available to anyone who needs them. MSP Monica Lennon has been campaigning to end period poverty since 2016, and it’s needed this year more than ever. It looks like the rest of the UK could follow suit soon, fingers crossed.
A cricket team became the first to be sponsored by pads 🏏
Cricketers from the Indian Premier League team, the Rajasthan Royals, became the first major sports team to sign a sponsorship deal with a sanitary pad brand, and started wearing their logo on their jerseys when their tournament began in September. They’re keen to help fight stigma around periods, and what a way to do it. Howzat!
There were promising advances in treating PMDD 🤞
Anyone who suffers with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) knows that it can be debilitating, which is why it’s welcome news that preliminary research is showing a promising new treatment. Swedish researchers found that a drug blocking progesterone could help, after conducting a study of 95 women. This isn’t enough to get definitive answers, of course, so a lot more research needs to be done, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Yoppie released applicator tampons and more! 🎉
And how could we not mention our very own fist-pump moment of 2020 - we released our first sustainable cardboard applicator tampons, alongside a new personalised recommendation service. Every period is different, and we’ll keep striving to offer complete flexibility and a bespoke approach to your cycle as we move into 2021. This is just the start of many more exciting developments at Yoppie HQ - watch out!
Thought of a great menstruation moment from 2020 that we don’t have on the list? Let us know over on Instagram at @itsyoppie so we can share on social media!