Menstrual stigma rearticulated as environmental pollution in contemporary Scottish policy-making

Bettina M Bildhauer*, Lara Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Scotland is a global leader in public policy concerning menstrual products. We bring Critical Menstruation Studies concepts and textual analysis methods to a corpus of Scottish reports on menstrual product access and waste, along with interviews with regional experts. Our analysis indicates that while promotion of reusable menstrual products is intended to dismantle menstrual stigma, this stigma can become displaced via environmental concerns to other contexts, retaining key characteristics. The notion that menstrual blood is unhygienic and transgressive leaks into the discourse, which uses the same fundamental concepts to identify disposable menstrual products as environmental hazards affecting waterways and beaches.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2097034
Pages (from-to)167-184
Number of pages18
JournalWomen's Reproductive Health
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2023


  • Menstrual products
  • Sustainability
  • Pollution theory
  • Embodiment
  • Environment


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