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October 18

October 18, 1946 – The Educational Film The Story of Menstruation is Delivered

SoM_1

“So, as we see now, menstruation is just one routine step in a normal and natural cycle that is going on continuously within the body.”

On October 18, 1946, the educational film The Story of Menstruation was delivered to International Cellucotton Co. (now known as Kimberly-Clark). It was produced through a partnership with Kotex Products. It became a staple of health education classrooms for decades, using animation to depict the changes in a woman’s body through puberty. The film runs about ten minutes.

The film begins with a conversation about glands, namely the pituitary gland, which produces growth hormones. Between the ages of 11 to 17, the pituitary gland sends a new maturing hormone through a woman’s body, particularly to the ovaries. An explanation is given of a woman’s sexual reproduction hormones, and the cycle of an egg. It then goes to describe regularities when it comes to a period, and how timing can go off due to fatigue, catching a cold, or becoming emotionally upset. It reminds girls to keep a calendar for their cycle, and introduces a booklet called “Very Personally Yours,” which was handed out upon viewings of this film. It also dispels any theories that women should not shower or exercise during their period. The booklet also provides exercises to help with cramping, and advises healthy living every day to help keep the body running smoothly.

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