Millions of women and adults that menstruate never discuss their periods with their partner

By Richard Jenkins
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 4:01 pm

A poll of 1,500 women and people who have a monthly cycle found 33 per cent of those in a relationship keep the true impact it has on their daily lives from their other half.

And 35 per cent are simply too embarrassed to let their other half know about their worries about their periods.

More than one in five (22 per cent) have hidden and washed stained sheets without their partner knowing, as they feel ashamed of any leaks.

While 29 per cent have even slept on the sofa, in the spare room or even in a different house altogether while on their period.

But of those, 39 per cent said it’s because their partner prefers to sleep separately during their time of the month.

Bodyform, which commissioned the research in tandem with its Periodsomnia campaign, teamed up with Love Island host Laura Whitmore to discuss the importance of being open with your partner when it comes to your periods, as well as the different night-time routines and habits of women and adults that menstruate.

Impact on sleep

She said: “The results show so many people hide stained sheets, and it can be embarrassing.

“It shouldn’t be this way, but it is the way we’ve been taught - but it’s a natural thing that your body does and it’s okay.

“A lot of people say they sleep separately to their partner, if you do this for yourself to get a better night’s sleep, that is totally understandable, but if your other half has asked you to sleep away, it’s not okay.

“It’s very important to consider how a period can impact sleep. You have a bad night’s sleep, and your day is pretty much ruined.”

The survey also found 29 per cent of those polled have a worse quality of sleep than usual while they’re on their period, due to stomach cramps, bloating and worries about leaks - missing out on an average of five hours of sleep a night.

While 30 per cent also experience anxiety on the nights leading up to and during their period.

To ease these worries, 20 per cent change their sheets to the darkest colour or put extra mattress protectors on the bed.

A quarter lay down towels before sleeping and 24 per cent sleep in a different position.

But they still wake up an average of two times more than usual each night during their period, while 87 per cent even change their sheets multiple times over the week.

Night routines

Nearly six in 10 (57 per cent) also avoid sex and intimate moments while menstruating.

Despite the findings, 47 per cent of those with a partner do discuss the impact their period has on their daily routines.

And 90 per cent of those claim their other half is understanding of the situation, according to the research by OnePoll.

A spokesperson from Bodyform added: “Periods can really get in the way of life, even when we’re asleep.

“It’s no wonder women+ change up their night time routines so much when menstruating.

"From laying down towels, to wearing extra pairs of knickers in bed – we’ve all been there."