Because menstruation is typically portrayed as a female experience, it can cause feelings of gender dysphoria for those who identify as a different gender (or non-gender) from the one they were assigned at birth. The gender spectrum is varied and diverse, and biological characteristics of the cis- female and male gender can have affects on how people perceive themselves. Transgender men may still have their periods every month, and transgender women will not.
Women are not the only ones who get their periods. As stated before, transgender men will sometimes continue to have their periods in any stage of their transition. The terminology used in the #LetsFaceitPeriod campaign often uses just the terms women and girls because it reflects the global discourse. Having a period does not make trans-men any less of a man. However, this is important to discuss with an understanding doctor if this applies to you. Unfortunately, all of the things that can go wrong with a menstrual cycle still are possible during and after a transition, and these can be overlooked by doctors since the field is still evolving to help non-binary people.
Trans-man specific solutions
One option many trans-men choose for handling their period is taking birth control to suppress their periods as much as possible. Birth control can limit menstruation to happening only a few times a year. This is an option to be discussed with a doctor. A prescription and consultation is necessary because birth control can affect everyone differently and this option may not be possible based on one’s health history.
Another issue many trans-men face is how feminine-focused menstruation management products can be. This may make someone who is already exhausted of fighting against the cis-normative standards in society hesitant to purchase feminine products. This is understandable, and there are some options such as gender neutral reusable pads and underwear that are being marketed more and more.
Transgender women do not menstruate, but that does not make anyone less of a woman. Menstruation is often portrayed as an essentially female experience, but as discussed with transgender men, menstruation is simply a biological process and does not determine womanhood.
We are looking to learn and broadcast more about the trans and non-binary experiences with menstruation. Please submit your story to us here.
Want to read more? Our team has found some interesting articles:
- My Period and Me: A Trans Guy’s Guide to Menstruation
- Lunapads for all genders, all bodies
- My Period Blog - Transgendered men & menstruation
- No, I won't ask about your period. Yes, you can tell me about it.