A NEW campaign has been launched to encourage young women to talk more openly about their periods, in a bid to break down stigma.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has teamed up with Miss Scotland Keryn Matthew for the initiative, which is aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds.

The Let’s Call Periods, Periods campaign comes after UK-wide research found nearly half (47%) of women said they would feel uncomfortable discussing periods with their fathers. The same survey found 52% of women hide sanitary products when taking them to the toilet so not to embarrass others, with 43% saying they feared others might make a joke about them.

The Scottish Government has already taken action to make period products freely available in schools, colleges and universities.

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Campbell said that since then she had “seen and heard about many brilliant examples of students and schools challenging the stigma and making it easier for everyone to talk about periods”. She said: “We don’t want this momentum to stop and that is why we have launched this innovative campaign to make everyone feel more comfortable discussing periods with their friends, family and others.

“Ultimately, this is about dignity and respect and being more open. The stigma associated with periods needs to disappear.

“We should not feel like we have to use euphemisms or code words for periods but can be empowered to have frank discussions about what they are and how we feel without anyone feeling embarrassed. It has been amazing to see so many people take part and support this campaign and to hear about their own experiences, so many of which are all too familiar. It’s time we all call out the stigma and call periods, periods.”

Matthew said: “Despite periods being a monthly reality for billions of us all over the world, some people would still rather say ‘time of the month’ or ‘got the painters in’ than ‘period’.

“We need to start talking about periods more openly so we can tackle the stigma that surrounds them. By having more conversations, we can stop people feeling embarrassed, and ultimately, stop period shaming.”