Know your flow

Image courtesy of WUKA

In recognition of International Women’s Day and Endometriosis Awareness Month, Charlee Singleton explores what’s new in the world of menstrual health in 2024.

If it seems like you’re hearing a lot about period positivity at the moment, it’s because you are. From educational campaigns to innovative products, the ‘taboo’ subject of menstrual health is being tackled to give a voice to the 800 million people worldwide who are currently on their period.

British health retailer Holland & Barrett named ‘Flowology’ as one of their top wellness trends for 2024, with the link between the menstrual cycle and mental health becoming ever-more important. Lina Chan, Director of Women’s Health at H&B says, “Women’s health is at the heart of what we do at H&B so after many years of society shying away from talking about menstrual health, it’s a relief to see the media, big name brands and major sports clubs start to recognise and begin to understand women’s cycles”.

From new therapies to help manage PMS and endometriosis pain, to products that aim to reduce symptoms of bloating, vaginal sensitivity and fatigue, companies are providing consumers with comfort and reliability during their time of the month. It’s no surprise then, that the femtech market is set to reach $60 billion by 2027.

Endometriosis Awareness

Affecting around 1 in 10 of those assigned female at birth, endometriosis is a painful, chronic condition where tissue resembling the lining of the womb develops around the organs within the abdomen. Symptoms include pain during periods, sexual intercourse, bowel movements and chronic pelvic pain, as well as heavy bleeding, irregular menstrual cycles, and fatigue.

“Given that menstruation is the leading cause of iron loss worldwide, it’s important to understand the link between heavy periods, low iron levels and fatigue.”

Despite affecting 1.5 million people in the UK – a similar number to those affected by diabetes or asthma – new research by Endometriosis UK found that a shocking 54% of people do not know what endometriosis is, increasing to 74% of men. Alarmingly, the awareness amongst younger generations is worse, as 62% of women between the age of 16-24 do not know what endometriosis is. A lack of education in schools not only contributes to societal taboos around female health, but also delays the access to treatment – the average diagnosis time is 7.5 years.

Emma Cox, Chief Executive of Endometriosis UK, said, “These new statistics show endometriosis cannot afford to be ignored any longer. We need to see stark changes to the system to ensure that all those with endometriosis are able to access the right care at the right time – not many years, sometimes decades, after they first start suffering from symptoms”.

This painful, long-term condition can have a devastating impact on the education, relationships, mental health, and quality of life of those who live with it. Iron supplement specialist Active Iron, surveyed 1500 women suffering from endometriosis and found that 96% of those with the condition experience a decline in their quality of life due to heavy menstrual bleeding and the associated fatigue, yet many never seek medical help.

The study also revealed that symptoms such as heavy periods and fatigue are not limited to those who have been diagnosed with endometriosis – 77% of those without endometriosis reported experiencing menstrual fatigue that impacted their daily lives, with 74% lacking the energy or motivation to do everyday tasks as a result.

Dr Ria Clarke, registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology, and expert clinician for Active Iron, said: “It’s so important that we can dispel the misconceptions around heavy periods, fatigue, and endometriosis, reduce unnecessary delays in diagnosis, and improve the quality of life for millions of women worldwide whose lives are being negatively impacted.

“Given that menstruation is the leading cause of iron loss worldwide, it’s important to understand the link between heavy periods, low iron levels and fatigue. Rather than covering up tiredness and fatigue with quick fixes, a daily iron supplement can help women address the energy loss associated with diminished iron levels, in turn achieving symptomatic relief and improving their quality of life,”

Sound Frequency Therapy

According to a 2020 study, 20-40% of women experience PMS and 2-8% suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), with symptoms including fatigue, depression & anxiety, mood swings and abdominal bloating.

These debilitating symptoms can disrupt women’s daily lives, and whilst painkillers, contraception and hormonal therapies are common treatments, alongside other methods such as consuming more caffeine or doing less activities, many women find that they are still struggling with day-to-day activities whilst suffering from PMS or PMDD.

Soaak, the sound frequency app has launched a PMS support model to help alleviate premenstrual syndrome, support balanced emotions hormones, provide pain relief, and decrease bloating. The sound frequencies within the app target both physical and emotion aspects that can accompany PMS and PMDD symptoms, and have been clinically proven to help reduce stress, decrease anxiety, manage pain, and boost energy.

In a test of 120 clients experiences issues such as migraines, hormone imbalances, sleeplessness, and anxiety, 78% saw positive outcomes to sound frequency therapy, with none experiencing any adverse side effects from the treatment.

An Angel’s Touch

In a recent study published in Reproductive Health, researchers investigate the effectiveness and safety of a new portable pain device known as the Angel Touch device, developed by Peace of Mind Co. Ltd. in Japan.

The device works by emitting a mix of magnetic fields to target pain in specific area and has shown in previous animal research to adjust nerve growth factors, reduce inflammation and activate the body’s natural pain relief mechanisms. To build on this existing research, Associate Professor Hiroshi Ishikawa and Professor Kaori Koga from Chiba University’s Graduate School of Medicine and their team are investigating the potential of the Angel Touch device in managing endometriosis-related pain.

Dr Ishikawa commented, We focused our study on AT-04 since it is an exceptionally minimally invasive device suitable for premenopausal women, as it does not disrupt ovulation. Its method of pain management differs significantly from current treatments, indicating promising potential for effectively addressing endometriosis-related pain.

Women experiencing persistent endometriosis-related pain often endure mental strain such as depression. This stress, alongside the condition itself, can exacerbate future fertility issues. By effectively managing long-term pain with minimal side effects using AT-04, the device is expected to enhance the quality of life for women with endometriosis-related pain and also to potentially safeguard against future declines in fertility.

Eco-Feminine Care

As consumers become increasingly aware of their climate impact, they are turning to sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions for menstrual care, with 19% of British women having purchased period underwear in the last year.

“Millions of women and girls are still unaware of the synthetic chemicals and toxins in single use products, which can cause discomfort and imbalance of the vaginal microbiome.”

Single-use period products found in supermarket feminine hygiene aisles pose dangerous threats to our health – synthetic materials, plastics, and nasty chemicals can all affect the sensitive vaginal microbiome leading to unwanted infections and irritation. With statistics showing that one in three women suffer from vaginal dryness, it’s no surprise that consumers are looking to natural alternatives for their time of the month.

WUKA (Wake Up Kick Ass) are the pioneering B-Corp certified brand behind the UK’s first period pants, and their latest innovation introduces the world’s first multi-size period underwear to tackle two common symptoms linked with the menstrual cycle – bloating and vaginal sensitivity.

Their latest innovation combines the comfort and kindness of ethically sourced, buttery soft cotton with their patented Stretch™ technology to ensure a moulded, smooth, and seamless fit. The breathable and absorbent cotton is recommended by gynaecologists to maintain a healthy vaginal microbiome, preventing discomfort, irritation, and reducing the risk of infections.

WUKA Founder & CEO Ruby Raut says, “Periods can be difficult to manage at the best of times but if you struggle with sensitive skin, or are prone to irritation down there, you need to be extra mindful of the things you put on your body.

“Millions of women and girls are still unaware of the synthetic chemicals and toxins in single use products, which can cause discomfort and imbalance of the vaginal microbiome. 2024 is the year we “cotton on” and take back control of our menstrual health and wellbeing.”


Active Iron for Women
Image courtesy of Active Iron

Active Iron

Containing 17mg of iron plus a complete multivitamin tablet, Active Iron for Women provides complete nutritional support for women.

Active Iron is clinically proven to improve iron levels by 94%, whilst avoiding troublesome side effects, resulting in increased energy levels, and longer-term improvements in overall health.


Mother Cuppa Energising Herbal Tea
Image courtesy of Mother Cuppa Tea

Mother Cuppa Tea

Developed by Candice Mason who was diagnosed with endometriosis in her late teens, the Mother Cuppa Tea range is designed to support women’s hormones, health and wellbeing using ethically sourced vegan and gluten free ingredients.

Energising Herbal Tea is for when you feel the most fatigued, with a blend of adaptogenic herbs, including ashwagandha, to provide support in maintaining energy levels throughout the day – all without the crash and burn often associated with coffee consumption.


Starpowa Hormone Balance Gummies
Image courtesy of Starpowa


Powered by plants, with both Primrose and Starflower oil, Hormone Balance gummies are scientifically formulated to regulated our bodies hormonal activity and helping overall PMS symptoms, including reducing tiredness and fatigue.

Each gummy is vegan friendly, contains less than 0.1g of sugar and is naturally sweetened using plants extracts.


NIXI Body Period Pants
Image courtesy of NIXI Body


Keeping women moving through menstruation, motherhood & menopause, reusable underwear brand NIXI Body focuses on fully leak-proof underwear designed with sport in mind.

Tackling the taboos of incontinence and menstrual health, whilst eliminating waste from disposable products, NIXI’s knickers provide comfort and reliability – they are completely VPL free due to a patented scalloped edge design, and don’t move, rub or chafe due to the ‘scrunch-bum’ feature.


Here We Flo Eco Applicator Tampons
Image courtesy of Flo

Here We Flo

Flo is the women-of-colour owned, B-Corp certified period care and sexual wellness brand committed to eco-friendly and organic solutions.

Their products are sustainable, biodegradable, organic and hypoallergenic, and their eco applicator tampons come with 100% recyclable, 95% plant-based (sugarcane) applicators. No synthetic fibres, chemical residues, dyes, pesticides, chlorine bleach or fragrances are used.

Believing in the power of sustainability and community, each pack gives back with FLO donating 5% of its profits to charities such as Bloody Good Period, AKT, and The Orchid Project, championing causes like period poverty, LGBTQ+ youth homelessness and ending female genital mutilation.