The Period Education Project: To Empower Period Management

Menstrual education includes all the information needed to empower period management as a natural process, free from social expectations of the female body and function, and prioritising physical and mental health by understanding the menstrual cycle and how it affects each person differently. A menstruation educator would be the one who imparts these lessons to the students in the classroom.

Period education is crucial for ending the vicious cycle of damaging stigma that is so established in society. Furthermore, it's critical to give women the freedom to control their menstrual cycles in a clean and safe manner. Menstrual education will help to reduce period poverty since educating people about the need for appropriate facilities and goods to manage their periods and the importance of doing so is the first step.

Menstruation affects half of the world's population, yet it is still a taboo and stigmatised subject, which has an impact on girls' and women's self-esteem, awareness, and willingness to look into healthy alternatives. Thus, period education and discussion about menstruation is required to resolve these issues.

Period Education Project (PEP):

The Period Education Project (PEP) is a non-profit, physician-led, national initiative that works to improve access to menstrual health education, and is specifically targeted to youth ages 12+ and the adults who support them. Understanding menstrual health enables young people to advocate for their own care and identify concerning problems, resulting in earlier treatment and better outcomes.

PEP collaborates with a few medical schools to prepare small teams of medical students (PEP squads) to lead community-based educational workshops (PEP rallies) on period poverty and menstrual health for nearby youth-oriented organisations and their loved ones. PEP seeks to dismantle obstacles to community youth education on reproductive health as well as menstrual health stigma and myths.

Girls who are educated about menstruation health are more equipped to protect their own health, identify alarming health concerns, and seek treatment sooner and with better results. The health of women can be significantly improved by providing all young people with this crucial health education.

  • Knowledgeable youth become healthier adults.
  • Students that receive instruction on menstrual health:
  • Normalise menstruation to reduce stigma and taboos
  • Grow up with less anxiety about their bodies and their health
  • Gain insights into what is normal and what requires medical treatment.
  • Become stronger health advocates for women.

Features of Period Education Project (PEP):

  • · Evidence Based, Rooted in Science
  • · Developed by nationally recognized doctors
  • · Supported by top medical schools
  • · Offers specialised education addressing a big gap in young women's health
  • · Facilitated by certified medical students
  • · Community Based

Period Education Workshops:

In every period education workshop, Period Pros lead youth through engaging and interactive discussions teaching:

  • · Female reproductive anatomy
  • · The menstrual cycle
  • · Menstrual & health tracking
  • · Normal and abnormal menses
  • · Safe & reliable options for period management
  • · Stigma reducing myth-busting
  • · Local resources providing free period products
  • · Trusted resources for additional menstrual health information

Aim of PEP:

  • · Reduce the inherent bias in medicine toward women and menstruation symptoms
  • · Change a system that has too often missed important opportunities for prevention or early intervention.
  • · Reduce disruptions brought on by a typical biological process to help communities achieve greater equality.

Statistics (Need of menstrual health education among youngsters):

  • · When they menstruate, 58% of women admit to feeling embarrassed.
  • · 73% of women admit to concealing a sanitary item when using the restroom.
  • · 90% of girls have physical symptoms associated with menstruation.
  • · In the US, 1 in 5 girls miss school due to lack of period protection.
  • · The average number of years a woman experiences symptoms before being diagnosed with endometriosis is 10
  • · The few number of states requiring medically accurate reproductive health education
  • · More than two thirds of low-income women and girls lack access to adequate period products.

PEP Power:

Youth Participation:

  • · By normalising menstruation, you can boost your self-esteem and lessen stigma.
  • · Give young people the necessary knowledge about menstruation health to lay the groundwork for reproductive wellbeing.
  • · Learn about normal and abnormal menstrual symptoms, period product safety, and health tracking to develop your preventative abilities.
  • · Find dependable sources for cost-free products and more educational resources.

Medical Students:

  • · Understand the clinical elements of adolescent menstrual health.
  • · Be a role model for young people in your neighbourhood who lack resources.
  • · Teaching children and adults will help you develop your public speaking and communication abilities.
  • · Engage in rewarding and educational service in your community.

Community Organisations:

  • · Provide group education sessions to boost self-assurance and combat stigma and false information
  • · Provide essential, age- and medically-appropriate education
  • · Engage medical students or aspiring doctors who are role models for young people in your neighbourhood.
  • · Preventative education will improve the health of women.


  • · Eliminate stigmas associated with menstruation
  • · Become more confident and informed adults
  • · Learn how to advocate better for their own health

PEP Team:

Trish Hutchison, MD, Executive Director

(Co-Founder, Girlology
Co-Founder, Period Education Project
Campus Physician, College of Charleston):

Dr. Trish Hutchison is a native of South Carolina who graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina with an MD after attending the College of Charleston (MUSC). Trish relocated back to Charleston after completing her paediatrics residency at Vanderbilt University. There, she worked in private practise for almost ten years before transitioning into a more academic position as the founder and director of a young women's health centre for the Department of Adolescent Medicine at MUSC. She has been ranked among the Best Doctors in America for her expertise in adolescent development, teen sexuality, and parenting. She is a well- regarded and trusted physician among children, college students, and parents alike due to her many years of clinical practise and her pleasant, nonjudgmental style.

Katrina Graczyk, MBA, Chief Operations Officer:

Katrina, a native of New Jersey, attended Rutgers University for both her MBA and undergraduate studies in economics. She has always had a natural interest for engaging with young people and fostering positive youth development. Katrina takes part in a variety of PEP activities, but she particularly likes working with the medical student volunteers who educate local youth about menstruation health.

Maggie Hamberis, Director of Partnerships:

Maggie's experience in women's health came full circle when she first took Dr. Holmes' Girlology class in middle school and joined the PEP Team in 2022. She always had a passion for women's wellness and firmly believed in overcoming stigmas because she grew up in a healthcare home. She changed her attention back to improving lives through nonprofit work as the Director of Partnerships with PEP since she was looking for something more satisfying. Maggie is delighted to join the team and put her passion for women's health and communication talents to excellent use

Lonna Gordon, MD, PharmD, FAAP, FSAHM:

(National Coordinator of Med School Partnerships, Associate Chief of Adolescent Medicine, Nemours Children’s Hospital):
Dr. Lonna Gordon was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She holds an MD from the University of South Florida and a PharmD from Florida A&M University. She is the Division Chief of Adolescent Medicine and the Director of Diversity for Graduate Medical Education at Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Florida, where she now practises adolescent medicine. Dr. Lonna is a well-known national advocate for teenage reproductive health and healthcare access. In three different cities, she has also been the driving force behind faith-based organisations' participation in community health education programmes.

Period Education Project (PEP) Partners and Sponsors:

  • · Tampax
  • · Girlology
  • · Girls Inc.
  • · Medical University of South Caroline (MUSC health)
  • · Harvard Medical School
  • · Massachusetts General Hospital
  • · University of South Caroline, School of Medicine Greenville
  • · Indiana University (School of Medicine)
  • · University of Central Florida
  • · University of Utah
  • · University of Houston
  • · Virginia Commonwealth University
  • · Oregon Health and Science University
  • · University of South Alabama, College of Medicine
  • · Morsani College of Medicine
  • · Florida State University
  • · Emory University, School of Medicine
  • · Baylor College of Medicine
  • · Miller School of Medicine
“Improving women’s health starts with improving young women’s health first.”

The Period Education Project (PEP), a nonprofit organisation formed by doctors, educates young people and their carers about menstrual health through accurate and entertaining menstrual health education activities. The Period Education Project collaborates with community-based organisations to offer free educational workshops (P.E.P. Rallies) to underprivileged youth in an effort to promote menstrual health and period poverty. To eligible youth-serving groups, we provide free programmes, and for private programmes, we warmly take donations.

It's essential to take care of one's period securely and hygienically. However, there is little discussion and awareness of periods due to the stigma and secrecy surrounding menstruation. Menstruators who lack knowledge and understanding may suffer physical injury. These dangerous and unsuitable techniques might be passed down through generations. The correct kind of education fosters a non-judgmental knowledge of menstrual bodies and views the right to a dignified period as a fundamental human right. Therefore, there is a significant need for and interest in menstruation education.

“By normalising menstruation and raising awareness of normal and abnormal symptoms, we can reduce the health burden of missed or delayed diagnoses related to conditions like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, clotting abnormalities, and infertility.”

Staff Writer