In Sweden, it is a common belief that close friends who spend a great deal of time together can influence each other’s menstrual cycles to become synchronised. However, the scientific standpoint is that menstrual synchrony is a myth.
The concept PeriodMatch is digital toolbox for young adolescents to investigate how often they have their periods at the same time as their friends. The aim of the project is to raise the questions: Can design replace the need of a myth? What would it mean for the young individuals to grow up feeling that their periods are more of a shared experience?
Inspiration and Method
“How can menstruation become a less stigmatized topic among young?”-was the starting point of the project. Through a research consisting of online surveys with adult men and women, interviews and workshops with girls and boys, it became evident that there is a lack of communication around the topic among young friends.
In Sweden, there is a common understanding that women, who spend a great deal of time together, can biologically influence each others’ menstrual cycles to become synchronised. However, the scientific standpoint is that menstrual synchrony is a myth. Still, during the research, it became clear that many young friends like to talk about menstrual synchrony. In an online survey where 232 Swedish women took part, 92% of them answered that they think that menstrual synchrony is true and 82% had experienced menstrual synchrony themselves.
Many young women already track their period with the help of a period app. Can we make use of this popular myth and, based on it, design a period app that makes menstruation into an easier topic for young friends to talk about?
The outcome of the project is the concept PeriodMatch, a period calendar that lets the young individual track her period and the experiences related to it. Over time, the app collects the information for her to know her period better.
Unlike other period calendars, PeriodMatch gives young friends the opportunity to add each other and create match groups. When two friends have their period at the same time, the app will let them know that they match. The app collects the matches and lets the young friends investigate how often they have matching periods, how it changes over time, and gives them the opportunity to create their own opinion about it.