Sign language to discreetly talk about rules?

La langue des signes pour parler discrètement des règles ?

Today, Marie of the Instagram account @littlebunbao and bilingual French and sign language professional, talks to us about the taboo surrounding menstruation.

Indeed, for many menstruating people and those around them, periods are still a taboo subject, as they are sometimes seen as dirty, impure, something not to be talked about. The aim of this article is to give you the keys, through sign language, to overcoming this taboo and communicating discreetly about menstruation. Because the taboo surrounding menstruation has dramatic consequences for menstruating people, particularly by contributing to their isolation.

So let's get started with a few notions of sign language to teach you how to sign about your period!

Signing "I'm on my period" in sign language

Let's start with the phrase "I'm having my period". To sign your period, simply take your hand in a 5-shape, i.e. with the 5 fingers unfolded, and bring the middle finger forward, i.e. bend it and point it towards you. Position it below your chest and make several downward movements, i.e. like a drop falling down. So those are the rules.

To sign I'm having my period for the first time, you're going to point to yourself to say "me", then you're going to repeat the "period" sign, to which you're going to add "first". To sign "première", simply hold up your thumb to say "un". To do this, take your fist and just stick out your thumb. Use your thumb to move up and down. Once your thumb is in the air, shake it once. This is the "first" sign.

Finally, for the "times" sign, you need to make a cross sign with your two index fingers, which in fact represents the mathematical sign for multiplication.

Now you know how to sign "I've got my period for the first time".

Signing "I have a painful period" in sign language

To express that you're having a painful period, we start with the sign for "period", to which we add "to have pain". To sign "to have pain", you take your fist once again, and stick out your thumb. You then position your fist level with your chin and rub your chin with your thumb in a downward movement, i.e. from top to bottom.

The importance of facial expression is essential here, as it will modulate the pain. If you make this sign with a neutral face, you're in pain, but it's bearable. Conversely, if you make this sign with a very tense face, on which you can feel the pain, it means you're in a lot of pain. There's a whole range of possibilities between these two extremes for expressing your level of pain.

You now know how to sign "I have painful periods".

Signing "I need sanitary protection" in sign language

To ask someone for sanitary protection, you'll start by expressing the sign for "protection". To do this, position your right hand at a right angle, as if making a duck's beak. Your left hand should be flat under your right hand. Bring the whole thing down a notch to express the word "protection".

Then, for "hygienic", you place both hands with fingers "in 3", i.e. thumb, forefinger and middle finger unfolded, while the other fingers are folded. You cross your arms and pull as if you'd grabbed a string, so your three fingers are glued together and your right hand is opposite your left.

So you know how to say "sanitary protection".

And as you're asking, you'll add "please", which will make it clear that this is a question and that you're asking someone for something. To do this, you take your hand in "B", i.e. flat, with the inside facing the person, and position it level with your cheek. Then move your hand down your cheek for the "please".

Each time you sign, you point to yourself if you're going to talk about yourself. So if you're talking about the rules, "I've got my rules", you'll point and go "rules". And if you're asking someone for sanitary protection, you're going to add the pointing at the end or the beginning towards the person to let them know you're asking them.

You now know how to sign "sanitary protection please".

Signing "do I have a task" in sign language

To ask if you have a stain in sign language, you first need to make the "buttocks" sign. To do this, place your two hands in a 5-shape, with your five fingers spread out and the inside facing the person. Then lower one hand while raising the other, and vice versa.

Then, for the "task" sign, you're going to give the person the sign 3 with your thumb, index and middle fingers. It's worth noting, by the way, that normally when we ask if we have a task, we make this sign three directly on ourselves. But here, as you've positioned your buttocks just before, you're going to make the three sign facing the person.

What's more, you're going to use your facial expressions to show that this is a question, by making a questioning facial expression.

Now you know how to sign "Do I have a task?

Signing "go to the infirmary" in sign language

To ask if you can go to the infirmary in sign language, we'll start by making the word "infirmary". To do this, take your closed fist, stick out your thumb, and with your thumb draw a cross on your shoulder. This cross refers to the cross of the infirmary, or to be more precise, the armband that nurses wore on their shoulders.

To express "aller" (go), you take your two index fingers, starting from you, and move them forward with your upper body.

You now know how to sign "go to the infirmary".

What sanitary protection should I use during my period?

Our menstrual lingerie collection is ideal for making your period as stress-free as possible. Made in France from certified organic cotton, our menstrual pants contain no chemical substances harmful to your health or the planet! Our absorbent technology protects you from leaks, and the anti-bacterial properties of our eucalyptus fiber absorbent zone prevent unpleasant odors.

Now you have the keys to communicating discreetly about your period, thanks to sign language. If you'd like to learn more about sign language, we invite you to get in touch with sign language training centers. And for your period, you can always protect yourself with our menstrual panties!

If you'd like to see the signs in pictures, you can watch our YouTube video on the subject!

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The information contained in the articles on is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.