Why Is It Called A Period?

From the moment of birth, a part of our lives is determined by menstruation, or in medical terms, the menstrual cycle. But why is it called a period? This is an interesting question to explore, as the answer goes back to centuries-old medical terminology.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into why it’s called a period and the significance of that terminology. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started in understanding why it’s referred to as a menstruation period.

Why Is It Called a Period?

For hundreds of years, the time between the first and last day of a woman’s menstrual cycle was referred to as her ‘period’.

While it is now commonly referred to as a menstrual cycle, in the past it was called ‘period’ being derived from the Latin word ‘per’, which means ‘through’ or ‘throughout’. The word ‘period’ initially indicated that the decline in female hormones occurred in a cyclic or periodic manner.

Origin & Uses of the Word ‘Period’

This word ‘period’ has been in use for generations, in many different forms and for a variety of purposes.

Some historical documents, such as manuscripts by Homer, and medical writings from Ancient Greece, mention this word in reference to the menstrual cycle. The use of the word ‘period’ can be found in the writings of most cultures, including the Chinese and Hindu communities.

The ancient Greeks and Romans believed the menstrual cycle was associated with the changing of the moon, and thus the word came to represent a ‘period’ – or a time of change, followed by a return to the previous state.

What Now?

Today, the word ‘period’ has taken on a slightly more positive connotation, as a badge of honour for women as they make their way through this natural life stage.

To many, it can be seen as a symbol of ‘womanhood’ and the strength women can derive from this natural process that unites us all. Though we may use the word ‘period’ in day to day conversations like ‘I am on my period’, when speaking of the menstrual cycle the more appropriate term is ‘menstrual cycle’. This is to remove any discomfort or stigma surrounding the discussion of this important topic.


The word ‘period’ has been used for centuries to refer to the menstrual cycle, composed of one’s monthly cycle of ovulation and fertility. It is derived from the Latin word ‘per’, meaning ‘through’ or ‘throughout’ and is often used to refer to a time of change, followed by a return to the previous state.

Though the term ‘period’ has been in existence for centuries, more recently it has come to symbolize strength and womanhood, and so should be used with respect and an open mind. Citation URLs: https://www. healthline. com/health/why-its-called-periodhttps://www. gigigulf. com/why-is-it-called-a-period-history-and-meaning/https://www. britannica. com/science/menstrual-cycle

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