A lot of things can affect the way you learn about periods and how you experience them. But what about religion? At times revered as a celebration of life and womanhood, menstruation can also suffer under the shadow of shame and stigma in many religions and cultures.
Some religions raise issues around 'purity', while strict rules and customs can dictate what a woman can or can’t do during her period. At the same time, menstruation can also be seen as something to be honoured.
Whether your first period means being showered with gifts or sneaking pads from your mother’s stash, everyone’s experience is different and personal. We spoke to three women from three different religions (Judaism, Catholicism and Islam) and asked them to reflect on how their beliefs have affected their experience of learning about periods, their bodies and sexuality.