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Menstrualism is the term used to describe the multi-disciplinary global menstrual movement.* 

A menstrualist is an exponent of menstrualism  

'Coined' in the year 2000 by filmmaker Alexis Burke and activist Kate Shepherd Cohen, menstrualism was initially intended as a satirical statement on the absence of female-led artistic movements in the 20th Century. The taboo of menstruation at that time and the desire to disassociate with the feminism of the 1990s was such that Burke and Shepherd Cohen did not consider menstrualism as anything beyond the satire of the term itself. They did not realise that many had already dedicated a lifetime to a rapidly evolving global movement.

In 2015, Kate Shepherd Cohen, now noting the often debilitating effect of menstruation on her life,  began to seek a narrative to help her understand and reclaim it. The information she found on the menstrual cycle revolutionised both her life and the lives of those around her. Her study revealed the cross-cultural global menstrual movement that had been gradually growing in momentum for a hundred years, but especially since the 1970s - her study revealed Menstrualism, a very much alive and thriving global movement. On International Women's Day, 8 March 2017, she began to explore definitions of Menstrualism alongside raising three young daughters and offering non-clinical menstrual cycle support to women suffering with their periods.


In 2020, to focus on healing health inequality and to change the way mainstream medicine supports menstrual health, Kate Shepherd Cohen pioneered menstrual health on 'social prescription' (a means of enabling GPs to prescribe non-clinical support). Due to Covid-19, Kate moved the service entirely online and on the week of Women's Day, 2021, Kate was awarded Innovator of the Year at the International Social Prescribing Conference as founder of Menstrual Cycle Support (MCS), the world's first non-clinical menstrual support to be referred by GPs. 

In the five years since Kate Shepherd Cohen began exploring menstrualism, the movement has picked up a pace. She is now, more firmly than ever, dedicated to alleviating menstrual suffering and helping the world to name the movement; to give it autonomy; to give it its rightful place alongside all the great movements of history... of Herstory. 

*Please note that the definition of 'menstrualism' is evolving and feedback is welcome.

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