"It's my 'downstairs mixup'": Comedians hilariously describe their relationships with their periods

A new video series aims to open a conversation about women's health -- and it is delightful

Published April 7, 2015 4:26PM (EDT)

       (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-140512p1.html'>Jiri Hera</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(Jiri Hera via Shutterstock)

Here at Salon, we're all about talking about periods. We've talked about tampon video games and menstrual activism, and, personally, I've devoted a good deal of time to trying to convince each of my female colleagues to invest in a Diva Cup. But talking about periods can still be a little uncomfortable, and there's still so much to be done to overcome the ever-prevalent menstruation taboo -- which is why one woman is trying to make period talk funny.

Priya Patel, a New York-based comedian, launched her YouTube series, "This Series Is About Periods," to "understand the nuances and appreciate women's health" through conversations with other comedians. Each woman in the four-part series (including Salon's own Joanna Rothkopf) sits down with Patel one-on-one to share her realest, funniest menstruation experiences. The creator says she planned to stop the series after five episodes, but she's already been inundated with emails from other women who want to participate, whether they're comedians or not.

"I think it's important to destigmatize a healthy, naturally occurring monthly process not just to men, but also among women to encourage frank and open dialogue about our reproductive health," Patel told Salon. "I suppose the lighthearted tone was mainly for it to be accessible to a wide audience, and also to reinforce that this is a topic of conversation that we can simply enjoy and learn from."

Patel says she doesn't just aim to reach 20-something women like those featured in her series, but younger girls as well. She's not alone.

"I have always been very open about my period, and I wanted to create a series that fostered that mentality speaking directly to women's experience with their menstrual cycle and reproductive health," she explained. "I hope this project reaches young women going through puberty, who may or may not have a female buddy to talk to about this, and alleviate the weird social stresses and questions we all go through as our bodies change."

You can watch each episode of the series on Patel's YouTube channel. Check out the first episode, with comedian Kris Wiener, below:

By Jenny Kutner

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Menstrual Taboo Menstruation Periods Priya Patel Reproductive Health Tampons Video Women Youtube