Please Sign In or Create an account
Talking About Periods: Strategies for Supporting Girls and Women with Intellectual Disability

Talking About Periods: Strategies for Supporting Girls and Women with Intellectual Disability

Methods: This work will explore research about menstrual management education for women with an intellectual disability. Exploration of worksheets and activities to help address the needs of women’s menstrual management education will be shared. Many of these will be taken from FPQ’s award winning resource ‘Everybody needs to know’. Ideas to be presented include strategies for assisting pad changing, privacy and periods, managing and understanding periods. ‘About Periods’, a resource for girls and young women, will be highlighted as well as further information for professionals, parents and carers.

Results: Increasing independence in managing menstruation and promoting body ownership is a clear strategy for reducing vulnerability and experiences of sexual assault. Supporting girls and women with intellectual disability to manage their own periods promotes personal safety as well as being a strategy to reduce forced sterilisation of girls and women with disability. With repetition and practice, many girls and women can learn how to successfully manage menstruation.

Conclusions: Having a positive approach to menstruation for girls and women with an intellectual disability is important. Ensuring the approach used is evidence-based, meets genuine needs and works with a girl’s or woman’s strengths and abilities is essential.