There was an incredible moment in the House of Commons when, during a 2015 debate to scrap the so-called tampon tax, one MP could barely bring himself to utter the word.

Sir Bill Cash, who was actually in favour of scrapping VAT on sanitary products, repeatedly referred to tampons as “these products” until a rival MP told him she would stop debating him unless he uttered the t-word. (He eventually obliged.)

Almost five years later, I would like to say we’re living in changed times. In many ways, we are. Scotland is believed to be the first country in the world to give out sanitary products as part of a government-funded initiative to make sanitary products available in schools and colleges.

And, here we are again, encouraging young people to talk about periods in a bid to erase stigma – and I’m all bloody for it.

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The Let’s Call Periods, Periods campaign is aimed at young people aged 16-24. Rightly so, because the only way to stamp out the habit of unnecessary flowery slang is to teach young people that there is nothing to be ashamed of. No mean feat, when more than one in three women in the UK say they have experienced period shaming through bullying, isolation or jokes about their “time of the month”.

By limiting period education to the intricate biological functions, we fail to inform about the everyday implications. That gap of knowledge has been replaced with a squeamish fear and a frustrating caricature of hysterical women.

Instead we have forged a culture where women whisper to each other when they need to borrow a tampon, murmur some nonsense about Auntie Flo being in town and shrug off crippling symptoms by saying we are “a bit under the weather”.

Let’s not forget, the effects go beyond red faces. If we cannot talk frankly about what we are going through, we risk medical issues going unchecked. I spent years in crippling pain before I realised that what I was experiencing was a cut above most of my friends (what I actually had was endometriosis, a painful tissue disorder often linked with menstruation).

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When I abandoned all pretence of caring about what people (read: men) thought, I got a few disgusted looks from colleagues when I chalked my malaise down to PMS. But sod them, they are not the ones who have to put up with blood loss, stomach cramps and hormone-induced migraines, all while rattling through a day’s work.

The next generation deserve better than slinking off to the bathroom with a tampon stashed up their sleeve. Even the most squeamish men can handle that, surely?