Racism affects health. Fact.

Updated: Jun 25

Race is being ignored in the statistics of pain and periods

People of colour are more likely to get sick, one reason is due to chronic stress. The threat of racism daily. Being on edge all the time. Chronic stress.

I have no way of understanding what this feels like.

But the facts are there. It is real. Racism affects health.

Which led me to look at the statics for women’s health. As I know cortisol, our stress hormone, can disrupt our hormones. Being on edge in chronic stress WILL negatively affect our hormones.

Stress can negatively affect our periods and cause pain. 84% of women suffer with period pain.

According to a 2013 study by the Journal of Women’s Health, Black women are three times more likely than white women to experience fibroids. Another study found endometriosis is one of the leading causes of hysterectomy among Black women.

Black women’s pain is not taken seriously as seen on a recent documentary by Rochelle Humes so their diagnosis of menstrual difficulties can also then go undiagnosed.

“While it’s easy to call the menstruation experience something that is stigmatized for *all* people with periods, it’s important to acknowledge the unique issues black women face.

The older black women in my life often made me feel bad about my period. Things like reproductive health and mental illness have always held stereotypes in the black community, leading to shaming instead of educating and denying instead of embracing,” Tiffanie explains. “But it’s not their fault — the way the black community treats menstruation stems from decades of internalized racism and classism. Black people’s feelings of self-worth have long been tied to our appearances: how “clean” we are, and nothing is seen as more “dirty” than period blood.” Toni Brannagan

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